Our Readers' Opinions
February 5, 2013

A free society shouldn’t be ruled by peoples’ religious beliefs, at the expense of people’s rights

Tue, Feb 5, 2013

Editor: This is in response to Ann Marie Ballantyne’s diatribe (2/1/13). Space doesn’t permit me to address all of the inaccuracies she misrepresents to show you her “truth”. The peculiarities of religious dogma is that it’s open to interpretation and no one really knows what the original texts mean, since we don’t have the authentic version of the Bible.{{more}}

Much has been lost in the multitude of translations over centuries, with all the inherent biases associated with it. There are those who purport to know what the Bible means and that they are the chosen. They claim ownership of the righteous path. They puff themselves up with pride in knowing the truth and will show you the way. Religion and the Bible have historically been used to perpetuate discrimination to include the annihilation of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans and women, to name a few. Mrs Ballantyne walks a fine balance between her love and perversity for people like me, who are gay. Her love fuels and creates a happy violence. Instead of taking ownership and responsibility for the destruction she promulgates, she deceptively veils herself in her interpretation of God’s words.

The Bible in its translations has changed over time as societies progress; it has never been a fixed text. If it were, she and her disciples would be advocating for the criminalization of fornication and adultery. She would fight arduously with exclamation points for slavery to be decriminalized, as the Bible supports slavery (Leviticus 25:44). She would tirelessly fight for the preservation of society by banning shellfish, as the Bible states it’s abominable (Leviticus 11:10).
Instead she chooses a curious preoccupation with “unnatural practices” and “the use of the anus to expel faeces”. Sexuality is not who you have sex with; it’s who you are attracted to. You are still heterosexual if you are celibate and immaculate. Anal sex is not patented by gay men, and not all gay men practise anal sex, just as some heterosexuals engage in anal intercourse. In following her logic and intellect on “unnatural practices” I would like to know if it’s unnatural to use one’s mouth for oral intercourse, since it’s primary function is nutrition and speech. Is it also unnatural and unholy for a woman to receive carnal pleasure from her mammary glands as their function is to feed babies?

The issue here is not Mrs Ballantyne’s skewed and biased views, which she is certainly entitled to. There will always be zealots. The issue is a society in SVG that’s led by a government that supports the continued discrimination and marginalization of many of its citizens, based solely on sexuality, with the continued criminalization of homosexuality. It is the responsibility of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP to ensure the rights of all its citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. Rights are not supposed to be voted on as referendums. A free society shouldn’t be ruled by peoples’ religious beliefs, at the expense of the disenfranchisement of many of its citizens.

Sean Macleish