N Touch
Thursday 19 July 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Serious fallout comingfrom gays rights ruling

THE EDITOR: The Archbishop of Port of Spain Charles Jason Gordon has written that “the church does not agree with keeping buggery as a criminal offence. Buggery is a serious moral offence, but it should not put someone in prison for 25 years.”

However, he also wrote that “I know a major objection is that repealing the buggery laws will open the door to same-sex marriage. These may well be strategies that are tied together. We need to deal with them separately. We will oppose same-sex marriage in every way possible.”

I hope the archbishop will eventually understand that the two are closely intertwined.

It is only a matter of time before the issues of “rights” and “discrimination” are used to try and legalise same-sex marriage in TT.

This is not a new battle. Almost 25 years ago, former government minister Mervyn Assam spoke about the pressures being brought to bear on the then Basdeo Panday government by external forces to make our laws more gay friendly.

Readers should download Justice Rampersad’s 58-page decision. It makes for very informative reading.

While many are rejoicing, cooler heads are trying to get people to understand that there is still a long way to go before our laws are changed. The final step is for a three-fifths majority of Parliament to repeal the relevant sections.

There is a key issue that many are missing in this argument.

Members of the LBGQTI movement are putting their sexual orientation front and centre in their arguments. This is going to have serious repercussions for employers in the future.

The majority of employers in TT do not ask about someone’s sexual orientation in an interview. They are more concerned with finding the best person for the job.

There are many open or closeted LBGQTI – and whatever other letters they ascribe to themselves – people who work for companies in TT with little or no problems. This does not deny the fact that there are some employers who openly discriminate.

Going forward, it is quite possible that employers will now be faced with applicants who state, before an interview, that they are gay. This has nothing to do with the job for which they are applying.

Can an employer be sued for not hiring an openly gay person?

The answer lies in the fact that the Equal Opportunities Commission was listed as an interested party in the case of Jason Jones vs The Attorney General.



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