A government senator says she cannot approve of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s public use of the phrase “anti-man”.
Senator Aziza Lake says the phrase is a culturally derogatory one, used to demean members of Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and to demean others in general.
Browne made the public comment on his Facebook page last night while communicating with Attorney Charlesworth Tabor about the lawsuit Browne filed against his son United Progressive Party (UPP) Senator Damani Tabor.
In response to comments from Tabor, Browne replied “Sir, you are behaving like an anti-man”.
“The Hon. Gaston Browne is my prime minister and he is someone [who] I respect but in this regard, I will have to respectfully disagree with him using that phrase,” Lake said.
“It doesn’t appreciate the fact there are people in our communities are gay and that’s just who they are and for young people to see that, who may be gay they could internalise something like that coming from the man who holds the highest position in office,” she said.
Lake says too often, because they are not in others’ shoes, people do not know the power behind their speech.
“Gaston Browne is a married straight man, mind you, he may not understand the power of his words and it is for us to realize that certain things are not okay. I am not trying to disparage the good prime minister as I said he is someone I respect,” she said.
Lake was speaking to OBSERVER media this morning. We asked her if the Gaston Browne led administration was progressive on the issue of LGBT rights and freedoms.
“I think in terms of LGBT rights I can’t say we are progressive or regressive in that stance, it is what is in Antigua and Barbuda, we do have some latent homophobia and we saw that recently with the backlash over the carnival decorations.”