CIOG, Pastor Sheeratan-Bisnauth differ on legalisation of gay marriage
With the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court that makes gay marriage legal in all 50 states of the country, the topic has been the subject of spirited debate here in Guyana.
The debate goes from an outpouring of support for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual, Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) community with several persons taking affirmative positions on the issue via social media, while others are condemning it based on moral and religious grounds.
Pastor Patricia Sheeratan-Bisnauth, who is also Head of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), is also showing support for the minority community, pointing out that the decision by the US Supreme Court should be welcomed the world over.
During an interview with iNews on Tuesday, June 30, the Pastor pointed out that persons should stop spreading hate and hell fire towards members of the gay community.
“People can be treated equally; people of all orientation and race. Everyone has a right to live a life of dignity.I think this is good news for the US and world wide – we are advancing. This will lead to people changing their views on the issue,” said Pastor Sheeratan-Bisnauth .
She pointed out that the LGBTI community is comprised of some of the more vulnerable sections of society; hence they should be given whatever support is needed.
When asked about persons that share her religion but have different views on the issue, the Pastor made it clear that such persons should examine their bibles more closely to see the true message therein.
“I can’t see where it is an abomination – what is an abomination is any religious group spreading hatred and intolerance for another human being. If it was such an important subject – Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuality. But Jesus emphasized that we should love God and love our neighbours as we love ourselves. As Christians we stray from this point when we peddle our message of exclusion and hellfire,” she stated.
However, the Muslim community does not share this view and is rather upset with the ruling of the US Supreme Court. On Monday, June 29, the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) condemned the ruling and called on the vanguards of moral values to safeguard society by joining in the condemnation.
“The Central Islamic Organisation (ClOG) is sorry to learn of the decision of the United States Supreme Court to legalise same sex marriage in the fifty States of America. While we are cognizant of the individual freedom to do as they please, the ClOG has a compulsory right to condemn as an Un-Islamic ruling that will protect and foster this lifestyle. We call on all leaders of religion and the defenders of social and moral values to join with the ClOG in its condemnation,” the release stated.
However, while the CIOG is condemning the ruling, it maintained that it was not engaging in the act of discrimination but rather defending the teachings in the Quran.
“The ClOG will not advocate the discrimination of any group in our society, but will continue to state our objections to any laws in our Country that will seek to legitimatize this act. Such action will go against the fundamental teachings of Islam and the laws of our Creator. It is our belief that if propagated and endorsed, the moral fiber of our society will be immeasurably damaged,especially for the future generations,” the organisation stated.
“However, as Muslims we need to adhere to the commandments of Almighty Allah,who in the Holy Quran forbids this act as a filthy act that transgresses against Him. It is considered a major sin in the eyes of the Almighty and even more so when practiced and sanctioned publicly. The argument of homosexuality being a genetic makeup, is not substantiated by any medical or other research; save one conducted by a homosexual,” the release also stated.