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Mitchell: Us Could Cut Assistance Over Bahamas Stance On Lgbt Rights

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday warned that a negative stance on LGBT rights as human rights abuses could engender cutbacks in US assistance.

Describing the Bahamas as a “a liberal democracy in a secular state”, Mr Mitchell blasted Opposition Shadow Minister Hubert Chipman over alleged homophobic statements that have made him the target of “abusive language”.

Mr Mitchell charged that as the nation’s “lead diplomat”, he executes policy with the full support of Cabinet policy or the Head of the Government.

Mr Mitchell said: “Religion is a right of all and so are our moral choices. We also have an abiding respect for Christian values and the rule of law. Wherever I go, that is the image I portray. The country, I’m thankful to say, has a good image.”

During his contribution in the House yesterday, Mr Mitchell pointed to recent comments by US President Barack Obama, discouraging the passing of anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda.

Mr Mitchell advised that the country should watch US policy closely as the country’s closest trading partner.

Mr Mitchell said: “You will be aware that this country receives millions of dollars in military assistance and that, given the way American foreign policy works, human rights abuses may lead to cutbacks in that assistance mandated by law. So as we shape our social domestic policies, we are always cognisant of that fact.

“We don’t have to like it or agree with it. The fact is that is the way they operate and while there is no instant threat of that, it is the job of the Foreign Minister to guard against any such issue arising and to be proactive in doing so.”

Referring to questions raised by Mr Chipman on whether Mr Mitchell was presenting personal views on gay rights as government policy, Mr Mitchell charged that his public support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender (LGBT) rights was in line with stated positions by the former and current administration, and “broke no new ground”.

Mr Mitchell added: “The clear intent of the [Chipman] statement was homophobic. It is what Andrew Allen called a dog whistle and, knowing his Catholic upbringing, I am surprised. Because what it does and it is intended to do is to unleash torrent of abusive language at me to damage me politically with scatological comments that are without merit.

He said: “Some of the things I have seen written about me over this simple statement in Trinidad, which broke no new ground, is tantamount to the public outrage that would have ensued if a white man had called a black man a nigger.

“Yet people in polite society can think it acceptable to use these nasty, filthy, bad and vile words with impunity on the grounds of their moral beliefs. It is simply unacceptable and this Member will not stand for it.”

Mr Mitchell revealed that childhood bullying has strengthened his resolve on the LGBT issue, and all forms of discrimination.

Mr Mitchell said he was routinely harassed to the point of “mortal terror” by a girl who would physically abuse him after school on his route home.

Despite attempts by his parents to intervene, Mr Mitchell said the attacks in junior school continued until he transferred to a private institution.

During his contribution in support of amendments to the Tariff and Excise Tax Acts yesterday, Mr Mitchell said: “One difficulty I have is that the Member [Chipman] does not apparently remember what his own party’s stand is on this matter and what the agreed policy is with regard to sexual orientation as expressed by Parliament, when this behavior was addressed by the then Prime Minister the Rt Hon Hubert Ingraham in 1998.”

Mr Mitchell referred to comments by Mr Ingraham, in which he quoted him as saying: “I have been chilled by the vehemence of the expressions against gay persons made by some in our newspapers and over our radio talk shows. Admittedly, there have also been expressions of reason and understanding on this matter on the editorial pages but these have been largely lost in a sea of bitter, poorly-reasoned diatribe…

“I do not believe that the future of The Bahamas will be placed in danger because chartered cruises by gay persons are permitted to continue to call at Bahamian ports. The future of The Bahamas is not threatened by foreign persons of homosexual orientation. Homosexuality is not a contagious disease; and it is not a crime in The Bahamas.”

Comments

henny 6 years, 7 months ago

Keep speaking out on the LGBT issue, Mr. Mitchell. People have a right to live the life they believe is for them. We as a people do not have to agree with it but we must respect the choices they make. They must not be abused and disrespected or made to feel uncomfortable regardless of anything.

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blackcat 6 years, 7 months ago

Amen , my friend. I agree. The bottom line is, we need to move forward as a country and abandon the ridiculous homophobic views we have as a people. They serve no one.

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JohnDoes 6 years, 7 months ago

You all are only looking at the fact that a person wants to do something freely but cannot. That is the only gripe you all have on this situation, but the question is, What is the Overall effect of embracing this? By allowing this, you are not only allowing marriage, but you are also allowing them to come out in public to feel free and bold about their perverted actions. This is detrimental to upcoming generations. Instead of men becoming men, there will be an option for them to 'think' that they are women and vice versa. The effect of this can go on and on straight to our own destruction. Options will no longer be regarded as options but as trends and styles that pervert minds and puts focus on vanity and ultimately a lack of personal moral satisfaction and appreciation; not in a biblical or christian sense but also scientifically and biologically, the rare line where Christianity and science agree on a common ground where it is known and proven that science does not support Christianity. This is a big contradiction of biology and belief.

