According to Dr Chris Said, the cohabitation bill which overtly discriminates against same-sex couples and ignores crucial issues such as taxation, is “based on what the government believes is right and is acceptable to society.”

I beg to differ on the generalization about what is acceptable to society but for the sake of the argument, let’s say he’s right.

So? Does that make discrimination justifiable?

One of the very basics in human rights law and ethics is that minority rights should be respected irrespective of what the majority thinks, as long as fulfilling those rights doesn’t involve denying the rights to others.

It is definitely not the case here. Not-liking-gays-getting-married is NOT a human right. It’s bigotry.

If you’re afraid that same-sex couples getting married is going to affect your own marriage because “it weakens the institution of marriage” is such a twisted way of thinking that maybe you weren’t really suited for marriage in the first place. What the heck are you thinking, that your wife will leave you because Olga and Priscilla next door are going to tie the knot?

Same-sex marriage is about treating equals as equal. It doesn’t interfere on the rights of the majority in any way and those who oppose it are motivated by either bigotry or irrationality.

Needless to say, the PL were quick to point fingers at Chris Said accusing him of “homophobia”. Ironically, Joseph Muscat has already stated clearly he believes marriage is for people of the opposite sex only. In other words he doesn’t consider gay couples as equal either.

Introducing same-sex marriage isn’t just about LGBT rights. It’s also a reflection on whether our government (and opposition) really believe in equality in diversity or whether they consider it as just a slogan.

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As an environmentalist, as well as a believer in civil liberties I’m very angered at the latest attack by Pope Razinger on homosexuals. Once again this Pope is using the environment as a lousy excuse to oppose something he disagrees with. In this case it’s the fact that the Portugese parliament has accepted homosexual marriages.

Mr Razinger stated he considers gay marriages as unnatrual and an ‘attack on creation’. What the Pope doesn’t seem to note is the fact that many animals including cats, do engage in same sex activities. He also seems not aware while there are species of animals where couples engage in long term, even life-long relationship, not a single one of them found the need to sign a contract for it.

Worse still, Mr Razinger considers this ‘blurring of gender’ as the road to the destruction of humankind, and compares it to the destruction of rainforests. May the Pope gently explain how? I don’t feel that I need to explain the consequences of destroying rainforests, most probably you already know them. But gay marriages? Does he think that by giving homosexuals the right to marry everyone will turn homosexual and no human male sperm will ever meet a female egg? Does the Pope still think that gays can be ‘cured’ or that heterosexuals can be ‘converted’.

While these comments have angered well meaning homosexuals as well as  environmentalists, his comments might flare more the fanatic homophobes. A law is being proposed by the Ugandan governement, a counry with a Christian majority, to introduce ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, punishable by long term imprisonment. The proposal states that ‘aggravated homosexuality’ such as homosexual activity involving an HIV+ person or that of a ‘repeated offender’ would be punishable by death. Worse still, knowing that a person is a homosexual and not reporting it to authorities is punishable by three years imprisonment, even if that person happens to be you own son. I’m sure the Ugandan government is appreciating the support of his new ally, the Pope.

Groups of Christian fanatics, mostly found in the U.S. take the law in their own hands and harass, assault and even murder homosexuals. To add insult to injury, they turn up at the victims funeral carrying slogans such as ‘GOD HATES GAYS’ or worse still ‘THANK GOD FOR AIDS’. These criminals must surely be rejoicing at Mr Razinger’s words. Most probably they take them as an approval for their cowardly acts.

 

Speaking for the majority of environmentalists, may I at least ask the Pope one thing? If you intend to continue fuelling hate crimes could you at least be decent enough and at least refrain for doing it in our name.