May 26, 2016
Save Our Bahamas Vote No Committee member Pastor Lyall Bethel has expressed concerns about the symbols to be used on the ballot sheet in the upcoming gender equality referendum.
Earlier this month, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said following a recommendation from the Constitutional Commission and approval by Cabinet, the scales of justice symbol will be used for the 'yes' vote and the symbol of a gate will be used for the word 'no' on the ballot sheet.
Bethel, the pastor of Grace Community Church, questioned the inference of the symbols.
"Many a vote no supporter has expressed anger at the implications implied in these symbols, that the vote yes side is on the side of justice, and that the vote no side is as a gate holding back progress," Bethel said.
He accused the Constitutional Commission of brainwashing the public with its marketing schemes.
"As if the two-year head start of brainwashing by the Constitutional Commission termed educating the public was not enough, the PM hires a team of professionals from the public purse to further promote his yes agenda, while denying the no vote any financing, as though this was his personal funds, spending an obscene amount of money to air their commercials endlessly. He now adds to his transgressions this not so subtle symbolism," Bethel said in a statement.
He added, "My mother used to say 'when you have power you must be gentle with it'. Ask yourself, Mr. Prime Minister, if your actions have been just and responsible?"
Bethel cautioned the prime minister to "conduct these matters fairly, and to not make the mistake of treating holy things with contempt to please others, least God weight him in the balance and find him wanting".
The referendum will take place on June 7.
Jayme C. Pinder, G uardian Staff Reporter
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