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Christian Council fears 'hidden agenda' in gay rights resolution

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Jun 21, 2011

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In response to the government’s recent decision to back a United Nations resolution in support of rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT) people, the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) yesterday condemned a possible “hidden agenda” which it fears could eventually lead to gay marriage.

The position of the BCC in a press release supports the protection of everyone from all forms of discrimination.

However, it warned that The Bahamas government’s support of the UN resolution could open a spigot that allows for all rights afforded heterosexuals to be offered to GLBT people, including marriage.

The BCC insisted in its release that the institution of marriage should only be consecrated between a man and a woman.

“We agree that no person should be discriminated against.  Every man, woman, boy or girl deserves to be protected against all forms of discrimination,” the BCC statement said.

“Everyone has rights to protection against discrimination, however, we strongly believe that this is a move towards something much greater.

“We in the Christian church firmly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman — period.  As imperfect as that might be at times, it is between a man and woman — full stop.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette said following the resolution last week that while The Bahamas does not sit on the council it is in favor of the resolution in principle.

The resolution, which narrowly passed in the council in Geneva, Switzerland, expressed “grave concern” about discrimination against GLBT people throughout the world and affirmed that freedom to choose sexuality is a human right.

Popular human rights activist, Erin Greene, who has championed gay rights for years, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that she is overjoyed that The Bahamas has taken a favorable position in support of GLBT rights.

Greene added that it sets this country apart from those that exact cruel punishments on anyone of a homosexual persuasion.

“As a Bahamian citizen I'm glad we have taken a step in an enlightened direction,” she said.  “We have moved away from draconian policies about individual behavior.”

Greene said the UN resolution does not suggest countries implement laws to protect gays, but support policies that create mechanisms that deter violence against them.

“Right now The Bahamas as it stands has a good record in terms of legislative protection for gays,” she said.

“This is a great move.  For a country that identifies as a Christian nation this is a step toward that kingdom we seem to be building.

“We're not talking about changing the laws to say that gays are okay.  We are talking about the good samaritan principle which says, ‘take care of those even if you don't agree with what they agree with.’

“For the gay community, it is important for Bahamians that live in a comparatively safe environment to stand up and support other gays around the world.”

The BCC contends that while the UN’s Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution that seeks to give gays and lesbians rights equal to those enjoyed by heterosexuals, it has to define what can be “equal” to both heterosexual and GLBT people.  The BCC insists marriage should not be rights equally enjoyed.

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