Categorized | Featured, National News

Anglican Bishop Urges Support Of Gender Equality

Head of the Anglican Church in The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands Bishop Laish Boyd urged Bahamians to apply common sense when evaluating the upcoming referendum on gender equality and avoid the tendency of being xenophobic.
During his charge at the 113th Session of the Synod of the Diocese at Christ Church Cathedral Tuesday evening, Bishop Boyd announced his support of the amendments which seek to bring about equality between men and women and said the vote is simply about fairness and doing what is right.

“Bahamians are sensitive about who gets Bahamian citizenship, as any national should be. However, I am of the opinion that a lot of us simply need to grow up and come into the real world: we cannot have different strokes for different folks, i.e., different rules for men and women,” Bishop Boyd said. “Thousands of persons are disenfranchised and traumatised because of this. Families we all know and love are in anguish and turmoil – and it is not right.

“And, truth-be-told, a lot of the phobia against persons obtaining Bahamian citizenship that is surfacing in this current referendum process has to do with our prejudice against Haitians and Jamaicans in particular, and foreigners in general, and about our fear of foreign nations overrunning this country.”

The issue of same-sex marriage has become a part of the debate since the government proposed revising the constitution; however, Bishop Boyd dismissed that argument which he said has surfaced to serve as a distraction.

“I cannot see how this can be so nor have I heard any argument that spells out how it can be so. Having fears and concerns is one thing, but do we deny tens of thousands their rights based on “what if’s”? I do not think so,” he said. “These amendments are about establishing gender equality and seek to equalize the means of transmitting citizenship. What the introduction of the talk about same-sex marriage does is have the effect of steering the discussion into matters that simply do not arise. I consider it to be a red herring.

“The vote on these amendments is so critical to our integrity and to justice as a nation. I shudder to think that we would go to the polls and vote against these amendments. What would we be saying to the world? That we do not believe in gender equality? That we do not believe in the equal rights of men and women to transmit citizenship to their children?”

The government initially announced that the referendum would take place on November 6, however, that date has been postponed with the vote now not expected to take until sometime next year.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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