• Blacks and Homosexuals‏

    From: Denicio Brison (
    Sent: Mon 9/01/08 11:44 PM
    To: net;;;;;;;;;;;

    Blacks and homosexuals: Brothers in Arms!

    By: P. Denicio Brison, Bsc. LL.M.

    Some what bemused I observed the St. Maarten Council of Churches rush to the defense of Minister Leeflang in her quixotic quest against homosexual marriage.  In 2007 the High Court in Holland settled this matter once and for all.  The arguments against registering a homosexual marriage, (performed in Holland,)  in Aruba were firmly rejected, not once, but four times.  Once in First Instance, then in appeal.  The Solicitor General of the Kingdom in his advice to the High Court in Holland recommended rejection of the Aruban appeal.  The High Court then rejected the appeal, all of Aruba’s pleadings about cultural differences notwithstanding.  Leeflang surely knows this.  That is why her objections must be seen for what they are:  A political stunt, highlighting the fundamental dishonesty which religion and politics share.    If you want to be part of the Kingdom, you must accept homosexual marriages performed in another part of the Kingdom is the attitude of the High Court.  This is not unlike the situation in the U.S. where states which at present do not allow homosexual marriage are faced with the dilemma of how to treat homosexual marriages performed in states where it is allowed.

    Blacks and homosexuals both belong to a class of citizen who grapple with social acceptance.  It is still within recent memory for example, that miscegenation (marriage between black and white) was unlawful in many areas in the U.S.  Here in the Antilles, the thought of a black Lt. Governor would have been considered ludicrous, if not impossible, a mere fifty years ago.  Religion was used to justify and support slavery for hundreds of years.  Too many evils of the past and present were/are perpetrated in the name of religion.   Think of the inquisition, in which hundreds of thousands were burned alive at the stake, with priests chanting and praying for their souls, or the wholesale slaughter of millions and millions of Indians by bible toting Christians.  The racist regime in South Africa, was also deeply religious and used it to justify their inhumanity.  The Klu Klux Klan reveled in religious regalia, the flaming cross being their signature mode of expression.  The Mormons, who we can observe diligently recruiting in our community, for a long time held that blacks were “beasts of the field”, and not worthy of membership.   We should therefore tread carefully with respect to the current debate over homosexual marriage.  Religion has been proven too often to be wrong in the past on social issues.  If history is our guide, this will most probably be the case with homosexual marriage.  It simply flies in the face of the undeniable historical trend towards more and greater personal freedom, across the line, not to believe that one day homosexuals too will be emancipated.  Think of the freedom we enjoy today to belong to any religion we wish, join unions, the Black franchise (allowing blacks to vote and hold public office – Think Obama ) women’s suffrage (allowing women the same).  Sure, all change is unsettling.  Dr. Hillary Beckles  writes that many whites left Barbados, at independence, disgusted at the thought of living in a country with a black Prime Minister.  Blacks have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend towards greater personal freedom.  To the churches I therefore say:  Get used to it!  To black folk I say:  as beneficiaries of the historical trend towards greater personal freedom, please do not be so uncharitable towards others who long for the same social acceptance you aspire to.  Using the very same religion, which was used to exclude and marginalize us for so long, to now marginalize and exclude homosexuals makes us look so dumb! 

    Finally, about the fundamental dishonesty shared by religion and politics:  Both rely on “pie in the sky” promises to attain their goals.  Think of the political slogan, “a chicken in every pot” or the religious promise of heaven.  Islamic jihadists are sent on suicide missions convinced that they will end up in heaven.  The fundamental dishonesty lies in the fact that their religious leaders know full well that once safely dead, they can never return to reproach them if they end up in hell instead of heaven!

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