Fri | Sep 24, 2021

Letter of the Day | Espeut's lightweight logic born out of bigotry

Published:Friday | April 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I read Peter Espeut's most recent article "'Ginnalship' and the gay agenda"(Sunday Gleaner, April 27, 2018), and I am tempted to ask: What part of his theological outlook invites him to forgo the principle of equality of treatment?

I am struggling to appreciate his analysis. I understand it, but his writing does suggest that there is something inherently wrong with those who seek to have repealed a piece of legislation that clearly treats them in an obviously discriminatory manner. That is what his article fails to address -Why we need this difference in treatment. In other words, why is it necessary ?

He is correct that the Jamaican Constitution does, on the topic being discussed, have a savings clause. However, those who framed the Constitution were quite clear in ensuring that there is a process by which such a clause can be amended. Admittedly, it is not a simple-majority vote in either House of Parliament, but they were smart enough to recognise that at some point in the future, there might be the need to change certain once-held interpretations or statutes. That is a feature of an evolving society.




I am particularly concerned - and other well-thinking Jamaicans should be worried, too - when we hear a respected member of the clergy, in effect, advocating discriminatory treatment. The argument or tactic used is a logic that has long lost its appeal.

Mr Espeut seeks to draw us into his bigoted world by creating the impression that only those with a different sexual orientation support equality before the law and that those who seek equality of treatment only want it so that they can have sexual intercourse.

I don't know if I know anyone who is gay, but surely the quest, or request, to be treated equally by members of the LGBT community does not need to be justified, no more than I should need to justify why I want to be alive.

A constitution that treats some citizens less favourably than others is one that has to be changed, and we must engage in that discussion as we will decide when and how. This is a view shared not only by persons of the LGBT community. It so happens to be the view of all those who are committed to equality, and they have no sinister motive.