July 15, 2014
PM calls for sensible, mature conversation on gay rights

While he is of the view that there is a legitimate debate to be had on gay rights in St Vincent and the Grenadines, that is one debate in which Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he will be doing more listening than speaking.{{more}}

Gonsalves told reporters Monday that he would abstain from the debate, but called for “a sensible, mature conversation” in the population.

“It’s a subject on which I am going to do a lot of listening; is not every subject a political leader has to take a front position or to speak at length.

“I listen and I hear people talk and I read and I have an understanding, but today… you are not going to draw me into that conversation, more detailed than I have done,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister said, however, that any discussion for, or against the topic should be respectful.

“Obviously… the gay bashing that some people have is clearly unacceptable. You just don’t do with an article or speech which amounts to Buju song (Boom Bye Bye)…. You have to be very understanding of the circumstances in which persons may find themselves, and you have to have an elemental love for people, whatever may be their particular condition of circumstance or orientation and with words you have to be careful, much less to when you have to advocate violence against people; it’s entirely unacceptable.

“Those who are for gay rights ought not go out and just condemn them ‘willy nilly’ as being faith-based totalitarian or homophobic and so on….”(JJ)