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'I Have Been Discriminated Against For My Sexuality'

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Erin Greene

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

REFUTING the government’s claim that there is no discrimination due to sexual orientation in the Bahamas, human rights activist Erin Greene complained that the records don’t exist because police refuse to take complaints from the gay community.

She was responding to Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson, who recommended that the

Constitutional prohibition against discrimination should be amended to exclude discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as there are no reports of this on record, and the country has “far more pressing matters” to deal with.

But Ms Greene said: “I am a victim of both crime and discrimination. I am a victim of stalking, for more than four years. I am unable to convince the Royal Bahamas Police Force that it is their duty to fully investigate these matters.

“I have reported both the crimes and the instances of discrimination to the RBPF, to the Commissioner of Police and directly and to the Prime Minister.

“This matter is not only unresolved but the RBPF have indicated that they have no intention of continuing the investigation.”

She said her experience is shared by several members of the gay community who feel they were attacked, victimised or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

“We have been unable to convince the Royal Bahamas Police Force that it is their duty to record this information (on request of the victim) when processing a crime.

“In the absence of an official mechanism (ie Human Rights Council) to record crimes and discrimination against the LGBT community, the LGBT community is unable to report acts of violence against them, or instances of discrimination.”

Mrs Greene said Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s comments indicate that she is not very well informed about the state of crime and violence in the country and out of touch with the developments in her profession, both locally and internationally.

She also refuted claims that gay marriage is illegal in the Bahamas.

Ms Greene said: “The fact that our government does not have the capacity to record instances of crime, violence and discrimination against the LGBT community does not mean that members of the LGBT community have not attempted to have these instances recorded by official mechanisms.

“The fact that the state refuses to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples does not mean that gay marriage is illegal in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, as there are no provisions in law that prevent a church or minister of religion from conducting a same sex marriage ceremony.”

Ms Green said the LGBT community pledges to support the Attorney General in her work, but encouraged Mrs Maynard-Gibson to use her resources to protect the rights of all Bahamians – not just some. 

Comments

henny 5 years, 10 months ago

What do you have to say now AG Maynard Gibson??? No excuses please.

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 10 months ago

what is so strange is that we have gay politicians and preachers that spew homophopic nonsense ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 10 months ago

It always ticks me off whenever you and others label someone as phobic because they do not agree with or support homosexuality. Maybe you should check out the meaning and generally accepted use of the word "phobia" before you start labeling people with clinical pshycology illnesses. What is so sick about not agreeing with or supporting another person's choice of lifestyle? Based on your usage, I guess I have cigarette, alcohol, stupidity, corruption, et al phobias. Sound like I sick bad!!!

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 10 months ago

I THINK ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE TREATED EQUAL ,,WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IS WHEN GAY POLITICIANS AND PREACHERS RAIL AGAINTS HOMOSEXUALITY ,,,ITS IN CREDIBLE ,DO THEY THINK THEY ARE FOOLING THEIR GOD OR THE PUBLIC ,,@ JUSTTHEFACTPLEASE READ WHAT I WROTE AGAIN AND TRY TO DIGEST IT

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ilikethesunshine 5 years, 10 months ago

If this is really bothering you so much then you need to learn how to relax.

The reality of discrimination against gays and lesbians is very real, very personal - and very destructive. It often results in violence. We see this time and time again in the news. Even in liberal areas like NYC gays and lesbians continue to be attacked and murdered.

It is unfortunate that your obvious prejudice is causing you to miss some of the most important things in this discussion. It isn't simply about people having differing opinions. I don't tell you that you can't get married simply because you smoke cigaretts or like to drink beer. But, many like to tell gays and lesbians that THEY can't get married to the ones they love simply because they are gay or lesbians. THIS is prejudice. Calling it "homophobia" is certainly a more kind and soft way of describing it.

If you'd prefer to call it "bigotry" then that also works. Just don't be offended when people use it, however. Look up the definition. It most certainly fits how many people hold a very prejudiced and hyper judgmental view towards a particular group of people. THAT is bigotry.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

I think everyone misunderstood the point concernedcitizen was making, and that is, some of the people in high places who speak out against or refuse to acknowledge the existence of LGBT, are well known to the LGBT community. He was pointing out the hypocrisy.

Personally, I do not agree with the lifestyle, I do not agree with legalizing gay marriage, but I definitely do not agree with targeting them for abuse. According to my bible I should treat them the way I would want to be treated. Doesn't mean I have to like their choices. But they're made of clay just like me.

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 10 months ago

Interesting point ... much of which I agree with. The fact is however, we are all governed by the same laws (I can't marry whomever I want either)and if the move is to get homosexuals to marry "the ones they love" why not allow the polygamists the same freedom ... allow those of us who want, to have multiple partners ... why stop with the gays and lesbians???

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UserOne 5 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter what you agree with or support. ALL people should be protected from discrimination. Mrs. Maynard has no right to pick and choose which groups should be protected and which groups shouldn't.

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 10 months ago

My response had nothing to do with protection from discrimination because I believe ALL persons should be free from discrimination ... inclding the Hatians and Jamaicans among us ... as well as those of us who choose not to support homosexuality for whatever reason. Always amazes me how persons who speak so eloquently about equal rights for ALL take to bashing those who don't support their point of view.

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ilikethesunshine 5 years, 10 months ago

Bashing their point of view? Well, if that view is obviously discriminatory, divisive and judgmental then it deserves to be bashed. Pushing and promoting discrimination, discriminatory policies or laws - or just promoting harmful division in society.... none of those are good OR worthy to accept on any level. So, if someone promotes those things it is a good thing for people to rebuke those views.

Laws against discrimination SHOULD include those with disabilities, those of a different race, people of different sexes, people of different sexual orientations, people of different faiths, etc. It is not beneficial to society or to individuals that these individuals would be treated as second class for these reasons. Keep in mind, people CHOOSE their faith. It isn't like your sex, race of disability. But, even though it is a CHOICE, it should be a choice that we protect and not discriminate against. (I say this because so many people want to justify discrimination against gays because they believe it is simply a "choice" and so on. Well, people choose their religion - that is for sure. It is repeatedly shown that they don't choose their sexuality, however. But, believe what you wish).

So, whether they are Haitian, Jamaican, Christian, gay or otherwise.... we should all be free from discrimination that is hurtful and harmful.

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leeza 5 years, 10 months ago

I read your first comments about marriage please don't call it that because marriage is instituted by God between a Man and a Woman anything else needs to be called something else. They are not gays they are Sodomites, it was an abomination then and it is now call is whatever else to pretty it up. Sin is Sin some just comes with greater consequence, please don't read into that to say I am justifying violence against sodomites not the case

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aloethree 5 years, 10 months ago

This is true, however i do not feel as though Mrs.Maynard or those who pass these bills are selecting particular groups and deciding who should/ should not be discriminated against.

In the incidents where persons such as Ms. Greene has been attacked or victimized does not merit for an act/bill to be passed because the actions were made solely by the aggressors and not the law.

Gay person's who are victims of such crimes can file an harassment/assault case with police and if the police refuses to do their job she can report the officers to the internal security division

Homosexuals has just as much rights as any other Bahamian when it come to the law and protection it grants to its citizens.

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pilgrimagerock 5 years, 10 months ago

Erin, the reason why you have been discriminated against for your sexuality because it is a SIN and it will never be accepted by GOD nor HIS faithful followers.

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CAFS 5 years, 10 months ago

You honestly think God is sitting back saying thank to people like you who perpetuate hate-based discrimination? Shame on you

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pilgrimagerock 5 years, 10 months ago

Shame on you. GOD loves the sinner not their homosexuality and if that is hate-based discrimination in your eyes, then screw you.

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CAFS 5 years, 10 months ago

No, you're perpetuating hate-based discrimination, as you're endorsing this "us v.s. them" mentality. Sinners or not, lesbians, gays, etc. are citizen of the Bahamas and should not be discriminated against b/c some closed-minded bigot like yourself thinks so. I won't engage in anymore discussion with you.

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ilikethesunshine 5 years, 10 months ago

So, what about no-fault divorce? Should we outlaw ALL divorces unless infidelity occurs? Many religious folk get divorced because of other reasons besides adultery. Your perspective (if you are consistent with it) would essentially mean that these people are sinning AND that they should receive discriminatory treatment. Do they? Do we prohibit their legal rights? Do we marginalize them in society? Are they often victims of hate crimes, including assault and murder? (I'm not exaggerating here. These occur and have occurred recently in the liberal state of NY).

It would be nice if people were consistent in their judging others. But, most people aren't. It is really easy to point fingers at someone (or at a group) and then have different standards for ourselves or for other groups.

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ADubbs 5 years, 10 months ago

EVERYONE deserves to be protected. We, as a people, should NOT stand for the absolute FOOLISHNESS and LIES being spewed by the idiots we are sorry to call "leader" of this country. How idiotic to say that we should EXCLUDE a group of people because there are no formal complaints from them. And we KNOW that THAT is a BIG, STINKING LIE.

Good job, Erin Greene! Thank you for speaking up!

I would love to see what dumb ish Maynard-Gibson has the balls to respond with.

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 10 months ago

Why can't we discuss the issue without labeling people who do not support your position? Not because they say something you don't garee with means that they are "idiots" and "dumb". It shows your lack of intellect when your way of discussing the points is to attack the presenter ... truly juvenile ...

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 10 months ago

i still find it amazing with all the gay MPs and preacher men we have that they can rail on with t that anti gay rhetoric ,,i judge people by if they are nice and honest ,not who they sleep with ,,,,though it may upset us w/ all our tongue flapping bout christian nation ,and we more blessed cause we put on big hats on sunday and praise the sky god ,,this is 2013 we can see all the gay people around us ,on the force, in the house of parliment ,...our nieghbors ,,,,some good ,some bad just like straight people

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pilgrimagerock 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey CAFS, it defeats one's own purpose when person like yourself called those who oppose HOMOSEXUALITY on moral grounds bigot and closed-mined. Name calling doesn't solve problems, TRUTH does.

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BahamaBoy 5 years, 10 months ago

The TRUTH is religion and morality are often two different things.

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clawdad 5 years, 10 months ago

you know what problem i have with all this.the gays try to push this issue on me but they cant accept my religion.so that my 5 cents

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ilikethesunshine 5 years, 10 months ago

What are they pushing on you? If a group is being discriminated against, marginalized by society, treated as second class citizens, not given the same legal rights.... do you want them to just shut up and not say anything? I would think that EVERYONE has a right to speak. Not to mention if they are the victims of discrimination. If you want them to be quiet about it then that is very, very sad. Besides, countless straight people are 100% supportive of full equality for gays and lesbians. It isn't just gays and lesbians who are speaking up when it comes to equality, discrimination, etc. Do you want them to keep quiet too?

By the way, many gays and lesbians CAN accept the religion of others. There is nothing wrong with people having different sets of beliefs. In fact, thousands of gays and lesbians ARE people of faith. Whether you like it or not, there are over 7,000 Christian churches that support gays and lesbians. What is WRONG is when your religious beliefs are used to restrict the LEGAL RIGHTS of other people. In other words.... please keep your religious beliefs contained to YOUR life vs. pushing your beliefs onto others.

Yes, there is pushing going on. But, the pushing is from those who are anti-gay and want to discriminate against OTHER people, reducing their legal rights (not permitting same-sex marriage, etc). Gays aren't trying to reduce YOUR legal rights. They're not. But, many religious folks want to tell gays what legal rights they should have - or shouldn't have.

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leeza 5 years, 10 months ago

God is so Awesome that when he made us he put in us something that lets us know when we are doing wrong and I am certain because you are human that you have it. That is if you are not so far gone that your conscience is now seared and he has turned you over to a reprobate mind. I have a close relative who has a daughter but now she has been influenced into this lifestyle her daughter does not live with her because he said she does not want her around that kind of stuff so as tough as some of you may appear there is still hope. When Jesus dies he died for all this includes you.

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albala 4 years, 11 months ago

I have never had such problems... Although I live in the same town as you do, when I got married to my boyfriend, everything worked out very well... the minister helped us with a lot of things, even tols where we can find some awesome rings, on http://quadrumgallery.com/collection/...">http://quadrumgallery.com/collection/... and even with the after party! I'm sorry you had such bad luck, but I really think that's what it was, bad luck..

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