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L.G.B.T. Community Slams ‘Ignorant’ Deputy Pm

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community yesterday condemned the “ignorant” comments Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis made about transgender people on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters outside the House of Assembly, Mr Davis brushed aside concerns about whether same-sex marriage could result from the constitutional referendum by saying there’s nothing complicated about the question of whether one is a man or a woman, even if someone gets gender reassignment surgery.

“In any way we look at it,” he said, “sex means male or female. However we may cut ourselves, slice ourselves, how an orientation or wanting to be other than ourselves, it wouldn’t change us from being what we are. If you are a male, you are a male. If you are a female, you’re a female.

“If you cut it, it don’t make you a woman. If you slice it or add to it, it don’t make you a man. And that’s the end of it,” Mr Davis added.

His comments thrust him into a debate about the nature of sex and gender in which many government figures have so far avoided, preferring instead to just emphasise that the upcoming referendum doesn’t concern the LGBT community and its own fight for equality.

Erin Greene, human rights activist, was particularly critical of Mr Davis.

“The deputy prime minister’s comments were disrespectful, flippant and suggests that he is not entirely certain of what his function is,” she said. “He manifests he is unaware of his function as minister of works and his obligation as MP and representative of the state and its citizens.”

Ms Greene said the comments were likely a part of the government’s attempt to distance itself from the LGBT community “to save a failed referendum process.”

“Unfortunately he is just compounding the various issues,” she said.

“There is definitely been an uptick in violence (against the LGBT community) which I believe is directly related to the discourse surrounding the referendum,” she added. “The increase in violent discourse on social media is not solely about increased visibility, but a combination of that and the perpetuation of the idea that visibility means pushing a political agenda.”

Nonetheless, she said she’s also seen an uptick in support for the LGBT community by some Bahamians.

“Over the last 15 years we’ve seen tremendous growth in terms of the country’s understanding of its obligation to its citizens,” she said. “We’ve seen a progressive movement in terms of understanding human rights and human rights principles. We would like to encourage all political, religious and social leaders to acknowledge their roles as leaders and to measure their speech and to be careful when they speak that they are not engaging in hate speech or perpetuating an already dangerous environment for LGBT people specifically and for all vulnerable people in general.”

Alexus D’Marco, head of Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (BTIU), told The Tribune yesterday that Mr Davis’ statements are a set back for her community.

“However, through education, knowledge and awareness, we will get information to them,” she added. “The fact of the matter is they really don’t know and through the education that we’re going to provide to them, they’re going to sit and listen and engage with us, so maybe they can be able to speak on these things. I’m willing to engage with any level of government and department clarifying the issues relating to the LGBT community, including transgenders, as to who they are and the problems they face in their daily lives, what a transgender person means in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and so forth. Most people don’t understand that there is a difference between one’s sexual orientation and one’s gender identity. At the end of the day they’re all human beings.”

The government will hold a constitutional referendum on June 7, which seeks to end gender discrimination.

Four questions will be on the ballot, however some people fear that the fourth, which deals with discrimination based on sex would inadvertently lead to same-sex marriage. The government has denied this, saying sex refers to being male or female, not one’s sexual orientation.

Comments

sealice 3 years, 8 months ago

BAMSI... LGBT.... STB.... all the acronyms think he's ignorant what else is new??

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 8 months ago

Brave likes dem yardie-specials ............... has no interest in the LGBT

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 8 months ago

Bahamians had better mark their "X" on the ballot next to the picture of the gate, as it represents (1) the gate to keep thousands of foreigners (wanting Bahamian status) out of our country and (2) the gate to keep same-sex marriages from happening in our country! The corrupt Ingraham-led FNM and Christie-led PLP governments of the past three decades think we are all fools. Even though many of us are either unemployed or under employed, our corrupt government is now hell bent on granting thousands of foreigners Bahamian status in exchange for their vote down the road. We can't afford to let this happen. Bahamians must show up at the polls on June 7th and vote a resounding "NO!" to all four of the proposed amendments to our constitution. Remember....just mark your "X" next to the picture of the gate on your ballot. We must all vote "NO" otherwise we and our families will really be sorry when the wave of foreigners come to our shores to take our jobs for less pay!

