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Is freedom, justice only for some?

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EDITOR: SALT is absolutely right. Freedom is not absolute.

Homicidal individuals are not allowed to roam free on the streets killing at will just because “they can’t help it”.

Pyromaniacs and arsonists cannot just burn other people’s property at will because of their attraction to flames. But in applying this principle to the case of homosexuals you have to examine what the statement “no freedom is absolute” means.

In the aforementioned instances these persons cannot be allowed to do the things they are compelled to do. Why? Because if they exercise their preference for killing or burning down someone’s home they are infringing upon the rights of someone else. {{more}}

Freedom to exercise a preference is necessarily limited by the provision that when you do so you must not harm or endanger anyone else. It is for this reason that SALT’s comparison of the tolerance of homosexuals to accepting the actions of rapists, pedophiles and people who engage in bestiality is inaccurate. As radical as it may sound, two adults, of sound mind and body, decide to engage in sexual activities, it is none of my business. Which is the point I want to make.

I’ll even say it slowly: Mutually… Consenting… Adults.

Rape, pedophilia and bestiality all involve the infringing of a person’s or animal’s rights which is why there are laws against them. You cannot in a civilized society exercise a preference that limits or abrogates the rights of another. Period! That being said, explain to me how is it a matter for the State to decide whether two adults, male or female, who fully understand the repercussions of their actions, can have sex? It is not the job of the State to legislate opinion, which is all this is. The whole premise would be hilarious if it wasn’t so maddeningly biased and fuelled by faulty logic.

As if SALT’s argument wasn’t ridiculous enough, he/she seeks to strengthen it by making a further comparison between homosexuals and older men who seduce young girls and stating it is the duty of the State to “safeguard public morality” and “protect the young from erroneous ideas about sex”.

The idea of homosexual sex being “erroneous” is again one of opinion and not one for the legislature to handle and if you want to talk about young people getting the wrong ideas about sex, I suggest you turn to the misogyny and sexism inherent in our society that leaves women vulnerable and secondary to men, the hetero-patriarchy that controls our governments, the lack of openness about healthy expressions of sexuality and the lack of redress for gender based crimes.

SALT also states that children require a father and a mother to learn how to relate to the sexes and take their place in society and that children who may be adopted by homosexual couples will lack that. Well, they will be no worse off than the 50% of Caribbean children who are raised in a single parent home with just over 30% being raised solely by women.

Same sex marriages will not signal the death knell of the Caribbean population – I am sure there will be plenty of philandering absentee fathers left over to keep the birth rates up. Quick biology lesson: homosexual unions do not produce homosexual children – heterosexual unions do.

For now, SALT, the laws reflect your view and that of the religious right, conservatives, champions for so-called morality or whatever you guys are calling yourselves this week, so it would appear that for the time being you have won. But in the same way you felt comfortable enough to have an opinion, I have mine. I’ll even do you one better and sign my name to it.

I think you and others like you are in search of a scapegoat on which to pin some of the social ills we see. It is much more convenient to scream, “Lez!” or “Buller!” at someone than to examine how your own actions may contribute to societal degradation. It is easier to whip people into a frenzy over so-called moral issues than to pay attention to much harder issues like educational reform, classist entitlement or gender inequality.

Why are you so afraid? Homosexuals are people before anything else. Most of them are functioning, hard working, and upstanding members of society. Just like most heterosexuals. They have contributions to make. Sexual orientation should not be a metaphor for worth neither should it be grounds for their demonization. When it comes to human and civil rights, you either provide them for everyone or not at all. Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is viewed as the contemporary statement of the non-discrimination norm. It states that: “Everyone is entitled to all of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.”

There is no halfway. This in not about lobbying for homo-normalcy as opposed to hetero-normalcy. This is about the double standard you are trying to promote. You are free to dislike homosexuality all you want but how can you claim to want the state to maintain morality but ignore their actual duty which is the protection of justice?

Alisa Alvis

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