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Vickytg 6 years, 7 months ago

you confuse sexual orientation with gender identity. There is medical science that proves even you were a girl the first 6 to 8 weeks in your mother womb. When did you choose to stop being gay??. Now for the real stuff I am a gender variant human being the 3rd word said when I was born was boy because of the skin between my legs. Even though I grew up to be a man and I have a wife children and grand children. I am a woman now. My gender issues were medically noted since I was 10 (the oldest medical document I have) I have since gone through medical transition and sex change surgery. FYI I am proof that sexual orientation has nothing to do with gender identity as I am still married to my wife of 25 years and I have no interest in men what so ever. We are still very much in love with each other. BTW we are Bahamian and we were married in the Bahamas.

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JohnDoes 6 years, 7 months ago

Why is Fred still focused and pushing for this so hard? Does he have anything else to do since his frequent travelling has slowed? I mean this is not an crucial issue in this country. We've got far more problems and concerns to worry about. The U.S is not going to cut us, The entire US does not wholly support this agenda, so do not threaten our relations with the U.S with press releases based on this vile issue. I dont have a problem with a person's sexual preference, but they just need to keep that behind closed doors and away from public life. No man should act like woman and vice versa. This agenda contradicts Christian Values and to say that you respect it and yet pushing for this perversion from Christian values is astonishing. This LGBT is a very perverted and immoral way of life that needs to be kept where it is, the negative side outweighs their alleged positive agenda. Im already having a hard time trying to explain the birds and the bees to my kids, how the hell am I going to explain Adam & Steve or Susan & Anne?

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HarryWyckoff 6 years, 7 months ago

Christian values are only important to Christians who decided, against all common sense, scientific fact and everything else that is actually really real in the real world, to live their life worshipping a fictional character in the sky because they pay an organised business (read: church) every Sunday, and it gives them something to blame when the world doesn't go their way.

So this is relevant to human rights, how, exactly?

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HarryWyckoff 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and you won't have to explain anything to your children, because, we hope, they won't be indoctrinated and brainwashed into the blind following of a cult-like business* that bases it's bigotry on convenient misinterpretation of a book of (quite good) stories like their parents.

*Despite what your pastor tells you, the church is a business like any other. they get rich, while you get 'salvation'

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Vickytg 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes I am wonder how you would explain Adam and Eve. First most males are XY chromosomes and god took woman from Adam wo0man XX chromosomes. Hhhmmm Adam is part woman... Now the good stuff. Adam and Eve had Cain and Able then Cain kills able and runs to the land of Nod where he marries his wife. What did Cain marry??? you have Adam Eve and Caine HHhhmmmm. How about the love story between Ruth and Naomi, the Love story between Daniel and the eunuch and lets not forget the love story Between David and Johnathan who professed he loved Johnathan more that a woman. shall we go one about bible stuff I have lots more.

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 7 months ago

I don,t agree w/ Mr Mitchell on all of his politics but on this i agree ,people should be judged on if they are honest and kind ,who they sleep w/ is their own business ...and i do respect him for speaking out on the matter

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nationbuilder 6 years, 7 months ago

he is lying about the US possibly cutting assistance over this. this is total lie and he knows it, and there are no anti-gay laws in the bahamas either

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JohnDoes 6 years, 7 months ago

Exactly, just how they try to invade our personal lives through Television and other media, Fred is trying to threaten our relationship wit the U.S. through propaganda. Only the gullable person will see this and before actually reading it, think that 'Well if I dont support LGBT then America is going cut their assistance from us; First of all, our assistance from the U.S was never based on this issue.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with the Minister's stance, but disagree that there will be backlash in terms of support from the U.S. because they are homophobic as well. Its just that the rule of law and civil liberties are more closely monitored forcing people to behave. My belief is that as long as you obey the law and are not endangering kids or the general public, keep your religion, sexuality or personal matters in your house. If 2 dudes or gals want to marry each other that's between them, the government should get out of marriages anyway, heterosexual or homosexual.. The only interference in marriage by the government should be the protection of kids, or the general protection from abuse or harm.. Property, alimony and all other financial arrangement is the business of contract law, which should be drawn up before people engage in these commitments..

