0

Pastors' Fears Are Dismissed

Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday dismissed the concerns of a group of local pastors over the fourth Constitutional Amendment Bill, charging that those in support of the upcoming referendum will not “live our lives” around a “what if”.

Mrs Maynard-Gibson, speaking with reporters yesterday, said the concerns recently launched by a specific group of pastors over the fourth Constitutional Amendment Bill are “not an issue” as far as the referendum on gender equality is concerned, stating that the laws of The Bahamas “unequivocally” do not provide for same-sex marriages.

Furthermore, Mrs Maynard-Gibson insisted that the upcoming gender equality referendum is not about gay marriage as some may fear, but is “solely about ending the discrimination in our Constitution and making sure that we rid ourselves of women as second class citizens”.

Ultimately, Mrs Maynard-Gibson said the proposed change of bill four is “not a big deal” adding that is “a very small change and it’s a common sense change.”

Last week, Save Our Bahamas - the group that opposed the 2013 gambling referendum - launched a vote no campaign against the fourth Constitutional Amendment Bill.

As currently worded, bill four seeks to eliminate discrimination in the Constitution based on sex, which has been defined as being “male or female”, by inserting the word “sex” into Article 26.

However, the group said it is convinced, given the precedent set in other countries, that the fourth bill would open the door to legalising same-sex marriage in the Bahamas despite the government’s continued assurances that it would not.

The pastors associated with Save Our Bahamas have contended that the terms “sex” and “being male or female” allows for various interpretations of the phrase. Furthermore, the group has agitated for the government to include the words “born male” and “born female” into the fourth bill, suggesting that the phrases would further provide the necessary protection against same-sex marriage.

“…We’re not going to live our life around a what if,” Mrs Maynard-Gibson said in response. “The argument is ‘what if.’ These people who are asking for that concede that the words are clear and that they do not provide for same-sex marriage. This referendum is not about same-sex marriage. This referendum is very simple - a small change in our Constitution.

“The same way that we in the Bahamas would not tolerate discrimination in the Bahamas on the base of race, we’re saying in the 21st century, we want enshrined in our Constitution, we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of being male or female.

“On the point about whether or not our law provides for gay marriage, unequivocally, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the law in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas does not provide for gay marriage, for same-sex marriages. Our law is very clear, and it was saved in our Constitution, that a marriage is a union between a man and a woman, male at birth, and female at birth. The case law is also very clear on this matter.”

She added: “In my view and I say it very respectfully, it’s not an issue as far as this referendum is concerned. This referendum is not about gay marriage. It is solely about ending the discrimination in our Constitution and making sure that we rid ourselves of women as second-class citizens. And we enshrine in our Constitution a bright future for our sons and our daughters.”

Mrs Maynard-Gibson also responded to calls from the country’s transgender community for the government to ensure that the fundamental rights of all genders of Bahamians - male, female, and transgender - are protected.

On Tuesday, Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (BTIU) launched a multi-level equality campaign “Bahamian Trans Lives Matter”, which seeks to secure equal rights for transgendered Bahamians.

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights advocate Erin Greene, present at the launch, said BTIU members, as well as those in the wider LGBT community should have the right to voice their concerns within the confines of democracy. She called on Bahamians to engage the LGBT community respectfully as the matters related to the constitutional referendum play out.

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney has suggested that the concerns of the BTIU and the LGBT communities would likely have to be dealt with “by way of referendum.”

When questioned on the matter yesterday, Mrs Maynard-Gibson said: “My response is that when Ms Greene, who is a very smart Bahamian, expressed concerns before, I invited her to come and speak directly to me. She did, and I believe that she was satisfied with the response, and that very same invitation pertains.”

The referendum will be held on June 7.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 10 months ago

