Sunshine Cathedral’s Pastoral Response to Anti-Gay Attack in Jamaica
For Immediate Release
We, the pastors of the Sunshine Cathedral, express deep sorrow in response to the attack suffered by three alleged homosexual men in Tropical Plaza, St. Andrew, Jamaica on Wednesday, February 14th, 2007.
According to news reports the three men were trapped in a pharmacy while a mob outside the pharmacy called for the men to be handed over to them. Some in the mob reportedly called for the men to be killed.
As people of faith, we hope for a world where peace prevails over violence and justice wins over oppression and human kindness replaces brutal prejudice. As people who preach and pray for the equality of all people, we are alarmed and grieved by the reports of three men being targeted, threatened, and even injured simply for being suspected of being gay.
Our hearts go out to the men who were terrorized by the mob and we wish the three men safety and recovery from their ordeal. We are also mindful of their families and friends at this time and of all who work to change homophobic attitudes and the violence that results from such attitudes.
As religious people and as members of the human family, we are appalled by acts of violence and we call on all people, both secular and religious, to remember and respond to what is often called The Golden Rule, which is simply to treat others as one would wish to be treated.
We ask every person of public influence to discourage violence against same-gender loving people. We hope that all people who know of this story will ask themselves, “How would I feel if the men being threatened were my friends, brothers, sons, or grandsons?” We then hope that each person will pause to realize that each of those men is in fact someone’s loved one. And in the name of human decency we hope and pray that attacks motivated by hatred and prejudice will come to an immediate end.
Finally, we applaud the law enforcement personnel who defended the men who were under attack. We hope the civil authorities will continue to work for the safety and welfare of all people. We are thankful that the men were saved from the mob’s intentions. And we hope that all who live in the fear of violence because they are or are suspected of being homosexual will remain strong and will one day soon be able to live their lives without the threat of abuse.
The Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church affirms the sacred worth of all persons and promotes equality and human rights as core religious values. Additional comments will be released from both Sunshine Cathedral and Metropolitan Community Churches.
The Right Reverend Grant Lynn Ford and The Reverend Canon Durrell Watkins
on behalf of the Canon Circle of the Sunshine Cathedral
954.462.2004 (office) 954.462.7070 (fax)
Email contact: Durrell@Sunshinecathedral.org