The colours of the rainbow were clouded in controversy over the weekend when members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community challenged a group of Christians who took to the streets of Bridgetown to reclaim the rainbow, a symbol which they see as a covenant between God and man.
The LGBT members, however, argued that they saw the rainbow colours as a mark of their identity, adding their protest was not combative but in defence of their community.
The event unfolded around 4 p.m. Saturday when the youth group Hannah’s Mission, in association with Youth For Christ Barbados, marched from Independence Square, along Wharf Road, through Broad Street and back to Independence Square. It was held under the theme: Stand Up, Step Out, to declare their concerns about declining values and morals in Barbados. Participants were encouraged to wear colours of the rainbow.
But before the group returned, the LGBT counter-marchers had also assembled.
Co-director of Barbados Gays Lesbians and All Sexuals Against Discrimination (BGLAD), Ro-Ann Mohammed, said they were not there to be combative but to stand up for that community.
“As far as we know, they are marching for ethical purposes and with the intent of reclaiming the rainbow. We’re here to counteract that, because I think there are a lot more important things that need to be dealt with on social and economic levels. And I feel like attacking the LGBT community is not one of those things that’s necessary,” Mohammed said.
During the procession, Hannah’s Mission and Youth of Christ supporters prayed for many of the ills of the nation and carried placards that proclaimed such messages as: At the Name Of Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow, What Does It Profit A Man To Gain The World And Lose His Soul and Rainbow Belongs To God.
They were trailed by members of the LGBT community who held up the rainbow flag, and cards of their own saying: Stop RH Hating and My Sexuality Should Not Affect Your Morals.
“The rainbow isn’t something owned by anybody that needs to be reclaimed. It’s a symbol of pride for the community, so I don’t think that it is something that we should be told we cannot claim as our own,” Mohammed added.
Founder of Hannah’s Mission, Margaret Abrams, said the event was not organised to spread hate towards any community, but rather to promote the talent of the young people across that organisation and speak out against issues such gun crime.
She told the DAILY NATION the rainbow was used as one of their slogans because of God’s covenant with man in the Bible.
“What I found that got me agitated was the fact that Christians are now avoiding using the rainbow because it is associated with them. That doesn’t make sense. We were not intentionally directed to be hateful,” she said. (TG)