No righted minded Bahamian would ever a trust a word coming out of the mouth of the Wicked Witch of the West. The corruption running rampant in our country today is directly attributable to this despicable woman's failure to discharge the duties of her office as Attorney General. Let's also not forget that Allyson Maynard-Gibson was instrumental in covering up (for well over a year) the report that proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the good people of Marathon continue to be poisoned by the highly toxic fumes and deadly contaminated water resulting from the huge gasoline leak that occurred at a Rubis/Texaco service station. This detestable uncaring creature showed she was content to sit back and let Bahamians die. Bottom line: She is all for herself and only herself and can never be trusted. Here are the facts Maynard-Gibson doesn't want voters to know. The amendment proposed by Bill#4 would prevent discrimination of any kind based on the word "sex" which means our parliamentarians would then be free to legislate same-sex marriages with the simple stroke of their pen. This is why the corrupt Christie led-PLP government and the detestable likes of Sean McWeeney, Rubie Nottage, Sharon Wilson, etc. have steadfastly refused to draft a proposed amendment that would unequivocally define "marriage" as the legal union through wedlock of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all other forms of union whether they be between man and man, woman and woman, man and sheep and woman and sheep. The Bahamas is not America; we have our own culture and identity and the vast majority of Bahamians want our constitution to be amended in a way that would respect and protect the institution of marriage as we have known it for centuries. Most Bahamians now know they need to do the right thing and vote a resounding "NO" on June 7th to all four of the proposed amendments given that each of them contains serious flaws of one kind or another that would prove most harmful to our society and way of life.

0

Reality_Check 3 years, 10 months ago

ANOTHER SERIOUS CONCERN: If the newborn baby of a Bahamian woman born on American soil is automatically Bahamian from the very instant moment of birth, then the baby could conceivably be denied U.S. citizenship by birth on the basis that the U.S. only permits dual nationality under very limited circumstances and never automatically by birth. Uncle Sam never accepts the granting of U.S. citizenship to dual nationals who may be considered or deemed to have sworn their allegiance to another country. The mother could of course then apply for her baby to be an American but that would be no different than the Bahamian mother of a newborn baby born in the Bahamas applying for her baby to be an American. Perhaps the U.S. government is behind some of the wording of these proposed amendments to our constitution and the Bahamian government just doesn't want us Bahamians to know about it. That's a frightening thought, but certainly would explain why the proposed amendments would allow same-sex marriages which some states in the U.S. are already experimenting with.

0

Reality_Check 3 years, 10 months ago

Our Attorney General, the Wicked Witch of the West (Allyson Maynard-Gibson), is quite content to put poor Bahamians in Fox Hill Prison for years if caught stealing (because they cannot find a job) to buy medicine or food for themselves or their sick or hungry young children, but she does not prosecute the political elite of the PLP and their business cronies when it is clear they have broken the laws of our country. Instead she goes out of her way to protect the political elite of the PLP and their business cronies no matter what crimes they may have committed. We have fellow Bahamians in Fox Hill prison today for having stolen small amounts of money or goods as the only possible means of obtaining food or medicine for themselves or their very young children. They sadly could not get one of those many jobs that had been promised by the PLP and more likely lost the job they had because of the manner in which the corrupt Christie-led PLP government has run our economy right into the ground. Yet all around us we see the political elite of the PLP and their business cronies stealing from the Bahamian people by way of massive fraud and corruption, but, thanks to the Wicked Witch of the West, none of them ever get prosecuted for their major crimes. The evil devious Maynard-Gibson, as Christie's favourite puppet, is clearly someone not to be trusted by the Bahamian people

1

Wowish 3 years, 10 months ago

Apparently, Reality Check and Well_mudda_take_sic rather raise red-herrings than take the time to seriously consider what the fourth bill really means.

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 10 months ago

Be careful too frequently using the term "red-herrings" unless you believe five of the most prominent and well respected Q.C.s in our country today do not know what they are talking about.

0

Wowish 3 years, 10 months ago

What has what you said got to do with the questions being put forth in the referendum? Absolutely nothing. Also in the same way that being a Dame does not make one's logic correct, neither being prominent or respected or a QC makes a person correct. To say otherwise means that your philosophy on things is that if someone is respected or prominent means that they are automatically correct. Learn to think for yourself! Learn to take into consideration, things that are actually relevant to the question that you are being asked. Whether or not the AG is the Wicked Witch of the West and her beliefs/actions has nothing to do with whether a person born as a male or female should have equal rights, nor to do with whether a foreign man can acquire citizenship by marrying a Bahamian woman, and certainly has nothing to do with whether a child born to an unmarried Bahamian man should be immediately entitled to citizenship. By the way kinky s*x is not implied in the last bill. Of course there are other reasons why the entire referendum may be a waste of time, many of which I could name.

0

sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

This is just not about the handful of Vote NO pastors .......... this is about what is in the best interest of the majority of Bahamians to protect our collective civil/cultural identity ....... the minority of liberal educated Bahamians who wish to see us move more towards the permissive lifestyles of Europe/N.America

0

GrassRoot 3 years, 10 months ago

I suggest some of these pastors go to All Saints Camp to lend their hands and talents to the real tasks God has in store for us. help the poor, the hungry, the sick ones, instead of producing one academic brain fart after the other.

