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‘Pressure’ For Gay Marriage

Archbishop says US decision will have consequences

Main picture: Viewers cheer at the 41st annual Pride Parade yesterday in Seattle and (inset) retried Anglican Archbishop Drexel Gomez.

Main picture: Viewers cheer at the 41st annual Pride Parade yesterday in Seattle and (inset) retried Anglican Archbishop Drexel Gomez.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas will “inevitably” face “immense pressure” to let gays and lesbians marry in this country, retired Anglican Archbishop Drexel Gomez told The Tribune yesterday as pastors across the country responded from their pulpits to the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide.

“I expected the ruling which came down from the US Supreme Court,” Archbishop Gomez said when contacted yesterday. “It’s happening all across the western world and promulgated by governments. It’s all a part of a new man-made doctrine, an attempt to extend democracy principles to human life.”

“I don’t think there will be immediate implications for The Bahamas, but it’s inevitable now and only a matter of time before pressure will be brought to bear on our government by the United States.

“In terms of aid and relationships, the tendency is historically for the US to have its way and to ensure that you go their way when they give you aid and assistance. It can only be done through laws and if it means changing the laws I still maintain that the traditional teaching on marriage is biblical and represents God’s wish for the ways in which human begins can relate to each other.”

Local lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) experts seemed to agree with Bishop Gomez’s prediction. Dr Peter Bailey, a College of the Bahamas English professor who specialises in Victorian studies and feminist, sexuality and gender studies, told The Tribune that globalisation will inevitably cause cultural attitudes toward same-sex rights to change.

And despite the Bahamas’ traditionally staunch opposition to issues favourable to the LGBT community, Archbishop Gomez said some people fear this won’t be enough to stop change from coming, saying the resistance to gay marriage is based on shifting cultural opinions not faith-based ones.

“I think a lot of the resistance of the present is not of faith,” he said. “It’s more of a cultural thing. That is my fear. People who do this out of faith, their numbers are reducing. For example, in Jamaica they resort to violence. We don’t support that because we don’t support bigotry and violence. We recognise that humans are entitled to being treated in a humane way. But while we still have a strong religious body, when I speak to people in their early 30s and below, I get the impression they aren’t as attached to the religious tradition as older people are. “That’s why I have a fear. Their opposition to this is not based on faith; it’s based on culture. I approach it from the faith perspective. It’s up to the church to try to strengthen that as far as humanly possible.”

Archbishop Gomez said he is not supportive of using legal means to ensure gay marriage does not become a reality in the Bahamas, saying he believes only faith can win out.

“Some of my colleagues in the ministry are saying we must change the Constitution so if the day arises and people want to go in that direction you would make it as difficult as possible for them to go that way,” he said.

“People who say we must put such provisions in the Constitution must realise that doesn’t prevent it but merely makes it more difficult. My approach is from a matter of faith. What do people really believe? If they don’t believe in the traditional institution of marriage then I don’t want to go (the legal route) to correct what should be a matter of faith. If we reach the time when a majority of Bahamians no longer believe it, then the next move will be to change it.”

As some wonder if the US’ decision has any immediate legal implications for the Bahamas, Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson shut down the notion yesterday, emphasising that our laws unequivocally state that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

“The Bahamas has faced immense pressure previously,” she said about the pressure the country may face to change its laws on the issue. “But we have our own unique identity and Bahamians will always be the ones deciding what they want to do. The law of the Bahamas is very clear.”

On Friday, the US Supreme Court delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling five to four that the American Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

Commenting on the ruling last week, US President Barack Obama said in a White House statement that the court ruling has “made our union a little more perfect.”

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

The LGBT are making the most of the fact that the once powerful voice of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, and particularly in places like Ireland, the USA and South America, effectively has been stifled by the public revelations in recent years of priests preying on little boys for decades with the cover up assistance provided by key officials in the Vatican, including the previous German Pope. The jury is still out on the role played in the cover up, if any, by the existing Argentine Pope. The Roman Catholic Church and its dwindling crowd of followers now find themselves paying a most dear price for the sinful transgressions of the Church's priests and Vatican leadership that have caused so much grief and harm to the lives of so many innocent young children who now have great difficulty in coping with their adulthood. Yes, the Irish people in a national referendum and the U.S. Supreme Court in its very recent decision on same-sex-marriage, have exacted a most heavy "penalty" on the preachings of the Roman Catholic Church and our global society as a whole. There's great truth to the saying: "You reap what you sow!" Rest assured, the Anglican Church as an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church is not without its own sin in contributing to the destruction of the sanctimonious institution of marriage between a man and a woman. Gomez is too quick to make a 180 degree turn on this matter (perhaps for the congregation plate), suggesting that he too may be more beholden today to politicians than God almighty!

