EDITOR, The Tribune.
In a desperate search for political traction for his vanity party, the newly amalgamated United People’s Movement (UPM), Gregory Moss has decided to dispense with common decency and to pander to the homophobic fears of some Bahamians.
Mr. Moss erroneously claimed that The Bahamas voted “yes” in support of the appointment by the United Nations of an independent expert charged with investigating infringements on the rights of minorities, including gays.
What The Bahamas did do last month, and what we should be proud of as a nation, is we voted against a draft amendment tabled by a group of African nations that would have fired a distinguished professor of international and human rights law who the UN had just hired last September.
He was given a three-year mandate to investigate abuse against members of the gay community around the world. This distinguished ambassador has no particular flame for the so-called “gay agenda”.
Previously he served on the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria; the Commission on Human Rights on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the International Commission of Inquiry on the Ivory Coast.
His passion, it seems, is in line with that of the UN, namely, the fierce protection of human rights, especially for minorities. I ask Mr Moss what could be wrong with that?
The despot Robert Mugabe who has laid waste to Zimbabwe likes to gin up support for his anti-gay stance by saying it was an agenda promoted by rich white developed countries. It was interesting to see him proved wrong last month.
The Africans came as a contingent adamantly demanding that sexual orientation and gender identity have no place under the umbrella of international human rights. The 54-member Africa group shouted their hypocrisy and their bigotry.
While the so-called rich white developed states sat back and watched the proceedings, it was the Latin American countries that led the counter-charge.
These very Christian, mostly Catholic countries were the voices of reason and compassion on the issue and their side persuaded a slim majority to continue this very valuable work.
I have no doubt this work will probably save the life of a young person somewhere in the world who is today staring down the ravages of hatred and intolerance.
What should be noted was that Caricom could not, or would not, find common ground on this issue. While we were joined by Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis in voting against the African resolution, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago sat on the fence and abstained from voting.
Voting to stop the work of the independent expert were Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But I support Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell for his principled stand at the UN and in Caricom.
The UPM sees the vote as a part of a grand conspiracy by Perry Christie’s government to push an agenda that presumably is at odds with what Bahamians stand for.
They see this UN vote somehow as payback by the government for the loss suffered in the constitutional referendum last summer.
Some politicians and some pastors skilfully packaged and sold that referendum as a Trojan horse planted by nefarious gay plotters who want to take over first The Bahamas and then the world.
A lot of malarkey flew back and forth about the protection of our Christian values. What could be more Christian than to investigate violence against a person or to afford them the same rights, privileges and opportunities as everyone else in society or in the world?
Think back not so long ago when it was considered by some very Christian to support slavery. Think on the many bible passages that were used to justify racism and, sadly, are still used to excuse misogyny.
It should surprise absolutely no-one that the UPM’s drumbeat was picked up by the pouting pastors, Cedric Moss, Alfred Stewart and ole fire and brimstone himself Lyall Bethel, who use every occasion to spit and spin gay conspiracy theories.
Presumably the fourth member of the Chicken Little quartet, Pastor Mario Moxey didn’t hear the drums.
Moss is going to keep pushing on this subject that stokes the homophobic fire that sadly still burns in too many self-professed Christian people.
Bigotry must not be allowed to become a part of this upcoming election campaign and it must be denounced by all political leaders.
And if our politicians need cover to do the right thing, I propose they hide behind the Pope. As an authority on all things Christian he famously said “Who am I to judge them (gays) if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith.”
Can I get an Amen from any of the pastors on that?
January 7, 2017.