Sunday, 26 August 2012

Churches in Guyana to oppose same-sex bill

Christian Church leaders in Guyana are opposing any moves by government to legalise same-sex relations.

A motion is currently before Guyana’s Parliament calling for a Special Select Committee to be established to determine the attitude of Guyanese of any changes in the legislative provisions and criminal code regarding consensual adult same-sex relationships and discrimination, perceived or real, against lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender persons.

Representatives of the Guyana Evangelical Fellowship, the Georgetown Ministers Fellowship and the Guyana Council of Churches, of which the Catholic Church is a member, held a joint press conference on August 9 at which Desmond Rogers read a statement on behalf of those present in which homosexuality was described as an offence to religion. “It is evident that homosexuality is an offense to religion, morality and public convenience. It is an offense to religion and this is affirmed especially, but not solely, by the Christian and other religious communities of Guyana. It is an offense to morality, since it is wrong, both in contravention of religious principles and natural order and function”, the statement said.

The representatives of the Christian community who make up about 57 per cent of the population also beseeched Members of Parliament not to legalise same-sex relations. “As the servants of the living God, we implore you, Honorable Members of the Tenth Parliament of Guyana, not to pursue the decriminalisation of homosexuality. We are conscious of the political and economic pressure that you may experience or are experiencing and as such encourage you to: (i) preserve the sovereignty of our nation and (ii) preserve the integrity of family life which continues to be the bedrock of our society. We call upon all Guyana to roundly reject any move to legalise homosexuality,” the statement said.

The group plans to send copies of the full statement to members of Parliament and plans to hold their own public engagements and consultations across the country on the issue. They have already held two public seminars on homosexuality. The social networks are also being mobilised. A signature campaign and even a move to the United Nations are also being contemplated. - Catholic Standard

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