This blog is written in a response to a story on the Jamaica Observer's website titled "Gay TV advert angers clerics". I've sent this to the Observer and the Gleaner let's see if this gets published.
J-FLAG’s new PSA featuring former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe Christine Straw and her gay brother Matthew Straw has drawn the ire of clergy and church goers. The cross fire is now between, Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons who view the church as propagators of discrimination.
Christians oppose the removal of the buggery law, the televising of PSAs like the new one done by J-FLAG (mentioned above), and the inclusion of the human rights of GLBT folks in the Charter of Rights. Many Christians oppose these on the basis of their Christian beliefs. I have noticed that much of the opposition is also in fear of Christian beliefs being challenged. I dare say that this same fear that Christians have is the same thing they are currently doing to the GLBT community.
The authority Christians believe they have to dictate how persons should live (lifestyle) or to determine the possibility of an innate orientation, should be held to the confines of that Church, and that Church’s institutions. I do not believe that Christians should be forced to believe and agree that homosexuality is right; I do not believe that Christians should be forced to recognise homosexual relationships and/or unions as morally right. Why is it that the church cannot extend the same to persons of opposing views?
This myth, of the GLBT community wanting to “convert” your children and to force churches to keep quite is just that, a myth. It is the fear that people have that the church is manipulating. Shame on you! I am a lesbian Christian, who was sexually assaulted so that I would “convert” to heterosexuality. I am not saying that some GLBT folk don’t try to “change” heterosexual people, but you also need to know that there are heterosexual people out there trying to “change” GLBT folk, it doesn’t make any of them right, yet I haven’t heard the church speak out about human rights violations of GLBT persons.
The church is vocal in its opposition to human rights for GLBTs but as a democratic, non-church state GLBT persons also have the right to have their views heard and seen. What the GLBT community is advocating for right here in Jamaica is their right to an existence, the right to life, and the right to be.