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Bahamians Given Asylum In Canada

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

AT LEAST 16 Bahamians in the past three years have been granted asylum in Canada because of their fear of persecution in the Bahamas.

Although it was not known the basis of their fears, one woman, who was not of their number, said she had also applied because she no longer felt safe living here because of her sexual orientation.

Sources could not reveal the terms under which the 16 individual claims were granted, but the Canadian government considers applications based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a social group, such as women or sexual orientation.

In 2010, there were four applicants, but none was granted asylum.

The following year, the Canadian government granted refugee status to 12 Bahamians – there were 18 applicants.

In 2012, there were nine applicants, of which five persons withdrew their application, and four were approved.

The information was uncovered as part of a Tribune investigation into an application filed last year by a Bahamian woman, a lesbian, who has been a refugee claimant residing in Canada for just under two years.

The 33-year-old woman filed her application in 2012 after several incidents of verbal and physical abuse in New Providence.

“A lot of Bahamian queer people,” she said, “they go through some level of abuse. Whether it’s discrimination in their jobs, they arrive at a glass ceiling if they are more open with their sexuality. In any event, survival is something hard to attain, especially when they want to brush it under a rug like it’s not a problem.”

She added: “The whole process still has to take place where I have to go through the court system to make me a landed immigrant, I have to prove my case, write letters and then afterwards they approve.”

Although the process has been lengthy, the claimant said she has been able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in Canada with a work permit and subsidized legal fees.

Applicant consideration is based on the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, of which the Bahamas is also a signatory.

The claimant recalled an incident in Nassau. “A friend and I,” she said, “decided to visit a queer bar in downtown Nassau. We were still in the parking lot when three guys approached me and asked if I was a man or a woman.

“They didn’t believe me when I told them I was a woman, so they started to beat me up. I was either stabbed or punched really hard because I ended up with a deep cut under my chin that would later require stitches.

“After that, I passed out. My friend had locked herself in her car because she was afraid. She watched the whole thing happen. After the guys left, she picked me up and took me to the hospital.

“One day,” she added, “I was talking on the phone with my Canadian friend when she suggested I seek asylum. She didn’t think it was safe for me in the Bahamas anymore. I’d heard of it before, but I really didn’t know what my options were.”

Although homosexuality was decriminalised in the Bahamas in 1991, there is no legislation to protect against human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Constitutional Review Commission determined that there was no need for such protection in 2006; however, when formed this year, the body petitioned for explicit, limited protection for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

The 2013 commission maintained that provisions should be limited in order to circumvent the argument for same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, however, Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett told lawyers in June that Bahamian courts will have to address the issue “soon.”

Comments

newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

How embarrassing for the Bahamas. There is so much bigotry here that people are being given asylum in Canada for their sexuality the same way that run away slaves from the southern US were in the days of the Underground Railway.

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

This persons story has a lot of holes in it, it is true there are a lot of homosexual bigots in the Bahamas & i can see outright attacks on gay men, but I cannot see outright targeted physical attacks on gay women.. I can see harsh bigoted remarks, that when responded too would spark an escallation into this.. Nassau is a violent place for all of its citizens not just gays, many in that case qualify for political assylum.. if this is the method of entry into Canada, I say use what u have to place yourself in a better situation..Good luck to the young Lady & all of those who seek this new begining in Canada..

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 10 months ago

Every Bahamian family (by surname) has a number of gay persons in them. Our families know who they are and what they are doing.

QUESTION..............Are they (GAYS) being persecuted by their (BAHAMIAN) family members???????????? If not, its hypocritical for gays to seek asylum

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crabman 7 years, 10 months ago

live and let live here is some old school "Sissy Limits"

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CANDACESCOTT 7 years, 10 months ago

FOR THE MOST PART BAHAMIANS DONT CARE "DO NOT CARE" WHO IS GAY. IT ONLY BECOMES AN ISSUE WHEN GAY PEOPLE SAY THEY ARE GAY AND WHAT SPECIAL ENTITLE THEY SHOULD BE AFFORDED FOR THEIR GAYNESS. THIS STORY DONT DESERVE FROM PAGE, ADDITIONALLY IT IS A FALSE REPRESENTATION OF THE BAHAMAS. HOWEVER, I WANT TO STAY OVER AND MIGHT JUST USE THIS TO GET IN CANADA!

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

You seem to care a great deal. You comment on every gay story on this site.

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Vickytg 7 years, 10 months ago

You people have no clue I left the Bahamas and now live in Canada its much safer for my wife and I. We can walk down the road and hold hands with out fear of who is going to try and hurt us. BTW I am married to my wife for 25 years now.

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CANDACESCOTT 7 years, 10 months ago

Vicky when did you leave the Bahamas? Did you leave for fear of your life or fear of rejection?

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

Canada is safer than the Bahamas for gay & straight people.. Can a straight Bahamian couple walked all the way down east street @ 7p.m on any night without fear, I doubt it.. They robbed the DPM's house so does he qaulify for asylum..

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

So out of the 16 persons, they speak to 1 who is there because of LGBT reasons and now the Article has strayed from "..Canadian government considers applications based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a social group, such as women or sexual orientation.'' to a LGBT propaganda issue? What happened to the other testimonies from persons who sought asylum because of different reasons other than LGBT? This is clearly another LGBT Foreign Affairs Propaganda Initiative. They act as if there is an attack on LGBT persons here when this is simply an 'imaginary band wagon' issue. I see many LGBT's here in Nassau every single day and not one of them are being harassed, they also look awfully happy as well.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

You should be wary JohnDoes, that LGBT propaganda, it's everywhere, it's coming for us all!!!

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully when it does, Jesus will be too.

