Videos: International Day Against Homophobia
Dozens of people have gathered outside the House of Assembly this afternoon [May 17] to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
The day is celebrated around the world and was chosen as on 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders, which the international body said served to end more than a century of medical homophobia.
The event is hosted by Amnesty International, Centre for Justice, Rainbow Alliance, Two Words and a Comma and the Vision Ministry.
A statement from the Centre for Justice prior to the event said, “Government has announced that an amendment will be tabled in the House of Assembly this Friday. This is thanks in part to the support for this from people like you.
“However, the change that we have been advocating for will not be finalized until it is signed into law. The amendment will need to be debated and voted on in both the House of Assembly and the Senate before being presented to the Governor for his signature. To help keep the momentum going, we need your help.”
The day coincides with the day that a bill will be tabled to amend to the Human Rights Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Some of the island’s religious community has expressed their opposition to the bill, with the AME Church saying they oppose the Human Rights Act amendment to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation as “legislation that endorses homosexuality violates God’s Word.”
Speaking at yesterday’s National Day of Prayer, Bishop Duncan said, “I now implore our newly elected Government to exercise biblical caution and spiritual restraint as you seek to approve what God’s word does not endorse, and as you seek to legislate what heaven has deemed inadmissible from the inception of time.
“With all humility of heart, I submit to the OBA that it is too early in your political governance to make such a critical error and what can only be termed a lethal mistake.”
Update 3.12pm — Hannah Collins With Rainbow Alliance:
Pastor Sylvia Hayward-Harris, representative of the Vision Ministry and Two Words and a Comma:
Chen Foley from the Centre For Justice: