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Economist, I actually have read and understand our Constitution (not entirely yet, but I have certainly read and understand Chapter II that deals with citizenship, which is what Constitution Amendment Bills 1, 2, and 3 are about).
You quote Article 6 and then accuse the government of choosing to say "that if the father is not wed to the mother the child does not get the citizenship." However, you should note that the government can't ignore Article 6 as you are accusing them of doing.
The issue is that, as stated in Article 14(1), our Constitution does not recognize men who father children out of wedlock. Article 14(1) clearly says that for citizenship purposes, in relation to children born out of wedlock, any reference to “father” means mother. Therefore, Article 6 is understood in light of Article 14(1). It is for this reason that our courts have consistently ruled that Bahamian men who father children out of wedlock CANNOT pass citizenship on to them.
You wrote: "Bill 3 corrects that so the child can get the fathers citizenship, even if the child is born out of wedlock." Think about your statement. If a child is born out of wedlock and its mother is a Bahamian, the child is a Bahamian. Would it make sense for a Bahamian man who has a child out of wedlock with a Bahamian woman to waste money on a paternity test to pass citizenship on to his child despite the fact that the child automatically gets Bahamian citizenship through his Bahamian mother? Certainly not! By the time the paternity test results are back, they child would have already been registered as a Bahamian through his unmarried Bahamian mother. Why do I point this out? I point it out to underscore the purpose of Bill 3 as clearly stated in my letter to which you responded. The purpose of Bill 3 is to allow Bahamian men (married and unmarried) who father children out of wedlock with foreign women to pass Bahamian citizenship to those children once paternity is proven.
I trust the above elaboration helps you to understand the purpose of Bill 3.
Economist and Publius, I respect your decision to support Bill 3. I do not support Bill 3; I trust you will afford me and others the same respect. This referendum is a citizens' exercise. We don't need to demonize those who disagree with us. We can fight ideas without fighting each other. We are all Bahamians.
If you wish to read in detail my reasoning for opposing Bill 3, please visit www.thinkbahamas.org and click on the link to the left "Bill 3 Explained."
All the best!
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