Monday, August 31, 2015

Why T&T will never legalise gay marriage

Last week, many Trinbagoni­ans were shocked and outraged by news coming out of the United States. The news that hit TV show Hannibal had been cancelled. Studio executives at NBC had obviously lost their goddamned minds. This injustice was ignored, mainly because other Trinbagonians were busy being shocked and outraged at the US Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage legal nationwide.

Homosexuals in America can now enter an unholy alliance where they can commit all manner of perversion, such as filing joint tax returns, putting their spouses on their health insurance plans and ensuring their spouses have legal rights to their estates without the need of a will.It's easy to see why people here are upset. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in T&T. But now, thanks to the US Supreme Court, homosexuals here might now start entertaining all kinds of fancy, highfalutin ideas. Like, they're people and they have rights.

But outraged Trinbagonians of every creed and race should relax. Homo­sexuals will never have an equal place here. Gay marriage will never be legalised in Trinidad and Tobago.This is because the US Supreme Court based its ruling on ideas of liberty, reason and scientific evidence. These are concepts that disgust most Trinbagonians far more than homosexuality does.

For example, scientific evidence tells us that homosexuality is perfectly normal, that it occurs throughout nature. Science also tells us that humans don't simply “choose” their sexual orientation. It's something we are born with. Science also tells us that homosexuals are not predisposed to illicit behaviour, such as paedophilia or sex­­- ual violence, any more than hete­ro­sexuals are. Research by the Ame­rican Academy of Paediatrics shows that children adopted by same-sex couples grow up with as much emotional, cognitive, social and sexual well-being as those raised by heterosexuals.

Also, as reason would dictate, in the eyes of the State, we are all supposed to be treated the same. Regardless of race, gender or religion, we are all entitled to the same legal rights and civil liberties. There is no logical reason that the State should discrimi­nate against homosexuals. Especially in terms of marriage rights as even unmarried heterosexual couples have legal protection under our Cohabitational Relationships Act.

Using reason and scientific facts, arguments against gay marriage appear as empty and lacking in substance as Fay-Ann Lyons' music video for her song “Raze”. But don't worry; here in T&T, we are a God-fearing nation. And if it's one thing God seems to hate, it's well-reasoned arguments supported by scientific facts.This is why the US Supreme Court's ruling has received almost universal condemnation by religious leaders here.

Of course, most religious leaders say they don't hate or reject homosexuals. Apart from gay activities triggering earthquakes, they are just concerned that giving homosexuals equal rights will also infringe on their religious freedoms. Chiefly, the freedom to call homosexuality an abomination that people should hate and reject.

Others say if homosexuals have equal rights, nothing will stop paedo­philes from wanting rights as well. This, of course, ignores the fact that paedophilia has nothing to do with homosexuality. And the fact that some religions already do give paedophiles rights. According to the Hindu and Muslim Marriage Rights Act, adult men are free to have sex with girls as young as 14 and 12 respectively, as long as they marry them first. And if you're a Catholic priest who is a paedophile, don't worry; you could be the beneficiary of a cosy cover-up.

In reaching their decision, the majority of judges on the Supreme Court said, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. (Gay men and women) ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right.”

We may love to adopt things we see in America. Like celebrating Hallo­ween, using the word “summer” and watching WrestleMania. But adopting a bill of rights, enshrining an individual's freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is where we draw the line.
That's why our own Constitution doesn't look like it will change to accommodate equal rights for homosexuals any time soon. And until it does, all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists here are doing is chasing rainbows.

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