Fri | Dec 2, 2022

Gordon Robinson | Squamos cell analogy

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2022 | 12:06 AM

I’m disappointed that I must again explain expressions of love between consenting adults (a simple enough concept) thanks to an unexpectedly obtuse column by Peter Espeut on Friday.

He began with a blindingly obvious non-sequitur in the form of an analogy, likening laws against scamming to those against “buggery” (an offensive term). Lookie here! Analogy is the weakest form of argument and one I avoid except in satire. Peter wrote this nauseating nonsense:

“I have some advice for persons accused of scamming: try as your defence that you made your phone calls to gullible seniors in the privacy of your bedroom and that your right to privacy is guaranteed by the Jamaican Constitution. The right to privacy in one’s bedroom is used by many – including the editor of this newspaper – to justify any type of sexual activity … .”

No. It. Is. NOT!

First off, the thin skin of Peter’s analogy between private sex and scamming is so flawed it’s in danger of a squamos cell carcinoma diagnosis (I know - analogy, but this is satire right?):

• Scamming is non-consensual. It involves deception, trickery, and fraud. Consensual sex features none of the above;

• Scamming cannot be done in anyone’s bedroom (not that this matters) unless scammer AND scammee are in that room. Scammees are usually on the other end of a phone line thousands of miles away;

• Scamming doesn’t pretend to involve love or passion. It is hateful and disrespectful, involving undue influence and unequal bargaining power. Consensual sex? Nah!

• Ye Olde Editor used privacy to justify consensual sex NOT “any type of sexual activity”.

FLAWED

So, Peter, while I understand your religious zeal to prove laws against consensual sex to be rational and that privacy rights don’t exclude the Church from peeping, entering into bedrooms, and jumping into bed with two consenting adults to keep them apart, this gig just won’t spin in 2022. This is an era of mass communication, unlike when the Old Testament was written by sexually repressed, bitter old men. Most persons not only have widespread access to information about these matters but also the ability to think for themselves. When Jesus arrived to spread The Word, He made no adverse comment about same-sex love. He promoted love - period!

As one of those schooled in critical thinking but apparently brainwashed by religious dogma, Peter wrote this twisted twaddle:

“If simply being in the privacy of one’s bedroom exempts persons from being subject to any moral laws or legal culpability, then surely, claiming that the scamming took place in the privacy of one’s bedroom should have the case thrown out of court .. ..”

Bah! Humbug!

You see, Peter, the problem isn’t the right to privacy. The problem is that legislators bowed to an intense, concerted lobby from the religious wrong to insert the following into what should have been a Charter of Rights:

“(12) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law in force immediately before the commencement of the Charter ... relating to

(a) sexual offences;

(b) obscene publications; or

(c) offences regarding the life of the unborn,

shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of … this Chapter.”

Just in case we missed the point, another proviso was included restricting marriage to between one man and one woman.

Like Michael Jordan, unbelievaBULL!

PERVERSE PROVISIONS

These perverse provisions allow religious whack jobs to bleat persistently about men having sex with men as “against moral law” (an oxymoron). BTW, have you noticed how Jamaica’s “moral laws” discriminate against men but include zero provisions criminalising lesbianism or lesbian sex? Now why d’ya think that is?

I guess consensual sex between (or among) women is “moral” enough for the religious wrong but between two men it’s a dangerous abomination. Sexist much? Where my feminists at? Why aren’t they lobbying for equal treatment under the law insofar as peeping into their bedrooms is concerned? And what’s the Roman Catholic Church doing to bring to “justice” its many priests caught inside and outside of their bedrooms indulging in same-sex lovemaking and even paedophilia? How cum they seem to have more “privacy” than we? Upon which “moral” high horse is Deacon Peter sitting?

These sexually discriminatory provisions don’t appear in Belize, Antigua, or Trinidad’s constitutions, so Peter can stop agonising over whether those rulings could happen here. But these are two constitutional provisions that oughtn’t to survive urgently needed constitutional reform. It’s time we stopped pretending and actually ensured equal protection under the law for ALL Jamaicans.

Peace and Love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Send feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.