Bahamas referendum on traditional values

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie says the proposed referendum to amend the constitution will not allow for same sex marriages to become legal in the Bahamas.

Christie, who recently launched the YES Bahamas Campaign “Equal Rights for our Sons and Daughters,” told his audience that the Bahamas will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. The referendum will be held on June 7.

He said the referendum will not cause same sex-marriage to become legal in the Bahamas.

“Marriage in the Bahamas will be legal only if it is between a man and a woman, and male and female are determined at birth,” he said.

The prime minister said the referendum does not seek to change Bahamian society or our traditional values — instead it seeks to change the Constitution so that it more clearly reflects those values and shared belief in fairness.

Christie said that the YES Bahamas Campaign will be relying on young and old Bahamians for their creativity and enthusiasm, visiting each of our islands, and providing information to Bahamians on each of the amendments.

He said the Constitutional Commission will continue a very intense schedule of information sessions leading up to the June 7 referendum.

The prime minister said that the referendum was necessary to change the 1973 Constitution, which prevented Parliament from passing laws which would discriminate based on race or creed or place of origin.

But, he noted, that the framers of the Constitution “did not include sex, that is, they did not insert any language in the Constitution which would prevent Parliament from passing laws which discriminate against men or women.”

Christie said that the June 7 referendum will allow for Bahamians to vote on four common sense changes to our Constitution, “so that Bahamian men and women are able to pass citizenship to their families in the same way and so that it will be impossible for any future Parliament to pass laws discriminating against either men or women.

He said the bill does not pose any radical change but to make sure that the supreme law of the land reflects “our values and our commitment to fairness.”

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