Stop judging and getting “bogged down in the whole hell and damnation thing” and extend love to the homosexual community.
That is the message an Anglican priest is sending to the church.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Reverend Davidson Bowen said while the church was using Biblical scripture to support its condemnation of those who engage in relationships with members of the same sex, “homosexuality goes a lot deeper than the sexual act”.
“What I will say to the church is that our job is not to judge; our job is to love. It is not love some and not love all or to love those and not the others. As long as we love, we’ve covered our bases,” he said.
“The position that many persons take is that God somehow did something wrong, as if a person has been produced like cans and this one got in a dent or didn’t come out too cylindrical. There are homosexuals in our midst [but] our job is to love. If we love then we’ve executed our duty.”
The reverend pointed out that there have always been homosexuals among us, but their community was gaining more attention because more people were becoming comfortable with their sexuality.
The clergyman’s view on the controversial matter comes amid calls by members of Barbados’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for more recognition, including the passage of gender-neutral legislation.
Several members of the community recently came out publicly and declared their sexual orientation.
Earlier this month, the Barbados Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) released a report on the challenges facing members of the LGBT community.
The document stated that these persons faced “a level of discrimination which can be best described as covert oppression – hard to pinpoint but evident to all”.
Reverend Bowen acknowledged the sensitivity surrounding the issue, but stressed that people who do not support homosexuality should also be respected.
“The problem I have is with persons who present their lifestyle and you have to accept it. There are obviously persons who are not comfortable with homosexuality. It [should not be a situation where] if you don’t accept it, something is wrong with you. I don’t think that is right,” he said.
“We all have choices. If that is the choice that some people make, then that is their choice,” the cleric added.