The Carribean island of Barbados held its first-ever Pride march on Sunday, despite opposition from religious leaders, Barbados Today reports.
Over 120 people marched in the parade, which featured members of the LGBTQ community, allies and tourists and was held in the country’s capital of Bridgetown, per Pink News.
“There is no stopping it. Impure minds won’t stop it, fake arguments wouldn’t stop it, legions and fallacies won’t stop it, the roaring lion won’t stop it and some silly words written in books thousands of years ago won’t stop it,” Anglican Priest Clifford Hall told attendees, according to Barbados Today.
Other religious leaders opposed the parade and were not as welcoming as Hall.
“We want to make it clear that homosexual behavior and preference is a [learned] behavior. God did not create anybody gay,” said Apostle Eliseus Joseph, the senior pastor of Apostolic Teaching Centre. “It is not an organic behavior. There is no homo gene; that is a myth. We oppose any attempt to deconstruct marriage and reconstruct it to legitimize homosexuality [and] same-sex partnership,” he continued.
Homosexuality is illegal in the island nation of 285,000, and although punishment is rarely enforced, it carries a maximum life sentence in prison, Pink News reports.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.