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End The Taboos: Mcalpine - It’S Time For National Debate On Gay Civil Unions And Abortion

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine.

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine.

Reader poll

Do you agree with Frederick McAlpine that a national conversation is needed on civil unions?

  • Yes, I agree. 36%
  • No, I do not agree. 64%

113 total votes.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine says The Bahamas needs a national conversation about letting gay couples enter civil unions and legalising abortion, both of which he believes eligible people should be entitled to. 

He spoke to The Tribune yesterday as news of a planned gay pride parade next year sparked intense discussion across social media in recent days. 

Elected officials have historically shied away from discussing hot button issues like gay rights and abortion in any detail, but the outspoken Free National Movement MP, who is also a pastor, confronted the issues head-on when contacted yesterday.

“People do not see homosexuality and lesbianism in the same light as they did 20 years ago,” he said. “I don’t think the country is accepting but the country has matured in that area mainly because everyone can look in their family and find one of them, two of them, three of them.”

Civil unions are legally recognised arrangements that provide most or all the rights of marriage but not the title. 

Mr McAlpine said: “I’m a pastor, I’m liberal in my thinking yet I’m very spiritual. I personally don’t support gay marriage but I think the time is coming when you’re going to have to look at something called civil unions. Let me give an example why. A mother has been fighting her gay son for years but when he dies she wants the Mercedes and the land he had. But he got those things through his homosexual lifestyle so why should you want it when you don’t know how he got it, when it might be a partner or friend he got these things with? You disowned him, you disregarded him, but when he died you want everything he has? That’s not right. I don’t endorse man marrying man but there might come at time when people want to hold on to what they have or the things they have had together through joint custody with another person. There has to be a law to protect those people.”

He added: “That conversation needs to start more because somethings are taboo. For instance, we say in this country it’s illegal to get abortion but everybody know people do get abortions. So when are we going to stop playing this game? I don’t endorse abortion but I think a woman has a right to do what she chooses to do. The church and government got to stay out of people’s bedroom. I don’t want the government in my house, telling me how to have sex, when to have sex and who to have sex with as long as it is consensual and not involving minors.”

Many believe fears about gay marriage led to the failure of the 2016 constitutional referendum on citizenship changes.

A committee formed by the Bahamas Organisation of LGBTI affairs and community allies plans to stage pride events in October 2020, embracing the theme “The Rebirth of Pride Bahamas Centering LGBTIQA People in the Bahamas’ Future.” Caribbean countries including Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica have hosted pride parades before, but not the Bahamas.

Alexis DeMarco, a transgender activist and one of the organisers of the planned parade, said pride celebrations “are critical for promoting the rights of Bahamian LGBT people.” She said the intention is to normalise the idea that LGBT people exist in the country and are “productive and well contributing members of society who are entitled to the right to love without discrimination.”

Yesterday, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar declined to respond to reporters before Cabinet concerning the planned parade.

Describing it as a contentious matter for Bahamians, Mr D’Aguilar said: “You’ve thrown the question out at me, something worth considering but I hadn’t considered it so give me some time to think about.”

Mr McAlpine, however, said if asked, the administration should make it clear that the rights of people will be respected even if they don’t endorse the lifestyle.

“To me this is simple,” he said. “If you ain’ gay, what you worrying about them who marching for? Your job as a pastor is in the pulpit, go preach, what you going out in the street for? I had a problem years ago when you stop the boat from coming to the Bahamas because it had gays and lesbians. Okay, I could understand where you feel it’s a sin, but I’m not going to demonstrate against a boat that has gays on it and refuse to go on the other boat that has fornicators and liars and backbiters on it. If they have the permit, the law entitles them to their right and if you’re not gay you shouldn’t be getting up in these people business or condemning them or judging them. The government has a responsibility to make sure that whatever they do, people’s rights are not alienated.”

