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OPINION: The Expert is independent; the Caribbean is not

by: - January 6, 2017
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By: Dr. Veronica C. Evelyn
Christ Church, Barbados

It is not sophisticated to talk about God in public affairs. If, as a token gesture, He must be mentioned, then all references to Him should be politically correct. I choose to be neither sophisticated nor politically correct in addressing the ungodly appointment of what is essentially a Chief LGBT World Police Officer. The controversial appointment by the United Nations Human Rights Council of an “Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”, resulted in much tension between the Western nations of the world and a bloc of African and Asian countries, with the Caribbean holding the power to tilt the final vote one way or other. Discussing the issue in the UK House of Commons, Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister for Europe and the Americas, made it clear that every attempt would be made to sway the vote in favour of the appointment: “every single diplomatic post where we have an ambassador and representation has been absolutely, clearly and unequivocally instructed to try to persuade their host country to vote the right way in the General Assembly.” (To read the full debate, google ‘UN debate on the Independent Expert for the LGBT Community’.)

Apparently, the persuasion was effective. The vote in the General Assembly was carried 84/77 with 5 CARICOM countries (including Dominica) abstaining and 3 voting along with the Western countries. Most interestingly, St. Kitts and Antigua which had on November 21st voted along with the African-Asian bloc, had by December 19th changed their vote. It does not take a mathematician to see the role played by the region: 77 + 8 = 85.

My objection to the post stems from my belief in the Sovereign God who created man and woman and who denounces homosexuality. Secondly, my objection is levelled at the interference in the sovereignty of “impoverished” nations (thanks, Sir Duncan), the lack of international consensus and the unscientific assumptions underlying the very nature of the post.

Violence and discrimination against anyone for any reason is wrong. However, these terms have been stretched beyond recognition in the law courts of those materially rich but spiritually impoverished nations that have embraced sexual rights ideology. Further, the concepts ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ are based neither on objective fact nor justifiable assumption. Rigorous scientific studies have consistently indicated that homosexuals are not born that way; there is no ‘gay gene’. Yet, in an unholy departure from reason, the Nations (some by free will and others through coercion) have embraced the concepts of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’. The Independent Expert, Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn has pledged to wield his mandate in every country “under the sun and under the moon”. Commonwealth countries which hold fast to a godly view of sexual morality can therefore expect an unleashing of true violence and discrimination against individuals and institutions based on their moral orientation and faith identity; this will no doubt be expedited by groups of lawyers offering pro-bono services to “vulnerable groups”. One such Caribbean group was formed in December 2016.

With the demonstrated division among Member States with regard to the appointment of the Independent Expert, CARICOM can at least be decisive now in demarcating boundaries. What is, and is not, ‘violence’ and ‘discrimination’? To what extent will ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ influence social policy and shape social institutions from 2017 and onwards? Caribbean citizens need to be ‘absolutely, clearly and unequivocally instructed’.