Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Dr Denis Lowe Thursday risked further backlash as he used the debate on the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals to again attack Opposition Leader Mia Mottley on the issue of same sex.
And this time he had the backing of Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett, who sang from Lowe’s same sex hymn sheet in seeking to paint Mottley as a leader who would not hesitate to legalize such unions here.
In attempting to explain his Mother’s Day comments about lesbian relationships and childless women, for which he had come under fire from sections of the Barbadian public and his own Cabinet colleague, Lowe Thursday refused to back down, even as he told his parliamentary colleagues what two adults of the same sex did behind closed doors was none of his business.
However, he was unrepentant in his stand against same sex marriage, using some colourful words to drive home his point.
“The issue of same sex legislation is my issue. Any man who wants to live in another man’s house is his issue. Any woman who wants to live with another woman [and] beat her, eat her, drink her or whatever pleasure they want to derive, that is a matter for them.
“All I am saying, Mr Speaker, is that as far as I am concerned I am not supporting any call or a legislation to legislate same-sex marriage in Barbados. That is all I am saying,” he said.
Lowe accused Mottley of having “an affinity for dealing with matters relating to same sex issues”, adding he “don’t want anybody leading me anywhere who is confused about what is a man or anything of that sort”.
In his Mother’s Day address at a ceremony in honour of mothers in his Christ Church East constituency, Lowe had condemned same-sex marriage and had ridiculed childless women in a manner reminiscent of remarks used by his parliamentary colleague Mara Thompson, who had attacked Mottley and fellow BLP parliamentarian Santia Bradshaw for being childless, and seemingly oblivious to the fact that the island’s first female Governor General Dame Nita Barrow was childless.
Back then he had spoken of “an attempt in certain quarters” to push for same sex marriage, stressing that he was “not about to support any idea that the greatness of a nation is bounded up in any individual who does not regard the importance of motherhood, of family, and of marriage according to the biblical standard”.
His Cabinet colleague Donville Inniss had delivered a stinging rebuke in calling for greater tolerance and warning Lowe against playing the homosexual card against the BLP since the Freundel Stuart-led ruling Democratic Labour Party was made up of gays and lesbians too.
“I am not going to pursue any political opponent based on perceived sexual characteristics, because in my own party there have been gays and lesbians,” Inniss had told Barbados TODAY.
However, his advice appeared to have gone unheeded, as Lowe returned to the subject Thursday, also accusing the BLP of trying to “place same-sex couples on the same level as heterosexual couples in a new domestic violence legislation”.
Standing behind Lowe was Blackett, who Thursday accused Mottley of creating policy on homosexuality on the fly, while explaining that Lowe had based his argument on Christian principles.
“He was pilloried by some pro-gay commentators – moderators even waded in, and members of the BLP also waded in,” Blackett said, promising that his opinion on the issue would not be stifled.
He added that homosexuality was not new here, but he would not tolerate the “transport or transplant” of the alien culture of same sex marriage here by those who sought to “pass it off as a new normal or as the new standard”.
“It is not the new normal nor is it the new standard as far as this minister is concerned. I believe that if such occurrence were to find acceptance by the majority of the population in Barbados and it found its way into this Chamber either by way of amendment or by completely new legislation, that the legislative process will have to be piloted and championed by yours truly.
“If that is so, then we have a big problem too. I would have to be respectfully asked to let this cup pass from me. I am by no means a paragon of virtue, but I espouse some Christian principles and direction and I do not want to pilot anything like that in this House to mire my political legacy for all time,” Blackett said.