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 7 months ago

There are a lot worse human rights abusers the US does business w/ than us ,however i do respect the Minister for sticking up for human rights for everyone ,,,

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 7 months ago

Concerned, one of them is China.. But we cannot continue to survive in the dark ages if we are going to be competitive. I have always believed that the business of law abiding consenting adults is there business, whether it be religion or sexual preferences, just don't force it on me...

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nationbuilder 6 years, 7 months ago

You see how insidious this man is? On every other matter he tells the US to stay out of The Bahamas' business and thumbs his nose at US aid and opinion - now he wants us to esteem what he says is the US' opinion, and fear not getting US money over an issue, simply because the issue is now personal to him.

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Guy 6 years, 7 months ago

I am becoming so overwhelmed by persons who suggest that in some way homosexuality will become a fashionable "trend" to heterosexual people, and will in some way cause a conversion of children into whoring, promiscuous sex beasts. Even worse, is the use of religion as a tool to spread hate and diatribe against a minority who are born with a homosexual predisposition, and others claiming it can be prayed away with Bibles and harmful treatment. The idea that the country will go up in flames because of gay people is biblically flawed and lacks any sensible reasoning.

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GrassRoot 6 years, 7 months ago

yes maybe the country will sink into the floods, like Atlantis has (or will).

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GrassRoot 6 years, 7 months ago

heard Cuba is planning to cut its ties with the Bahamas over LGBT as well, however reality is, that the LGBT tourist market is very attractive. I am not talking about the gay cruises, I am talking about the high end LGBT tourist market. From that perspective Fred M. is a good ambassador for the Bahamas.

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EasternGate 6 years, 7 months ago

Fred is one "broke" wrist hypocrite. Fly cant land on him before he goes off on a tantrum. How can this idiot complain about vile language, when he insulted former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the House of Assembly, by referring to him as a twin headed dragon. Quite frankly, I wish he would move to the US to be more comfortable with his LGBT allies.

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rony 6 years, 7 months ago

Mr.Mitchell is Norbit hey? Dude talking about how a "Girl" was bulling him.

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 7 months ago

Mr Mitchell revealed that childhood bullying has strengthened his resolve on the LGBT issue, and all forms of discrimination.

Mr Mitchell said he was routinely harassed to the point of “mortal terror” by a girl who would physically abuse him after school on his route home.

I have always felt that Mr Mitchell's bitterness was as a result of some deep seated hurt he suffered earlier in life and he has just admitted as much. He is a very very bitter man. His words are always ugly and twisted. He needs to do something to clean out that soul.

Anyways...if the US hasn't cut our assistance over theft of copyrights, open support by the government for criminal organizations, they didn't cut support over human rights abuses at the detention center...sorry but they're not going to cut assistance over this. Try another tactic to push your cause.

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baclarke 6 years, 7 months ago

Agreed, this guy is a flammer. Clearly, he has another agenda. But regardless of what this one minister, wants to do. I say put this one to a referendum, and let's see if it is the Bahamian people's will, never see it as they know what the results will be. Also, I forgot these guys ignored the last referendum, so why would they respect any other....

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 7 months ago

It is a good will of the people issue.

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EasternGate 6 years, 7 months ago

I suspect Fred is speaking on behalf of many senior closet politicians

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jt 6 years, 7 months ago

This may be the only point Mr. Mitchell and I agree on, but I am glad that someone is campaigning for basic human rights for all Bahamians.

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 7 months ago

Why yall getting mixed up in Fred and his faggot fetish???????????? This een about no human rights... dis about heaven and hell

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azealmcfall 6 years, 7 months ago

This Country should be alot more concerned about God Almighty cutting it off rather than the United States Of America cutting us off. Mr. Mitchell should restrict his role to representing the country and stop seeking to advance this ungodly, unhealthy, unnatural life style. It does not make a difference who supports this filth; we should be aware that endorsement of this abominable lifestyle will bring destruction upon our country. Righteousness still exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. This nation has strived and succeeded because of it's conservative values, and because of its general overall acknowledgement of and commitment to the things of God. We can not allow one man on a mission from the Devil to destroy our country. Pastor Azeal J. McFall.

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Vickytg 6 years, 7 months ago

just in case some of you need to learn something backed with medical science. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtkJlq..." rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtkJlq...

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Vickytg 6 years, 7 months ago

there are documented cases of homosexuality in animals even some mate for life..

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't agree with the lifestyle but life is about choices and everyone has to choose for themselves. What I take offense at is Mr Mitchell trying to use this country's economic health as leverage for his personal cause. Do that crap on your own time and budget. We're paying you to crack these illegal immigration rings.

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