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larry 7 years, 10 months ago

if they want to give up their citizenship then by all means do so but be honest about it i have never heard of any hate crimes in the Bahamas we have gay clubs that are not hidden away they are in plain sight they are not vandalized all i can say is go in peace

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

These individuals care only about immigrating to Canada, it appears LGBT mistreatment just happen to be there only useful basis. We are all sensitive to peoples rights being violated but this is manufactured B.S.. Crime is the monster that plagues the Bahamas and it does not discriminate.. Totally agree with Johndoe & larry.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

So we should not care about discrimination because there is crime? Why can we not care about both?

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

I implore you to come out your ivory towers, just because you don't hear about it, doesn't mean it doesn't exists. Most asylum matters from the are LGBT. The Bahamas had a transsexual who was granted asylum in the last few years as well. She was a really nice lady and was threatened daily because of her lifestyle. So, before we comment on things we have no knowledge about and discard of, ask yourself if it were you, would you want someone to be commenting on yourself when they have no prior knowledge of your life or circumstance.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

exactly! people who have no personal experience of the issues want to talk about what persecution other people might face. God...

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Reality_Check 7 years, 10 months ago

Freddie Boy at work leaking info to the press to cause a ruckus over nothing and divert attention away from the many more important and relevant transgressions of our PM and his failed policies. Tribune fell for it hook line and sinker!

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Jessemo 7 years, 10 months ago

It's so disheartening to witness that ignorance, intolerance and misinformation reigns majestically in our beloved Bahamas.

We lie to ourselves - perhaps to make ourselves feel better - when we say that discrimination and violence against LGBT people does not exist in The Bahamas. We indulge in name calling, the cruel and crude jokes, within the earshot of all, not thinking of who we hurt. Our churches and religious bodies spew hatred on a weekly basis and our governments refuse to table laws to protect the vulnerable in our society....Yeah, discrimination is rampant and we are all complicit.

A quick search of Canada Immigration and Refugee regulations will impart a beavy of knowledge to the seeker. The process for claiming asylum for refugee status is quire difficult and limited to a few scenarios. Human rights matters are at the top of their list as Canada believes in freedom and the rights of the individual to live freely.

Be it for political, sexual orientation, gender issues or religious persecution, all claims for refugee status must undergo a series of interviews, where proof of stated discrimination must be presented and finally court hearings for determination. It takes anywhere from 2 - 10 years for a claimant to get a determination from the board.

So yeah, we Bahamians should feel a collective shame that our fellow citizens have to resort to pleading for protection from another country.

We will be dragged - kicking and screaming Old Testament damnations - all the way into the first world. Some of us will faint and some may perish...but be sure of this, the Bahamas will get there. Sooner than some of us think and in ways that most of us are not comfortable with.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

@Jessemo "..We indulge in name calling, the cruel and crude jokes, within the earshot of all, not thinking of who we hurt." Is that your reasoning for the damned 'hatred' that you fallaciously claim upon yourselves? Every last person on Earth should be given asylum somewhere because someone called them a name and made ''cruel and crude jokes'' about them. Sadly, there is something called ''freedom of speech''. You are talking about the Old Testament damnation, have you ever heard of abominations? Dont detest what you cannot accurately denounce. We dont need a 'Canadian Immigration and Refugee regulations' lesson. Its 'Canada' not the Bahamas. All persons should feel the 'collective' 'shame' about something but its going to be for far more serious issues than what you are speaking about.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

The best part about freedom of speech it that it allows us to see the character of a person by things that they say.

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

@ rachelg, people come here to read & make comment u must respect there right to do so, how can u be for freedom & equality but against free expression. People question the validity of the story because the facts don't make sense, & it sames more agenda based.. what I say to u is I have had family members, shot, stabbed, robbed etc & I myself have been robbed, & people are being targeted everyday for different reasons. Educate me if u can on the statistics by percentage of hates crimes against gay persons for being gay versus all other crimes.. For starters can u advise how many people in the Bahamas were murder, assaulted or victimized for just being gay, not that it doesn't happen but what are the #s.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

When someone challenges your right to say what you'd like, then you are all up in arms, but when they ask for their rights of non-discrimination then they are just complainers who don't matter because you see bigger problems? Seems a little hypocritical.

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

When it is a human rights issue, there is no debate. If a person seeks asylum, that is their right, no one should chime in with their disapproval because they don't believe in someone's lifestyle. Do you want anyone tell you or have a say on you can have sexual relations with? Or what clothes you should or should not wear? Where you can and cannot be? If your answer is no, then why do we continue to infringe on others right to choose and to be?

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

No one can give you exact statistics on bias crimes because we refuse to collect the information in that way--the category of "hate crime" does not exist in the Bahamas--but if it happens to one person--and it has, that is already enough! Furthermore, given the homophobic nature of some law enforcement, do you think people even report all the crimes that happen to them? Hell, people don't even report regular crimes. Asylym cases happen on a case by case basis. You have to prove that you have a reasonable fear of persecution. Some people are denied. Obviously the 16 were successful in proving their cases.

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

What difference does it make to the price of gallon of milk in Bahamaland, if Canada or any other country decides to accept someone as a citizen, regardless of what their sexual preferences are? I here Preacherman's Myles has all he cucumbers and bananas under padlock. What's he afraid of, some lesbian is going break into his home and discover he basket of cucumbers and bananas, and use them as some sort of penetration penis?

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hurricane 7 years, 10 months ago

hey, you were suppose to say 'comrade preacherman miles'. c'mon man...you slippin.

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Observer 7 years, 10 months ago

This LGBT thing is a farce. Its about people trying to grab the spotlight. Any way one cuts it, deceit and lies underlay the entire scheme. So, let hens produce a brood; let roosters produce a brood. Why should one feel discriminated if referred to as hen or rooster when in fact one is either? Call me what you may; but certainly I'm not stupid. Call a spade a spade and close the account.

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BahamianAway 7 years, 10 months ago

The Bahamas is proposed to be a Christian nation and the last time I read the Bible (which was earlier this morning) it hadn't changed its views on homosexuality. Whether it be New or Old Testament the Bible does not condone homosexuality. So for the Bahamas to claim to be Christian nation governed by Christian principles allowing for homosexual rights would be in complete opposition of that.

