By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Outgoing United States Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt was very surprised and at a loss for words as he recalled comments made by People’s Progressive Party Member of Parliament, Manzoor Nadir as it relates to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in Guyana.
Recently, Nadir had noted that while he will vote to scrap anti – buggery laws if the need arises, the cry from the minority community in Guyana for the removal of such policies from the Constitution is “making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
Nadir does not see the need for the government to repeal such a law, since he does not deem it a priority at the moment.
In this regard, the Ambassador during an interview with iNews on Tuesday (June 24), noted that Nadir has taken that position because it is not his “rights” that are at stake.
“If it were your right, I think you would care a lot more about that. Guyana needs to move forward on this issue and can do this through dialogue with the people.”
He recalled that it was Pastor Ronald McGarrell who generated the debate in this regard by stating that all gays should live on an island by themselves.
He emphasized that leaders need to be courageous and take the lead to protect the rights of citizens against all types of discrimination.
According to Hardt, “The law must be a factor that can promote change and in this, regard there is need to have laws in place to protect those persons.”
The Ambassador said too often people try to use religion to condemn others whose lifestyles are different, however he suggested that there should be focus on the fundamental teachings of Christ.
He called on the religious community to desist from discriminating and embrace those who are different.
Further, Hardt said the same way religious groups are allowed to pursue their faith freely without any form of threat, others should to be allowed to do thesame, noting that this makes a pluralistic democratic society.
“The fear that people put out there about persons of diverse sexuality is unfounded and instead should be acknowledged that this fear is one that people use to have on race or religion,” the US Ambassador said.
He expressed optimism about a movement that has started which is focused on respecting people’s freedom and rights.
Calls continue to mount from several sections of society for Government to put laws in place to protect the rights of LGBTs.