While gay rights advocates here have welcomed Thursday’s ruling in Trinidad and Tobago which decriminalized anal sex between two consenting adults, the same cannot be said for the average Barbadian.
A Port of Spain judge yesterday ruled that sections of the Sexual Offences Act were unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect to the extent that the law criminalized any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults.
The judgment came in a landmark case brought last year by Jason Jones, a gay man, who claimed that the long-standing legislation contravened his constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of thought and expression in addition to being in direct contradiction to his country’s international human rights obligations.
Barbadians who commented on the ruling were strident in their criticism, with some turning to social media and the blogs to express their dismay.
“Let it be known that Barbadians do not endorse buggery by consenting or other adults; do not endorse same sex marriage; do not endorse incest; do not endorse marriage between adults and their children or grandchildren; do not endorse sex with animals also known as bestiality; do not endorse marriage to pets,” a poster using the name John Carter stated on the Barbados TODAY website.
“Someone might say that the judgment handed down in Trinidad and Tobago is only about buggery, not so. It is about all the other things I mentioned. Just look at the international landscape. A grandmother in another jurisdiction married her grandson not so long ago. Another mother in another jurisdiction has mothered a child from her son. A European country has repealed bestiality not on moral grounds but because it was HARMFUL to the animals!!!!! Amazing. All of these abominations are out there,” the poster stated.
“Two consenting adults of the same sex, lusting after each other and performing unnatural perversion with their bodies is not love. The natural law of life, clearly defines that they are male and female and sexual intercourse is reserved for the male and female for procreation of the exiting species. Two men or two women can love each other, that love has nothing to do with sex. When [members of] the same sex seek to preform what is reserved for a male and female as a function of sexual intercourse it becomes pure lust and a perversion of the natural order of nature,” added a poster named Cecil Brooks.
On the streets of Bridgetown the sentiments were similar, with many worried about what they said was moral decay.
Among them was Keith Belgrave who wanted to remind the public that Barbados was a Christian society.
“We as Christians have been taught and have practised that man was made for woman and woman for man and he has never intended for a man and a man to be together,” he said, adding that buggery was a “perversion”.
“God also frowns on anal sex and it is unfortunate that we are using fancy language to justify these behaviours which are absolutely wrong, no ifs, no buts or maybes” he said adamantly.
“Regardless of what laws are changed in Trinidad or even possibly Barbados, from God’s standpoint this is wrong,” Belgrave stressed.
A street vendor who gave her name as Shelly said Barbados should not look to Trinidad for guidance on morality.
“If Trinidad jumps in a well, Barbados gine jump in too? Anal sex is an abomination. Homosexuality is an abomination and it should always be illegal,” she said.
Another clearly disgusted woman who did not wish to be identified shared similar views as she made reference to the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah “for those same kind of filthy acts”.
Meantime, some of the men frowned on the idea of men having sex with men, describing the act as “nasty”, while others used derogatory terms to describe gay men.
“No b***y boy can’t come around me with no foolishness. Women are made for men, Just look at a female body, how can you not love that?” one told Barbados TODAY.
Another spoke of the geographical size and population of Trinidad and Tobago when compared with Barbados, arguing the southern Caribbean twin island republic was expected to be more diverse.
“You would find more people out there and so you got a mixture of different cultures and religions . . . . It might work out there, but not in Bim. Homosexuals can’t work out here,” he said. (KH)