Letter published in Stabroek News and Kaieteur News of 22 November, 2006
The news that the South African parliament has voted
to legalise same sex marriages is encouraging.
This, at a time when South Africa faces serious
problems with crime, the spread of the HIV/AIDS
epidemic and poverty, demonstrates the commitment to
human rights even as, in other places, homophobic
leaders try to turn energies to preventing rights of
gay and lesbian citizens while ignoring issues such as
poverty and poor governance.
In Mexico City, same sex unions are also now
recognised, while in Buenos Aires, the laws which
criminalised the travesti (cross dressing) have been
As these trends emerge in the Global South, the
Caribbean continues to be plagued by homophobia and
excuses for homophobia. It is now almost a year since
SASOD has applied to the Ethnic Relations Commission
to exercise their mandate to "encourage and create
respect for religious, cultural and other forms of
diversity in a plural society" and rule on the
permission given by the State entities to promote
homophobic lyrics in the public venues.(http://sasod.blogspot.com/2005/12/letter-sent-to-ethnic-relations.html).
The Ethnic Relations Commission has not considered the
It is unknown whether the ERC has decided that
homosexuals are not worthy of human rights and respect
in a diverse society.
The tolerance of a call to kill is an indictment of
the society, especially since no one knows who next
will be targeted.
Members of SASOD