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“Satyagraha – let us insist on truth”
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“Satyagraha – let us insist on truth”

Shannay WilliamsA focus on the sexuality of victims distracts from the real issues behind brutal killings, writes Shannay Williams, 18, a Correspondent from St. Thomas in Jamaica.

Do all heterosexuals have sex? Does it mean that because you are straight you are sexually active? In Jamaica a recent controversy has erupted over these very questions.

The question is whether or not the flying of the rainbow flag at the United States’ embassy is disrespectful to Jamaican laws. The law here is that buggery – that is, the act of males having sexual intercourse – is illegal. So my question is: Is homosexuality illegal in Jamaica?

It is in fact not. Homosexuality is attraction to the same sex. Just attraction, not necessarily sex. We often make the assumption that all homosexuals are sexually active, that none of them are under the age of consent or that none abstain. So by this logic, I can follow the line of reasoning that the flying of the flag is disrespectful to Jamaican laws, because all homosexual men would have to be sexually active, blatantly breaking the law. Sounds ridiculous, right? It is!

So how about we say that where this argument stems from, the Orlando shooting, is what is truly disrespectful. And disrespect is too mild a word. It is an atrocity. The slaughtering of human beings is a demonstration of inhumanity at its worst.

Let us acknowledge that if it were a club full of heterosexuals, this argument about sexuality may not have been an issue. Have we forgotten that we were all born with the right to life, liberty and security of person? And if you’re a skeptic, check the UN Charter of Rights.

Let us use our energies to fight cruelty. Let the only debates that spark be those of measures, and let us contemplate the exact combination of measures we will use to eradicate violence. Take your eyes away from mere sexuality, because the killing of these human beings is far more important than who they are attracted to.  It might be a coping mechanism for us to latch on to other issues when we can’t fathom the reality that faces us.  So I will not make a request, I will challenge every person who gets this far in the article to ignore controversy that solves nothing. And if you must speak, speak from a voice of reason and peace. Speak from a place of truth and firmness.

photo credit: every month is pride month : rainbow peace flag, castro, san francisco (2014) via photopin (license)
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About me: I am an 18 year old student of Morant Bay High school, Jamaica, and I am passionate about the literary and performing arts. I am aspiring to become a real estate lawyer, poet and novelist.

I am guided by the philosophy ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’, because I strongly believe that all we need to produce greatness is a mind. I believe there are no limits to greatness, not even death. I am a climate change advocate in my community, and a patriot.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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