Guyana Chronicle:-THE Linden-based ‘Come As You Are Ministries’ on Saturday hosted a march against the legalising of homosexuality, which saw the participation of hundreds of followers of the religious sect.
Joined by Lindeners, marchers used the opportunity to take a stand and make known how they felt about what they see is an attempt to introduce an alternative lifestyle into their community.
The march, which was led by Apostles Nigel London and Cleveland Thomas, commenced at the Egbert Benjamin Conference Centre around 09:00hrs and ended at the Linden-Georgetown bus park, where the two religious leaders further pronounced on the matter.
Wearing T-shirts with slogans boldly rejecting the whole notion of homosexuality, marchers also carried aloft placards proclaiming:
“Buggery is not a human right; it is an abomination”; “SASOD promotes what is illegal”; “SASOD insulted the community, the poor and uneducated”; and “I am a defender of children”.
As they marched, they could be heard far and wide loudly chanting: We stand for what is right! We defend our children! and Sodomy is illegal!
The march, called ‘The Movement’, was not just an expression of the religious body’s stand against homosexuality, but also against strides taken by the Society Against Gender Orientation (SASOD) to have the lifestyle legalised and become a norm in the Linden community.
SASOD is calling for the amendment of the Prevention of Discrimination Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds of discrimination.
Their objective, it is said, is to protect persons who identify as gay and lesbian, while gender equality will protect transgender persons.
Weeks leading up to Saturday’s march, Apostle London, during his weekly televised programme would openly bash SASOD and its Managing Director Joel Simpson for what the organisation advocates.
London, who has been described in some quarters in Linden as controversial, has described the march as a passive resistance against homosexuality and has pledged to rid Linden of influences of such nature.
Asked to comment, Simpson said that his organisation respects the fundamental right of every citizen and group to assemble peacefully and express themselves freely, since freedom of conscience and religion are basic human rights.
Simpson however said that the criminalisation of same-sex intimacy is a violation of homosexuals’ human rights to privacy, protection from discrimination and free expression. “Public policy and law-making cannot be determined on the basis of religious beliefs, religious doctrines are irrelevant when it comes to matters of the state,” he posited.
The advocate described Apostle London’s actions as personal attacks on his character and is considering taking legal action against him. “We believe that London’s personal attacks on social media and local television are defamatory and amount to harassment. We are exploring all legal avenues at our disposal to address these injuries to SASOD and I.”
SASOD launched an arm in Linden in 2016 and since then Simpson said that the organisation has been working to empower the LGBT community and to make sure they have the best attainable mental, sexual and physical health.
“Due to the intense homophobia promoted by the likes of London, Linden is a very difficult environment for LGBT to live and feel safe,” he added.
Apostle London disclosed that a similar march will soon occur on the Wismar shore.