THE SENATE in Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday voted against LGBT people being included in the Government’s Domestic Violence Bill. Independent Senator Hazel Thompson-Ahye proposed an extension allowing same-sex couples to apply for protection orders but, with only three (needless to say, Independent) votes in favour, with all Government senators voting against and with all those Opposition senators not opposing but abstaining, the homos & the lesbos, and all ships in-between, were sunk before the start.
Political parties in Trinidad know they need Pentecostal support to win elections, and Pentecostals claim a divine right to bigotry. It is, accordingly, far wiser to lose a handful of queer lives than a multitude of Born Again Christian votes.
The Opposition, God bless ‘em, would do the same thing, were they in government, and the Government, in opposition, would also have abstained, because the Pentecostals don’t mind so much if you don’t yourself pelt a righteous stone at the adulterers and abominations, once you don’t lift a finger to prevent good Christians from doing God’s finest work.
Put another way, if they could be transported somehow to Minneapolis, Trinidad Government senators would positively encourage that murderous policeman to kneel on George Floyd’s neck, and Opposition senators would stand around, hands in pockets, whistling, for nine minutes.
Four centuries ago, Africans were enslaved in the New World and, in 2020, the LGBT are still in bondage (but not the fun kind). In the Brave New Trini World, all the unborn are sacred and all those born LGBT are disposable.
The LGBT community in T&T is a relatively small one, like the Chinese, and can be similarly peremptorily mistreated and abused. They can be referred to in racist/derogatory terms to their faces and are expected never to object. As with the Chinese, until queer votes add up to a sizeable sum, the LGBT can be dismissed summarily.
Many people, though, are troubled by the nonchalant infliction of a double standard that permits — indeed, promotes — violence against a minority; it’s an embarrassment to a so-called developed nation in the year 2020.
Luckily, a solution can be borrowed from the year 1729, when it was put forward by Jonathan Swift (who, I’m sure everyone in the senate knows, wrote Gulliver’s Travels, the source book of the comedy movie starring Jack Black).
Swift, you see, also wrote A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public. Catholic Ireland in the 18th Century, Swift pointed out, had two problems, starvation and overpopulation, but the single unifying solution was clear: you simply let the poor eat their babies. An average newborn, Swift argued, would feed a family of four one full Sunday luncheon and, with careful husbandry and some potatoes, one or two leftover meals in the week.
Similarly, Trinidad in 2020 is faced with two LGBT-based problems: 1. the LGBT will, in their gumption, claim their human rights, although the society and the Senate will deny them (give or take a Justice Rampersad or a Jason Jones); and, 2. for decades now, from Michael Jobity in the 1990s to Raymond Choo Kong and Roger Jackson last year, gay men have been murdered in their own homes without there ever being a single successful prosecution against what might well be a serial killer.
My solution is for Senator Thompson-Ahye to wheel and come again: with a more realistic amendment to the Domestic Violence Bill that could be passed by our senate, because it would not extend protection orders to same gender domestic violence, but extend to their husbands the same immunity from criminal prosecution that the murderers of gay men in Trinidad seem to enjoy.
In one fell swoop, the problem becomes a solution and the social justice warrior snowflakes are dispatched to the boundary.
Under the new Thompson-Ahye-Swift-BC amendment, any man married to any other man would be not only freed from the inconvenience and cost of defending a protection order brought against him by the simple expedient of murdering his husband instead of beating him.
And, to be fair, the same privilege could be offered to lesbians, bisexuals, omnisexuals, gender-neutrals and the whole LGBTQRSTUV Posse.
And then everyone in Trinidad could say to them, “Well, if is equality all you want…”
Matter fixed. Bring the next p’oblem.
BC Pires is a member of the BYOFB community — Bring Yuh Own Firetrucking Bottle!