The incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has put the issue of same sex marriage squarely before the electorate in the lead up to the May 24 general election, with the party’s Christ Church East candidate Dr Denis Lowe declaring stiff opposition to any such unions.
“I stand in opposition to any attempt to legalize same sex marriage in Barbados. I stand firmly against it. If you want to do that [be involved in a same-sex relationship], do it in the privacy of your home. Don’t tell me there is going to be a law that will tell me I have to be subjected to that,” Lowe said during a spot meeting at Carters Gap, Christ Church last night at which he made clear his position on the issue.
It was not the first time that Lowe was publicly denouncing what he saw as advocacy to legally wed persons of the same gender. However, on this occasion he went to greater lengths to explain his strident position on the issue, over which he had warned exactly a year ago that “there is an attempt in certain quarters to advance a legislative call for same-sex marriage, and I do not have any intention, within or without the legislator to support any such notion because I still believe in the biblical way of life”.
To that he added a further caution last night that “there is to be no law in Barbados saying that I have to be subjected to two men walking up an aisle, one in a wedding dress and one in a tuxedo.
“I don’t want to live in that kind of Barbados and that is what we are fighting right now,” he said.
“I don’t want them telling me how to live in my society by creating a law in the statutory books saying that I have to accept a man marrying a man. I am not doing it and I don’t care who don’t agree with me, that is my personal opinion,” the Minister of Environment and Drainage stressed.
In its 70-page manifesto released last Thursday, the Barbados Labour Party – which is the main challenger to the DLP in the 2018 poll – explicitly states that it has no policy on same-sex unions.
“We have said that repeatedly. We believe that no 30 people should be allowed to make decisions on issues that go to the heart of the nation’s collective values. This issue can only be determined by the outcome of a referendum,” the manifesto states.
However, Lowe, in taking a hard stance on the matter, said he had two teenage sons and “I don’t want them to have to get up in the morning and see Paul and Peter and ask which is mummy. I don’t want that”.
While admitting that all citizens were entitled to choice, the Christ Church East candidate argued that the legalization of same sex marriages would amount to moving away from the island’s traditional morals, values and traditions.
“That is not the kind of society we have. God have given us free will to make choices of our own and whatever you choose to do in your home is between you and your God.
“[But] a society is built on standards. A society is built on principles, integrity and trustworthiness [and] we cannot allow our society to deteriorate into that kind of situation where young men and women have lost sight of the virtues of traditional families and where people don’t care about us.”
Pointing fingers at BLP leader Mia Mottley, he accused her of being silent on the matter of sexual harassment in the work place and domestic violence against women.
“They are supposed to be the party of women and on no occasion did Ms Mottley make herself available for the debate [on these issues].
“You can’t tell me you want to run a modern society like Barbados and you can’t find it in your heart to come out in Parliament and defend women against domestic violence,” he stressed.