LGBTQ+ not your enemy, archbishop

Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon - Sureash Cholai
Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon - Sureash Cholai

Guest Column

JASON JONES

IN A recent public statement, Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon refers to gender ideology as a “diabolical” social construct that is a “lie and should not be supported by Christians.” Yet in the same statement he claims that Catholics were “obligated” to work to end prejudice and uphold the dignity of every person.

Therein lies the rub!

How on earth can Gordon uphold the dignity of all human beings while also calling our diverse gender identities “diabolical?”

This is religious hypocrisy at its worst, and Gordon also conveniently ignores the beliefs and values of other civilisations and religious beliefs dating back thousands of years.

Are Hindus “diabolical” for worshipping multiple gods that have diverse genders beyond the binary male or female?

Are people in India, Hawaii, Indonesia, Pakistan, Samoa, Tonga “diabolical” for giving legal recognition to their third-gender citizens?

Are Americans, British, German, French people “diabolical” for protecting trans and intersex people’s human rights?

Archbishop Gordon stated that “gender theory” was being used as a “neo-colonial tool” in order to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of religion, yet here he is speaking freely in our media on the subject, and as far as I am aware no one in the LGBTQ+ equality movement is calling for an end to religious freedom.

So these are red herrings being used by the Catholic Church and the archbishop to scare his flock into denying LGBTQ+ equal rights in our country, a view not shared by the Christian British Methodist Church that recently voted to allow same-sex marriage and to end all conversion therapy, so he does not speak for all Christians.

Gordon represents an organisation headquartered in Italy and run by white men, so he should be very careful about making statements regarding colonialism/neo-colonialism and who is forcing an agenda upon our nation.

We are a callaloo country made up of multiple races and multiple religious denominations and diverse sexualities and gender identities and Christians/Catholics do not have the right to impose their values and beliefs upon the rest of us.

We are a secular nation and everyone deserves an equal place in TT. The separation of Church and State is a vital function of our democracy.

In Italy, where his boss the pope has his headquarters, homosexuality was decriminalised in 1890. Transgender people were allowed to change their legal gender since 1982. Discrimination based on sexual orientation has been illegal since 2003. So why is the archbishop promoting to have different rules for us in the Caribbean than what the seat of his organisation has in Rome?

The archbishop talks of “neo-colonialism. But what he is attempting to do in TT is actually European neo-colonialist. He is pushing an agenda that does not exist in Rome. That is the textbook definition of neo-colonialism.

I would hope the archbishop of our Roman Catholic Church focuses his energy and considerable clout and resources on the serious ills that plague our nation – crime, hunger, the poor, racism, social injustice, gender-based violence.

One in three TT women will be the victim of intimate partner violence from their male heterosexual partner.

Please deal with all that, Archbishop Gordon, before attacking the vulnerable LGBTQ+ community.

Are you using our community as a scapegoat to draw attention away from the murders of indigenous children in Canada? And the multiple acts of sexual violence against TT children?

LGBTQ+ Trinidadians/Tobagonians are not the enemy. Stop making us that. The majority of us are decent tax-paying citizens who contribute positively to our nation.

You stand under a flag designed by a gay Trinidadian. Carlisle Chang. You don’t even pay taxes.

Stop making us your Good Friday boboblee and your enemy. We are not! We are just humans being ourselves.

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"LGBTQ+ not your enemy, archbishop"

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