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Juan Edghill denies hate speech against homosexuals

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014, 20:26 by GxMedia

RELYING ON THE BIBLE: Junior Finance Minister, Rev. Juan Edghill referring to the Holy Bible as he rebutted SASOD

Junior Finance Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill on Wednesday denied that he uttered hate speech against homosexuals but insisted that he is opposed to children being adopted by same-sex couples.

“It’s unnatural for two people of the same sex to procreate and to raise children,” he said.

A day after the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) announced that it has lodged a complaint with the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee; Edghill dismissed the call by for him to be fired as a government minister and removed from all State agencies.  He registered his objection to SASOD, in its quest for the rights of his constituency, was seeking to violate his constitutional rights to freedom of expression and the rights to work and religion. “They are trying to take away my right while they are seeking to insert their right,” he said.

Edghill  rejected SASOD’s claims that he had he stated that homosexuals were disease-laden, but acknowledged saying that homosexuals were promiscuous and could lead to disease-transmission and violence in that community. He urged that the June 15th edition of the radio programme be rebroadcast.

The practicing pastor brushed off suggestions the he was contradicting himself by being in favour of homosexuals access health care, housing and employment while at the same time depriving them of same-sex parentage. “I don’t see it as a contradiction…The scripture speaks to marriage and family as relationships between two consenting adults,” he said.

At the same time, he said the church should not be bothered by sexual activities between two consenting adults in private. “The church has no business whatsoever what goes on in privacy between two people,” he said. Edghill was vehemently opposed to an “in-your-face-agenda” through which persons want to take their privacy of their bedrooms into public places including the military, schools and wider society.

He said he was unaware that homosexuals were facing widespread discrimination.

The United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review on human rights is expected to consider Guyana’s  position as well contributions like those of SASOD.