By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Pastor Ronald McGarrell has expressed fear that the perversions of homosexuality can be so severe in invoking the wrath of God that it may be better if all Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people go on an island and live by themselves.
This view was immediately rejected as outrageous and ridiculous by Co – Chair and Founder of the local gay rights movement – SASOD – Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Joel Simpson.
The two were discussing the issue on the programme ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 love FM today, Sunday June 08.
Pastor McGarrell said, “Same sex unions can create serious problems … it is because people are looking for love and happiness in all the wrong places.”
But this view was also trashed by Simpson, who pointed out that SASOD is in no way pushing for the legalization of same sex marriage locally but is more concerned with violent discrimination against the minority group, supported by colonial discriminatory laws.
Simpson explained that SASOD’s concern is the violent discrimination that is meted out to LGBT persons in Guyana which is a violation of fundamental human rights, discrimination in employment, seeking medical treatment and other social services.
He was also adamant that there should be immediate repel of discriminatory anti sodomy, anti buggery laws and create a better environment for access to justice.
In this regard, Pastor McGarrell posited that the onus is on the LGBT community to educate towards a change in culture, to desist from the practice of physical violence against homosexuals.
Pastor McGarrell maintained however that the act of homosexuality was far removed from God and while he does not support violence, he called for all LGBT’s to repent, reasoning that no one is born gay and it is a behaviour that can be changed.
“If you understand the eternal ramifications you would understand the need for change,” he said, adding that “We are all eternal beings and we will have to give account for what we do on earth, there is a special place reserved in hell for people who are far removed from God’s plan.”
To this end, Simpson questioned in an opposing tone, “Who is God? In a multi religious society with so many teachings, tell me who is God? But I’m not here to get into that… I have my own religious beliefs.”
Simpson maintained that LGBT people should have all basic human rights and be treated equally in enjoying a right to privacy. He argued that it was most harmful to change people because sexual orientation and gender expression are not choices.
“Reparative therapy has long lasting damaging physiological effects.”
SASOD’s Co-Chair was adamant that religious views should not influence on public policies and laws are crafted, particularly in democratic Guyana.
The two clashed when Pastor McGarrell suggested that homosexuality was spreading, prompting Simpson to ask, “Have you caught it?”
It was concluded that common ground was being threaded on which was to ensure security and safety to all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation.