April 23, 2016
Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller is certain "you will never see legal same-sex marriage in The Bahamas in this lifetime" and has dismissed religious leaders promoting a no vote in the upcoming gender equality referendum as "simply putting foolishness" in the minds of the Bahamian people.
"I am very surprised and disappointed that every time an important matter that involves the affairs of our country, we can never have unity on it; there is always one group fighting against the other group," said Miller on Thursday.
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 talk show host Kevin "Minister K" Harris.
Save Our Bahamas confirmed its belief about the referendum in a statement on Wednesday: "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.
"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."
Bill number four would make it unconstitutional to discriminate against a person based on sex, defined as male or female.
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).
Miller said, "This is one instance where it appears that the majority of the major churches and the major denominations in the country are with the yes vote. But it intrigues me that even the representative for the gay community (Erin Greene) is pushing for a no vote for question four.
Human rights activist Erin Greene said she will not be supportings a yes vote for bill 4. Greene said while bill four seeks to end discrimination based on sex, the bill would not protect intersex people because they are not defined as either male or female.
Miller said "Why does anyone believe that members of Parliament, including the government of The Bahamas, would ever enact an amendment to the constitution that gives males or females the right to marry each other? That will never happen in this country. I do not think you will see that in this lifetime.
"There are strict laws that prevent two males or two females from being legally married in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. There is really nothing to fear when it comes to number four; to me, number four is the easiest one. The same people who opposed the gaming vote are here again opposing this referendum. Its always the same people going against the government of The Bahamas and I just do not get it.
"When I see people like Neil Ellis, who represents one of the largest denominations in The Bahamas, and William Thompson, who has the baptist following in the country, that came out in favor of the referendum and said we should give the people a chance to vote on equality...
"Why would you listen to innuendos that The Bahamas government is trying to force down the throats of the Bahamian people that a man could marry a man and a woman could marry a woman? Nothing could be further from the truth. It will never happen.
"And now they come with this idiotic suggestion that the government should give them money to run their advertisements. Tell them to go to Save the Bays. This foolishness about give me $100,000 is utter garbage. For them to try to influence those who do not know any better, in my opinion, is grossly unfair."
Save Our Bahamas requested that the government provide $100,000 in seed money to assist the vote no campaign, just as the government is supporting the YES Bahamas campaign.
"I am totally against same sex marriage, let me make that 100 percent clear," Miller said. "And I think all of the members in Parliament, certainly the vast majority, would be totally against it. The government is not promoting anything. All the government is trying to do is to educate its people on what these amendments are all about."
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