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Letter: Senator Mitchell must distance himself from homophobic slurs
Published on July 1, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association is appalled that Senator Fred Mitchell has failed to denounce and distance himself from the homophobic slurs that appeared on a Facebook page that he has publicly endorsed.

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The page, ‘Fred Mitchell minute-by-minute’, is clearly named after Senator Mitchell and, last year, he encouraged PLP supporters to follow its posts, saying the page “aligns with much of my thinking on political issues”. Yet asked by The Tribune to comment on the vile exchange in question, Mitchell refused.

While it is unfortunate that the page’s moderator and a particular commentator chose to exchange insults that degrade and insult members of the LGBTQ community, these individuals enjoy constitutionally protected freedom of expression that allows them to do so.

Mitchell, however, is the leader of the opposition in the Senate and, as such, should be held to a higher standard. The GBHRA expects Mitchell and all parliamentarians to stand up for diversity, freedom of choice and individual rights, and condemn in the strongest of terms, all forms of discrimination and hate speech.

We are particularly surprised in this case, as Mitchell has publicly defended LGBTQ rights in the past.

The GBHRA calls on Senator Mitchell to break his silence and condemn the Facebook page ‘Fred Mitchell minute-by-minute’ and distance himself from the unfortunate comments in question.

Grand Bahama Human Rights Association
 
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