Sun | Sep 27, 2020

Who is the real crybaby?

Published:Monday | October 21, 2019 | 12:12 AM


Where competing views on a subject matter are allowed to contend, it can seem like a noisy marketplace. Such is the case at times with democracy. The beauty about having a forum like the Montego Bay Cultural Centre or a space on the Opinion page of a major publication like The Gleaner is that rival views might get an opportunity to be heard without one seeking to drown out or squash the other.

When I read a letter to the editor in The Gleaner of October 16, 2019, titled ‘Crybaby gays should stay in closet’, I wanted to learn and appreciate the perspective the writer was expressing. Sadly, I saw no critical analysis of the issues. The writer spoke about the woe that has befallen “normal straight people” and that “gays are infringing on my rights and I am offended”.

Pray tell, what rights have been infringed? Your right to freedom of expression is alive and well. It is protected by the Constitution. The same constitutional right applies to all people without any threshold test of ‘normalcy’ that the writer would have imposed. When the disgruntled writer and others who are part of a majority group believe all matters of civil discourse must accord to their beliefs, they are in fact undermining the very basis of their own democratic freedoms.

It is how the majority treat with the minority views, however unpopular, that is the real test of our constitutional rights. It is a healthy sign that favours our democratic rights when the Supreme Court rejected the weak and specious arguments of the mayor and his counsel and granted the interim order to Maurice Tomlinson of Montego Bay Pride.