Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2014 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, October 3, 2014
President of the Family Planning Association
(FPA) Gerry Brooks said the organisation is ready
to play its part in the appropriate legislative revisions
in a bid to decriminalise discrimination towards
members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans-
gender (LGBT) community.
Brooks was speaking during the 58th anniversary
function of the FPA on Tuesday.
He said: "Let s make bold and decisive steps towards
decriminalising discrimination. It will not halt dis-
crimination but it is the absolute first step in ensuring
the equality and mutual respect.
"We, at the FPA, are a rights-based organisation
and we recognise the rights of men, women, children
of every creed, gender, religion and sexual orientation.
"Our constitution---section four and five---embraces
and guarantees these rights and freedoms. They are
fundamental to the well-being and health, equality,
popularity and development of our country and we
cannot marginalise, discriminate and exclude
contributing members of our society including the
At a T&T Investment Conference in Manhattan,
New York, last week to encourage investment in
T&T, US-based radio hostess Lakshmi Singh pressed
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and inquired
about T&T s business climate and laws that criminalise
Persad-Bissessar, in response, said T&T was
nowhere near ready to establish a referendum dealing
with the decriminalisation of homosexuality and gay
rights as it is not legally possible.
On the baby grant issue, Brooks said that while
the grant was welcomed, the policy position must
"Information, education, counseling and contra-
ceptive services, in addition to government recom-
mended skills parenting programmes must be imple-
mented," he added.
He said it was an opportunity for public private
partnership with Government.
Brooks said he believed the lack of comprehensive
sexual reproduction, health and rights programmes
to impart the necessary information skills led to
many unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sex-
ually transmitted diseases and curtailment of edu-
"At the Caribbean and regional level, we call for
an equivocally for the full implementation of age
appropriate comprehensive sex education in all
schools," he added.
A family is asking for the public s help as they
frantically search the streets of the capital city for
a sick relative who ran away from hospital last
O Neil Thomas, 34, ran away from the Port-of-
Spain General Hospital on Thursday morning, wearing
only underwear and slippers, with an intravenous line
attached to his wrist.
He was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday morning
after complaints of feeling unwell.
The last time he was seen
by his family was on Wednes-
O Neil, who needs a twice
daily dose of medication to
ease his pain and suffering,
has memory problems and
may not even remember his
name, relatives told the T&T
His sister, Josette, was
exhausted as she spoke of
the family s search through
the streets of Port-of-Spain, where she had received
confirmation of her brother s presence from strangers.
"He is sick and needs help. He is a patient at the
hospital and he has memory problems. He sometimes
doesn t remember anything," she added.
Josette said O Neil, who was a Longdenville resident,
had been spotted several times since running away.
"My cousin said she saw him last Thursday morning,
standing near KFC on Broadway in his boxers but she
couldn t stop.
"She called the ambulance and they told her to call
the police. She called the police and they told her to
call the ambulance. It was a run-around and by the
time one of us could get there he was gone."
The family made a report to the Besson Street Police
Station on Monday but police have been unable to
provide information or find O Neil.
Instead they have been posting O Neil s image on
missing person signs around the city and asking ven-
dors, business owners and pedestrians for help.
Josette said several people in Port-of-Spain had
admitted to seeing O Neil, with the last sighting being
O Neil is five feet, four inches tall and has a scar
on his forehead from a car accident several years ago.
His family is asking that anyone seeing him to call,
371-9047, 292-4942 or 463-2250.
FPA ready to back gays on their rights
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