Inter-Religious Organisation condemns Gay and Lesbian Film Fest
Bishop Juan Edghill, yesterday, in his capacity as Public Relations Officer of the Inter Religious Organisation, spoke out against the ongoing Gay and Lesbian film festival being staged by the Society Against Sexual Orientation and Discrimination (S.A.S.O.D.).
The film festival has been running for the better part of this month. It will see its last three nights of screening this week. However, the IRO still thought the matter worthy of its attention and as such staged a press briefing yesterday afternoon immediately after a meeting on the subject of the festival.
Bishop Edghill noted that one issue lies in the location of the Film Festival. The SASOD Flyer points out that the films will be shown at the Sidewalk Café which is an open venue that also happens to be across the road from a school.
The flyer also sports the disclaimer “All films are intended for mature audiences.”
According to Bishop Edghill, if this film festival is meant for adults then it needs to be asked, “What arrangements are in place to prevent young impressionable minds from being influenced by this public promotion of the homosexual agenda in Guyana?”
It should be noted however that viewing starts at 7pm every evening that the films are actually aired.
Bishop Edghill was quick to point out that while the IRO does not condone discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation there should still be a line drawn between the personal choice to practise a particular lifestyle and the promotion of that lifestyle to influence others.
He said that no one in the National Assembly has ever received a mandate from the electorate to legislate and make homosexuality legal. No one wants to do so because the majority of Guyanese have pronounced on this matter and the religious community is the conscience of the nation. Bishop Edghill added that while (the religious community) is not stopping anyone from having their views and from practising whatever they want, when a group comes out publicly with a lesbian and gay film festival as if it is a law, as if the constitution allows it then the religious community has to put their hands up and say, “We are still here. This is not allowed in Guyana and we strongly condemn it with the strongest possible language that we can find.”
“Freely encouraging gays and lesbians in our society to live their lives peacefully is something we have always allowed,” said Bishop Edghill. “They are welcome in our places of worship. We are committed to showing love, compassion and help, but we cannot allow public education in public spaces to be influencing young, impressionable minds that it is okay to practice homosexuality in Guyana.”
According to Bishop Edghill, the religious community is united in saying that “we do not condone it (practicing homosexuality), it is unacceptable and it must not be allowed.”
According to Bishop Edghill, “We cannot allow the western world to come and foist their lifestyles and way of thinking on to us.”
He said that this is just another form of colonialism. Homosexuality, he noted, is an evil act since homosexuality is diametrically opposed to the teachings of all the major religions. The view, he notes, is not politically correct but being politically correct is not the issue when it comes to the sacredness of truth.
Reverend Ronald McGarrell, Co-Chairman of the Inter Religious Orgnisation, said that there is a need to protect the society from this kind of behaviour which he says will only bring damnation upon our nation spiritually. He called on people of all faiths to “come out against … this kind of activity” which he noted exposes young minds to a kind of lifestyle that is not conducive to a wholesome society.