Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In defence of justice

I wish to join the Christian community in T&T and the Caribbean in expressing my disappointment and disgust over the termination of Dr Brendan Bain as the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART). Prof Bain was wrongfully dismissed on the basis of an expert report he had previously submitted to the Belizean High Court after certain interest groups accused him of making legal recommendations concerning the buggery laws in Belize.

Prof Bain in fact made no recommendations. What he did was to report on empirical scientific research on the spread of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals.

Peter Espeut, a Roman Catholic deacon, writing in the Saturday Express of May 31, got to the root of the matter when he wrote “it seems that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lobby believes that HIV/AIDS is an LGBT disease for they have captured the UWI-run CHART project, seeking to turn it to serve their own political ends”.

What the LGBT lobby has done is to make the issue a matter of equal rights, suggesting Prof Bain’s report “supported the retention of a discriminatory regime that excludes person from enjoying rights to equality on the basis of sexual orientation”. However, as Espeut is quick to point out, “neither the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights nor the Bill of Rights in the Jamaican Constitution admits rights of equality on the basis of... sexual orientation”.

So far, a number of professional groups have defended Prof Bain.

They include: the Jamaica Bar Association; the Medical Association of Jamaica; the Human Resource Management Authority of Jamaica Additionally, students and other individuals at the Mona campus have been protesting the action of the vice-chancellor of UWI and locals have been signing a petition in support of Prof Bain.

The unjust dismissal of Prof Bain is not a Jamaican issue. It is a Caribbean issue.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Andy O Homer

via e-mail