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Gays and discrimination

July 8, 2011

Dear Sir,

I read with interest in today's letter (July 8) Mr Notman's attempts, from a Christian perspective, to support the proposition that the law should allow discriminatory behaviour against gay people where such behaviour would be illegal against black people or Christians.

Christianity is a moral behaviour based upon a choice. It is not an innate characteristic like skin tone. It is currently illegal to indulge in discriminatory behaviour against Christians in terms of refusing to offer them services in hotels or shops or employment, or to refuse to allow them to stand for public office because of their religious opinions. However, it is perfectly legal to raise principled objections to Christianity in the public square; even to hold demonstrations criticising religious sentiment of any and all kinds. That is called freedom of speech.

Assuming for one moment that homosexuality is a moral behaviour based on a choice, it is in this respect no different from Christianity. Homosexuals are therefore entitled to be as free from discriminatory behaviour against them as Christians are. It would remain perfectly legal for Christians to raise, in the public square, principled objections to homosexuals having sex. Christians may make themselves as ridiculous as they please in public, provided they don't stir up violence or hatred against anyone (as they have against gays in Africa, resulting in people being beaten to death by mobs).

Homosexuals are not asking the State to demand that other people approve of homosexual behaviour. There is no question of gay people wanting to be more equal than others. It is a question of gay people wanting to be free from discriminatory conduct against them by people who want to act out their hostile opinions against them.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as I said before, provides absolutely no support whatsoever for the vies that Christians or any persons should seek to discriminate against gay people, or adulterers, or anyone who has sex outside marriage. Jesus himself clearly forbids Christians from casting stones of any kind at such people.

It is the duty of the State to provide its citizens with maximum liberty commensurate with the protection of others from harm. I can call a gay-hating Christian a deranged and prejudiced fool, and seek to gently convert him to more reasonable patterns of thought, but I cannot throw a stone at him, or even refuse to employ him. Christians can and do call gay people all sorts of horrible and hurtful things, and they can (in Bermuda) refuse to employ them. That is not fair. It is grossly immoral and, I am afraid, completely, contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A CONCERNED NON-BERMUDIAN RESIDENT

City of Hamilton

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Published August 05, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated August 05, 2011 at 10:23 am)

Gays and discrimination

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