CUT Tackles LGBT Rights
The move by the global community to pass legislation recognizing the human rights of persons in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, has long evoked very spirited and often emotional exchanges between supportes and opposers alike. The same is true among the regional teachers movement.
In light of that, today marked a watershed moment in the Caribbean Union of Teachers, as the topic of LGBT right appeared on the Agenda of the 6th CUT Education Conference being held in Belize City, Central America.
Of course, as the discourse developed, the usual apprehension and clear religiously-based biases that have dominated this debate in the caribbean, and by extension, many arears around the world quickly emerged and threated to torpedo any logical civil and well-reasoned discussion. Notwithstanding, the facilitator was quickly able to temper these views, as her presentation was hinged on the legal framework which guarantees the protection of individual rights in our respective caribbean states. She made it a point to note that as organizations which have prided themselves on protecting the rights of teachers, and by extension the students, teachers unions must give greater consideration to furthering the discussion on creating the environment for greater tolerance and acceptance of the many diversities which exist in our communities.
As previously noted, the Caribbean is well known for its rejection of alternative lifestyles, particularly for what many refer to as the US-EU agenda to force the rest of the world to validate the same. In many cases though, having their views forged by religious teachings (christianity, etc), limits any real progress in changing the legislative frameworks to give rise to conformity with United Nations' protocols for protecting the rights of the LGBT community. Dispite the foregoing, it was rather encouraging to note that while there remains a great divide among the conference participants on the issue of LGBT rights, there was recognition that greater effort must be made to keep the discussion going.
The Biennial Conference, held every two years, is the ultimate governing body of the Caribbean Union of Teachers. This year, the 37th Biennial Conference will be held in the Picturesque nature isle of Dominica, under the auspices of the Dominica teachers Association from August 3-7, 2015.
The Conference will provide an opportunity for representatives of all CUT member units to discuss critical issues affecting education in the Caribbean. I will also provide an opportunity to select an Executive to run the affairs of the CUT for the next biennium.
Over sixty (60) representatives from the twenty-five (25) member units of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) assembled at the Best Western Hotel conference Room in the picturesque Belize City for the 6th CUT Education Conference.