Posts tagged ‘debate’

May 24, 2012

Amazing Debate on Same Sex Issues In the Senate of T&T Tonight.

A groundbreaking debate on a clause of the Children Bill during committee stage in the Senate this evening ( ongoing) involving a clause that includes buggery. Anand repeated that a national debate needs to be undertaken – the Independent Senators weren’t taking that.

Paraphrase :

On the suggestion that the AG made that changing the clause would result in decriminalizing same sex acts – a senator said – well maybe that is why we should remove it?

Female Senator – so if a young heterosexual couple have sex and the girl gets pregnant that is okay but if a same sex couple do they have to go to YTC or Womens Prison?

Sen. Balgobin: We cannot base new legislation based on backward laws – ” the time to turn the tide is now”

The Independent Senators ( and others- I was listening on the car radio) were so united on the issue they called for division ( vote) so their objections would be noted. The AG eventually asked that the Opposition meet and discuss their position on the issue and that the clause in question be deferred. This means another animated round of discussion is ahead.

Very proud of the Independent Senators right now.

Independent Senator Rolph Balgobin. ( after midnight in the Senate)

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May 17, 2012

LGBT Rights Continue To Remain in the Headlines in T&T

Contribution made by Senator Corinne Baptiste-McKnight in Senate in response to a Clause in the Children Bill that criminalized same sex intimacy among youth.   Give that woman an award! ( Via Nadine Agard)

I want to come immediately to what I know is going to be very controversial, but as I stand here, I feel I have a duty to everyone here, and to everyone outside there, to do it. We are living through an age where bullying is rampant in our school system. A lot of the bullying takes place, boy upon boy, a lot of it is taking place because one of them is thought or suspected of being gay. Now we cannot as adults come here, under the guise of representing a country, and behave as if we live in the only country in the world where there are no homosexuals, no gays, no lesbians, and no transvestites. My God, you only have to be in Curepe at too late an hour, and you do not know which is female from which is male because all of them are dressed in high heels, lipstick, and have a lot hair. What happen, are we not making laws for them too?
I want us to think because a lot of you have children, and your children arrive on earth and they are called male or female, what if one of your children is unhappy in his or her skin, uncomfortable in their given sexuality, and that child is not able to come to either parent, and unburden? What if that child has no adult in its life to whom the child can turn for comfort, even when the child is being persecuted at school for this? I would hate to think that the 31 of us in here are so homophobic, that we would shut our eyes to seeing an infant, a child, suffer through no fault of his or her own.
We have got to open our eyes and face the facts. [Crosstalk] What is that? Excuse me?  No, we have to talk in public about this because there are people out there who are hurting. There are children, there are parents who are waiting for approval to deal with their gay children, and we have to send them the message that it is all right to deal with their gay children, not have them closeting the children because they would be persecuted, and prosecuted. I really want to propose that this “(c)” be removed from every subclause in 20.
February 27, 2011

Young T&T activists speak out against the death penalty.

Faced with a major problem with serious crime in Trinidad & Tobago, the current government is ( rather predictably) pushing for the reimplementation of the death penalty. The penalty has never left the books but following the Privy Council decision in the case of Pratt and Morgan , governments have been unable to execute anyone for many years. To circumvent this the government is now moving to amend legislation to essentially limit the time frame for appeals to 18 months. On the face of  it this flies in the face of  due process but that is another matter  .

A recent survey indicated that 91% of the population are in favor of  a return to the death penalty. In an interesting turnabout, when asked if they would support the possibility of the death penalty if an innocent person might end up hanged the  support level dropped to 35%.

The Trinidad Express has an interesting look at the survey and the death penalty internationally here.

There are a few voices locally such as Verna St. Rose Greaves who have taken a strong moral stand against the return to hangings in T&T . Even more heartening are a few young activists who are also speaking out like twins ( so yes, you are seeing correctly) Brendon and Brandon O’Brien. Check out their videos and spread the word.

February 21, 2011

The Trinidad Express continues its coverage

The Trinidad Express is continuing its relentless coverage of  the call for national legislation to be amended so as to provide equal rights and protection for the LGBT community.  This comes on the heels of several other articles and a poll asking readers to vote on the issue.

“THE decriminalisation of homosexuality should have nothing to do with religion, says Dr Gabrielle Hosein, lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Developmental Studies at the University of the West Indies in St Augustine.

Hosein said while religious organisations are ready to hold their own positions based on religious texts, those religious positions should not be applied to persons who do not share those religious views.

“We are living in a multicultural society, so we need to live in a society where the views of different persons are not necessarily imposed on others,” Hosein said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Her comments came one day after Colin Robinson, spokesman for the Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), called on the Government to adopt a policy of equality for all, inclusive of those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.

Read more here.

February 16, 2011

Same sex marriage issue gets raised in Trinidad and Tobago Senate.

Trinidad & Tobago still had old British colonial sodomy laws on the books but strangely, in the pull and tug of a debate on something unrelated, the issue of same sex marriage arose.

From the Trinidad Guardian today:

“Debate on same-sex marriage must start and must be taken throughout the country, Gender Affairs Minister Mary King said yesterday. She made the statement in the Senate during debate on the Statutory Authorities Amendment Bill. Several senators brought up the issue of same-sex marriage where clauses concerning co-habitants were concerned in the bill. King, who noted how the issue of same-sex unions was being dealt with in the UK, said:

“The debate must start and we must ensure that debate is taken throughout the country and when the recommendations come in they will be taken to the Cabinet for decisions.”

Read more here.