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Bahamianpride 3 years, 7 months ago

Churches are for Religious People what's the point. Religious ceremonies to get married in church are only symbolic of that persons faith and are not required to get married. No government is going to force any church to marry anyone, wont need to churches like money, some may resist but there is always multitudes of the willing. The real marriage is the contract between 2 people and the state. That has more to do with establishing a corporation. That's it, when u get married u have just incorporated with someone, it is a business. Marriage existed long before Jesus came. Its was a business decision among wealthy families or tribes to control wealth, land rights, assets, in certain family circles. Archaeological Artifacts across Africa, Europe, america and Asia can be found which many believe predate the church, bible, and organized religion. My point is the church doesn't own marriage, so if gays want to get married they will have the state do it, or a church that i am sure is more than open to take $$$$. Personally I think gays are crazy to want to take part in such a archaic institution as marriage, many argue that the institution itself is primitive in terms of the modern world. With social media and everyone working outside the home, infidelity is high and commitment is low, so divorce is high. In the mid 70's the no fault divorce was instituted in the U.S and the divorce rate soared. For no reason a spouse could leave one day with 50 plus percent of your assets or more. I have even seen people with 30 years in get divorce especially after the kids leave because they just are not the same people and in this selfish world we live in its all about the individual. Men especially are getting married later because of fears of losing their kids and money in court if the relationship does not work out or see no value in it. The average age now is around 28-30. I support marriage only for the benefit of children because studies show that kids from married homes become better more productive adults, but I think economics, education and environment are the main factors. In the end we as a nation have to many problems to concern ourselves with or worry about adults wanting to get married or which gender they marry. Many of our people are behaving like savages killing and maiming each other every day, we don't have the luxury to sit around worrying about this.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

The only marriage that has ever mattered is the spiritual one through the eyes of one's shared religious beliefs or religious beliefs substantially in common with another.....these are the only marriages that have ever had a lasting warranty of fulfillment for those fortunate enough to be covered (or endowed) with a blanket of shared (or in common) spiritual faith and love for each other. It cannot be denied that the expected (or likely) ability to propagate from the involvement in such a relationship has always been fundamental, but not absolutely necessary, to its very essence and definition. It would seem Chief Justice John Roberts has spent too much time schmoozing amongst academics and politicians to recollect this reality and fundamental requirement for the continuance of mankind in the more natural and wholesome setting dictated by the basic laws of evolution!

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Reality_Check 3 years, 7 months ago

As compared to what: Your rainbow age thinking?!

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CuriousAbaconian 3 years, 7 months ago

I usually agree with your posts regarding political matters, but my goodness, you are lost on this one. My wife and I are both atheists and our marriage is full of love and "fulfillment." As BahamianPride has pointed out, marriage predates manmade superstitions. It is a civil contract and has nothing to do with religion (unless of course the persons getting married are religious). That is why you can get married by a JP/judge at a GOVERNMENT complex, beach, etc. Marriage in a church is a choice. Also, the church doesn't issue your marriage certificate - the government does. NOTHING to do with your childish superstitions

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

I must accept that I cannot speak for atheists. Atheism is just too removed from my beliefs and all that I believe a good traditional marriage is based on. I have always thought of my marriage as being so much more than a legal contract in which the state is somehow involved. I made my vows to my wife and have no recollection of whatever legal documents I may have signed...the legal papers simply did not matter on that very special day. I can understand though how the legal papers behind a marriage may take on a much greater import for non-believers. Can you understand the converse?

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CuriousAbaconian 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course I do, but my lack of religion is beside the point. Legal papers or not, those of us who chose the married life do so because we LOVE that person more than anything. That is the point. It's about love between two consenting adults. Why deny anyone that happiness? That's all I'm saying...

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banker 3 years, 7 months ago

As the savant Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book, our brains have evolved a God-spot where it makes us feel numinous or as its definition states: "having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity".

This area in the brain was found by neurophysiologists who discovered that some people with brain lesions in this area have intense religious ecstasy while undergoing an epileptic seizure.

In other words, we have an evolved predilection to religiosity, perhaps as a coping survival mechanism. This can be seen where every primitive tribe, including ours has throughout history, some sort of religious beliefs.

But as usual, we take it too far, and use it to discriminate against people not of our kind, be it religion, sexual orientation, skin colour, etc etc.

Seeing a religious adherent preaching in their robes of authority is no different than the pontifications of a witch doctor with his feathers and finery.

I would think that we would all reach some sort of enlightenment where we realise that religion is used as a control mechanism of the masses against people without the mental machinery to see it for what it's worth.

Progress and enlightenment will show that the Arch-Homophobe is on the wrong side of history, just as the witch doctors, obeah men, and headhunters of yore.