0

SP 3 years, 10 months ago

Don't feel alienated, NOBODY I know has any trust in her!

0

Victor 3 years, 10 months ago

Nor do I, but I have no trust in the 'No' Revs, either.

0

GrassRoot 3 years, 10 months ago

I believe "Save Our Bahamas " is an organization that is trying to topple the current government. We should bring in the FBI, CIA, the IRS and the World Bank, UNO to conduct a thorough investigation and to dismantle this political organization that wants to instill a Religious Regime in the Bahamas. And my buddy Fitzgerald will soon visit his political garbage can to show the world.

0

sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

BOL ............ he has learned his lesson the hard way ........... foot-in-mouth

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 10 months ago

Re-post: Just look at how the Wicked Witch of the West talks down to her perceived lowly Bahamian underlings, including Minnis! She is all too quick to say there is a proper process to be followed before she can proceed to prosecute members of Parliament for violating the Public Disclosure Act (the "Act") but she refuses to tell us what that process is. She also says the call for her to prosecute the admitted (self-confessed) violators of the Act has not come “from the proper people from whom it should commence." What she will next proudly and cutely proclaim to all of us, as her perceived underlings, is that her hands are tied because it takes a majority vote of the sitting MPs in a duly convened session of the House of Assembly to instigate and bring about the prosecution of violators under the Act. Now what's the chance of that ever happening while the corrupt Christie-led PLP government control a majority of the seats in the House of Assembly. Or perhaps she will tell us that only our Governor-General (Lady Poodling) can initiate and cause the violators to be prosecuted; and, once again, we know there's no chance in hell of that ever happening. Come on you Wicked Witch, just tell your underlings why you are so smugly secure in doing absolutely nothing yourself to uphold the laws of our country. Many of your perceived underlings believe you need a good smacking by that self-righteous broom you ride around on!

0

Reality_Check 3 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps it's the Speaker of the House (the fella named Major who is some kind of doctor) that the Wicked Witch of the West is waiting to hear from before she sees fit to begin prosecutorial proceedings against all the violators of the Public Disclosure Act. But that too is very unlikely to happen because Major seems beholden to the corrupt Christie-led PLP government whenever push comes to shove in the House of Assembly. Poor guy has probably been subtly told to cross the line in his decisions whenever absolutely necessary for the PLP to be favoured or else.

0

John 3 years, 10 months ago

When Eve committed sin and ate of the forbidden fruit, God came to Adam and ask what had he done. God had made Eve for Adam's companion and helpmate and so it was Adam who was answerable to God. Despite this he blamed the woman. " This woman that Thou givest me, she did bid me eat and I did eat of of the forbidden fruit. And as their punishment, both Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Each were given additional punishment attributable to man and fitting for woman. Even when you look at a gay or lesbian couple you see that one partner plays the dominant role and the other is submissive. And the bible bids a wife to leave her home and her family and follow her husband (the story of Ruth). Children are supposed to follow their mother who is supposed to follow her husband. When you try to make male and female equal to each other, in all aspects, rather than comparable to each other, then you create massive confusion. What should have been a clear path for woman and for children is now left to decision, debate and yes, confusion. Before you vote look around and see if you know 5 people these bills benefit, then after that vote your conscience!

0

sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

Tell it Brother ......... das Bible

0

SP 3 years, 10 months ago

............ I wouldn't trust the "Head Witch" if Jesus himself was standing next to her! ............

The electorate voted this Witch out of our lives for good reason. We DO NOT wish to hear from her on ANY DAMN THING!

Begone WITCH!

0

Genus86 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess actually reading the constitution is out for the above posters. There is an exception (4c) in Article 26 that specifically speaks to marriage, which states that the discriminatory clause does not apply to any law that speaks to marriage or adoption. But that's me an educated fool who did my homework acting all proper and the sh*t.

1

Reality_Check 3 years, 10 months ago

But this is precisely one of the reasons why bill # 4 is being proposed by the government with the seriously flawed and deceitful wording that it has.

0

sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

......... but there is NO definition of what constitutes a "marriage" in our Constitution ........... and the lawyers are not answering that question!!!!!

0

SP 3 years, 10 months ago

.................. I couldn't give two pinches of educated or uneducated puppy poop! .............

Under no circumstances WHATSOEVER am I trusting the head witch and dancing idiot.

Bahamians first, my ass!

0

Sign in to comment