In 1998 and 2004, some Bahamians led by the Bahamas Christian Council took to the streets to protest the arrival of lesbian and gay people on cruise ships. In response to both incidents, government administrations of the day emphasised their opposition to discrimination.

Comments

John 1 year, 1 month ago

The country is about to have another year of triple murders. Blood has been flowing like a river since hurricane Dorian recasted the Northern Bahamas and left many people dead, others homeless businesses destroyed and many citizens unemployed. The country is fighting a massive illegal immigration problem and now to try slip homosexuality and abortion in under the table amongst all the devastation and confusion is slick and irresponsible. True, the gay population is growing and so are their demands, but how much is the country willing to allow their demands for rights’ infringe on the rights of the rest of the population. And as for abortion, the need for it is generally the result of irresponsible behavior. Is the country willing to encourage more irresponsible behavior by not allowing those who engage in it to take responsibility? And what is the country really going to do about all these murders. Obviously the plans of Marvin Dames and Anthony Ferguson with the multi-millions increases in the police budgets and investment in crime fighting technologies is close to a complete flop. In fact the police have killed more people under this administration than in any other time in the history of The Bahamas and there will still be triple digit murders this year..in fact just in a matter of a few short weeks.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't see how gay rights equate to all others losing rights....

As for abortion nothing will stop it, no law, no church, nothing. Reason says it's better to regulate it than to ignore it. No matter the reason for it....

Also please site the stat showing police have killed more people under this administration than any other time in history....

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Go back to all the Tribune headlines since 2017 and count the number of police shootings since the new administration came to office and compare to the years prior. Then find the story when The Tribune interviewed Commissioner Anthony Ferguson about the increase in police shootings. It may have been after an incident where an innocent person was shot. Asked about this the number of increased police involved shootings, the commissioner’s response was ‘there will be casualties.” The number of police shootings has more then doubled since that interview. And whilst no law, no church, ‘no nothing’, may be able to stop abortion, it is not to be used like a tire pump where you pull up and get pumped out at your convenience. Sexual education and responsible behavior will reduce the need for abortion. Decent human and or Christian principles will deter the need to be using it over and repeatedly. And the demands of gays do impose on the rights and freedoms of others. First off most laws are based on the premise that you are born either male or female. But gay relationship try to dispute that and claim there is ‘interesexs’. But yet in same sex relationship they recognize there is a dominant partner and a submissive partner (male and female). But they want the authority to choose who the dominant partner will be and wants the law to give powers to them as male or female despite what their natural gender may be. The same for a Christian or Holy marriage where the major purpose is to procreate and have families. The gay people say if two of the same sex ( which the Bible calls an abomination) want to join In holy matrimony, they should be allowed to do so and the law must not only recognize that union, but penalize and church, pastors or business that refuse to participate in that event.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 1 month ago

SO not rights but religious beliefs. I still see no heterosexual rights in jeopardy. Other than foolish religious beliefs, but its about time to get rid of archaic nonsense....

Maybe right on police shootings. But in Nassau its war so in my opinion its about time.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Is it religious rights that make you male or female? So if you want to identify your sexuality otherwise doesn’t that infringe on the rights of heterosexual? And is religious beliefs teach that marriage is sacred and should only between a man and a woman , what gives you the right to infringe on that belief. Have your own union and have persons who agree with your beliefs perform the ceremony. But to demand to have a religious ceremony in a church and performed by a minister of the cloth who do not believe same sex marriage should happen how toes that not infringe on his rights and his rights to his beliefs? You are telling the church they must change their laws, their teachings and their beliefs to accommodate your lifestyle. Churches will tolerate same sex couples but they cannot desecrate their alter by performing the ceremony.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

McAlpine is a shining example of the very kind of politician the Bahamas and the Bahamian people do not need for a better tomorrow.

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OriginalBey 1 year, 1 month ago

This is so not the time for this ish. Crime is high. Unemployment is higher. We have an immigration crisis. Two major economies in our archipelago have been crushed. The govt is getting ready to borrow us out of this nightmare only to find ourselves in more debt just as we were making progress in paying down what we owed the international banks. Find another way to enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. Join the DNA. Contest for leadership of the PLP. Get catch in Cuba and work your way through thst scandal if you're this bored.

