Categorized | National News

“Same Sex Marriage Possible,” Says Smith

President of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association Fred Smith has dismissed claims of those opposing the gender equality referendum with the belief that a “yes vote” can lead to same sex marriages as he says The Bahamas Constitution already allows it.


After expressing the GBHRA’s support for the “vote yes” campaign, the attorneys called for Bahamians to stand together in unity as a nation that believes in fundamental rights for all.


“Whether intentionally or through a misunderstanding of the law, many naysayers have managed to spread a very damaging myth about the proposed bills causing same-sex marriages, however the simple truth is the bills couldn’t possibly have the effect they claim, as the path to such unions has been enshrined in our supreme law since independence” he said.


“Article 15 of The Bahamas Constitution already protects individuals from discrimination on a number of grounds, including on the basis of their sex. This was decided by The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in The Bahamas in 1996 in a case argued by him and Maurice Glinton QC before Dame Joan Sawyer in Harbor Lobster and Fish Co. and Jeffrey Butler vs. Attorney General, when the courts held that discrimination on the grounds of “sex” and “gender “ were unconstitutional.”


Mr. Smith said that it is on that basis that any couple whether men or women denied the right to be married, regardless of their gender, can mount a constitutional challenge on the basis of this protection and have the courts ratify their union.


Mr. Smith went on to say there is nothing hidden or even controversial in what the government is trying to do but the intention is simply to amend another section of the constitution so as to bring it in line with the protections outlined in article 15.


Mr. Smith commended the current administration for following through on this crucial issue and said the GBHRA will do everything in its power to encourage Bahamians to vote for equal rights.


In recent weeks, there has been controversy concerning the proposed amendments to bills 2 and 4.


Many have questioned if the amendments will open the door for same sex marriage in the Bahamas.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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