Trinidad and Tobago’s ILP leader Jack Warner: Time to talk gay rights

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Rather than avoid it, the nation must begin discussions on gay rights, ILP leader Jack Warner said yesterday. [Post updated after Rhone Fraser sets me straight on my geography. Thanks, Rhone. I’m a bit discombobulated today.]

Touching on some issues on the campaign trail, Warner said whatever his personal stance on gay rights, he will ultimately do what is in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago. These remarks followed the People’s National Movement’s position yesterday at its manifesto launch that it is an issue to be discussed.

Warner said, “I don’t think that I could say yay or nay to gay rights.

It is something I believe that has to be discussed on a wider level, and I don’t think that I should impose my view on the nation or on anybody. And therefore I much prefer to have a wider level of discussion than before I say whether I am for or against.” He continued, “I believe that personal sexual preferences, they are private. However, if you use your sexual preferences to get benefits for others, by using state resources, then that’s wrong.

And therefore I make a distinction.

Once you don’t use state resources to benefit those who have your sexual preference.” Warner was speaking during a walkabout after the launch of the ILP office in Cunupia.

He said he is expecting a vicious campaign against him by Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar and the United National Congress as a whole.

Warner, who has giving exposes on the Prime Minister’s personal life, as well as members of her Government, said, “I expect a vicious campaign, almost worse than (the) Chaguanas by-election. And we expect the Prime Minister to come here with tons of people to walk through here and make racial slurs about me. I also expect her to come here and talk about me negatively.” Warner said though that he would do all in his power to not behave in the manner that he expects the PM to do.

However, he said that if he is pushed far enough, “I will match them.” Regarding the opening of his office in Cunupia, Warner said it is the third constituency office set up by his party. He added that representation and action must be the watch words of his party.

For the original report go to http://newsday.co.tt/news/0,215892.html

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