Catholic priest Dr Fr Stephen Geofroy has called for the equal rights of LGBTs to be enshrined in the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago in a surprising speech to a government consultation
Support for the legal equality of LGBT people has come from a surprising place during a Trinidad and Tobago government public consultation on a new draft constitution – with a Catholic priest calling for their rights to be enshrined in it.
Dr Fr Stephen Geofroy spoke during the consultation on Monday evening at the University of the West Indies Sport and Physical Education Center, St Augustine – saying the issue of LGBT people’s equality should not even be debated further.
‘On the issue of sexual orientation being subject to further national discussion … discussion about what? Aren’t LGBT, aren’t they not humans still, yes or no?’ Fr Geofroy asked, according to the Trinidad Express.
‘Yes? Then they should have rights as other people have.’
‘We’ve come over a long history of slavery and indentureship and now it is time to break the many things that denigrate the person … This is certainly one of the things we have to do and we have to be very decisive of it.’
Fr Geofroy said there has been discrimination on the basis of race, color and class in Trinidad and Tobago and discrimination against LGBT people was no different to that.
‘I don’t see the difference with sexual orientation. We are citizens of a country and people have the right to love who they want irrespective,’ Fr Geofroy said.
Fr Geofroy said he didn’t want to see Trinidad and Tobago go down a similar path to Uganda and Nigeria.
‘We should avoid that like the plague,’ Fr Geofroy said.
‘We do not belong to a theocracy, neither are we in a religious oligarchy where people impose their beliefs on others.’
Geofroy said that if you were going to criminalize gay people because religion condemned homosexuality then you should criminalize adultery, masturbation and the use of condoms.
‘They are all sins so I think we have to be very careful on human rights and our rights to our own belief but not the right to impose it on the rest of the population,’ Fr Geofroy.
Fr Geofroy’s comments were reportedly met with thunderous applause in the packed auditorium.
by Andrew Potts
Source – Gay Star News