(CNS): A conservative Christian lawyer from the United States who has suggested that legalising gay marriage would lead to a catalogue of social ills will be one of three guest speakers headlining a religious rally in Cayman next month. The event, which is being organised by a group of local churches, is billed as promoting biblical values, but top of the agenda appears to be the fight against gay rights and in particular preventing members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community gaining the right to marry or have their partnerships legally legitimised or to enjoy a family life within transgender or same-sex relationships.
David Gibbs III, who takes an anti-gay stand, is not quite as controversial as his father David Gibbs Jr but he has nevertheless spoken out at many public religious events in recent years about what he believes is an agenda or conspiracy by the liberal left to promote gay marriage and alternative lifestyles.
He believes this will lead to a rise in single-parent households, an increase in dependents on social welfare and healthcare. In 2009 he told participants at an anti-gay rally in North Carolina that gay marriage would “open the door to unusual marriage” in the state.
“Why not polygamy, or three or four spouses?” Gibbs asked. “Maybe people will want to marry their pets or robots.”
The lawyer, who in 2005 fought to keep brain-damaged Terri Schiavo on life support, has been using the courts and the US Constitution to fight against gay rights. He will be joining Dr Brendan Bain from the Jamaica-based Family Life Ministries and Cayman’s own Pastor Alson Ebanks at the rally on Sunday 11 September at the Lion’s Centre.
Organisers of the event, which has the motto ‘The Future Is Now: Preserving Values for a Better Tomorrow”, are hoping these speakers will be a “rallying call” to promote a biblical perspective of family because of what they claim is the “shock” over the “speed with which changes are occurring in societies worldwide”.
In a release about the event, which may well stir up discrimination, intolerance and abuse of the LGBT community, Gibbs said his presentation will aim to frame the legal debate on the definition and nature of the family, and “navigating today’s increasingly diverse perspectives”.
Pointing to the legal and constitutional issues surrounding family and the community, the fundamentalist Christian stated, “If you give people good information, they can make good decisions, and that’s what we want to do. The outcome would be healthy discussion and debate that will positively benefit the Islands for generations to come.”
Gibbs said that as an observer of legal and constitutional trends, he has been concerned about some major shifts in the western world. “I think it is important that we come to grips with these critical issues before this grand experiment we are hoisting on the next generation cannot be stopped,” he added.
Dr Brendan Bain will be sharing information on medical and public health issues the organisers said though it is not clear how as an internal medicine, infectious diseases and public health, specialist where his presentation will fit.
In the release he said it could not be ignored that “a number of individuals, international groups and governments are exerting pressure on our communities to accept sexual practices that have not been previously accepted in most Caribbean communities”.
Meanwhile, Pastor Alson from the Church of God will speak on the framework for defending biblical family values, and call the Christian community back to follow the Bible as the best guide to preserving those values. The rally will look at “decisions involving sexuality” but Pastor Ebanks said it would involve more than what he called “alternative lifestyles”, though he admitted this was the main point.
“It would be hypocritical for us not to acknowledge that one of the catalysts for this rally is the publicity over the last several months given to alternative lifestyles, but this cannot be the main focus of the rally since the real issues are more extensive,” the pastor said, pointing to husband-wife relationships, sexual morality as a whole, family roles and responsibilities, and “how adherence to these in the context of Biblical values are good for the society as a whole”.
Although the PPM government has made it very clear it has no policy plans to introduce gay marriage or any kind of legal protection for same-sex couples, the fear that it might at some point in the future has seen mounting public intolerance towards the local LGBT community coming from the pulpit and parliament.
Last week yet another private members motion was filed by Anthony Eden in the Legislative Assembly on the possibility of legalised same-sex unions or gay marriage, which was backed by all of the independent MLAs. This time Eden is calling for a referendum. A previous motion asking government to confirm its commitment to marriage remaining an institution between the members of the opposite sex gave rise to some extremely unpleasant anti-gay rhetoric in parliament.
Category: Local News