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Former Governors General Back Yes Vote

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Sir Arthur Foulkes

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Sir Orville Turnquest

FORMER Governors General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Sir Orville Turnquest last night pledged their full support for the upcoming constitutional referendum on gender equality.

In a joint statement released through Bahamas Information Services, they encouraged Bahamians to vote “yes” to all four questions that will be on the ballot.

Both men were among six delegates who attended the Constitutional Conference in December 1972 in London, England and helped frame the country’s Constitution.

“As former governors general of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, as former members of Parliament, and as signers to our nation’s independence Constitution, we wish to express our full support for gender equality in our Constitution and to encourage the Bahamian people to vote ‘yes’ on all four of the amendments that will be presented in the June 7 referendum,” the statement said.

“We are proud that the Constitution we helped to create in 1972 prohibits laws which discriminate on the basis of race or religion; now this right to non-discrimination must be extended to Bahamian men and women. In strong democracies, citizens bear the same responsibilities and enjoy the same rights, whether they are male or female.

“Bahamians are being asked: should our sons and daughters be equal in our Constitution and under our laws? Our answer can only be yes; not only because democracy depends on this kind of equality but because we are fathers and grandfathers.

“We know that families provide the foundation for every strong society, and laws that divide families weaken our nation. Our sons and daughters, and our grandsons and granddaughters, should have the same opportunities, the same privileges and the same protections under the law.

“We urge Bahamians to reflect carefully and to be guided by the truth, not by fear and confusion. This is an historic opportunity, a moment for progress and celebration. Voting ‘yes’ is the right choice for our country, for our democracy and for our sons and daughters.”

The first Constitutional Amendment Bill would give Bahamian women who are 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.

The Constitution currently says that only Bahamian male citizens by birth have that right.

Bill two would allow 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. However this would not be automatic.

Bill three would 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.

The fourth bill has been mired in controversy due to belief from some quarters that a ‘yes’ vote would lead to same-sex marriage. The proposed change seeks to update Article 26 of the Constitution to outlaw discrimination based on sex, which means being male or female.

The government has strongly rejected the gay marriage argument, stressing that the upcoming vote is about gender equality.

Comments

sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

These guys can identify with many Bahamian men who have a horse in the race (Question 3)......... plenty outside children (aka baby mamas)

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

..... Former Governors General Are Coconspirators Of All Thats Wrong In Bahamas .....

These men are a major part of the endemic corruption across the board that has led our country down the path of friends, family and lovers governance to the detriment and decimation of Bahamians at large.

Based on their 43 year performance of record failure, nobody with sense can trust the PLP or FNM.

They are indeed keen business partners (the sunshine boys), their children all went to foreign private schools. They have lived in lala land so long they will tell us everything is great in our beautiful little country.....It is great for THEM, while the mass's suffer and lose everything we and our parents worked decades to accumulate.

No thanks guys, Bahamians are trying to keep up with your favored Haitian brethren who you all chose to put "FIRST" in our country!

We will vote NO in solidarity on all four bills to show our disgust of you. Then we will vote ALL of you out of our Parliament in 2016!

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

What does any of what you say have to do with giving your daughter the same rights as her brother?

Read, become worldly, don't stay xenophobic. What are you so frightened for?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 11 months ago

As an "Economist" you should devote more time to telling us under employed and unemployed Bahamians why you think things are going to get better for us when thousands and thousands of foreigners are given Bahamian status and come to our shores as a result of the four proposed amendments to our constitution. Many of us Bahamians and our children go to bed hungry every night and go without medicines we need, and have inadequate clothing, shoes with worn soles, etc. not to mention our inability to pay for so many other basic necessities of life; meanwhile while the political elite go about squeezing the life out of us just to give citizenship for votes!!!! Come on man, we have had enough!

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Greentea 2 years, 11 months ago

It is truly tragic that Bahamians go to bed hungry- but what does that have to do with these laws? Are you saying that we are going to have a flood of folks coming and competing with working class bahamians for jobs? really? what jobs? One doesnt have a damn thing to do with the other. Hold the leaders of the country responsible for the ridiculous state of the economy not boogey man 'foreigners' who aren't foreigners in any sense of the word except these dumb laws.

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

.......... Xenophobic. The fashionable word for the "newly enlightened" ........

Firstly, I wasn't informed you were promoted to sensor independent thought or freedom of speech.

Secondly, what shred of evidence can you refer to determine anyone has expressed an iota of "fear" on the subject?

With a lifetime in frontline Bahamas politics these men are well aware of the massive corruption that destroyed our country. By their apathy they are part and parcel to facilitating corruption and the decimation of our people.

Bahamas is laden with issues of national security. Issues negatively affecting the mass's, yet these men have no voice when it comes to defending our country and people.

