By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
ONLY three constituencies across the country voted by consensus to approve any of the four gender equality bills proposed in Tuesday’s Constitutional Referendum, according to unofficial results released by the Bahamas Parliamentary Registration Department yesterday.
St Anne’s, with 1,205 yes votes to 1,078 no votes, Montagu, 1,315 to 1,130, and Central and South Abaco, 737 to 591, supported the passage of Bill one, which sought to give Bahamian women married to foreign men the right to pass on their Bahamian citizenship to any child of that union no matter where that child is born.
Moreover, Killarney, with 12 of its 13 polling stations reported, is set to approve the passage of both Bill one - 1,688 yes votes to 1,299 no - and possibly Bill three (1,526 to 1,500).
Bill three sought to grant any unmarried Bahamian man the right to pass on his Bahamian citizenship to any child he fathers with a foreign woman with proof of paternity.
No other constituency was able to secure a majority “yes” to any of the four bills, rejecting all four amendments resoundingly.
Up to press time, The Tribune was still without the results of four of the 23 New Providence constituencies - Fort Charlotte, Fox Hill, Marathon and Sea Breeze - with officials contending that totals still had to be signed off by presiding officers.
The Parliamentary Registration Department has suggested that all outstanding results should be made available at some point today.
Of the five constituencies in Grand Bahama, none came close a prevailing ‘yes’ vote. Each polling division in each constituency reported a pronounced defeat for the ‘yes’ vote.
In Abaco, it was a tale of two halves as residents in North Abaco rejected all four bills firmly, while those in Central and South Abaco approved bill one, nearly approved bills two and three and rejected bill four by roughly 210 votes.
In Andros, the pronounced deficit for “yes” votes in a number of the polling stations made it clear that residents were not on board with the proposed amendments.
That was certainly the trend throughout the figures presented for the other constituencies.
Bill two as written would have allowed a Bahamian woman married to a foreign man the right to secure for her husband the same access to Bahamian citizenship as a Bahamian male has in relation to his foreign wife.
Bill four, regarded as the most controversial, sought to prevent discrimination of any type based on sex - being defined as being born male or born female.
See results pages 12 and 13