Just over 24 hours after a shooting rampage at a popular gay nightclub in Orland, Florida where 50 members of the LGBT community lost their lives, the opposition People’s Progressive Party in Guyana said the Government of Guyana must take action if it wishes to avoid similar homophobic attacks here.
PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee weighed in on the issue at his Monday morning press conference and declared the incident an act of terrorism.
Rohee said he was informed via media reports that the victims were LGBT members and later described them as a “soft target”.
When asked about his support for a review of laws that promote homophobia and discrimination in Guyana, Rohee said it is for the government to take action.
“I have seen statements by the community in the media and I have seen statements that they have said this government is inactive on certain commitment so it is for the government to take action,” Rohee said.
The LGBT community in Guyana has been after both the PPP government and now the APNU+AFC coalition government to repeal discriminatory laws.
Guyana has strong laws against same sex sexual activity as well as cross dressing.
The Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) has consistently expressed the view that these laws were also responsible for the homophobic actions of many in Guyanese society.
Rohee, who is also a PPP Parliamentarian, withheld the likelihood of his support should constitutional reform be brought to the National Assembly to address this situation.
When asked if he was satisfied with what the PPP has done during its term in office to offer protection to the local LGBT community, Rohee said he will leave that for someone else to assess.
“I have not noticed anything the PPP has done to antagonize the community,” he added.
Rohee condemned the “cold blooded shooting” and said actions such of these can only be the work of sick minds regardless of the motives for justification.
“The fact that it took place on a soft target is a terrorist activity,” he added.