Our Readers' Opinions
December 17, 2013
Time to change prejudicial laws that exist in SVG

Tue Dec 17, 2013

Editor: Madiba, Nelson Mandela, was a great man and one of my heroes. I agree with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves who was quoted as saying, “Well, maybe today we should all resolve among ourselves, as part of the upholding of the legacy of Mandela, that we should try to be less bitter with one another, not to be bitter at all; to be forgiving..”.{{more}} Post apartheid, under Madiba’s leadership, South Africa recognized that all oppression is connected and on May 8,1996 it became the first country in the world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution. The criminalization of homosexuality in SVG in 2013 is diametrically opposed to the legacy of Madiba and to the philosophy of treating people as individuals, without hanging the burden of legislated apartheid around peoples’ necks.

There can be no reconciliation, forgiveness or ebbing of bitterness as long as these prejudicial laws exist in SVG. This social inequity separates people into “good’ and “bad”. South Africa got it right 17 years ago. Madiba understood this and I am grateful for his insighful humanity. Maybe one day in my lifetime I can feel the same about SVG when the Prime Minister’s words actually transform the institutionalized oppression of lesbian, gay and bisexual Vincentians. Until then, it’s unforgivable.

Sean Macleish