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by banker

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Banker are you sure that's not a photo of da primary Voodoo adviser to Papa Hubert, when he was da reigning Rt. Honurable Prime Minister?

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banker 3 years, 7 months ago

At least Hubigetty ate the chicken after the obeah man looked at the entrails and the Honourable Member from Bamboo Shack cooked it and put it in a bag.

Was once standing in line at the Bamboo Shack and Hubigetty showed up to buy two t'igh dinners, one fer him and one fer Delores who was waiting in the car.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

Banker, I haven't seen the fella in your pic above in my church, but he would be welcomed in its congregation on any given Sunday morning, as would any self-professed gays and lesbians, notwithstanding the beef most of my fellow church members have with the usurping of the term marriage by the LGBT movement. Partnership, union, companionship, etc. unfortunately just would not suffice to the radical left wing of the LGBT.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 7 months ago

Why is no one complaining that the preferred arrangement today is common-law marriage?????? .................... shacking up with benefits?????????? gays can shack up too.....BOL

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Bahamianpride 3 years, 7 months ago

Karl marx, " Religion is the Opium of the masses It is used by the oppressor to make people feel better about the distress they experience due to being poor and exploited". I agree with karl Marx as is evidence by a church on almost every corner in poor high crime areas.

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Sickened 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure a whole bunch of our gay MP's also shouted yippee when the ruling came down!

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Sickened 3 years, 7 months ago

We don't have to fear a bunch of gays coming to The Bahamas any time soon. We all know that gays like impeccable service... so they know better than to come here.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Banker seems to have completely misunderstood Comrade Marx's critique about religion as applicable to all religions when his focus was on Christianity but maybe Banker does not know there are other than Christianity religions?
Marx's critique was focused on the afterlife, not people's daily lives, or their chosen lifestyles, and for damn sure, not on Gays.

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banker 3 years, 7 months ago

Get yer spectacles on. That wasn't me who brought up Karl Marx, it was Bahamianpride. Me, I was the one who brought up non-Christian religions like obeah and witch doctors and such. As a matter of fact, the one religion that does appeal to me is Buddhism, where no one has to get nailed to the cross to save me, and my enlightenment is my own responsibility, and hell is not being enlightened.

The trouble with Buddhism is that they have a god with an elephant trunk that looks like it is snorting golf balls and I can't buy that. I also believe that a holy cow is the most holiest when a cooked piece of it is on my plate with gravy and mash potatoes.

I am also not a communist, unionist or a socialist. The big problem with all of them, is that they consider a worker equal to another worker, all units and all interchangeable. It is an insult to humanity, because the non-slackers are more valuable to an employer than a bunch of slackers.

Karl Marx avoided the topic of sexuality completely, but his protege, Vladimir Lenin decriminalised it and let gays serve in his government. Stalin reversed it. Marx was known however to derisively call people faggots in private, so I guess he did have an opinion.

I am surprised that a good Comrade communist as yourself would not know this.

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becks 3 years, 7 months ago

Sorry but the elephant god is Hindu not Buddhist.

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Sickened 3 years, 7 months ago

My belief... the LGBT's in the U.S. only pushed so hard because they don't believe that their partners would leave them anything if ever they split up and they wanted to ensure that they get their half under the law. Other than this (and saving money by filing joint returns) I don't see ANY benefit for them wanting to get married.

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Emac 3 years, 7 months ago

Bahamianpride, you are certainly on the mark on this one

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SP 3 years, 7 months ago

..... Bahamas Literally Drowning In Corruption And The Main Focus Today Is On LGBT ....

Our country continues being pillaged by heartless pirates calling themselves "leaders and honorable" as our people turn to crime to provide daily necessities for their families and to stave off starvation.

EVERYONE agrees the country is rife with corruption. We should be relentlessly putting our collective heads together "right here to start" with the goal of discussing and finding a solution to the political decadence and graft crippling our country.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrades to read posts, listen to the politicians and voices from the pulpits, you'd have believe that even before US Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide came about that our island nation of Bahamaland, was all rainbows and kisses in the relationships straight couples. Hard accept here we are almost half way through 2015 and people are turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the thousands of school age children still being bullied ever single school day, by their school's playmates and fellow students, all because they want to act differently. These are reminders - why so many voters have become so damn disenfranchised away from the PLP, FNM and now da DNA - cuz they all walk,dance and quack to da same music of intolerance..

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DEDDIE 3 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the Supreme Court can get Mother Nature to abide by its ruling. If the CDC(Center for disease Control) would stop been politically correct it would be running ads about the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle. On the US government AIDS website it says that,although men who have sex with men make up 4% of the male population they account for 78% of the new HIV cases.

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baclarke 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm actually curious as to why the US has stopped there. What about polygamy and other views on marriage? What about marrying family members or animals? Aren't we still discriminating against these people as well?

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