On that same note however the Bible also speaks about the way in which we should treat our fellow man. If homosexuality is your way of life then let it be YOUR way of life and not the other thousands of people that have you watch you carry on in a way that is non-Christian. Should a person be persecuted because of their sexuality- NO! But neither should a person be allowed to force what is clearly against the principles of our nation on someone else.

The Bahamas has a very high murder rate for a such a small country, but I can almost guarantee that 99% of those murders have nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the victim.

If your desire is to live in Canada then go about gaining citizenship in a way that doesn't cast a negative taint on the Bahamas as a whole. Especially a taint that isn't based on anything real or justifiable.

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 10 months ago

Every Bahamian family (by surname) has a number of gay persons in them. Our families know who they are and what they are doing.

QUESTION..............Are they (GAYS) being persecuted by their (BAHAMIAN) family members???????????? If not, its hypocritical for gays to seek asylum

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TheObjectiveVoice 7 years, 10 months ago

I want someone to pinpoint one incident of brutality against gays in The Bahamas and discrimination. Homosexuals are extremely freeeee here. They are just not free to marry. But they are in positions in politics, in church, in businesses, and any time anyone has a major event that they want to be a success, they call on them because hey, they're just gooood at that stuff. They are making their money. Tell those folks don't lie on The Bahamas please. They just can't get married here. They are directing church choirs, preaching in church, representing people in the House and living it up..having their pageants and fashion shows for transgenders. They are too free. Jamaicans don't playyyy but over here, they are everywhere and no-one is bothering them. So please don't lie on my country because you can't get married here... That's about it. Marriage is an institution ordained by God between a man and a woman. He abhorred any other way of appeasing your sexual appetite. They are trying to get asylum from God's way not because of something this country did. Devil, you are still a liar and deceiver.

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

Comrades I can find something in the bible that also says; "if you meddles in another Comrade's business, you might end up being harmed from poking your damn nose in they bedroom business." I done forget now how many times my Jesus mentor must have reminded me during our scripture studies, that whatever side of the argument you be on, if you look long enough through the pages of the bible, you will believe you have found what you seek to use the scriptures to support your argument., regardless how unbalanced your argument be. Try reading Proverbs 26:17

Amen!

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

@TalRussell, your realistic 'natural' view will always be limited based on the average leaps of the human mind. You are simply implying that people use various scriptures to support their argument is not the lesson Proverbs 26:17 tried to convey. Many translations tend to give the wrong impression, I would suggest sticking with the KJV or NKJV. The Proverb is simply telling you to be prepared for the issue that would arise if you were to jump into somebody's argument. In this case, its the LGBT vs The Bahamas, and this is not somebody's business, but it also being an article released to the public; I think there is enough reason to suggest that this issue is everybody's business. It affects us all, and this issue is not important for the Country right now and it is a very, minimal issue as you can see from @Jessemo's above comment.

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hurricane 7 years, 10 months ago

ComradesComradesComradesComradesComradesComradesComradesC

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Tal.............. please dont abuse the sacred Scriptures like that

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

Take what you want from what I wrote but before you bomb me, at least first try understand what Proverbs 26:17 is saying. The bible is one big book of many contradictions and while it's true that occasionally I may just make stuff up in me head, I swear on ten bibles, no I didn't just make that up.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

A lot of ignorant posts, in this forum. First of all; “marriage” is not “ordained by God”, and isn’t a solely Christian institution. Atheists can get married, Buddhists can get married, Muslims can get married, etc… So don’t claim that marriage is a “Christian institution, and ordained by God”. Hell; you could even marry two businesses, or two contracts! Marriage is simply a contract between two people who agree to share everything they have, with one another (can be signed in a church, on the beach, in the court, anywhere).

Secondly; STOP BEING HYPOCRITES, and using the bible to push your hateful agenda. Christianity – as in its name – is a religion based on Christ. If you want to talk about homosexuality being an abomination in the bible, then talk about the other 150+ abominations the bible mentions. If everyone were to live by what’s listed as abominations in the bible, we’d all have to be in a self-induced coma for the rest of our lives (after asking for forgiveness, of course). From women wearing pant-suites to work, to eating shellfish, to wearing clothing of life fabric, to lying, to eating 3-day old ham/pork, and the list goes on-and-one…all “abominations”, an none greater than the other.

Stop poking at splinters, and pull the damn wooden plank out of your eyes...sheesh!

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Well in the LGBT's case, its not apart of the law, and this implication has a greater effect than the 'discrimination' argument that they are trying to push. This does not only change the law but the way of life, and ultimately creation as we know it.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, how does gay marriage actually affect you? Unless you are gay, then it shouldn't matter to you at all. You seem to be extremely upset about it for no reason.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

It affects me, because if it were legal the way the gays/lesbians and transgender's want it to be, it will affect all of us. You are only looking at marriage aspect, but there is a hefty list of fallacious discrimination that they claim upon themselves. Just look at their initiatives on how they want to affect the way we live and coexist. Marriage is just one of the few on their long list.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

Unproven. However; what is proven, is the exact opposite (see countries and states that have legalized marriage equality).

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

How is it unproven? Homosexuality for example was one of the main reasons for the spread of the deadly 'HIV/AIDs' virus and its migration to the western hemisphere. HIV/AIDs became dominant and rampant because of homosexual relationships. Thats one issue out of many

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

That's ONE faux-issue. But since you brought it up; if there was marriage equality, the numbers of HIV infections will slow down in the gay community. It's called monogamy, commitment, and marriage (something to look forward to). Don't sit there an complain about homosexuals spreading HIV and AIDS, and then deny them the only opportunity to wed...which would bring down the numbers, significantly. That's like denying someone food, and then say, "Look! He's dying from hunger!"

