Church welcomes proposed gender policy

The island’s largest religious denomination has responded to Government’s proposed gender policy, which does not address same sex unions.

Government legislator and women’s activist Irene Sandiford-Garner told the press launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 Champion today that she expects such a move to generate “heated” debate.

Sandiford-Garner, who is the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport reiterated that a draft of the policy had been completed and was going through the process before being taken to Parliament for discussion.

“We did not have a gender policy and it is something that has been long awaiting. It is going to be tackling so very many areas. There are some which are still in contention.

“The areas I could easily identify with would be the areas where we have the LGBT [lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders] movement not being happy with some of the specific clauses which do not speak to same sex relationships,” she said.

However, Anglican Bishop of Barbados Dr John Holder said tonight while the Church in Barbados and in the province of the West Indies did not, and would not support discrimination against persons because of their sexual orientation, at this stage, it preferred to hold on to the principles of marriage between a man and a woman.

“We treat each person as a human being in this world, as a child of God. We accept the fact that there are different sexual orientations among human beings and that has been there from the dawn of time . . . we accept that.  But we hold on still, in this part of the world, in this province of the West Indies, . . . we hold on to marriage as that between a man and woman,” the church leader told Barbados TODAY.

“So we have not gone to the stage where we are treating marriage as a same gender marriage. We are not there yet. We are still holding on to the traditional marriage between man and woman, but we do not, and will not discriminate against people with different sexual orientations.

“We have never done that and we will not do that. We are all children of God. We would not do that.”

At the same time, the Anglican Bishop did not rule out the society getting to the stage where it, or the Church accepted same sex marriages.

“You know in this world, you can’t say ‘no’, because time is like a sliding scale and what we said ‘no’ to a hundred years ago, we are saying ‘yes’ to a  hundred years later. So we don’t know, we don’t know,” he stressed.

Bishop Holder believes the new gender policy reflects the notion that the Barbadian society was not yet ready for same sex relationships as an institution.

“They haven’t gone over to deal with the same sex issue. [This] suggests that the society itself may not be at that stage where they will respond to that legislation. I am just guessing. I always think that we move along at a pace and stages where we think the society is able to deal with the changes comfortably,” the church leader contended.
“So at this stage,” he added, “if they are saying that they are not going in that direction, I assume that research would suggest, that that may not be at this stage the most comfortable place to travel.”

In the meantime, Sandiford-Garner, who is an outspoken feminist and member of the cabinet committee on governance said Barbadians, particularly women activists, have been waiting on the new gender policy for a very long time, as it will give women an equal voice across various sectors and legislation.

The institutional framework will initiate and coordinate efforts to strengthen relations between the sexes, seeking to address six major issues, including power and decision-making, health and education, employment, poverty and housing, family and sexuality, culture language and spirituality and violence and crime.


6 Responses to No LGBT

  1. Alex Alleyne December 15, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I take it that the comments made by the person of the LGBT in the USA about Barbados has shook up the policy makers .
    May be a call came through from “far and away” .

  2. dave December 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    IT IS –
    The End of the World as we know it.
    From the time a Man could marry a Man
    It was all over
    You have men wanting to be women and a whole heap of shyte
    The world done !!!
    Cant go on so boah !! sumting’has gotta giv

  3. jrsmith December 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Its not really going to matter , what the black west Indians or black people think of gay marriages, you like or lump it, as like most of everything in the world we have no control over. if some of you think the world is going to end because of this , big deal. stop living in cloud cookoo land, and realize ,the same gay people is controlling the financial world ,which we depend on for hand outs. Stop this stupidness and try and get on with putting Barbados right.

    Bit of food for thought, in the UK, police are not covering burglaries, but if you use a homophobic remark, they will arrest in seconds. so there.

  4. BOBO The Clown December 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    If i ever find meself coming home to a man instead of a woman some body got to leave da house ’cause i aint want no man riding me or vise a versa.Da a stuff fa wild animals . That is why i have no problem wid muslim countries dat will “Geld A Fellow” for dat or even worse chop a head or two .cause de Great book seh ,marriage should always be between man n woman ,it never seh between two bullers.

  5. dave December 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    The World as we know it is over for it is said that we are living in a different World. 40 years ago it was not legal for a Man to Marrinate a Man. Now It is . And men turning from Men to Women . The World as we know/knew is over.

  6. J. Payne December 15, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Barbados is a part of that Inter-American Court so Barbados has to change the law sooner or later because that is the demand of that court.


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