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A member of Suriname’s coalition administration Ronny Asabina, has called on the government of President Desi Bouterse to state its position regarding the legalization of gay marriages. Ronny Asabina’s remarks came after Social Affairs and Housing Minister Alice Amafo said that the government is implementing policies to create “strong and healthy families”.
“How could this goal be achieved in a situation where gay couples are adopting and raising our children”, Asabina from the BEP-faction said, describing homosexuality as a “disease and a mental disorder”.
“I want to indicate clearly that I am against homosexuality. To me it is an impairment, a deviation, however I don’t want to stigmatize people who are in this movement.“On the contrary I see them as a victim and have compassion for this group”, he said, adding that homosexuality should be stamped out before it is too late.
He said the only option left is legalization and regularization.
“We must stamp out homosexuality in Suriname. It wasn’t good yesterday, it isn’t good today and it won’t be good tomorrow or in the future”, said Asabina, noting that although it is legalized in the western world it should not be accepted.
But the pro-gay activist group, Suriname Men United (SMU), has described Asabina’s remarks as “distasteful and a stab in the back”.
“The opinions members of parliament present should be based on the law and not on personal conceptions”, said Kenneth van Emden, Chairman of Suriname Men United.
|Asabina: "Homosexuality: eradicate root and branch"|
Van Emden said he would welcome a national debate on the issue since the gay community is “also part of the Surinamese population”.
Meanwhile, opposition legislator, Ruth Wijdenbosch, in a message posted on her Facebook page said that she doesn’t support Asabina’s position on homosexuality.
“Furthermore I am against discrimination of any group in a civilized society such as Suriname. I will not support ant-gay actions”, said Wijdenbosch, who is also Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.
The Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands has sent a letter to two government ministers seeking a comment on Asabina’s statements.
The PVV said wants to know whether Asabina expressed the view of the Surinamese coalition and if so, what could be the consequences for the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Suriname.
The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch, is also urging the Surinamese government to distance itself from Asabina’s anti-gay statements.
The UN Human Rights Council in May outlined several recommendations to Suriname regarding the legal position of gays, bi-sexuals and transsexuals.
Minister of Justice and Police, Martin Misiedjan said that the government will seek wide support to implement these recommendations. The government has to present an update report to the Human Rights Council by September.