I said that it was unproven because look at the examples. Massachusetts has had marriage equality for many years, now. Their marriages are up, and divorces are down. Same for Iowa.

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

Don't be daft. HIV/AIDS was not rampant because of the homosexuals. It was initially named after causes of homosexual patients but after years of research they found that is was originated in Africa, where the monkeys their were eaten by humans, the variations of the disease from different species of monkeys created a hybrid disease that you call HIV/AIDS today. It got to the western world through Haiti. Research Patient Zero and not from youtube. Because we love to take the easy way out. See I did what most people do: generalize.

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

Asylum= sanctuary, refuge from persecution...Lets leave all this religious matters alone and focus on facts of the story.. The argument is these individuals are seeking asylum in Canada to escape a system of persecution against LGBT persons in the Bahamas.. That means individuals are being targeted, harmed, threaten and discriminated against for being gay and its an environment of fear and torture. That means this is a epidemic and the laws and culture supports that abuse.. I say while there are bigots in the Bahamas Gay people are not being persecuted and with the exception of marriage are as free as anyone else.. Who persecutes there own brothers, sisters, daughters, cousins.. That being said everyone else including gay persons are not free to move about because of the fear of crime.. If LGBT individuals were to file for asylum based on the crime problem.. Now there's is facts no one can dispute.. Just produce the stats that support the basis for asylum for being persecuted for being gay in the Bahamas. Because i think gay people generally are a lot more successful than the rest of the population & are damn sure some of the best at getting a lot of things done.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

People need to get their facts straight. A) There are many grounds under which asylum is granted. Some of those grounds have to do with not having full range of legal protections in a country that heterosexual people have B) LGBT people do not have the full range of protections under law that heterosexual people have. Example--go and read the Employment act and see the grounds under which you have protection from unfair dismissal. Sexual orientation and gender presentation are not included. If you are found to be gay or transgendered in this country, you can be fired, held back from promotion, not hired etc without being able to seek redress in law. D) There are people in the Bahamas that have been dismissed from jobs, held back from promotions etc because of their sexual orientation --or even perceived orientation. Furthermore, yes there are people in the Bahamas that have been assaulted because of their actual or suspected sexual orientation. Just because you personally don't know them doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Given the fact that there are no protections in law, such matters are actually underreported and not collected as specific hate crimes, and this is one of the criticisms that our fellow members of the UN lobby at us every time these matters get reviewed in Human Rights reports--because we have no institution dedicated to collecting information about hate crimes, or crimes specifically caused due to sexual orientation or gender, the amount of such action is constantly underreported, and we can sit back and say "those things don't happen here." Lastly it is a myth that gay people are any more successful than the rest of the population--even generally. There are poor gays, rich gays, smart ones, idiots. Just because we can point to the two bankers or politician and his lawyer bf who are living in a gated community doesn't mean there isn't a poor butch girl in Kemp Rd who is struggling to get by.

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BahamianAway 7 years, 10 months ago

And this is where things go sideways TalRussel the Bible is in no way a big book of contradictions. I am not sure what home church you attend but I would highly suggest you get yourself under a minister who has studied the word and shown himself approved by God to disseminate the information to other believers and non-believers alike (which by the way is 2Timothy 2:15).

As for BahamianKing while you may be correct about "marriage" not being ordained by God, the coming together of a man and woman was. God purposely created man and then as a companion for man he created woman. And all through the Bible whenever God blessed a union it was a man and a woman. As a matter of fact he destroyed the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of such wickedness (Genesis 19).

Also Christians do not acknowledge Muslims, Buddhist, Atheist, or any so called religion that deviates from the Bible and the belief of the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I noticed that all the so called religions you mentioned were ones that have no basis in the Bible. Which by the way the Bible doesn't mention religion...it's either Jew (Judaism) or Gentiles (the non-Jew Christians).

With all the being said, people need to go and read their Bible before making comments based on personal belief rather than the scriptures and guidelines set forth by God.

Also sidenote Bahamian King all those supposed abominations you mentioned about women wearing pants, eating shellfish, and pork etc those were commands given by God to his people during a period of Law. When Jesus Christ came and died for our sins we moved into a period of Grace which made all those old laws up to a certain extent null and void. I would explain this to you but clearly I'd be speaking to someone who has not even a fundamental understanding of Christianity and the Bible.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

The same God - no matter which you believe in - that created heterosexuals, created homosexuals. Am I correct? Are you also denying that the bible details more than 150+ "abominations"? In light of that...are you saying that you heed to every single abomination? If

This ought to be good.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

God also gave people choices, he did not make them homosexuals.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

Moreover; I know that when Jesus came to earth, the old laws changed. Which makes the Leviticus use, moot. Paul's letters to the Corinthian church is also moot, as those letters were written based on Society at that time.

Believe me...I know the bible. I also know the historical aspects of the bible you purport to know. Do you?

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

You do realize that the bible is just a story, right?

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Have you actually read the bible? I think not...

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

Comrades, if they got's the testicles to go public to have the PM fire his Minister of the Crown Freddy, judge what they would do some regular folk gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender among us. Why is it that some them influential wants silence a Crown Minister when he speaks with shocking frankness. To Freddy's critics and there are many, I say to you, we does need more brave Freddy's or else how in the hell can we ever learn to accept LGBT's as people, as we would any other citizen, resident or visitor? How will we ever get there, if the PM is weak and caves to the cries to fire Minister Freddy?

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

You talk as if they are these persons as spat at, segregated, and not allowed to be free almost like the once treatment of blacks and civil rights movement. These persons are free to do what ever they want, what you mean we dont accept them ''as people, as we would any other citizen, resident or visitor?''. Every single one of them can do what they left their houses/hotels to do. How will we ever get where? Freddy is pushing an evident 'personal' issue, not on behalf of all, but he is seeking the accolade of having something 'internationally' recognized on behalf on the Bahamas besides the frequent travelling. If PGC tends to ""'caves to the cries to fire Minister Freddy.." then it would not be a 'weak' move but he would be known for actually doing something

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

If I be Freddy I'd write the PM a letter and tell him that he is unable to pay his taxes, then his job would be guaranteed...right?

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Should not, thats why I said 'If' PGC doesnt do a lot of things that he as leader is supposed to do.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps he is seeking to better the Bahamas. Perhaps he is trying to hide the horrible truth that this is a bigoted place where we hide behind the bible to judge others.

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

Comrade BahamianAway, either God could have done a better job in inspiring the scriptures. or He intentionally filled it with inconsistencies and contradictions? Your guess can be no better than the world's present and past most eminent biblical scholars. Are you prepared to argue that it wasn't written to make us challenge the truth?

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

What people don't realize - or are purposely ignoring - is that the bible they read today, is not the original text or intention of the bible. But even if the bible is used in its current form, and Christ truly came to change the Old Testament laws, then even that is enough not judge homosexuals.

Christianity is a lifestyle, a state of being, not a religion (which is why the letters "ity" are at the end). It becomes a religion when dogma is added into the mix. Just live as Christ lived and taught...and then you'll be CHRISTian. Using pseudo-religious crap isn't going anywhere. Just accept, love, and move on.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

So what is the all of a sudden 'focus' on homosexuality, if they have been around for years and years, why now is this an issue? If persons want to indulge, they can in their own privacy. No need to force it into the modern way of life, you think that if humanity naturally wanted to adopt it, that this would be a major issue? Why dont they harass and crack down on the countries that are actually persecuting persons with death etc. Religion and in fact Christianity does not force persons to do anything, they are simply guidelines to life. You choose to live the life in whatever way you want. The issues you have with homosexuality in terms of freedom, does not outweigh the natural disadvantages of it in regard to the majority of persons that inhabit the earth. You homo's are free, what exactly is your issue..? The fact that you cant walk into a woman's bathroom or be known as a woman when your physical orientation dictates otherwise and vice versa? Christ did not come to change the Old Testament laws but to supersede them for living after his sacrifice, the principles behind those rules still remain unchanged.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

See; automatically you are assuming that I'm gay...which I'm not. "You homos?" What is that supposed to mean, anyway? Homosapiens?

There's a "focus" because homosexuals are now demanding what you and I take for granted...equal rights under the law. The law - as it stands - does not protect against such inequalities. The primary argument is that protection clauses would create separate class; but that's not the case. Look at the US. There are laws to protect against hate crimes because of one's gender, race or sexuality. The "sexuality" wasn't in there, until Obama put it there.

We're lucky here in the Bahamas. Why? Because we are from a country that is majority black, and many of us haven't had the experience of being left out.

Lastly; if the principles of those rules/laws/abominations listed in the bible is unchanged - even after Christ's life and death - then everyone is doomed to hell.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Obama has not put anything anywhere. Only a couple states allowed homosexual marriage. This aint America. If I say 'you homos' the homosexual should be proud because I am acknowledging their classification. What do you mean Bahamians havent had the experience of being left out? Their are many unemployed and underpaid here, and many other experiences of being left out for Bahamians, dont let the many smiles fool you and the government to persuade you otherwise. Your understanding of principle is mistaken, did you not see the reason I provided.Technically, everyone is not doomed to hell because of the forgiveness aspect. Life is based on a choice, and every choice has a consequence, whether it will be seen now or later. It still does not defeat the fact that your argument is not enough to support your cause.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

Don't speak to what you don't know. As I said in my post; Obama signed the first ever major federal hate crime bill, against homosexuals. It was one of his FIRST accomplishments in office.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/10/28...">http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/10/28...

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

hate crime seriously? like that exists here. Most of the crimes here with homosexuals are between homosexuals.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

And where is your proof that most crimes involving homosexuals and committed by homosexuals? This is a tired tired claim.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Dont forget all the newspaper reports about fatal stabbings and shootings because one homosexual is jealous of the other, remember all the crime that used to happen at that LGBT club off gladstone road? All of those crimes because these relationships are scandolous and unstable, everyone was is jealous/envious or selfish of the other it seemed and it only bred more hate and more statistic to crime.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

What I meant by the Bahamians - especially today's Bahamians - not experiencing being left-out, is the fact that 50 years ago we were still the majority in this country. 50 years ago, in the US, blacks were still fighting for Civil Rights!

My arguments are based on 100% facts. Yours is based on an opinion.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

the problem with Bahamians is, they believe America and their lifestyles are to be compared with ours. America is not the answer to everything, regardless of how they handle 'their' problems/issues.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

No, America is not the answer to everything. But protections against discrimination are human rights, which are supposed to be universal. Certain other societies have advanced in a way that leads to a better society expanded human rights--we will follow eventually, at least if ignorance, fear and stupidity are lessened.

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DEDDIE 7 years, 10 months ago

This story will lead to hundreds of Bahamian seeking asylum for a non-existing reason. I would probably send my application in also but the asylum interviewer may be gay and may want to test my sincerity. No thanks!

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

We have lost track of the basis of this article... The 1 and only question.. Are LBGT Bahamians being persecuted in the Bahamas forcing them to file for political asylum in other countries? Example Nigeria puts people in jail for being gay, automatic asylum, other countries promote violence, discrimination & intimidation of LBGT individuals.. Is this what's going on in the Bahamas? We are not talking in terms of marriage, which i believe gay individuals should have a right to, I'm talking about people persecuting u for being gay.. That means your basic human rights are being violated just for being gay..

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed; and I apologize for straying...just hated people bringing religion up as a purpose to demonize.

To answer your question, I think persecution - like most things - is relative. Persecution comes in the form of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and mental abuse. If a homosexual isn't physically beaten into submission by someone for being who they are, that doesn't necessarily mean he/she isn't persecuted. The freedom to simply live, without any level of persecution, is what these people are seeking/have sought.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Just have a look at the comments on this article and tell me that there is not rampant discrimination towards LBGT individuals. The proof is right here.

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

@newcitizen good point ,,i,m a straight male and i support equal rights for everyone in our Bahamas including gay people and women..Bahamianking i say pure respect to Pres Obama for supporting gay rights , i,m a conchy joe that likes Obamas handling of many issue more and more as time passes ,,

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 10 months ago

BahamianKing, I'll bet a Pindling that you are living in Canada right now............ equal rights, no religion, no hold barred lifestyles................... on the wide road

I rather my little ole laid back, SUNNY Bahamas................................ God's playground.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT IN COLD CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

You'd lose that bet. Then again, this Christian nation does love to gamble.

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killemwitdakno 7 years, 10 months ago

Hold on...They set off the boyfriend killing sprees in Nassau, inflating our murder numbers and then want to seek asylum after threatening the security of the rest of us.. lol. Hope they mentioned it's lover retaliation they fled. Being gay is one thing. F#ckin everyone in the network is at your own risk hunny. That's gonna happen if everyone is boyfriends with everyone, 99 problems and a bitch is all.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

they dont see the true detriment of this ordeal only what their insecurities provide such as arrogance, jealousy, lust, hatred, and sacrilege to the obvious truth. Their argument behind this is in fact fallacious and not enough to support their issue.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, what detriment? I would love to hear more

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

No procreation, Same-sex "marriage" would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose or the ability to multiply the earth and push forth humanity. The adoption of 'aritificial' insemination and the scientific harvest of human reproductive organisms. Children will then hunger for their real biological parents. Children need both Fathers and Mothers not Adam and Steve or Susan and Anne. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Most homosexuals tend to be with multiple partners and they eliminate the domestication of men by women. Marriages thrive more when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles etc. Same-sex "marriage" would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment for ex: Same-sex civil marriage would institutionalize the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father and they could tell themselves, our society, which would now affirm lesbian couples raising children, to believes that children do not need a father. So, they might tell themselves, I do not need to marry or stay married to the mother of my children.. These are some of the detriments, yet you worry about yourselves and not about the overall impact on the world, humanity and its nature of living and coexistence. That is why your arguments are fallacious, because they are biased and does not encompass the overall effect of the outcome.

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sheeprunner12 7 years, 10 months ago

Killem, you got the picture clearly............ no looking through the dim lit mirror. LOL

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SP 7 years, 10 months ago

Can we sign up the entire PLP & FNM for this asylum deal too?

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

For many of the uninformed here is 'some' of information regarding how homosexuality and the legalization of its marriage and worldwide acceptance will ultimately affect the world, humanity and its longevity: No procreation, Same-sex "marriage" would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose or the ability to multiply the earth and push forth humanity. The adoption of 'artificial' insemination and the 'scientific' harvest of human reproductive organisms for vane reasons. Children will then hunger for their real biological parents. Children need both Fathers and Mothers not Adam and Steve or Susan and Anne. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Most homosexuals tend to be with multiple partners and they eliminate the domestication of men by women. Marriages thrive more when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles etc. Same-sex "marriage" would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment for ex: Same-sex civil marriage would institutionalize the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father and they could tell themselves, our society, which would now affirm lesbian couples raising children, to believe that children do not need a father. So, they might tell themselves, I do not need to marry or stay married to the mother of my children.. Last but not least, there will also be a new rise in the spread of HIV/AIDs because of the scandalous and promiscuous habits created in these types of unstable relationships. These are some of the detriments, yet you worry about yourselves and not about the overall impact on the world, humanity and its nature of living and coexistence. That is why your arguments are fallacious, because they are biased and they do not encompass the overall effect of the outcome.

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newcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

So in your mind, homosexuals are the cause of women leaving the home and going to work? That adoption is vain and that adopted children will hunger for their biological parents? That children cannot be raised by single mothers? That the only reason for marriage is procreation so if heterosexuals are only allowed to marry if the are able and willing to have children? That if we have same-sex civil unions every child will believe that the only way to raise children is with two lesbians? That the reason we have divorce and single mothers is because gay people get married? Gay people cause HIV/AIDS?

Gays are basically the downfall of 1950's society! Oh the audacity of those gays! You are so wise about the gays, thank you so much for your insight and worldly knowledge. How did you even discover their deviousness? You seem to know so much about them.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

This is not in my mind, these are tried and studied. I used examples of scenarios. Not to be biased against women but each man and woman play a special role in the make up of a family. You picking out adoption being vain is nothing what I describe, I talked about the used and rise in artificial insemination for two spouses that cannot naturally have children together, these institutions were created for male and females relationships that could not bare forth children. Now the homosexual will see this as an option to have children where they can pick how they look, blue eyes, blonde hair example which is in my idea an abuse and slap in the face for why this technology was 'humanely' brought forth. Who said anything about children cannot be raised by single mothers? Marriage is for persons that eventually want to start some kind of family, however most persons in a relationship dont realize that they cant have children until after marriage, thats why adoption can be a option. (not talking about relationships that have children out of wedlock) In regard to your 5th question: Is that what you gathered? because you lack understanding. The point was that when Children get into this niche in Lesbian/Gay couples that they have two mothers/fathers, the idea that a mother and father should come together will surely removed and that child will think maybe families naturally do not need to consist of Mother and Father and their idea based on a two woman/man relationship will be 'learnt' rather than 'natural' because homosexuals do claim their ways to be natural when really and truly I believe it to be lust and sexual desire. Also, these types of relationships would give Fathers that dont want to take care of their kids more of an excuse not to, because lesbians will create the idea or culture that fathers are not needed in a relationship/family. I said homosexuals will cause a 'RISE' in HIV/AIDs transmission because of their scandalous, promiscuous habits in these unstable types of relationships. What the hell are you talking about the 1950's, thanks for being a smart ass and not accurately dissecting my post, asking questions about it that were already answered. You could dislike me but if your gonna read and reply to a comment, try to understand what a person is saying rather than being an imbecile about it.

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BahamianKing 7 years, 10 months ago

This is a stupid comment. No matter if marriage equality is accomplished - or not - homosexuals would still exist! Allowing them to marry wouldn't change one damn thing. And as far as I know; homosexuals have reproductive organs. Just as heterosexual couples go to fertility doctors when they're having problems conceiving, a homosexual couple can too. The men can buy eggs and then hire a surrogate to carry, and the women can buy sperm (they can even order it online, these days).

Welcome to the 21st century.

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

This is not direct at BahamianKing. Homosexuality existed before the acceptance of gay marriage, ie: Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Ancient Persia. It was allowed then and the human race still existed , what makes anyone believe that world's population will drop because of it. My dad always say: one thing bahamians know how to do is have sex and talk. So I don't think this should be too much of a concern. and hey if the population should ever be called into question. Reference: China and India

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

So why hire a surrogate? What is the real meaning of family when the child doesn't know who his/her real father or mother is? That child will sitll want to know. Just like children who act out because of a missing father or mother. And you said "Just as heterosexual couples go to fertility doctors"? They go to fertility doctors to help them conceive a child that they both possible make TOGETHER. The natural process of conceiving is now going to be a business for fathers that want a surrogate to bare children to have them sold to them (its costs). Women will now be seen as 'carriers' rather than mothers, this idea can even dive into a new black market. So you see nothing wrong with what you posted and how it could be a slap in the face to creation?

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow conversation gets deluted with religion, & other homophobic matters.. We take a matter of fact or fiction and turn it into a religious matter as if the church can cast any stones. I don't see homosexuals slamming planes into buidings or commiting mass murder in the name of God. The criminal behavior and irresponsible breeding & distruction of our society is the result of the spawns of us so called moral heterosexuals.. Radical Feminism, family dysfunction, sexual irresponsibility, High Divorce, single parents, these matters are whats destroying us not matters of adult sexual preferences. I have never loss sleep at night concerned about being robbed, murdered or acosted in any way by a gang of LBGT thugs. I would go even further to say its the church & religion that keeps many poor & ignorant because it creates this delusion that prayer vs work & knowledge is the solution to problems.. We become slaves to pimps in the pulpit clinging to every word while our own social and financial condition in life never changes.. I see it all the time the worse neigborhoods alway have a church on every block but the neigborhood is in piss poor conditions. Yet the majority of these immoral gays live in clean beautiful neigborhoods with low crime.. Go figure.. If a person is a unskilled, uneducated, lazy moron, being a christian, praying or going to church everyday & quoting scriptures is not going to solve any of your problems..

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PastorTroy 7 years, 10 months ago

AMEN!!! Brother/Sister(don't know if you're male of female)... If The Bahamas was to put just as much energy in EDUCATING our citizens as they do in Religion/Indoctrinating our citizens, not only will this LGBT be a non-issue, Tourism will not be our only industry, crime rate will go down drastically, poverty will really be a matter of individual choice, our non existent middle class will become existent, Every island in The Bahamas will have some kind of self sustainable industry, VAT will NOT be needed, Divorce rate will go down (happy people are happy people single or married) and my favorite and politicians greatest fear, an educated majority is hard to control or be taken advantage of. But politicians pretend they don't, but they love the combination that makes our majority, 1. heavily Indoctrinated 2. Poor 3. Uneducated. I am inspired reading these post, for a minute I was starting to think it was just me feeling duped with his religious ideology growing up in The Bahamas, now, no so much, like one of the comment above stated "Religion IS a lifestyle". I applaud my fellow Bahamians for not only realizing, but standing up to the Bahamas 'Christian' Council and Politicians Mafia tactics to control the finances in The Bahamas. Oh, to all the religious/homophobic nuts am a straight, educated male with a family, married and not feeling threaten whether a potcake decides to marry a rooster. Ok, so can we (The Bahamas) now start focusing on Abuse? sexual, physical, mental etc, etc? Thanks!

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

Without gays I wouldn't have this sense of style. My hair would not look this good. My clothes would just be a plain robe, but hey a homosexual probably help with designing and sewing that too. The most famous homosexual: King James "the Bible" most of you cling too would have not distributed the Olde English Bible. The computer I have or cell phones I use would not be invented. The plane I ride on would not have existed without Leonardo Da Vinci, thats my main gay, LOVES Him. For the manly men, the ball bearing, clocks, and scuba gear would not be in existence. Please leave my gays alone.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

This is complete bullshxt. All these things you describe is not the recognized as any of the issues that the LGBT has, everybody has a right to do what he or she chooses, simply saying your hair will not look this good, or computer and cell phones would not be invented etc without a homosexual is your opinion and describes your laziness and ignorance.

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BahamianAway 7 years, 10 months ago

This whole thread is ridiculous and takes away from the main point at hand. There is no Bahamian who can say that they are persecuted because of their sexual orientation. I have homosexuals in my family and last I checked they are living a life free to love whomever they feel to.

My issue isn't with homosexuality because at the end of the day we are all human and no one knows what is in our hearts except God. So we could preach on and on about whatever lifestyle we chose to live but truth is whether homosexual or not if you sin and live a life that isn't pleasing to God then don't expect to partake in the rewards of living a Christian life. And that's my belief based on how I was raised, what I was taught, and from reading the Bible.

With that being said my issue is with trying to force people to accept something that clearly goes against Christian principles. If a person wants to love and live with someone of the same sex then fine, but do not expect a country whose basis is in Christianity to accept and legalize that choice. However, do expect that as a PERSON you should be allowed to walk freely and socialize in any way that you chose within the confines of the law without being beaten and ridiculed in the street.

