Readiness of society must be considered in addressing anti-gay laws – Ramotar

President Donald Ramotar on Saturday said that the readiness of the society has to be taken into consideration before changing anti-gay laws.

“I am against any kind of discrimination as far as jobs etc etc is concerned in our society. I have no problems with this group of people. I have never had any problems with them but I think we also have to look at the readiness of our society in some of these cases,” he said at a news conference at State House on Saturday. The president was asked whether his government would support laws to reverse ones that are currently on the books, which advocates for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, said should be repealed.

“I have to… protect them and ensure that they’re not discriminated in as far as government services is concerned but I have to also be conscious and sensitive to the feelings and views of a lot of other sections of the people in our country,” Ramotar said. “You don’t want to talk about democracy and then ask me to only take into consideration the views of one set of people,” he added.

In relation to whether government ministers ought to be more sensitive when they make statements about the LGBT community with reference made to an uproar surrounding comments by junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, Ramotar said that he had not delved into that matter. “I saw some of it. I didn’t get to the root of it but I know sometimes the media can take things out of context so I don’t know in what context they took him in so I’ll look at that,” he said.

Edghill has denied that his remarks during a radio programme on gays and homosexuality were hateful. “I categorically deny that I have said anything that was hateful,” Edghill told a press conference that he called on the heels of a complaint being lodged against him to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Two advocacy groups are calling on the Guyana government to fire Edghill from his post as Minister within the Finance Ministry and as a Member of Parliament (MP) as a result of statements he made about the LGBT community which they said are in violation of local and international regulations.

His dismissal is one of 15 recommendations contained in an 11-page report sent to the UNHRC on June 15th by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). In the report, titled ‘On Devil’s Island: A UPR Submission on LGBT Human Rights in Guyana’, SASOD and SRI told the UNHRC that Edghill, while on a local radio programme “used the most inflammatory language” when he described homosexuality as “destructive, unwholesome and unhealthy.”

Edghill said that at the time of his contribution, he was wearing the cap of a priest and not that of a government official.

He emphasised that he will always hold firm that homosexuality is an unnatural act and not of his God.

More in Local News

default placeholder

Gov’t will not be ‘lectured to in the press’ on forest concessions, Trotman says

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman yesterday said that the government will not be “lectured” to in the press on the issue of forestry concessions, while announcing that the arrival of officials from a company in China that may take over the operations of the controversial Baishanlin is being awaited.

default placeholder

Black Bush triple murder suspects brought to city

Seven men, including the main suspect who was arrested in connection with the Black Bush Polder, Corentyne triple murder were transported to Georgetown on Tuesday evening and are currently being questioned by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID), Major Crimes Unit.

Anthony Jhagroo

Bulletin issued for suspect in murder of mechanic

The police yesterday issued a  bulletin for Anthony Jhagroo, who is wanted for questioning in relation to two offences: escaping from lawful custody and the murder of mechanic, Yugeshwar Shiwcharan.

default placeholder

Five cops under close arrest over stolen gold

Five police officers attached to the Brickdam Police Station are currently under close arrest after they allegedly stole a quantity of raw gold from some miners last Friday.

default placeholder

Norway team ‘horrified’ at bauxite mining in pilot village Muritaro

A private bauxite mining operation in the Amerindian community of Muritaro on the Demerara River, discovered by members of a “horrified” team from Norway, was shut down by the Ministry of Natural Resources late last year, since the community was one identified to benefit from the Guyana-Norway forest protection scheme.

default placeholder

New candidate identified to head Bid Protest Committee

Attorney at Law Joann Bond will now head the recently-constituted Bid Protest Committee (BPC) established under the Procurement Act, well-placed sources say.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: