‘Everyone deserves to love and be loved’

A person that is struggling with their sexual orientation and gender identity may often feel lonely, vulnerable and confused.

They may also feel a sense of rejection from society, friends, family and loved ones; people to whom they would ordinarily first look for guidance and support. This often leads to anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health problems, potentially resulting in acute mental and physical harm.

LGBTI people in Cayman have had to endure these intolerances, including from government officials and elected politicians, for too long.

Reassurances that the lack of widespread hate crime or physical abuse directed at them should bring comfort, as we often heard, are wholly misguided in that they overlook the brutality of ignorance. The pain that is inflicted when someone is treated differently or less worthy of love and support. Everyone deserves to love and to be loved. To withdraw that leads to unquantifiable harm, deteriorating relationships and social interactions, resulting in wider harm to society as a whole.

This is why I was sad to read the news regarding the discussions of the private members’ motion put forward by Anthony Eden. Regrettably, it was not one more example of this MLA’s views; the motion was passed. Merely to hint at placing any burden of blame on gays or other LGBTI people for the earthquake of last week or the challenges faced globally by the coronavirus, is profoundly wrong.

When the government endorses this position, it becomes even more extremely concerning. It is reminiscent of mechanisms used to turn majorities against oppressed and already vulnerable and suffering minorities, as illustrated by the massacre of the Jews in the 14th century resulting from blame for spread of the Black Death. We no longer live in those times.

Politicians need to start thinking about the consequences of their words, setting a better example for younger generations.

Religion is not the exclusive domain of anyone’s faith. There will always be different interpretations and different ways in which one observes and expresses one’s faith.

That is why freedom of religion is important, but also why it cannot be used to disrespect or take away anyone’s rights to be visible, loved, accepted and treated with equal worth by society and under the eyes of the law.

This line should have never been crossed and certainly not by persons of power and influence benefiting from unlimited parliamentary immunity and privileges.

Leo J. Raznovich

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