Ministry of Education has the opportunity to affirm acceptance of diversity

Dear Editor,
Guyana welcomed a pastor who called for the killing of LGBT citizens in Botswana. The pastor and his team preached in Guyana’s schools. The pastor and his team were subsequently deported from Botswana (Newsweek http://www.newsweek.com/botswana-bans-anti-gay-us-preacher-steven-anderson-500584 ) . In Botswana, the pastor reportedly “stated that he thinks the government should be killing homosexuals and that people who commit adultery should be stoned to death.”  South Africa banned the pastor from entering the country. The pastor and his team have been accountable and transparent in their hatred of those who are different from them.

Organisations which represent the Hindu community in Guyana have joined together in holding the Ministry of Education accountable for the preaching of hate. The Hindu community has shown a lesson that despite the diversity and anxieties generated by things like dates for festivals, they can unite to deal with the violations of rights to religious freedoms.  The joint position of these organisations must be a relief to those who have been upset by the quarrels.

The Ministry of Education has the opportunity to affirm that there is an acceptance in diversity in all of its forms, including religion, sexual orientation, gender identity.

The Ministry of Education has the opportunity to work with its staff to ensure that they reject the values which the pastor and his team were instilling in the schools and probably elsewhere in Guyana.

 Yours faithfully,
Vidyaratha Kissoon

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