by Anesta Henry
Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn has urged Government to stop sending mixed signals on legalizing same sex relationships and allow Barbadians to vote on the issue, as he accused the administration of trying to “sneak it through the back door”.
His call came after Governor General Dame Sandra Mason announced in the Throne Speech at the opening of Parliament today, that Government is prepared to ”recognise a form of same sex civil unions” but would not allow same sex marriage as that would be put to a public referendum.
Franklyn said the decision made no sense as far as he was concerned, as it was “basically saying I am going to allow people to do what couples do but we are not in for it”.
“What Government must do is to change the law if they want to do this thing, because they are encouraging people to break the law.
“Let me make it absolutely clear that I don’t care what you or anybody else does in the privacy of their homes. But our law says it is illegal and I don’t know
if you call it sex, but if you have that type of thing with a man and man that is a crime in Barbados still.
“Now if you want to encourage that and you want to talk about discrimination, you must change that law first,” he argued.
“When you have these civil unions of people living together, they don’t just go home, cook, and have breakfast, dinner, watch television and then come back home and do it all over again.
“No, they do these things that the law does not allow,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The Governor General, in her speech, pointed out that the legal systems of modern societies recognise many different forms of human relationships and noted that Barbados was increasingly finding itself on international lists that identify it as having a poor human rights record.
However, Senator Franklyn insisted
that if the Barbados Labour Party administration is a government of law, it must change legislation first and stop “trying to rush things through the back door
or sneak it through the back door”.
“They have to stop this nonsense and think things through. They don’t speak to the morals of this country.
“Whether the Americans like it or not, whether the Europeans like it or not, this is Barbados and Barbados has certain values. Now if you want to change those values you must bring it in gradually to get people
to accept them,” he contended.
“You just don’t come and push it down people’s throats because you want to be seen hugging up your boyfriend and kissing your boyfriend down town.
It is unacceptable the way that they are proposing to do this. Go and change the laws first, let us have a debate in this country, let everybody join in the debate.
“Give us adequate notice so that people would be able to have their say on it one way or the other.
“It is not good enough to say we are the Government, we got 29 seats and we can do whatever we like, because just now you wouldn’t have 29 seats, you might not even get two, not if you continue behaving in this manner,” Franklyn argued.