Minister of Education Ronald Jones believes the time has come for Barbadians to stop turning a blind eye and accept the fact that gay relationships were now part of our culture.
Speaking today during debate on the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill 2016, Jones said the country must also accept that domestic did not only relate to heterosexual relationships.
The minister insisted that just as people continually turned a blind eye to domestic violence among hetrosexuals, they were doing the same as it related to relationships between people of the same sex.
“I want persons in this country to understand that it is no longer a situation of domestic abuse of male on female, or female on male or where children are caught up . . . but today, with contemporary lifestyles it might very well be female on female and male on male,” the minister stated.
“This country lives with a certain level of hypocrisy. So now that we are pulling out of the shadows the violence within heterosexual relationships, we need to pull out of the shadows as well, the violence, domestic as it is, [in gay relationships].
“We’ve heard too many stories and seen some evidence, some persons ‘catspraddled’ by 2×3’s across their shoulders and ending up in the casualty of our hospital. We have seen men chopped by other men . . . .The shadows must disappear with these relationships that exist,” he argued.
Jones said that failure to do so could result in an upsurge of domestic violence in gay relationships.
“When a society hides itself and says, ‘no these things don’t exist in it’ we are opening another door for domestic violence. We know in our country there are persons who now live together, who share resources, who have sexual intercourse or outer course, or whatever course, we know that.
“I’m asking the question, ‘will we have the same response and would they enjoy the coverage in what we call the historical heterosexual kinds of relationships out of which domestic violence can be generated if that same coverage would exist?’ … because we cannot hide from contemporary reality,” he insisted. (RB)