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Abaconian 3 years, 8 months ago

What are you waffling on about

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baldbeardedbahamian 3 years, 8 months ago

About 5 percent of any population is sociopathic. Sociopaths apparently are attracted to positons of political power and can make effective leahders. However by definition they totally lack empathy such that they really cannot feel the pain of others. This gives leave to make decisions that will hurt others without troubling a non-existent conscience. Now which members of our cabinet show sociopathic tendencies? I have identified 3 of them, who do you think they are? Sociopaths often also suffer from Narcissism, they are the one overly concerned with outward appearance, $2000 suits, $200 hair cuts. Remind you of anyone? On another note, if we had a leader who being prescribed medication and if that medication was a mood altering one such that you were unreasonably optimistic, should we, the voting public right to know what medications our leaders are being proscribed? And just for the record I wish the LGBT community every success with being accepted by the bigots in our society.

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Despite how much this government try to sugar coat it, this referendum is about making sexual identity between male and female more obscure and giving more sexual rights to individuals. It is an attempt to make national barriers more permeable and traditional marriage more difficult and less desireable. Just watch the US or world news and see what's happening in France in Greece in Canada and the USA. Greece and other European countries have over 16 million refugees they don't know with and most likely want to disperse them to countries around the world. Despite North Carolina requiring persons to use bathrooms of the gender that appears on their birth certificates the US government has ordered all states to allow transgender persons to use bathrooms of their choice or lose funding. This means transgender now have more rights than heterosexual persons since they can now use any restroom. How long will it be before organizations like the boys scouts and girls guides either have to close shop or allow any person to join their organizations. There is now a move to prevent doctors from indicating the sex of an infant at birth. The claim is a persons sex is determined by what is in their head and not which sex organs they are born with. This means it will be more difficult to trace persons who had sex change operations. This means countries, like China, who have restrictions on the number of children a couple can have, can now 'convet' female babies to boys. It also means that overpopulated countries, like China can transfer some of its citizens to less populated countries like the Bahamas. Its all a part of the new world order. And even if this referendum is defeated they will find a way to get the bills passed because The Bahamas has already signed on as participant.

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Abaconian 3 years, 8 months ago

Where are you getting these convoluted ideas from? You sound like one of those nutty conspiracy theorists!

For one, why would the government want to "obscure" the sexual identity between males and females? What exactly does that even entail? What purpose would that serve? What are the benefits? Please don't give me some BS about a global elitist conspiracy to usher in an era of transgender tyranny!! Next thing you'll be saying that the world is ruled by lizard people! It seems to me that you are implying that we, the Bahamian citizenry, are too STUPID to know that he is a man, and she is a women, and that we can only arrive at such a conclusion if our constitution remains the way it is. Is this what you are saying? Or perhaps you simply don't want women to have the same constitutional rights as men? Who knows..

Second, what does all that other nonsense about Greece, North Carolina (Lol), refugees in Europe, the use of public toilets, and the sex of infants at birth have to do with our referendum?! Maybe the gov. should be more focused on enforcing our drug laws because you are clearly high as a kite!! You are trying to connect dots that cannot be connected! I have to laugh at your comment though. My favourite line was "This means transgenders now have more rights than heterosexual persons since they can now use any restroom" Hahaha With all the shit that is going on in the world, and in this country, you are more concerned about whether a chick with a d**k decides to use the male or female toilet!

The referendum is about equal rights between men and women. Not about gays or transexuals. Not about immigration. Not about girl scouts and boy scouts converging together to create a transgender scout or anything else of that nature.

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viewersmatters 3 years, 8 months ago

so can you explain to me how is it that these bills are for equal rights or is it equal rights for foreigners rather than Bahamians. in this century the only equality that really needs to change is how the Government treats the Bahamian people putting us last and foreigners first. none of these bills benefits Bahamians in any way.

