SASOD wants Edghill removed as Minister, Parliamentarian

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By Kurt Campbell

SASOD’s Co-Chair, Joel Simpson
SASOD’s Co-Chair, Joel Simpson

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Local gay rights advocacy group – Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) – has called for Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill to be relieved of his ministerial responsibilities and be removed as a Member of Parliament.

According to the SASOD, Edghill who is also a Bishop is guilty of making hate speeches in relation to homosexuality and persons who practice the act; reasoning that it could incite ill-will against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) persons.

The Body was making specific reference to Edghill’s recent comments on the Radio Program ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 FM where he supported views expressed by Pastor Ronald McGarrell where he [McGarrell] said that homosexuality is a learnt behaviour and that all gay persons should live on an island by themselves to prevent it from spreading.

According to SASOD, “Edghill used the most inflammatory language describing homosexuality as destructive, unwholesome and unhealthy.”

The government MP had said that it is scientifically proven that homosexuals are more promiscuous, disease laden and violent than normal people.

“Edghill was adamant and unapologetic for his hateful comments which were clearly intended to incite ill-will against LGBT people, which is a violation of Article 146 (3) of the Guyana Constitution,” SASOD contends.

These concerns and recommendations were included in a submission SASOD made to the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of its 21st round of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

SASOD’s Co-Chair, Joel Simpson is strongly convinced that Edghill’s language and tone amounts to hate speech.

Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill. [iNews' Photo]
Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill. [iNews’ Photo]
He recalled another government MP, Manzoor Nadir who also shared his views on the issue. Nadir had said that more evidence needed to be provided of discrimination, violent or otherwise, against LGBT persons before the administration could take action.

To this end, Simpson said he would like to know “which rock Nadir is living under.” He said there is more than abundant evidence, adding that “I find it strange, in fact it is a backward position that we should wait until discrimination becomes rampant before we address it… if that’s the government’s approach, then it’s a dire situation.”

Simpson also took a swipe at Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira who had publicly stated recently that there is no fast track to making these changes.

“She is wrong, there is a fast track and it’s called political leadership. This is what this current government lacks when it comes to dealing with these issues, human right issues,” Simpson said.

He added that the true test of democracy is the administration’s ability to protect its minority; adding that the group is not in any way advocating for new rights but rather for the better protection of existing Human Rights.

SASOD maintains that there are breaches to the local constitution and international laws when it comes to LBGT persons in Guyana.

The group has compiled and submitted its own 11 page report: “On Devil’s Island” which addressed Guyana’s discriminatory laws and the denial of fundamental rights along with a list of 15 recommendations for the Guyana Government.

Among its recommendations are for the government to amend and repeal several laws, more human rights education and more sensitivity training for health care workers and implement mechanisms for reporting and redress where LGBT persons would have been violated.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Muslim, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, partly because God could not even find ten righteous people living in it, or He would have spared it. Only three people, one family, Lot and his two daughters were saved. God is a merciful God.

    When Jesus in His anger overturned the tables in the temple, it was because the religious people, today’s church, were using God’s House to sell merchandise, He said “My house shall be a house of prayer.” And the Bible says, “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

    In Acts 5:1-11, a man and his wife were killed on the spot when they lied to the Holy Spirit. And Revelations 21:8 declares, that “cowards, unbelievers, abominable, murderers, adulterers, sexual immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. The Scripture says clearly that homosexuality is only one of the sins which God hates. And, the Bible says ” all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…and “”the wages of sin is death.”

    But, praise God, He did not leave man to die in his sin, He made a way for mankind to overcome sin and to be free of sin. He provided “the lamb of God” JESUS CHRIST who paid the debt for sin and gave man power over sin. “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

    This is the Gospel, and this is what Pastor McGarrell, Bishop Edgehill, and all of the so-called Christians should be sharing with the whole world, including the LBGT community. Instead they are acting like God in condemning and judging. Only God can judge. And many of those who are acting like judges, will be judged.

