The rights of our LGBT community are under threat from the remarks made by Rev Mc Garrell and Bishop Edghill

Dear Editor,

Since the Christian leader’s anti-gay comments, only one person has come out and expressed condemnation and dissatisfaction. No other Christian church, denomination, organization or any other religious entity or government official has done the same. I don’t count Sasod or the human rights body; I do applaud them though.

Isn’t it a shame? But it is not surprising that the United States’ presence in Guyana is very vital and crucial to the retention of the civil rights of Guyanese citizens, particularly gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.

I am surprised the Roman Catholic Church, which I thought was on the side of LGBT persons, would have said something about Rev McGarrell’s insensitive comments. The Roman Catholic Bishop’s silence is worth nothing—even though in all his years here as a Bishop, he hardly has spoken out on touchy issues.

But credit must be given to the US Ambassador, for addressing the pastor’s comments and exposing them for what they really are. Imagine, this very government has its ministers, particularly the Bishop, running their mouths, speaking all kinds of insensitive things about the LGBT community in Guyana, more or less in support of what the pastor said during his interview. Now that is very scary. But the PPP would not distance itself from those statements. That is even scarier.

What we have in Guyana—this Guyana we live in—and what we will continue to have, is persons who use religion—produce a set of Biblical texts to show how God feels about gays and lesbians. That’s all they can do. And they will dish it out to any small-minded Guyanese who don’t know better. I still maintain that the Caribbean male sees himself having to be the crucial ‘macho male.’ If he portrays himself any differently, then he will be called a ‘sissy’ or less of a man by society.

But you see, we have this knack of judging anyone who deviates from the norm, anyone who is ‘different’—and it is showing every day in our society. Whether we are of different races, social classes, sexuality or even religion, let us all admit it, we treat people differently.

The rights of our LGBT citizens are under threat by the remarks and comments made by these individuals. This should certainly be a cause for concern. The US Ambassador is right. How can we use religion to hurt other people because of feelings that they have, feelings that many of them have no control over?

Yours faithfully,

Leon Suseran

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