The issue really address the fact of human rights in the Bahamas. Does a person who practices homosexuality really feel as though their rights as a Bahamian person is taken away from them based on sexual preference? Are they passed up for jobs, are they beaten and scorned in the streets, are they turned away when trying to attend public venues, are they cast out of the church, and are they made to live like lepers in their own country? I think we can all agree that isn't the case. So to seek asylum in another country gives the world the wrong impression of what kind of country we really are.

Because really at the end of the day we are all human and we are Bahamian regardless of colour, sexual orientation, or religious preference. And if in any way a person feels that they are violated because of those preferences then we have an even bigger issue than any of us can begin to imagine.

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rachelg 7 years, 10 months ago

Apparently, you have met Erin Greene and Jonathan Murray. There have been targeted many times, especially Erin. When she reports her attacks to the police she is laughed at, sexually assaulted by words of the officers, and her reports are never written by them. People leave your ivory towers and enter the city and the rest of the real word.

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BahamianAway 7 years, 10 months ago

Yes, because I am sure they are both just going about their daily lives and someone just comes out of the blue and assaults them.

I think you need to bring the full story and not just your part of whatever the truth may or may not be.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

Listen, no one is arguing that conditions in the country could not be worse. The Bahamas actually struck down its laws against homosexual sex for instance, which is usually a primary thing asylum granting countries look at; it is also not a crime to be or promote homosexuality. But as was said earlier, the law does not extend the full range of protections to LGBT individuals in terms of things such as labor, for instance.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

Well have you really met that woman? She is really disrespectful, dont let her press releases make you feel otherwise and the reason she is laughed at is because everybody knows that she is a woman and she tries to come off as this 'thug' man. I dont know why people force others to see exactly what they see when naturally it does not exist.

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cauchemar 7 years, 10 months ago

Umm...so you claim to know that "There is no Bahamian who can say that they are persecuted because of their sexual orientation" and then when people would make claims you'd guess that "that was't the whole story"? OK, because that is completely reasonable...

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

Anal is anal in my books, what about yours? Except for we tak'in them for entrainment purposes, from reading the posts on this hereto Tribune blog page, there's lots you straights who wrongly assume 'anal' is only a thing gays do, but a word to the wise to you penises, before you take to these pages assuming 'anal' is solely a thing gays do and chastise them for it, what about all them bible thumping misinterpretation Comrades, yes even in "Preacherman" Myles Church, who be chastising my gay Comrades for where they shove they penises, how is it some you uptight Sunday morning Christians is doing anal with your wives and girlfriends, no matter how reluctant they be? How you go'in explain that "anal fact" if you reach it as far as the Pearly Gates? Has "Preaherman" Myles ever delivered a sermon from his pulpit on "non-gay anal?" If not, why not? He church pews would be emptying pretty damn fast with lots church ladies bowing they heads.

Amen!

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BahamianAway 7 years, 10 months ago

I am not sure that's really the issue at hand here...I don't think anyone really cares about the actual sexual acts being performed by homosexuals. I think it's more about whether they are being persecuted for their lifestyle. For example a male wearing makeup and a female cutting her hair short and acting and dressing in a manner that a heterosexual male would.

Let's try and keep it more within the confines of the headline even though we all have strayed off a bit at some point.

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JohnDoes 7 years, 10 months ago

"For example a male wearing makeup and a female cutting her hair short and acting and dressing in a manner that a heterosexual male would." That is not all, this transgender issue is also serious. What they are pushing for is for these same females who cut their hair short to be able to go in a male bathroom and get involved in dominantly male lifestyles when their natural makeup dictate otherwise. A man wearing makeup wants to be seen and known as a woman, and would like all the benefits of a woman despite their natural makeup dictating otherwise. Does this mean that they will start putting 'men' who think they are women in women prisons and vice versa? the detrimental effect on natural lifestyle goes on and on, which would then lead humans to think, what is really natural? We still cant find cures for diseases etc but yet we claim to have the answer to this LGBT issue? Its a lot more than two persons just wanting to seek a relationship, I mean they can do this already nobody cares. The thing is they want to change everybody elses lifestyle because of their own insecurities.

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Bahamianpride 7 years, 10 months ago

Wooooooo Tal... u gone make some folks real uncomfortable.. I await the responses to this with great curiousity.

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TalRussell 7 years, 10 months ago

You just can makeup ya own versions of "self-serving sins" and what's not, cause on your final day it ain't goi'in sneak pass ya Jesus. Funny isn't it when you combine anal with anal, how the Comrade BahamianAway's want to change everything, by now calling what I have say as going off target. Can it only be designated as a sin against gays? Why so? Saint Peter has the book of "all we sins" at Pearly Gates, so while you think its your secret, it ain't goi'in wash to falsely gain entrance.

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Jessemo 7 years, 10 months ago

Everything we know about civil society, family life, Christianity, morals and religion was taught to us by our Loyalist and Protestant masters....

That is to say, Bahamian society evolved over the years on knowledge and practices handed down by our British and American ancestry. Everything we do, the way we speak, how we regard each other and our understanding of God were handed down to us.

So how now, all of 'an sudden, we know better than those who crafted, designed and taught and preached to us this morality, Christianity and civil discourse. In our own national development march to first world status we take best practices, programs and schemes from those same countries and put them into practice here. We follow them in every single sphere of society....Yet we feel that we have some superior understanding of the Bible, that the Bahamas is God's segregated protectorate where any ungodly action will bring swift judgement by God or any of His overzealous servants. We know about God and Christianity because of geography not providence.

So how can we consider ourselves superior to those countries in matters of human rights, GLBT issues, gender equality, etc, when we are the students and they are the teachers? This knowledge that we have was given to us by those same societies, how can we presume to know better than they? Hubris and vanity beyond comprehension.

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TheMadHatter 7 years, 9 months ago

At least she found a way to get out of this hell-hole we call the Bahamas.

TheMadHatter

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