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Ronald Thwaites | Tackling the wrong problem

Jamaica Gleaner / Poor Delroy Chuck. He has to be working up a big sweat distinguishing his obvious personal view that there are limits beyond which the criminal law forbidding homosexual conduct cannot go, from his political party’s manic fear of offending Jamaica’s homophobic majority.

He can’t win this one. Fancy having to go to Santa Cruz (translate ‘Holy Cross’) to proclaim his opinion on the appropriate use of the anus!

And don’t hold your breath for the referendum on the buggery matter either.

Few issues excite and inflame our public more than reports of ‘fishy’ behaviour. It is another instance of us rushing headlong to tackle a relatively minor problem while leaving a real cancerous social malady unattended.

Whatever one’s views on same-sex conduct, the huge problem facing the society is not the antics of those attracted to the same gender but the lifestyle of we heterosexuals.

Compare the fetid passion, the reaching for Leviticus, the violence of tongue and trigger against the ‘b***yman/sodomite’; the expenditure of stage, pulpit and parliamentary time, by contrast to the ‘a no nutten’ response to the headline story in last Wednesday’s STAR (‘One daughter dead, another pregnant at eleven’).

This was the all-too-familiar tale of a mother (not ever a mention of a present father) , living in poverty, saddled

with sole responsibility for a grandchild, born to her elder daughter who left home at 14 to live with a man who is on a charge of murdering her. The younger daughter is now pregnant at the ripe age of 11 years.

“She too careliss, A so man stay,” were the tepid responses to that story. We have normalised a slack way of life that weakens, if not destroys, the lives of many and the prospects of all.

Check out the dance halls pictured as the height of social life in our press; the minibuses on our country roads in the mornings, carrying the impressionable schoolchildren and belting out the nastiest lyrics, now debauching the sacred cause of equal rights and justice for which our heroes died, to the level of equal entitlement to oral sex.

NO RELATIONSHIP WITH FATHERS Recall, too, that perhaps half of our people grow without any, or any sustained, relationship with their fathers. And almost a fifth of births are to teenagers.

This is the big problem, with massive and expensive intergen-erational repercussions, which Jamaican society refuses to tackle while we have all the energy to ‘bun di gay dem’.

Chuck is right to stand up against the discrimination of homophobia, as I believe he would be put off by the raw pushiness of the LGBTQ agenda.

Instead, how about some quality thought, discourse and strong effort to promote loving, committed relationships instead.

And the best part is that to do so won’t breach the primary surplus targets but will, in short order, deliver rich dividends of happiness and prosperity.

n Ronald Thwaites is member of parliament for Kingston Central and opposition spokesman on education and training. Email feedback to [email protected] .

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