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'Historic Day' As Gender Equality Bills Passed

THE four Constitutional Amendment Bills on gender equality were passed in the House of Assembly on Wednesday in what has been called a “historic day.”

The bills will now move on to the Senate for a vote, and if passed by three quarters of the Upper Chamber, will pave the way for a constitutional referendum.

The first bill was passed by all 37 members present in the House of Assembly. Marco City MP Greg Moss voted against bill two and bill three was passed with the full support of the members present in the Lower Chamber.

The fourth bill, which was the most controversial, was passed by a vote of 34 members of Parliament supporting it, two voting no and one abstaining.

Mr Moss and Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells voted against the bill.

St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman was absent from the vote.

After the vote was taken, Prime Minister Perry Christie stressed the importance of the act.

“It is historic and it does represent the march of the Bahamian people towards our common and loftier goals,” he said in Parliament.

He added that the country was now just two steps away from achieving full equality for men and women.

See Thursday’s Tribune for more on this story.

Comments

EnoughIsEnough 3 years, 6 months ago

outstanding! let's hope it passes in the Senate, and then that the Bahamian people vote these bills in. it's been far too long...

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themessenger 3 years, 6 months ago

Outstanding indeed, let us hope and pray that the "cultural uniqueness" of our people doesn't once again derail the process.

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Chucky 3 years, 6 months ago

Keep track of "no votes" , we need to make sure these people never see another term in public office!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

Not long now before a man will be able to marry a man and a woman will be able to marry a woman and our government will legally recognize these same-sex marriages in exactly the same way as they currently recognize the marriage between a man and a woman. Every parliamentarian who today voted in favour of (or for whatever reason failed to vote against) these bills as presently drafted has abandoned both the institution and sanctity of a marriage as that term has been commonly known and used for centuries. The Christie-led PLP government (and its very warped advisers) have steadfastly refused to put forward an amendment to our constitution (by referendum) that would define marriage as a legal union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of same-sex unions. It seems Mr McWeeney and others like him are hell-bent on thwarting the will of the Bahamian people and failing to recognise that we as Bahamians (as a sovereign nation) have our own unique identity and culture and therefore need not (and in many cases should not) fall victim to the idea that we must do everything that the Americans do or would wish for us to do. This legislation is politically motivated and targeted to tear down the very essence of the term "marriage" as it has always been used in our Christian society. Instead of a gay "marriage" we should have in our laws a gay "union"; instead of a gay "spouse" we should have in our laws a gay "companion"; and so on. It makes no more sense to call a same-sex union a marriage than it does to describe a same-sex union as a coupling of two mates! How can a man and a man mate or a woman and a woman mate to produce their very own offspring?!! The laws of nature are very well defined as should be the term marriage: The union of a man and a woman!

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Reality_Check 3 years, 6 months ago

It seems clear that you are not a "gay basher", but rather someone who has a real "beef" with the expanded use of the term marriage to cover same-sex marriages. I suspect you probably have been happily married for many years and that your significant other (i.e. your "spouse") shares your view. No doubt many Bahamians married under current Bahamian law feel as you do. Our legislators could and should have taken this into account when they drafted the legislation they now seek to lay as the foundation for the referendum that will need to be held.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

Wait till you hear the spin that the PLP spin doctors will put on this in next years election ...... Minnis being lead to the slaughter

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themessenger 3 years, 6 months ago

Now ya talkin, vote overwhelmingly YES to the referendum and a resounding NO to the PLP thereafter!

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrades if the state passes the buck to foreign land owners when it comes to protecting the rights of the natives to Beach access, wouldn't it be counterproductive to ask the same natives for their consent for there to be an amendment to the nation's Constitution to protect the rights of persons, not yet of Bahamaland?

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Publius 3 years, 6 months ago

protect the rights of persons, not yet of Bahamaland?

The Constitutional amendments are for Bahamians, not foreigners. This is about Bahamian women and Bahamian men having the same rights as one another as pertains to citizenship of their children and spouses. My God the lack of knowledge in this country has been and will continue to be the nation's downfall.

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Comrade so damn hilarious you defend what you have but a faint understanding as to what is being proposed in the constitutional referendum.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

If you think that the PLP spin doctors did not sit down and plot this out, then we truly are dumb. Who will benefit most from this????? Children born out of wedlock ....... 70% of the population ..... Bahamian men have long had sexual liasons with Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, American, Dominican women etc ...... these women have children for Bahamian men because they want status for themselves and their children .......... now the PLP can brag that they have given these women, men and their children their citizenship ....... watsayu Pubby???

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

............ and we haven't even opened up Bill #4 can of worms yet ........ if we are to believe that the sissies will not challenge this Bill ....... go dream on

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Publius 3 years, 6 months ago

Did you feel this way when Ingraham brought this same Bill in 2001?

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

This is not the 2002 referendum, my friend ............ two different drafts

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Publius 3 years, 6 months ago

The same Bills. All Bills are public record, past and present. Simply read them.

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avidreader 3 years, 6 months ago

This is a public relations exercise worthy of Joseph Goebbels in the 1940s. Notice how well orchestrated were the outpourings of public support for the vote being taken inside Parliament. More than likely this is a "rabbit in the hat" exercise by a government that has been unable or unwilling to deliver on its many promises made during the 2012 election campaign. The deeper problems of the country are still unaddressed or overlooked while the 2017 election draws near. So it is time to distract the general public with this type of exercise in the hope that they will tend to forget about the unfulfilled promises made in 2012 and the more general problems facing the public on an everyday basis. Let us await the results of the promised referendum and remember what happened in 2002 after that failed effort.

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EasternGate 3 years, 6 months ago

The PLP has to interest in equality, Just ask Alfred Gray. They are using this referendum as a Trojan Horse, to clean up their stink image before the 2017 General Elections. Voting NO!

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EnoughIsEnough 3 years, 6 months ago

for those of you (Tal and Sheeprunner in particular) who aren't educating themselves on the actual wording of the Bills and what they mean, and other laws regarding marriage, here's an excerpt from a summary : " While other widespread forms of discrimination occurring in our country daily are not being addressed, the addition of “sex” into the non-discrimination clause is a clear improvement. The same list of criteria, including the word “sex,” is already in Article 15 of the Constitution (“Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual”) and has been there since independence in 1973. This has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, which is voided by the Matrimonial Causes Act (1879), which in turn is protected by Article 26(4) of the Constitution."

and here is the wording of the new proposed bill #4 that has you all up in arms:

  1. (3) In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description. … (5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent whit or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes."

Before, discrimination could not be based on race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed. They have simply added the word SEX - meaning you can not be refused a job based on being male or female, for example. This has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage - that would require a change to the Matrimonial Causes act. If you are so paranoid about that freedom being given to others, then vote no on THAT referendum if it ever comes to fruition (highly unlikely in our ignorant, uneducated and backwards society) - but don't take away equality for male and female in this referendum.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

We will all be witnesses to this farce, my friend

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

Bill #1 ........... YES, Bill#2 ................ NO, Bill#3 ............. NO, Bill#4 .......... Hell NO!!!!!!!!!!! 1. encourage traditional marriage 2. discourage marriages of convenience 3. discourage illegitimate liasons 4. discourage sissyism ............... PLP Cabinet has a serious gay agenda

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

Why do the reporters just parrot what politicians say? How can it be historic if it happened once before?

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