GDF remains silent on Policies regarding homosexuality
The Guyana Defence Force is now playing the silent game on its policy that dictates the dismissal of soldiers found to be or believed to be homosexuals and involved in same sex relationships. The GDF’s silence comes in wake of the dismissal of two female ranks after cellphone video surfaced of them in sexually compromising positions.
Over the weekend, Senior Counsel, Ralph Ramkarran who is the former speaker of the National Assembly and also a former Executive member of the Peoples Progressive Party, wrote to the press expressing his worry about what he sees as the homophobic policy of the Guyana Defence Force.
In his letter, Ramkarran appeared surprised too, with the silence of the Government on the issue advising that there ought to be a response and change in the way the administration has been dealing with that issue, especially at a time when the National Assembly is getting ready to address the issue of homosexuality and while there is a national consultation on the issue taking place.
The GDF’s decision to dismiss the young women has not gone down well with many officers and ranks who believe while the force speaks about not discriminating its records and policies may point in a different direction.
One officer explained that ranks are encouraged to report soldiers they suspect of being involved in same sex relationships or they suspect or know to be gay to their superiors for action. That action includes dismissal according to the GDF’s policy that covers homosexuality.
The Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best last week told Capitol News, that the matter was being investigated from an angle of the conduct of the two young women since there was concern about whether they would now be in a position to lead or command other soldiers. Although the the army has a ‘don’t ask don’t tell policy’, no where in the over 200 pages of the GDF’s personnel policy does that ‘don’t ask don’t tell policy’ appear.