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Munroe Backs Yes Vote - But Urges 2015 Date

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Dr Myles Munroe

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

RELIGIOUS Leader Dr Myles Munroe said yesterday that while he supports the upcoming referendum on gender equality, the government should have “left the date open” and “let the people decide” when they are ready to vote rather than set a fixed date.

He suggested that early 2015 would be

a better date for the vote to give the public more time to digest the issues.

In a proposal submitted to the government and the Constitutional Commission on August 15, written by Dr Munroe and the legal team of his church Bahamas Faith Ministries, he noted that while the November 6 date for the referendum is commendable, it also creates some degree of “anxiety” for those members of the public who do not fully understand what is being proposed.

“It is important that persons can be educated without feeling that they are under the gun,” he wrote.

“We are not suggesting that the date needs to be changed, but all factors need to be considered, and if making further amendments (including those we have suggested) and changing the date will increase the probability of these bills being successfully enshrined in our Constitution, then we would recommend that the Commission and government consider the benefit of any such postponement,” Dr Munroe wrote.

Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Dr Munroe said the referendum should have been slated for mid-2015.

“Our advice to the government, in our document we said we are not against November 6 but we are for the people understanding (the issues),” he told The Tribune. “If the people don’t understand they will decide whether it’s (the date) good or not.  Maybe we should leave the date open, flexible. I would have said ‘a period of time’ if I was the prime minister, leave it open like that, that way the date could be set on how we feel the community has embraced the issue. If they did it like the end of March, the first quarter of 2015, it gives them protection. When you set a date you put your integrity and hope on the line.”

Dr Munroe said he met with the government, the Constitutional Commission and opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis on Saturday along with legal professionals from his church to “meticulously review” the Constitution and the proposed constitutional amendment bills to check them against his “values”.

Dr Munroe is president and founder of BFM.

In his list of recommendations, Dr Munroe suggested that the four referendum questions be simplified.

On controversial bill four, which some have suggested would lead to gay marriage, Dr Munroe suggested that “sex” be defined positively as a person who is born either male or female.

“This definition would ensure that (the Article) would not be subject to any future challenges on this ground,” he wrote.

Dr Munroe’s list of recommendations will be used as the guide by the Commission to revise the bills and referendum questions.

“We reviewed the Constitution for six hours, looked at the bills in detail and checked it against our values,” he told The Tribune. “All the bills are noble, I think they confused the people (at first) and the government didn’t do a good job in presenting those bills, the process was flawed. I think the people should decide the date. The government should not determine when I understand the bills and the questions. So the question is not if November 6 is possible, it’s if the people will understand it by November 6.

 According to Dr Munroe the deputy prime minister, attorney general, chairman of the constitutional commission and heads of various churches were at last week’s meeting.

On Sunday, Constitutional Commission Chairman Sean McWeeney said the referendum questions have been simplified. The government is also expected to revise the constitutional amendment bills in view of recommendations and present them to Parliament soon.

The revised questions take into account concerns about bill number four and a definition of the word “sex” as male or female has been included.

Question two has also been changed to make it clearer that, under the proposed change, the foreign spouse of a Bahamian woman would not receive automatic citizenship, but the right to apply subject to approval and safeguards against marriages of convenience.

Comments

mostsickandtired 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Dr Munroe. The amendments are 'noble' and they need to be passed. If a religious leader can say this, then those crazy homophobic agitators out there don't have a leg to stand on! Right thinking Bahamian men and women need to come together to support these bills and don't let the crazy sensationalists rule the printed word and the airwaves. When I hear these backward, imbecilic cretons who are afraid of CHANGE talking their brand of rubbish, I realize how stupid and uneducated some Bahamians really are. These persons will NEVER agree to any changes because they think any change is a BAD change. So even if the amendments are simplified or reworded again, those people will still hold on to their personal hangups and find fault with them. Come on right thinking Bahamians, please let us be in the majority and vote YES!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 10 months ago

PAID FOR BY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ACTIVIST GAY VOTE COALITION!

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Reality_Check 5 years, 10 months ago

It seems that the likes of Sean McWeeney and Damien Gomez have duped Dr. Munroe into believing that the latest changes in wording to the "proposed" referendum questions will not open the door to same-sex marriages. Hopefully the membership of BFM is able to persuade Dr. Munroe to come to his senses; if not, this may be an ideal time for BFM to seek new (younger) leadership more attuned to the preachings of God as set out in many places in the Bible, not just Leviticus Chapter 20 Verse 13.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

What has been proposed as a "change" is a slap in the face to intelligent people. A lesbian is female and a homosexecual is male. Defining "sex" as referring to "a male and a female" is meaningless.

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TalRussell 5 years, 10 months ago

My, my Comrade Preacherman's Myles. Don't you have your hands full with some your own very straight sexually (they does profess before they Jesus) church members coming to Sunday morning services, be bold-faced as ever - sitting in the church's pews with they children's who are growing up without ether not knowing who they daddy really is, who they daddy, sometimes the mommy too, ain't caring share the love with heir own flesh and blood? How many big time church deacons - male or female, who did not marry at least twice are in them Sunday services? Good Lord Almighty Myles even I knows some them them who done marries three times. One for sure is ready to enter into they fourth marriage real soon, if they don't change they sinful ways. Does Myles really think he's be gifted the most saintly congregation ever assembled under a church's roof in all of Bahamaland? I know several Gay couples who could give seminars at your church on the topic of "Becoming Better Christian Parents."

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

Correct, being lesbian or homosexual doesn't make the person evil same as standing up in church and clapping doesn't make you good. We're all given free will to do as we please, but I don't have to condone what you do just because you chose of your own free will to do it...that's just my opinion. The state can chose to condone it based on what the majority of the people want but the state should be clear on whether that is what they are seeking to do. I personally think they're being disingenuous using a noble cause to hide their agenda.

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