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Fake Aboconian...Obviously you are ignorant of what is happening in the world. Why is the US government, and France and Canada now allowing transvestite persons to use bathrooms of their choice , rather than male or female designated ones. Doesn't this imply the fact that they are neither male or female or that they can be either male or female or even undecided? Secondly It is not simple and you need not be STUPID, not to know if someone who had a sex change operation is male or female. How would you know? They have almost perfected these procedures! What if you were an 18, 19 or 20 year male and you go clubbing and meet someone who has had a sex change? How would you know? Many young men do not find out until the person themselves tells them or they hear it from someone else. Then they are trumatised and start to doubt their own sexuality, their own normalcy. If you are a young hetro sexual male, looking for a long term or lifelong partner, it this fair to you, to be deceived into sleeping with someone who was once a male or marrying someone who cannot have children. And yes I do have a problem with a 'chick with male organs ' exposing itself to my wife or young daughter. They are the ones making the big issue. If you choose to have a sex change operation, why should your decision cause discomfort or trauma for others? Wake up and Take your blinders off. If persons are pushing for babies not to have sexual identity until they decide if they are male or female, then this throws traditional marriage out the window, because if a person born with male genitila has the right to decide if they want to be female then they have a legal right to marry a male. If I Am high as a kite then you are as dumb as a door nail or your intention is to mislead. Less than 1 percent of all Bahamians who marry get married to foreigners and of that number 20% marry Jamaicans. So why the need to change the entire constitution to accommodate them when there are other provisions for them to make their spouses citizens. Who is this law really for. Obviously you have been flying a kite when you say the referendum is not about immigration when three of the amendments does involve immigration changes. Your argument is weak and closeted. They lack substance and so you have to attack me rather than pass your weak points across. Obviously you support gay marriage! This is deception at the fullest. the mind of a reprobate. ARe you paid yet?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 8 months ago

WORTH REPEATING: The vast majority of Bahamians want the sanctity of a 'marriage' between a man and a woman preserved in our country and not torn down for political expediency as has been the case in the U.S. Most countries in our world today and most of our world's total population remain firmly of the view that the institution of marriage must by definition be the matrimonial joining of a man and woman to the exclusion of all other forms of union or companionship between men and women. The very origin of the word "matrimony" is rooted in the word "mother". Equal rights for men and women can be had without destroying the sanctity of marriage by simply changing the proposed constitutional amendments as currently drafted to define marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all other forms of union between men and women. Doing so would in no way negate or nullify the "equal rights" deserved and being sought by women in our country today. Sadly though, we have a relatively small (but loud) number of individuals in our society who would prefer to see the equal rights of men and women derailed if they cannot also force on the rest of us a much wider definition of 'marriage' which runs contrary to the essence and sanctity of that important institution as enjoyed from time eternal by 'married' couples consisting of a man and a woman. No one group of individuals in a clear minority in our society should have the right to interfere with the contract of 'marriage' as it has been known and legally defined since the time of Adam and Eve. Allowing this would be no different than allowing someone to interfere with the well protected McDonald's or Coca Cola brands and the legal contracts these companies have entered into around the world with others. Sean McWeeney needs to sharpen his pen and do the right thing by the wishes of the majority of his fellow Bahamians and the free-world, i.e. clearly and unequivocally define the term 'marriage' in the proposed changes to our constitution as currently drafted to avoid the possibility of same sex 'marriages'. Gays and lesbians can have same-sex 'unions', same-sex 'companions', same-sex 'whatever', but not same-sex 'marriages', the definition and sanctity of which the vast majority of Bahamians and free-world want preserved as is.

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SP 3 years, 8 months ago

First three bills are only relevant to foreigners, and have nothing to do with Bahamians.

We should be concerned with helping Bahamians not foreigners who could care less about our culture, aspirations as a people or future generations of indigenous Bahamians.

VOTE "NO"

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 8 months ago

This is so anti-intellectual ......... to quote a Nassau Guardian letter writer today ........ BOL

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