Citizenship with the right to vote should only be granted on the base's of an individual having heritage or lineage to the Bahamas. It should not be granted to anyone simply on the bases of marriage as is the case in Bermuda, Cayman, Haiti and many other countries.

These men are part of a hidden sinister plot to fulfill the politicians agenda of getting "new voters" to cement their position as political leaders. They have failed Bahamians and acutely aware that we no longer have any faith in them.

The "xenophobia" is Bahamians have been lied to, misguided and taken for fools far too long by these men and the political establishment, and WILL NOT trust any of them with the future of our country and people ever again!

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Greentea 2 years, 11 months ago

A path to citizenship is already granted to men and their foreign wives. Are you willing to take away that right that Bahamian men currently have? if you aren't then - STFU. This is one of the most reasonable statements made on this matter. Anyone trying to switch the conversation to the personal lives of these and not the public implications of the statement is just trying to lead sheep down the path of ignorance. Vote Yes my fellow Bahamians.

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

YES! Absolutely take away the right for men to pass on citizenship to foreign wives. It was wrong to be allowed for foreign women and equally wrong for foreign men.

All these people need is belonger status with a right to work, participate in business etc. Alternatively, citizenship without the right to vote or get involved in politics of the country as in Bermuda would also surffice.

They have no cultural heritage bonding them to Bahamas, do not understand the people and certainly couldn't give a dam of what it really means to be Bahamian or care what happens with the future of our country and people.

VOTE HELL NO!

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Emac 2 years, 11 months ago

Economist usually gives some meaningful insights into most subjects that pass through these forums. However, he is always adamant about anything to do with Haitian privileges in the Bahamas (not usually other foreigners), and he leans towards any laws or policies that are geared towards naturalizing Haitian descendants by the masses. Economist will never admit that he has a horse in this race when it comes to Haitians gaining some leverage in this society. It is quite evident in all of his comments regarding this subject.

As I said before, and I will say over and over again. Most of the Haitians that reside in this country do not deserve to be here, much less become citizens. They have NO respect for our laws, our culture and as SP always puts it, they are parasites. I have friends who are Haitians and I always express my feelings to them. Most agree that their "people" have a far way to go when it comes to respecting other countries laws. I just recently visited Fort Lauderdale and I was astounded by what I saw. Thousands of Haitians have migrated to that city and they are doing the same thing there that they are doing in this country. Selling alcohol without license, making babies and living in squander and the list goes on. Folks, I may sound harsh in my description of our southern brothers and sisters. But ya see, I am a realist. I cannot pretend just because everyone else have their heads up their asses and do not wish to see what's going on in their own country. I would gladly vote for ALL of the bills if I could trust this government or if we had a functional, non corrupted immigration department. Sure I believe that the Bahamas needs to move out of the dark ages and grant women the same rights as men. But boy...with this government being the conductor of this thing...I dunno, we shall see!

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jujutreeclub 2 years, 11 months ago

Who benefits from the foreign man getting citizenship, ( Foreign man). Who benefits from her children getting citizenship, ( The children). So who is benefitting from this bill. Surely not the woman

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

..........and who benefits from Question 4?????? ........ same -sex or cross-sex couples ............ under the disguise of no discrimination based on sex

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Greentea 2 years, 11 months ago

Are you serious? A woman who had two children with a man before she got married to him and two more after, has the unfortunate problem of having the children born while she was single carrying Bahamian passport and the two born after marriage- in this so called 'christian country' of ours - declared illegitimate as Bahamians. What kinda sense that make? You think she dont have the pain of explaining such fool to her children- who cant travel together, who cant represent the country, who cant get scholarship- even if they are einstein jr- because of these crazy laws. Mothers FEEL their children's pain.

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

Dear Bloggers, I did not know that you considered your daughters inferior to your sons.

I did not know that you feel that if your son says (In fact he might not be the father and the child may not have any Bahamian blood) he is the father of a child born outside of The Bahamas to a foreign woman that the child is a Bahamian.

But if your daughter has a child (You know for sure that it has Bahamian blood) of a foreign husband that the child is not a Bahamian.

Also, from an economic point of view, the foreign men who come here will, by and large, encourage further investment in The Bahamas and so improve the economy.

Look at the Cayman Islands or Turks and Cacaos and see what the unemployment rates are.

Then look at their immigration policy.

Don't be so scared, the right type of foreigner will help, they wont bite you.

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

................ Encourage further investment my ASS ........................

We as natural born citizens are barred from "further investments" in banking, tourism etc and you want us to fall for your horseshit?

Why aren't Bahamians "further investing" now is salt and aragonite?

STFU with that nonsense! we're not as stupid as you and you crew of pirates think we are!

NOTHING the PLP does helps Bahamians! It only benefits low down, self serving politicians and their friends, family and lovers.

