By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
SAVE Our Bahamas, the group that opposed the fourth referendum bill, has questioned the basis for this country to “trample” upon the Preamble to the Constitution and “throw out” the Bible as the foundation for marriage.
The group was responding to Court of Appeal President Dame Anita Allen, who last week said the judiciary is likely to face challenges in determining whether same-sex marriages are legal.
She further pointed to “difficulties” inherent in the existing marriage laws that do not present any provision that parties to a marriage must be male and female.
Arguably, Dame Anita said the laws of The Bahamas do not discriminate on the basis of sex and facilitate not only marriages of every description but also consummation of the same.
However, her opinions of this country’s current laws pertaining to marriage were branded as an attempt to steal the thunder and celebration of what is considered a colossal victory for traditional values and Christian standards, according to Save Our Bahamas.
In the lead up to the constitutional referendum, the group urged Bahamians to vote against the fourth proposed constitutional change insisting that it was a veiled attempt by the government to legalise same-sex marriages.
“Even though the agenda intended to fast track same sex-marriage in The Bahamas has been derailed by the deafening ‘no’ vote in the June 7, 2016 constitutional referendum, operatives are digging deep within their legal war-chests to create new grounds to espouse their goal of desanctifying marriage in The Bahamas,” the group said in a press statement yesterday.
“Recent statements by Dame Anita Allen suggest that ‘now is the time’ for The Bahamas to reconstruct a new definition for marriage to include same-sex couples.
“We simply ask, on what basis do we trample upon the Preamble of our Constitution and throw out the Bible which has been the foundation for solemnising marriages in The Bahamas? Obviously, no consideration was given to the overwhelming four to one defeat of Constitutional (Amendment) Bill four to insert ‘sex’ in Article 26 (3) of our Constitution. Since the referendum, it has now become clearer to all that bill four was a covert strategy in support of same-sex marriage and the global homosexual agenda which is being championed by agencies of the United Nations.”
The group added: “Save Our Bahamas stands with the 65,696 voters who exercised their constitutional right to vote ‘no’ against same-sex marriage, clearly reaffirming our national commitment to an abiding respect for Christian values for both now and the future of our nation.
“Together, we stand resolute to protect the democracy of our nation by not allowing the changing social and secular humanistic philosophy of a few to dictate the moral conscience of the masses.”
Given the various challenges relating to the existing law, Dame Anita last week suggested that both the Marriage Act and the Matrimonial Causes Act require “reconstructing” to meet the needs of a changing society.
She also suggested that the Bahamas amend its Constitution similar to the way Jamaica did in 2008, in declaring that no marriage other than between a man and a woman is recognised and of legal effect. But this, she said, may similarly be susceptible to a constitutional challenge.
She said the country must choose what it wants to do in deciding the definition of marriage.
And after the highly controversial failed June 7 gender equality referendum – which saw a wave of pushback to question four that sought to prevent discrimination based on sex or being male or female – Dame Anita said this question neither opened nor closed the door to same-sex marriages.
Giving the eighth annual Eugene Dupuch Distinguished Lecture last week, Dame Anita stressed that her views were not endorsed by the Court of Appeal and were personal.