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jamaicaproud 1 year, 1 month ago

Mi Crocodile tail. This man will have to see asylum in Port a Prince

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xtreme2x 1 year, 1 month ago

The good pastor is mixed up.He want a debate on Gay Marriage And Abortion. Then he said

"“I’m a pastor, I’m liberal in my thinking yet I’m very spiritual. I personally don’t support gay marriage but I think the time is coming when you’re going to have to look at something called civil unions."

As a pastor he should be thinking about principal of life and the word of the bible.

So is he for or against gays and abortion?

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joeblow 1 year, 1 month ago

... he is quite liberal, because I have I lost count of the times he has been married or caught with 'tings on the side'. He has no idea what it means to live by PRINCIPLES.

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Dawes 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh boy you know an article like this will bring out the hypocrites and so called religious nuts. I am fairly sure the bible does not say read the whole of this and then chose those parts you agree with and ignore the rest. The bible clearly states there should be no sex before marriage, and yet over 50% of children born are out of wedlock. The bible says we should not commit adultery, and yet we all know married people who are sweethearting. Until we commit to the bible 100% we can't cherry pick what to listen to. but if we do commit please let me know as i would like to open a stone shop as plenty people sweethearting going to have to get stoned and i'll get rich quick.

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Sickened 1 year, 1 month ago

The bible is no different from a hunger games novel. Read it and take away the points that touch your heart. It's not an historical novel neither is it a forecast of the future.

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joeblow 1 year, 1 month ago

Actually, I think that after this hurricane you may find that people are more concerned about food, shelter, finding a job and taking care of their children! But if you had bothered to talk with your constituents in Pineridge, you would know that!

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 1 month ago

This is obviously a condition to being granted aid or the result of lobbying by an NGO. Have you looked at Nassau lately, the place is a dump. My aunt visited and she said it looked like Africa. The whole country has gone to the dogs. This is the last thing we need right now. What about a freedom of information act and campaign finance Reform?

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TalRussell 1 year, 1 month ago

Not sure how the comrade rebel red shirts MP decided bundle a call for national conversation about letting gay couples enter civil unions, and for the legalization abortion - all neatly folded up into one and the same bundle? What if marriage is the larger and more pressing conservation that it just may not be the social good its made out be, yes, no .... Why not hold national conservation on adoptions ....

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Have you looked at Nassau lately, the place is a dump. My aunt visited and she said it looked like Africa. The whole country has gone to the dogsEmphasis** Nassau has been on a path of deterioration for at least a decade now. Too many negative disincentives . The high rate of crime and murders have forced many to move out of Nassau proper and into the suburbs or outskirts. This has left a high rate of unemployed and unemployables in the inner city. And there are no incentives for businesses to move into these areas. The cost of living is extremely high and at least 100 families must find money to bury murdered family members every year. Most of these victims are fathers of young children who must now struggle from day to day to survive. Many who are killed are also the bread earners for aging parents or younger siblings. And even those who commit murder or other crimes and go to jail leave young children or other dependents to struggle. And after a decade and over 1,000 murders, no solution seems to be in sight. The law on the streets for some is’kill or be killed.’

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SP 1 year, 1 month ago

McAlpine is out to lunch again! With all the problems facing us more and more daily, this clown can only think about a "National Debate On Gay Civil Unions And Abortion"?

The Bible already settled this conversation. Regardless of how they present it, McAlpine and other liberals will never override biblical principles!

Politicians really need to start conversing with their constituents before opening their mouths and making irrelevant, nonsensical statements that the majority of people could care less about.

We would rather discuss what Chipman and McAlpine think about forming an "All Bahamian Party".

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killemwitdakno 1 year, 1 month ago

This is so out of left field. Distraction attempt?

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