Anyone stupid enough to NOT BE concerned for future generations of Bahamians after 4 decades of failed political promises, deceit, massive blatant corruption and being treated as 3rd class citizens in our own country are doing the electric slide with their heads stuck deep, deep, deep, up their own ass's!

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

Dear jujutreeclub, the country benefits by having children of a Bahamian mother (Bill 1)or of a Bahamian father (Bill 3).

In the latter case (Bill 3) the child is born in The Bahamas, they did not come in on some boat. They grew up here, they feel and think like Bahamians. Where are they to go to get work? What are you going to do? Kick them out of the country to go where they have never been? Force them to be separated from friends and family?

Are you a Christian?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

Did you read Dame Joan's letter ......... yall stupid asses just fall for any foolishness coming from these Devil-incarnate PLP politicians .......... the time the YES clowns take trying to fool Bahamians with their "sissy agenda" in Question 4, they can go take care of Questions 1-3 in Parliament ........... SMT

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

Did you read the Court of Appeal ruling?

In any event there are 4 separate Bills. You can vote yes on some and no on others.

Bill 4 seems to be the one that may open the door for the same sex marriages.

I still have not decided which way I will vote on Bill 4 as I have a problem with the use of 'marriage' for same sex couples. I also have a problem with same sex couples being allowed to adopt children.

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Emac 2 years, 11 months ago

Economist does not support the PLP or falls for their foolishness. The only reason he is onboard now is because he sees this as a golden opportunity to have the masses of Haitian descendants naturalized.

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

I am not a fan of the Haitians either, but Bills 1 and 3 do not open the flood gates for the Haitians. Though you make no mention of the Haitian women who have married Bahamian men and now have citizenship, you don't complain about that.

I do understand that we, as a country have failed to protect our boarders, even though we had the equipment, men and means to do so.

The international treaty system does not allow us to be slack and get away with it.

We are breaking international law and like anyone who breaks the law we must pay the price.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

These illegal people are already getting their passports through the back-door ........... thanks to corruptible civil servants and politicians

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Greentea 2 years, 11 months ago

Sheeprunner12- you disappointing me on this one. Thought you had sense. Do yourself and this country a favor a vote a straight yes.

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Emac 2 years, 11 months ago

"In the latter case (Bill 3) the child is born in The Bahamas, they did not come in on some boat"

No, but their parents did. And since you are talking about Haitian women, please change the word "child" to children x 12

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Economist 2 years, 11 months ago

In the students case her mother (not a Haitian), may will have been here on a work permit when she had the liaison with the Bahamian man. He then married and, unlike most Bahamian men, was a responsible father and took care of his child.

By saying parents you imply both of the child's parents. You are deliberately misleading or don't understand the law that is affected.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

The bottomline is that Parliament has the power under Article 13 to review and amend the laws pertaining to citizenship as needed ............. just read it for yourself ... But the PLP/YES coalition want to have a classic hoodwink/cover-up or switch and bait tactic to use against dumb(naïve) Bahamians by saying that WE THE PEOPLE need to vote for these citizenship rule changes (Questions 1-3) ...... when in actual fact the only thing we need to vote on is Question 4 (that will give the politicians carte blanche power to change any existing social constructs that we have that we are culturally sensitive about (like homosexuality or trans-gender issues) ...... this is in keeping with the ONE WORLD agenda ........... that is the PLP conspiracy

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

.................. EMAC has dam important point well worth serious consideration ..............

The PLP and FNM refuses to expose the number of Haitians granted citizenship for very good reason!

Considering EMAC's thesis, if both lousy ass, sneaky, untrustworthy, good for nothing governments granted a total of say 30,000 citizenships to Haitian nationals, and those people passed citizenship on to wives, Bahamas would automatically have an additional 60,000 voters added to to the voter register.

Given the fact that Haitians favorite pastime is procreation with an average of roughly 6 children, translates to 300,000 Haitian children born that would also automatically receive citizenship!

Haitians will easily become the majority population in our country. With a political system already laden with individuals of Haitian decent, with the blink of an eye Bahamians would become displaced in our own country!

This certainly explains the PLP and FNM whole hearted collaboration. They need new voters because they know Bahamians are totally fed up with their friends, family and lovers corruption party.

VOTE HELL NO IF YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY AND PEOPLE!

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Emac 2 years, 11 months ago

Yep and the only reason the FNM is onboard because they fear the backlash they will get from the Haitian community if they stand against it. The results of these referendum could eventually make authentic Bahamians extinct in the Bahamas, just like the first Lucayans that once lived here.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

Where (office, department, website) can you go to find out WHO was granted Bahamian citizenship in the past 50 years?????? ......... or are we to depend on just scouring the newspaper articles to look for citizenship advertisements as clues???? ........... BTW: the majority of those citizenship ad are for Haitian applicants .............this country is run just like North Korea

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