THE CARICOM Summit is now history. The leaders have returned home and its back to normal, until things change again. The CARICOM Secretariat has issued the usual lengthy post-summit Final Communique outlining decisions taken and positions adopted on agenda items discussed over their three days in Barbados — July 2, 3 and 4.
I’ve seen and read that Communiqué and extracted from it every decision taken. But nowhere between the pages, chapters or paragraphs did I see one single line about ‘same sex marriages’. Not one sentence, not one word. The word sex wasn’t mentioned — at all, at all, at all…
Now, all of the above would not have mattered, had it not been for the whole firestorm in a tropical teacup, the whole hue and cry, the whole consternation caused over the last three days of last week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) by a local bishop proclaiming that the CARICOM leaders were about to discuss ‘same sex marriages’.
I’ve attended several CARICOM summits in my professional and political life, as an official of one Caribbean government or another. (For example, while living and working in Guyana, I attended the ‘Mandela Summit’ here as a Guyana delegate, alongside President Janet Jagan, as part of her official delegation.) For reasons associated with that little fact, I knew that I would probably have known if that had been an agenda item this year. But, like everyone born and grown in a Christian society, I somehow tended not to just automatically ‘dis’ or dis-believe what a bishop said and dump any of it as regular verbal garbage.
I listened and watched and even spoke about the way in which the local (and regional) Bishop had called on the nation (and the region) to pray for spiritual guidance for the CARICOM leaders during their Barbados Summit, because they were about to consider making ‘same sex marriages’ legal across the region. The man of the cloth said that CARICOM leaders were not necessarily that inclined, but were under pressure from big and powerful countries to follow the US example and make ‘same sex marriage’ legal through all CARICOM states. He called on Saint Lucian and Caribbean people to pray and ask the Lord to intervene and ensure that CARICOM leaders did not bow to Satanic external pressure to collectively commit a grievous regional sin. He also launched an online petition aimed at collecting signatures to oppose any CARICOM move to go the gay American way.
Knowing how the politics works here (and everywhere else in our part of the world), I couldn’t imagine how any CARICOM leader seeking re-election would make ‘same sex marriage’ a government agenda item at home, far less at the CARICOM level. But again, could the Bishop have known something I didn’t? I decided to wait to find out.
As I said earlier, three days after the end of the 2015 CARICOM Summit, I haven’t heard any CARICOM leader report to his nation on the outcome of the prophesied discussion on ‘same sex marriage’. So then, did the bishop get it all wrong? Did he tell a robed fib? Or, did Our Prayers and The Lord’s Divine Intervention just simply cause the item to vanish off the CARICOM Summit’s agenda? I’ll still wait to see.
But, in the meantime, I think this whole ‘same sex marriage’ issue is being overblown and will blow away just as breezily as it came. I’ll tell you why in my next column! (Part 2 on Thursday)