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ones that are currently on the books, which advocates for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, said should be repealed.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.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Wade, Hazlewood guide Australia to victory

(Reuters) – A match-winning three-wicket bowling stint by Mitchell Marsh lifted Australia to a convincing victory by 58 runs against West Indies in the final of the triangular one-day international (ODI) series in Barbados today.

default placeholder

Gov’t sets out bid protest procedures

Following the setting up of a Bid Protest Committee (BPC), the Ministry of Finance today unveiled the procedures that bidders who are dissatisfied with how a contract has been awarded, must follow to have the award reviewed.

default placeholder

Eye care specialists to meet in Barbados next month

Eye care specialists from across the Anglophone, Dutch and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, North America and Europe will converge in Barbados in July for the 27th Congress of the Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI).

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

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: