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Mitchell: Resistance Exposes Nation’S Homophobia

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell says the fierce opposition that the government has received over the proposed fourth amendment bill which seeks to insert the word “sex” into Article 26 of the Constitution exposes the rampant “homophobia” in the country.

He suggested that people should just state outright their positions on homosexuality rather than “polluting” the gender equality discussion.

Mr Mitchell, who was a guest on Star FM’s radio talk show Jeffrey with host Jeff Lloyd, yesterday suggested that much of the backlash over the issue was led by those who were seeking a quick ascent to political power, knowing popular opinion on the issue.

He told The Tribune, before appearing as a guest on the show, that arguments lodged against the proposed fourth amendment over concerns that it would open the door to same sex marriages were “utterly irrelevant and extraneous.”

When asked if he supported gay rights, Mr Mitchell responded that he would not put people in categories because everyone deserved equal rights and privileges. Mr Mitchell admitted that on controversial topics, including gay rights and gender equality, his views make him “a lightening rod” for criticism.

“I don’t think the public would have been excited about this had some of these leaders, in quotes, had not raised the issue,” Mr Mitchell said.

“The interpretation of that is sex as opposed to sexual preferences is simply grossly out of order. There is no way in the world that one has anything to do with the next. This (sex) is an ordinary English word judicially decided that’s been in the Constitution since the Constitution came into force on January 7, 1964 and it has been repeated all along.

“It is in fact in the present Constitution. In fact, the amendments that the FNM wanted to make (in a previous constitutional referendum) used the same word in 2002 when the amendment failed. No one raised it then. 

“But what it is, because of the homophobia in the country, it is a way to defeat something by not having to meet the legitimate and traditional arguments. I said that if you hate or are against gay people then you should just come out and say ‘I don’t like them they shouldn’t have any rights’ and so on and so forth or if you are a misogynist and you don’t agree with women having rights (say it) but don’t pollute the argument with something which is irrelevant.”

The fourth bill seeks to end discrimination based on sex. This involves the insertion of the word “sex” in Article 26 of the Constitution to make it unconstitutional to discriminate based on whether someone is male or female.

However, there has been considerable opposition to the bill as political pundits insist that the wording opens the door to same sex marriage legalisation in the Bahamas.

Prime Minister Perry Christie has stressed that the bill would not legalise same sex marriages in the Bahamas. He previously said the government is not going to change the wording of the amendment although it has sparked heated public debate.

Mr Christie admitted that people were anxious about the issue of same sex marriages, but said that lawyers have told the government it is doing “the right thing” as the language in the bill conforms with that of laws and constitutions of other countries.

Comments

moncurcool 5 years, 6 months ago

It is is pathetic, sad, yet not surprising that when the public does not agree with these politicians and what they wish to do, that they get up on their high horse and talk down to the Bahamian public. A educated person as Fred should know that talking down to people does not get them on your side. You try to understand what is going on in the minds of persons, why they may have apprehension, then seek to clarify and come to an understanding. All Fred has done by talking is stoked the fires.

. Which on another note, why is Fred talking anyway. He is not the Prime Minister. Christie please lead and tell the wannabes to shut up.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 6 months ago

Its a 10 headed monster running the ship right now

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UserOne 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm with Fred Mitchell on this one. Homophobia and misogyny are rampant in this country. Equal rights for everyone shouldn't even be a question. No one should even contemplate denying rights to people because they don't like their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or anything else.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

It's certainly not why I've decided not to vote. It's trust, I don't trust a single one of them. I was open to giving them a chance on May 12, 2012, but the more I see, it's clear to me that everything they do and I mean every item they pick up has some payback to a political backer. Are politicians still being granted collateral free loans at BOB? And exactly what measures did the bank use to even try to get its money back? That's what I want to know. Where's the investigation into Renward and the 100,000 cash payment to BEC? When will the Bar Council make a statement on Kohlrautz' will, positive or negative. This equal rights issue is twelve years old, where were these voices during the vote no campaign? Hmmm? Did they really care about women? Those rape allegations, was that someone who cares about women? The laughter in Parliament at the tale of a woman getting beat up? Concern for women? Stealing a widow's inheritance from under her feet? Care? Hmmm? Insulting Loretta? Care about women? Please, they couldn't care less.

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Greentea 5 years, 6 months ago

you are wrong on this one Thisisours. it isn't about "them" at all. it is about equal human and citizenship rights being available to all. Your decision not to vote politicizes this process and hence will make it about them. I heard some one say they believe in the principles of the referendum but hate that if it passes - the PLP will get the credit. THAT is the tragedy of this place. We place political tribalism before national progress. This referendum shows the mess we are in.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

You could be right, but until I have your conviction, I'm not going to waste my time again...

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sansoucireader 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree with MP Mitchell on this as well. Doubt if many people will hear what he's saying though.

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 6 months ago

So ... I have always wondered and maybe you could help me ... what right do I have in this country that a homosexual does not have?

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 6 months ago

You have the right to obtain a marriage license.

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 6 months ago

justthefactplease - IF THEY DID NOW - then why would anyone be worried about a Constitutional amendment possibly allowing them to get married?

Are you saying that they can get married NOW?

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 6 months ago

@ Userone ,,An intelligent voice in the wilderness ,,,,,the strangest thing is some of the protesters against the gay cruise ships were gay and many that voted no to numbers play numbers ,do they think there fooling there "sky god "

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 6 months ago

USERONE..........What dont you understand????? Homosexuality is an abomination used by the Devil to destroy the natural biological order of human society????????

Why dont yall campaign for homosexuality in the other animal groupings????? Have you ever heard about a MULE??????? Its of NO use to Earth except as a beast of burden.

If crossing a horse and donkey results in a sterile animal ........ whats the purpose of buggery between two humans of the same sex????????????

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Guy 5 years, 6 months ago

What on earth are you talking about? The idea that it is reasonable for you to enforce your idea of what is moral or not on someone who do not share the same beliefs as you is where this whole problem begins. It is irrational to suggest that this devil you speak of and his plan of destruction is enough to deny the rights of others. When one walks up to a counter to purchase a car, their race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), creed, sexuality, politics, or anything else is irrelevant. Same applies to the equal protection of ALL citizens.

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Sickened 5 years, 6 months ago

Gayness is a sickness. The back-hole is made for $hitting not for lovin'. I'm no Christian but I think that it is abundantly clear that Men and Women we to be joined together in order to continue the human race. Sex, which is purely for pleasure is GAY! Double entendre... get it???

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Cobalt 5 years, 6 months ago

Listen Guy..... the point that sheeprunner is making is that homosexuality is a perversion of a sacred act that was intended to be shared between man and woman!!! God has his laws, and the State has their laws!! The State decided to incorporate biblical principles as a part of civil law (ie thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall bare false witness, etc)!! As a matter of fact... the very foundation of Bahamian civic law was built upon biblical principles. Why do you think they still use the bible in the courts to swear an oath??? The church has certain ritualistic practices such as baptism, baby- dedications, holy communion, (in some cases) circumcision, and MARRIAGE, that are considered holy!!! How then can you take a sacred practice ordained by God and use it for lustful gratification???

Bottom line.... why is homosexuality wrong??? why is murder wrong??? why is stealing wrong??? why is lying wrong??? Because the good Lord, the one who binds everything in existence, says that it's wrong!!! If you wish the State to support a homosexual agenda, then you needs to write a petition to the State suggesting that we take the name "God" and all the practices related to such, out of our constitution!!!

Truth be told... homosexuality is the biggest act of self indulgence and dubachery under the sun!! It's just another tool by the enemy used to defile one of the most holy of acts that God has deemed pure!!! If you and others like you can't place your flesh under subjection to resist the carnal nature of the flesh and wish to continue supporting homosexuality.... go right ahead!! But there will always be those of us here to remind you that it is wrong!

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 6 months ago

@Cobalt do you know , render unto ceasar what is due unto ceasar ,was never in the bible until King james put it in b/c he was having trouble collecting taxes ,,The bible also is pro slavery and says a women that is found not to be a virgin on her wedding night should be stoned to death by her own family Also the virgin birth is not solely a christian story and was written about 1000 yrs before Jesus to describe Buhda and every religion has a flood story ...

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licks2 5 years, 6 months ago

DOES FREDDIE HATE ST8 FOLKS? I DONT NEED TO SAY ANYTHINGS ELSE ABOUT QUESTION #4. . .THEM DONE GET CATCH TRYIN TO SNEG THAT "SISSY" THING THROUGH THE BACKDOOR!! EITHER THEY CHANGE THAT ONE OR THIS WHOLE THING GOES DOWN IN FLAMES!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . .I TELL YINNA THEM BAHAMIAN PEOPLES DEM EEN STUPED LIKE PLENTY OF WE THINK!

AS FOR THAT NEVER-WILL-BE-PRIME-MINISTER-IN -THE-BAHAMAS FRED. . . .BOUY GO SIT YA AZZ DAWN IN ONE KONNER. . .WAP!

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Over the years bloggers have been posting some pretty mean attacks against the personal life of Comrade Freddy. Some accuse Freddy of over reacting as if he has some personal gay agenda. I prefer to call him a member of the House and a minister of the crown, who is prepared to issue a swift and assertive reaction to the politically twisted bullshit repeated over and over again about him.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

I dunno, I guess you can tell the measure of a man based on his reactions. He has gotten a lot of things thrown at him and he's become twisted, he is extremely bitter, I literally wonder what reality he lives in. The other day he said in church that leadership is supposed to have "implicit trust". Where are his feet planted, seriously? I suppose you could digest his statement to say everyone with a title isn't necessarily a leader and if you are fortunate enough to be recognized as a leader it follows that people have chosen to trust you. But somehow I don't think that's what he meant....gay,straight, bi, who cares as long as he fulfills his job, but something is wrong with his thought process,

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azealmcfall 5 years, 6 months ago

Minister Mitchell is focusing on the exposure of the level of "homophobia" as a result of the loud public outcry to these bills, especially No. 4. What he is missing is that the loud outcry more correctly demonstrates and exposes the level of spirituality and love for God and His Word in this country. Minister Mitchell needs to know that despite what's going on in this country, the majority of people have a strong Christian foundation, and homosexuality is considered an abomination in the sight of our God. If people who engage in this deviant behavior want to do this in the privacy of their homes, then that's their besiness; they will answer one day for their actions. But do not expect the people of this country to endorse this abominable lifestyle. Righteousness still exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

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mangogirl01 5 years, 6 months ago

You are right Sir and Mr. Mitchell needs to take the arrogant chip off his shoulder and tell the Bahamian people why he hate woman seeing that he came from one!

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually the church,s here are on the forefront of the "down low " gay life ..

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 6 months ago

Freddy Boy has been to church on occasion and therefore should know full well what the Bible has to say about his lifestyle. Just read Leviticus Chapter 20 Verse 13.

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mangogirl01 5 years, 6 months ago

Why are we been called homophobia because we express our beliefs and values; the Bahamas is a conservative nation and shouldn't bow to world pressure to change their beliefs and values! That's a problem I have with the LGBT community and activists, just because we express our beliefs they call it hate and yet they want to express theirs and get a pat on the back!

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 6 months ago

Yep ................ double standard.ST8........ No retreat......... no surrender

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justthefactsplease 5 years, 6 months ago

So Minister Fred ... you want the people to just own up that they hate gays and women ... why you don't publicly own up that you are gay since you have a problem with others staying in the closet about their positions? Hypocrite!!!! Additionally Sir, you are making a diagnosis of someone having a phobia ... that is a clinical diagnosis that you are medically and legally incapable of making ... so, Minister, while you are judging others, you need to look at yourself and stop being a disingenuous hypocrite!!!!

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Andrewharris 5 years, 6 months ago

Well what a bunch of nonsense posted here today. We voting on equal rights for WOMEN. how pray tell did we end up so far from the issue? How did this become a gay rights issue? Small wonder Fred Mitchel seems arrogant. It is not that he is arrogant, he is intelligent and This country has so many ignorant people that he seems arrogant. It is shameful to read some of these posts. This country is full of small minded, uninformed jackases who will grab at any opportunity to hate. Be it Gays or Haitians or anyone different. 'The ignorant yell the loudest and the blind follow.' This might as well be Uganda. Wow this whole this has become a farce...as usual.

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henny 5 years, 6 months ago

Andrew Harris...I agree 100% with you. I'm tired of hearing all the bickering back and forth about the 4th bill. It has nothing to do with same sex marriage. It is suposed to end discrimination based on sex whether male or female. End of story.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

To think that the bill doesn't have implications for same sex marriage is to wear blinders. The language is intentionally vague to account for "every" case. Certainly equal rights for women will be covered but to tell people who oppose same sex marriage that there is "nothing to see here" is disingenuous.

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Run Freddy run. Good Lord Almighty, they been on talk radio saying that since Comrade Freddy has open the door, then it must be OK to bring back the 'cat.' Comrades, they ain't talk'in no pussy cat - they is calling for the reinstatement of the cat o' nine tails.

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by TalRussell

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SP 5 years, 6 months ago

WTF........Where the hell was Fred's voice two weeks ago when the whole country was up in arms discussing the illegal Haitian immigration problem on every talk show?

Now Fred suddenly jumps on the gay band wagon with both guns blaring!

Go to hell Fred Mitchell.

Your not man enough to deal with the illegal Haitian problem that is destroying our country or take questions on talk shows from the electorate that pay you, but you are "sensitive" enough stand up for the sissy movement!

We will vote NO TO 1, 2, 3 and double NO for 4. Then we will vote you, Perry and all the rest of you lying, sneaky, deceitful closet gals out of Parliament!

“Homophobia” THAT!

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 6 months ago

SP deal w the illegal hatian problem ,,we have been selling our country since 1973 ,,Every politician and general has 10 to fifty permits they hold for hatians that have to kick back to them every month ..W/A COUPLE GOOD GRANDS I COULD GET 10 PERMITS TOMORROW ,THEN FOR THE NEXT FORTY YEARS EVERYONE OF THEM GOT TO KICK ME A COUPLE HUNDRED EVERY MONTH ,,ITS A FORM OF SERVITUDE ,MODERN DAY SLAVERY

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EasternGate 5 years, 6 months ago

During the slavery period, the few decent white people who objected to this despicable practice, were ostracized and called many vile names. Fast forward, we who are naturally nauseated at the vile practice of homosexuality are called all manner of unpleasant names. Freddy boy is adroit at "back door" maneuvers. I do believe that the suckers are attempting to slip same sex on us with or without "Vaseline"!

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pablojay 5 years, 6 months ago

If you had watched Fred Mitchell over the years, you would have noticed that he is very good at lecturing and very bad at answering questions, because he thinks himself to be the most intelligent Bahamian that ever lived . He speaks and walks off feeling that we are indeed very fortunate to have been able to see and hear him in person. and that his infallibility should not be questioned. Many of his constituents encourage this attitude, even in church. They were graced by his presence about two years ago in a baptist church,where he lectured them on the history of Fox Hill and he ended his lecture thus: '' In the words of Eric Minns, i want a Fox Hill gal when i get lonely, i want a Fox Hill gal every time i sing,i want to lose my heart to a gal from the eastern part,when i get married,she's the one who ga wear my ring" THEY APPLAUDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A boldfaced lie in church!

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EasternGate 5 years, 6 months ago

You are so right. I remember that spectacle. Fred can't stand to even be in the presence of women.

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Greentea 5 years, 6 months ago

ironic though that he is willing to vote for their equality and you aren't...

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Lessons in good reasons for media shyness to be learned. Obliviously, some of the comments made on here have to be by individuals who either know nothing more about Comrade Freddy than what the media has to say about the man or the take delight in making up their own facts. Truth is, he is one of the most accessible by the people ministers of the crown we have. May I suggest by the negativity practiced day in and day out by the media against PM Christie's administration, that lessons should've been learned a long time ago by not only Freddy's cabinet colleagues but the PM himself, that no matter what you say, the red shirts spin media reporters would come up with some smart-ass way of reporting how they best deem their readers would like to perceive your ass as a member of the Christie administration. Comrades, their live ammunition against PM Christie are loaded into their cutely worded story headlines. Comrades I have compiled a long list for you, that is if, you care to spend a few hours dedicated to the why's and how's headlines are written and verbalized?

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SP 5 years, 6 months ago

22,000 Bahamian households sitting in darkness without power during the hottest summer on record, can't buy food pay mortgages or rent, Haitians taking business's and jobs from Bahamians left right and center and this government's main concern is a referendum securing gay marriage rights?

Thank you PLP & FNM!

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SP 5 years, 6 months ago

Trust Fred, Hubert and Perry?

NO THANKS!

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SP 5 years, 6 months ago

@ EasternGate...Freddy boy is adroit at "back door" maneuvers?

No vaseline or KY Jelly?

Fred's specialty!

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