A proud day

posted 16 March 2007
Here every creed and race
Find an equal place
and may God bless our nation
(from The Trinidadian National Anthem)

The Archdeacon of Tobago doesn't want Elton John to perform at the Plymouth* Jazz festival. Because he's not a jazz singer? No, because he's gay. And because Trinidad and Tobago is not so great at keeping its laws up to date and has altogether too many religions, there are still laws on the books against sodomy: passed as recently as 1986, the law provides for up to 10 years in prison for homosexual acts between consenting adults (but if you are a minor, and you commit the act, it's only five years... how lenient!). There's also another, much older law which prevents "self-confessed prostitutes and homosexuals" from entering the country, but I cannot find any record of it online.

It doesn't look like this will really happen, of course. Gay rights has come a long way in Trinidad in recent years. But this kind of story just makes me want to weep for my stupid, stupid, beloved country. This isn't being covered in "politics", guys, it's being carried in the "weird news" section! We are the laughingstock of half a dozen nations for even giving this idiot deacon the time of day.

* That's Plymouth, Tobago. British colonists were not good at original names.

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