April 22, 2016
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts asserted yesterday the pastors who have formed the Save Our Bahamas group do not have any evidence to support their opposition to the fourth constitutional amendment bill.
"I urge all Bahamians to look clearly and closely at the facts in making their decisions as there will be a tremendous amount of misinformation placed in the public domain over the course of this YES Bahamas campaign, and so Bahamians must remain focused and vigilant," Roberts said.
Despite the criticisms that have arisen since they voiced their opposition to bill number four on Sunday, the Save Our Bahamas pastors have stuck to their position.
"As previously stated, we are convinced that given the precedent set in other nations, bill number four will open the door to legalizing same-sex marriage in The Bahamas," the group said in a statement on Wednesday.
"This view is reinforced by the refusal of the government to amend the Constitution of The Bahamas to define marriage as a union between a born male and a born female only."
Save Our Bahamas is led by Pastor Mario Moxey of Bahamas Harvest Church, Pastor Lyall Bethel of Grace Community Church, Rev. Alfred Stewart of New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and popular talk show host Kevin "Minister K" Harris.
"The reason why we're focused on bill number four is because we feel that it opens the door to same-sex marriage, and as a result of that, this is a moral issue as such. And because it is a moral issue, we feel that it's important for the church to voice their concern, and so that is what we are doing," Moxey said on Saturday.
Stewart added, "I think one of the reasons we need to sound the alarm on that question is due to the fact that the government has ignored the expressed wishes of the Bahamian people to provide a clause in the constitution that would protect marriage as we know it today as a union between a man and a woman."
The pastors are also pushing for a fifth bill, which would provide for a constitutional provision defining marriage as being between a man (who was born male) and a woman (who was born female).
Save Our Bahamas also requested that the government provide $100,000 in seed money to assist the vote no campaign just as the government is supporting the vote yes campaign.
Yesterday, Roberts said, "the committee has failed to offer any evidence based in Bahamian law".
"The committee makes no reference to our 1973 independence constitution, particularly our Matrimonial Causes Act which in fact saves bill number four from the very same thing critics are arguing bill number four will open the Bahamas up to," Roberts said.
"We are all freedom loving people and that treacherous journey to social justice particularly between 1834 and 1967 culminated in a very hard fought victory and we cannot and must not turn the clock back on human rights and equality.
"I support more rights for all Bahamians, not less rights, and I support these four bills without reservation because their passage will make us all equal under our constitution."
Save Our Bahamas has not yet publicly outlined a legal argument to support its opposition to bill number four.
Guardian Staff Reporter
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