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Saturday 20 April 2019
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Discuss policy for all minorities

CAISO responds to Evangalists’ ‘imaginary demons’:

CAISO director Colin Robinson says if faith voices want to talk credibly about an LGBTI agenda, they need to stop peddling what is in their imagination and discuss policymaking for all minorities.

He said they should start by reading the 12 issues the national coalition of LGBTI groups have jointly prioritised as their agenda, such as, homelessness, bullying, genital mutilation, better police response to hate crimes against LGBTI people, repeal of clauses deliberately added to the 2012 Children Act to punish young people for sexual exploration with another young person of the same sex with jail for life.

“That is what we would like the nation to be debating, as we discuss policymaking for a nation of minorities, not imaginary demons.”

In the last week, the anti-gay comments have increased following an advocacy by Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie for acceptance of LGBTI community and to treat with them in healthy, respectful and rational discussion about strengthening the family. Support from Tewarie’s son, CEO of the TT American Chamber of Commerce Nirad Tewarie for an end to gender discrimination, has fuelled disagreement from the TT Council of Evangelical Churches and RebuildTT and TT Cause Bishop Lew Thompson.

Thompson said Tewarie’s call displays either a lack of understanding on the issue at stake, or sadly, his refusal to accept the societal havoc those issues were causing in countries where they were being allowed to have free rein.The council has maintained that such behaviour is a contravention of the word of God and said Tewarie, as non-Christian, had no right to comment on the Bible.

Robinson in a statement yesterday, said, “We have noted that the series of public statements made in recent months by the Council of Evangelical Churches (which, interestingly, speaks for Methodist and Presbyterian churches as well) has focused on no other national issue than promoting discrimination against LGBTI people, while remaining silent on a range of existential development issues being faced by the nation.

“Enforcing select faith leaders’ ideas of what’s in the Christian Bible as law on everyone in the country isn’t how a secular state makes policy. We are really clear that we have to all share our nation with each other. We as LGBTI citizens fully intend to share it with Evangelical Christians.”

Robinson indicated that an updated 2020 LGBTI agenda would be released later this year to reflect the policy concerns of working-class LGBTI people the Alliance had documented over the course of recent months. He said their needs often fell through the cracks of social service and faith-based safety nets.

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