  2. christianjrmyh your own bible says that god almighty destroyed an entire nation for this evil jesus said that he came not to condem the law but to fullfill it he over turn tables and chase the evil ones out of the temple saying that they turn it into den of thieves ,it is the same thing with homosexuals they have made the earth very nasty.and polluted.

  3. MR gray the truth in my book and many others like mine is not hate but a completely dislike for this evil behaviour that you and are supporting, like all other evils we condem them in totally and should be rid from our society, just as how you put a thief in jail for a crime you all should be place on a planet by your self.

  4. There is no disputing that practicing homosexuality is a sin against God’s moral law. But God has provided the forgiveness for ALL sin. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the way to freedom from sin and He is the power over sin. This is the gospel. This is what Jesus preached.

    Mark 2:16-17 ~ And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

    All you Pharisees should remember that God is the judge. “there is none righteous, no, not one.” Before you condemn those in the LBGT community take the plank out your own eye.

  5. I say no! To homesexuallity mr edghill is right there is no wrong about that and he is takinging a stand for truth, let the truth set us free from the wrath of God.

  6. muslim:: isnt it hate for humans you are spreading? isnt that the truth? or you love your own truth that you made up in your holy books like others just like you?

  7. I abhor hate of any kind and in any form. However, Mr. Simpson, you do not have the right to request this man be removed from his position, because he disagrees with your choice of lifestyle. Are you planning to do this with everyone? Every politician or person who expresses feelings against homosexuality? You can only hope for some semblance of tolerance. Although I don’t agree with some of the language used by both Mr. Edgehill or the Rev ; for you to make demands and expect people to turn on a “dime” to open acceptance. is unreasonable.

  8. Mr. Juan Edgehill’s view “that it is scientifically proven that homosexuals are more promiscuous, disease laden and violent than normal people” can only be classified as hate speech, because it carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for the LBGT community and is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons based on their sexual orientation.

    What is more alarming and even dangerous is that Mr. Edgehill holds a prominent position in the government as Jr. Minister of Finance and in the religious community as a Bishop. His standing and words, which has a very long reach, would have been better utilized for good, for healing, and to express the love of Jesus Christ. But, he has used his pivotal position destructively rather than constructively.

    The comments by his colleagues in government, MP Manzoor Nadir “that more evidence needed to be provided of discrimination, violent or otherwise, against LGBT persons before the administration could take action,” and “Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira who had publicly stated recently ‘that there is no fast track to making these changes'” illustrate their hypocrisy and lack of governing acumen and political will.

    Martin Luther King said, “Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

    Pastor McGarrell lit a fuse with his comments that “gays should be put on an island by themselves” and these government officials, stand by idly, in silence, waiting for the explosion

  9. This is exactly what the sodom and gomorrah agenda is all about. Taking away the rights of “normal” people in society to advance their deviant agenda. I am not a fan of Mr. Edghill but he has a right to his views just as SASOD is clamoring for a right to theirs. Guyana is a free, democratic country, a politician and any other citizen has a right to express their views on any issue including “sodomy rights advocates” without being discriminated against bY SASOD or any other entity that seeks to contaminate our society with their abhorrent plague.

    Mr. Simpson has a right to live as he chooses and he will answer to God for that BUT don’t you dare take away the right of non-homos to speak what we believe. It is our right to be straight just as you feel it is your right be crooked. God loves all of us equally but He lets us choose to live for Him or against Him.

    There is nothing more to debate you can’t make deviance = decency neither can immorality = morality no law can change the truth from what it is. If you choose to live a lie and self-destruct with a lifestyle that is both unnatural and unhealthy the choice is yours BUT DO NOT use your bullying tactics to contaminate the rest of society with your mess.

  10. mr gray you and sasod are totally out of order( i really dont like edghill) but he has spoken the truth, it should be the other way around you are not fit to be called humans

  11. PPPC must remove this guy from office now: He violated human rights simple as that: Can you imagine what would happen if men like Juan Edghill were to get power at the very top? This is why he must go he is not fit to be human.

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