By Krystel Rolle-Brown
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Equal rights advocate Terneille Burrows on Tuesday questioned the agenda of some religious leaders in The Bahamas for speaking out against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and remaining quiet on more “significant” issues such as child abuse.
She said the silence of some in the religious community on issues, specifically ones related to men of the cloth who are convicted of sexual crimes, “discredits them”.
Burrows’ comments came on the Guardian Radio talk show “Let’s Talk Live” on 96.9 FM with host Carlton Smith.
She was responding to Bahamas Faith Ministries International president Dr Myles Munroe, who recently criticized the LGBT community.
In his statement, titled “Homosexuality – Phobia or Principle”, Munroe said he has watched with horror over the years as people have “hijacked” and “raped” the meaning of the civil rights movement in an effort to fight for the rights of the LGBT community.
“I think the attempt to equate the historical civil rights movement with the demands for the right to dignify, glorify and accept as normal the practice of a lifestyle that could render the human race, for which they sacrificed, extinct is illogical, dishonest, and is the abuse of the blood and imprisonment of many,” Munroe said.
“It’s a hijacking of the gains paid for by the blood of honorable men and women for an unnatural, human-destroying behaviour.”
Burrows, also known as TaDa, publicly disclosed in a letter to the editor that was published in The Nassau Guardian on Tuesday that she is a member of the LGBT community.
During the show, she suggested that Christian leaders are not focused on real matters of national concern.
Burrows added that members of the cloth should be particularly concerned about religious leaders who inflict harm on others.
“Yet the priority is to call out a community of not law breaking citizens as opposed to cleaning up their own doorstep and saying, ‘Look we’ve seen over the past decades a few men of the cloth who... have been convicted of sexual assault against minors. We in no way condone this. We in no way turn our backs and say this never happened. We believe that this issue should be a national priority and we come on board with the cause to help sensitize people.’”
Burrows said religious leaders have a greater responsibility to speak out against such crimes because of their circle of influence.
“It causes us to question them because they say ‘this whole gay agenda thing’, which I don’t know what that is,” she said.
“But I would like to know what the religious community’s agenda is because if you’re not policing those that come from among you and present themselves as leaders and protectors and counselors of those children left in your care, if you just allow that to be brushed away, and target this, then perhaps [you are using the LGBT issues] as a distraction.”
In addition to Munroe, Burrows said religious leaders such as Bahamas Christian Council President Dr Ranford Patterson and Pastors Mario Moxey and Lyall Bethel have continuously spoken out on certain national issues but have failed to carry the banner with regard to violence against children.
During the show, Burrows also suggested that members of the LGBT community ought to have protections under the law.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian