INORM, the Initiative of Moral and Religious Organizations, organisers of the rally against gay marriage in Haiti on Friday 19th, have stated that they deplore the murder of two homosexuals. These men were beaten to death at the rally on 19th July.
The group of religious leaders held a press conference on Monday, and, while still insisting that any same-sex union be seen as illegal, they stated that gay people have the right to live and “should not be harmed”, according to The Sentinel.
In spite of the deaths of the two gay men, the religious leaders gave a “positive assessment” of Friday’s anti gay marriage march. Gerard Forges, the President of the Initiative, thanked all those who took part in their work, and said “It was not as Christians, it proves that the country still believes in morality”.
Mr. Forges also stated that they are presently working on a document to ensure that homosexuality will not be institutionalised in the country, and which will include combatting other “bad practices” for example paedophilia, embezzlement, and restavek.
He then stated that they do, however, deplore all forms of violence against gay people, or people who practice vice against nature, urging the authorities to “take action against all those who have committed acts of aggression against homosexuals”.
“We advocate the morality and non-violence. Homosexuals are human, they have the right to freely dispose of their bodies”.
Amazingly, Mr Forges also stated:
“Everyone found it was a peaceful march. This is a non-violent struggle for the defense of the family and morality”.
[Reminder: the two gay men were beaten to death at the march, hardly non-violent].
The BAI (The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux) had issued a press release on 17th July, condemning the proposed march, stating:
The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, which works to protect the human rights of poor people, stands with Kouraj, an LGBT rights organization, to denounce the Haitian Coalition of Religious and Moral Organizations’ call for a march against homosexuality, scheduled for July 19, 2013.
By equating the practice of homosexuality to unnatural practices and a lack of education, the religious leaders who have called for this march are undermining the work that has been done to increase tolerance of the LGBT community. Similarly, claims that homosexuality is a disease aggravates violence against the LGBT community.
In a press release dated 25th June, a coalition of LGBT groups (SEROvie, KOURAJ, FACSDIS, DOP, UPDS) tried to warn of the consequences of such a march:
The so-called moral and religious organizations will be responsible for the violence perpetrated against homosexuals. So, we ask the government and the international community to take responsibility and to prevent reprisals against homosexuals. We remind you that the declarations made on Tuesday June 25 by this coalition of religious and moral coalition goes against individual freedom and respect of the human person.
Unfortunately for the two men who were killed, both of these press releases, issued before the march, went unheeded.