Gay lobby may have lost potential allies
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I have been in a running email debate with Jeff Cobham. He convinced me that the University of the West Indies had no other option. Now, Gordon Robinson has reopened that aspect of the case.
However, there are two other things I have been saying to Jeff. There is now a growing belief among the Jamaican man in the street that, no matter how important and learned you are, no matter how well you have served, if you say or do anything that can be interpreted as being harmful to the aims of the LGBT lobby, you can be hounded out of your job and punished in any way that they can find to punish you. I think that this is an unfortunate impression to have developed and does more harm to their cause than good.
I have been listening to persons among whom I circulate, and there is a feeling of resentment. A conviction that "de byman dem wah fi tek ova everyting! Yuh cyaan even talk de trute dat dem a de chief spredda a AIDS. Nuh care if yuh a big doctor an gi dem facks!"
This opinion is given with disgust, even loathing. It marks lost ground because the general opinion had been slowly shifting in the direction of greater tolerance, into one of "mek dem gwaan! As long as dem nuh ovado de public nuffness!"
We have moved towards the obligatory "not in my cabinet!" To the more reasoned attitude of Portia Simpson, who, by her actions, was using her personal popularity and influence to help change attitudes.
The ultra-aggressive moves of these lobby groups seem to have hardened resistance to their agenda, including important human rights aspects.
And then there is Dr Brendan Bain, who seems to have been painted by some as a person who could not really show the necessary love and care for the patients he served because of his belief that their sexual behaviour was immoral. Which, all who know him is far from true.
In ending, I want to ask: If a coalition of prostitutes sued the Government in an effort to decriminalise their practice (a direction in which some states seem to be moving), would the new head of CHART be at risk of losing his job if he testified that the activity involved in the 'profession' was a public health hazard?
Would the human-rights organisations who have joined the LGBT lobby be as whole-hearted in their support of his removal?