Yesterday morning a friend and I attended a Global Rights seminar on the University campus. It was: "A Conversation on the Commonwealth and LGBTI advocacy: sharing experiences and discussing strategies." It was part of the CHOGM agenda. The audience was small and consisted mainly of foreign delegates.
It was advertised as starting at nine a.m. Of course, being Trinidad, nothing started until about 10-ish. My friend and I were there before nine. Just after we arrived, an older man came up to where we were sitting. He was looking for the seminar. He told us he was from the media and the newsroom had sent him on assignment to cover "the talk about sex".
"If it's the same seminar we're going to, then it's not about sex," I said. "It's about Gay Rights."
"Well, same thing," he replied flippantly.
"No, it's not the same thing," I told him. "People think that all gay people do is have sex. This is about the rights of normal, everyday people living everyday lives."
Although, unfortunately, not so 'everyday' in various ways. Take the extreme example of the abominable situation in Uganda:
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, introduced in October, would expand punishment for homosexual acts to include life imprisonment and in some cases would exact capital punishment. The letter is signed by Alan Chambers, president of the Orlando-based Exodus International; Randy Thomas, the group's executive vice president; Christopher Yuan, professor at Moody Bible Institute; and Warren Throckmorton, a member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Homosexuality already is illegal in Uganda, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. Gay men and women who have HIV would receive the death penalty under the new legislation.
Our Prime Minister's response to the above-mentioned modernday witch hunt leaves much to be desired:
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago — Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago, who plays host to a meeting of Commonwealth leader beginning here Friday, drew furious criticism Thursday when he dismissed human rights as domestic issues that have no place on the summit agenda.
At meetings ahead of the summit, human rights groups have been urging the leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to pressure Uganda to drop proposed legislation that calls for the execution of HIV-infected gays and lesbians and to sanction President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia for threatening to kill human-rights activists in his country.
"Individual countries have their own positions on these matters," Manning said, "but it doesn't form part of our agenda. It need not detain us."Human Wrongs with no interest in Human Rights. Or rather, with no interest in Humans other than themselves.