Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams has responded to a local evangelical group that has taken lawmakers to task for using what it described as underhanded tactics to alter the national position on same-sex intimacy.
He said authorities are not currently in a position to make any changes to the various pieces of legislation with which Family-Faith-Freedom (FFF) Barbados has taken issue.
FFF Barbados last week intensified their objections to portions of the Barbados Welcome Stamp Initiative and the Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill, 2020 which, in their opinion, contradict the country’s long-held values.
“Family-Faith-Freedom Barbados would like the Parliament of Barbados to do three things: remove the word ‘partner’ from the Remote Employment Bill, define the term ‘sexual orientation’ in the Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill, 2020 and remove the term ‘domestic partnership’ from the Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill, 2020,” demanded attorney-at-law and FFF board member Corey Beckles.
But when asked to address the issue today during a press conference to update the country on the Barbados Welcome Stamp initiative, Minister Abrahams contended that nothing could be done about the legislation at this time since Parliament has been prorogued.
“I am aware of what you are speaking about, and as you are aware, Parliament has been prorogued and any tweaking to any Bill or any consideration like that would have to be addressed after Parliament restarts,” he explained.
“I can’t say any more than that. Those issues are being raised at a time when we are not in a position to address them.”
He further suggested that such questions should be directed to the Attorney General who would have a much better grasp on legislative reform and matters of that nature.
“When Parliament starts back, the normal parliamentary agenda will resume and considerations of all the things that the Government feels is in the best interest of Barbados to do and all the laws that Barbados feels in the interest to amend [will be done],” Abrahams added.
The Home Affairs Minister was also asked whether any interest have been expressed by same-sex unions in participating in the Barbados Welcome Stamp initiative.
“I actually can’t answer that,” he said. “Our application seeks a lot of information; it does not ask if you are in a same-sex union.”