Striking anti-buggery laws are not a big priority for West Indian politicians, despite the fact that these homophobic laws are relics of a hateful past. We are willing to hang onto harmful colonial ideology as long as it’s homophobic. Politicians do not even see it as a priority to protect LGBT citizens from violence.
Government officials use their “Christianity” as an excuse for this, apparently missing the hundreds of passages in the Bible about being loving, just and non-violent. Their egos and their addiction to hatred impact policy that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the region.
We will never have a society that is committed to any kind of positive ideals as long as we have anti-buggery laws. We should not take any moral high ground or presume ourselves to be “good people” as long as these laws are still on the record. West Indians should feel ashamed of the fact that in 2017, we are barely committed to providing equal rights to life for all of our citizens. Of course, there are many other areas where we fall disturbingly short.
Our culture should not be wholly dependent on our laws — and it isn’t. Here, it’s clear we need a legal shift as well as a cultural shift. But let’s be real. We know West Indian politicians don’t give a rat’s…behind… about equality for all. Our laws and their behavior reflect this. So what can communities do? In Saint Lucia, we can work towards supporting United & Strong, an LGBT activist group that works for LGBT rights within our country. (Supporting = give money, in case that wasn’t clear.) We can support individual LGBT citizens and campaign against homophobia in our families and groups of friends.
If we ever want an equal society, we won’t let this slide. LGBT issues are not “minor” issues to be dismissed. We’re talking about people’s lives here. If your beliefs exclude viewing these people as human, you need to toss out the whole belief system and start again.