The first part of his article deals with a clause in the Charter of Rights which would make discrimination on the basis of language unconstitutional. He makes a strong case against any move to introduce patois as a second language. His observation includes an example of the possibility for bilingual labelling, to be used as a non-tariff barrier for the importation of foreign products. He states: "It is overkill to enshrine in the Constitution the right of non-discrimination on the grounds to achieve judicial equality for Jamaican Creole speakers who are not proficient in Standard English - a problem caused by the failure of the education system." Canada and Wales are two bilingual countries where fluency in both national languages is necessary for government employees, and public notices must be in both languages in designated areas.
The second part of Deacon Espeut's treatise deals with the thorny issue of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The British Government introduced the Sexual Orientation (Provision of Goods and Services) Regulations which are diametrically opposed to the Christian teaching dealing with homosexuality, casting the state in the role of moral transgressor. An adverse side effect of the British-proposed regulations could force Christian marriage preparation, guidance counsellors, retreat houses, conference centres and hostels to accept gay couples. Teaching that homosexuality is the moral equivalent of heterosexual marriage could also be compulsory in religious schools.
In Jamaica, could this ever come to pass at Campion College, St George's College, Immaculate Conception High School, Alpha Convent of Mercy School, Holy Childhood High School and the list of Roman Catholic schools continues... in addition to the many other Christian schools? The official Vatican newspaper reported: "The Catholic Church contests these revolutionary innovations which in the name of freedom, seek to legitimise a union regarded by the universal consciousness as going against nature." In 2000 the British Government reduced the age for permissible gay sex from 18 to 16 to provide equality under the law for homosexuals and heterosexuals.
As with the British leadership, there could be a raft of adverse side effects if the Jamaican churches clash with the state on non-discrimination against homosexuals. It should be recalled that Jamaica is considered to be a Christian country with a profonderance of Christian schools, where the characters of the young are forged on the basis of Christian principles that do not accept homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle for marriage between a man and a woman. This is the essence of Jamaican culture that precludes gay sex that is deeply unpopular as evidenced by both the Observer and Gleaner polls. Any government which attempts to displace this long-standing tradition and belief by repealing the sodomy law would be committing political suicide.
There are numerous pressure groups attempting to infiltrate Jamaica's culture by asserting their lifestyles as normal practice. Besides homosexuals, these groups include the pro-abortionists, the ganja lobby, the polygamists and the polyandrous protagonists, the believers in euthanasia, the supporters of decriminalisation of drugs and those lobbying to legalise male and female prostitution. This is happening in parallel with the media concerning lewd and sexually explicit public expression, which had developed unfettered over the years until it has reached critical and culturally damaging proportions, resulting in the recently publicised reprimand issued by the Broadcasting Commission. Any attempt to enshrine non-discrimination in the Charter of Rights on the basis of sexual orientation would be fallacious, as the male lifestyle includes illegal associations which do not conform to the national standard of natural behaviour.
The Declaration of Human Rights and Sexual Orientation tabled in the United Nations in 2008, as reported by Attorney-at-law Shirley Richards, sought to expand the existing human rights concept to include "sexual orientation" and gender identity as human rights. The declaration was not supported by Jamaica. Simultaneously, a contrary proposal stated that the declaration was an "attempt to introduce to the UN notions that have no legal foundation in any human rights instrument". There appears to be no UN consensus on including sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. Obviously, the power brokers at the UN are hell-bent on imposing a new version of human rights on the rest of the unwilling world. It is an attempt to assert the moral equivalence of all forms of sexual preferences and to harm moral and sound discernment, all in the name of "human rights".
A prominent columnist asserts that "homosexuality is not an unpreventable disease, it is an option. It is learned behaviour, practised by more and more people who simply disregard the limits of personal conduct as well as God-given principles and morals". Apart from being in tune with the changing times, contemporary liberalism has gone beyond the realm of propriety in its expectations. Society is replete with demands to liberalise the very constraints that are there to protect citizens from doing themselves harm.
With that said, we welcome the newly appointed Archbishop of Kingston, Charles Dufour, in anticipation of his entry into the debate on discrimnination.