Categorized | National News

AG Fires Back At Dame Joan

Allyson Maynard Gibson _7Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson says the upcoming gender equality referendum is a “historic opportunity” to grant everyone equal rights.


The AG’s comments came after former Court of Appeal President Dame Joan Sawyer referred to the upcoming referendum as “a waste of time, unnecessary” saying she would “vote no to all” while admitting that she has not read the questions and is going on what has been reported in the media.


Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said that the referendum will, if voted yes to, prevent any further discrimination no matter the gender.


“Bahamians understand that men and women will always be different, but that as citizens, they should be treated equally. And many Bahamians agree: this is an historic opportunity to make sure our children and grandchildren share the same rights and the same opportunities,” she said.


She added that although Parliament cannot pass laws which will discriminate on the basis of race or religion, the referendum presents an opportunity to specifically prevent new leas which might discriminate against a Bahamian citizen based on their gender.


Dame Joan said that there are two provisions in the constitution that currently deal with discrimination.


According to Article 15 in the constitution, every person in The Bahamas is entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual no matter his race, place of origin, etc. and Article 26 says that no person should be treated in a discriminatory manner.


According to Mrs. Maynard-Gibson though, these articles do not fully cover discrimination fully.


“The courts have repeatedly found that Article 15 does not guarantee equal rights. Article 26 is the only provision which deals with discrimination,” she said.


“It must therefore be amended if Bahamian men and women are to be able to count on equal treatment under our laws.”


Bill one stated that a married Bahamian woman will have the same rights as a married Bahamian man to pass her the citizenship on to child; next bill two proposes that the foreign spouse of a Bahamian woman will have the same rights as the spouse of a Bahamians man to become a Bahamians citizen; then bill three proposes that an unmarried Bahamian man will have the same rights as an unmarried Bahamian woman to pass his citizenship on to his child; lastly bill four proposes that discrimination be removed from the constitution on the basis of sex.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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