Same-Sex Marriage: GHRO Statement

The Grenada Human Rights Organisation Inc (GHRO Inc) observes with great interest the reactions by many Grenadians to the US Supreme Court ruling in respect to the legality of gay marriage. Since 26 June 2015, America has joined 24 other countries to have made gay marriages legal.

The outbursts by many Grenadians seem to be steeped in hate and a thirst for violence. This is in itself a human right violation in regards to equality of a person, a human being. GHRO Inc calls on Grenadians to embrace tolerance and respect for all of humanity.

The fact is that thousands of human beings are subjected to violence across the globe simply because they are suspected of being gay. According to a human rights report, in Brazil alone, over 2,500 men were murdered between 1997 and 2007, ostensibly for being gay. In June 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council has again condemned violence and other human rights violations based on a person’s sexual orientation or identity.

Of course, those who oppose same-sex marriage are not saying they support violence against LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] people. Nevertheless, the same basic proposition lies at the root of both: the notion that you are somehow a different — lesser — type of human being if you are not, or are not seen to be, straight, and that society is justified in rejecting you.

Grenada is a member of the United Nations and has signed on to many of the international conventions and treaties which obligates them to comply to the articles therein. The spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Grenada Constitution requires all of us to treat all human beings with equality, respect and non violence.

Article 16, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

For more than a decade, this non-discrimination principle has been interpreted by UN treaty bodies and numerous inter-governmental human rights bodies as prohibiting discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation has therefore become an internationally recognized principle and many countries have responded by bringing their domestic laws into line with this principle in a range of spheres including partnership rights.

GHRO Inc stands in support and solidarity for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the LGBT population in Grenada and the region and encourages all Grenadians to use this opportunity to be reflective of our humanity as equals, not as lesser human beings.

According to Amnesty International (AI), Civil marriage between individuals of the same-sex is an issue in which fundamental human rights are at stake. AI believes that “the denial of equal civil recognition of same-sex relationships prevents many people from accessing a range of other rights, such as rights to housing and social security, and stigmatizes those relationships in ways that can fuel discrimination and other human rights abuses against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity”.

Grenada Human Rights Organization Inc represents an activist movement that works impartially to defend and protect the human rights of all persons against discrimination and abuse. GHRO Inc stands on the principle of respect and tolerance for the vulnerable and marginalized members of the Grenada population. GHRO Inc also promotes human rights education and awareness among the citizens.

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