Talking points co-host Damion C. Grange has slammed the church for what he illustrated as silence on community initiates, but suddenly becoming animated on issues related to LGBT rights in the territory.
Mr Grange made the comments during the Monday, May 22, 2023, edition of Talking Points while interviewing new legislator and 4th District Representative, Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith (R4) on the conversation of more community initiatives for seniors in the district.
Mrs Smith said there is a need for transportation for seniors when it was noted that churches have buses that sit all week and can be put to use as a church initiative once a week.
“Talk about the issue of gay rights and the churches are animated but anytime it comes to community initiatives, them gone back inside the church,” Grange added.
Same-sex marriage should not happen - Hon Hodge-Smith
When questioned on the topic of LGBT marriage rights in the VI, Hon Luce-Smith said due to her upbringing she is of the view that same-sex marriage should not happen.
“However, if there is a referendum and the majority of the voters… they decide that it's ok then I have no problem with it,” she added.
Mrs Luce-Smith; however, questioned whether it was just the marriage or the partnership to have a legal union that would be the subject of the referendum.
“If it’s necessary for a referendum for whatever, you call it… if it's needed, but I think in this case you definitely need to get the majority’s decision on it,” she added.
Fourth District Representative Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith (R4), 2nd from right, was a guest of Talking Points on May 22, 2023.
No imposing same-sex marriages in VI - Hon Hodge-Smith
Mrs Smith added that as in the case of other British OTs, there should be no imposition of same-sex laws in the VI but rather, as a democratic society, the people of the territory should have a say.
“If the majority say we are going to have same-sex marriage then we have no choice, but at least we went through the [process] and not that you impose it upon us because this is what you say should be done,” she added.
Meanwhile, Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) said on May 2, 2023, a same-sex marriage referendum will most likely be held ahead of the pending legal case involving a same-sex married couple- both Virgin Islanders, who were married abroad and have mounted a case against Government to have their union legally recognised here in the VI.
“We want to do that, actually very soon…I think there’s a case which is slated for June, so we wanted to be able to have the referendum ahead of that. So that’s one thing of course that persons are going to be hearing about very soon,” he said.