Current Affairs

Bahamas: Chief Justice predicts that equal marriage will be addressed in court soon

Joseph McCormick February 19, 2013
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The Bahamian Chief Justice has said that he believes that courts will address the issue of equal marriage soon in the country.

In an optimistic address, Sir Michael Barnett predicted that the issue would come to the courts in the Bahamas, and said that he would be looking to other countries for reference when considering the issue.

“I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time when the courts of The Bahamas will address the issue of same sex marriage,” he said on Friday

“I also have no doubt that in deciding the issue we will have respect for the decisions that emanate not only from the Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia, but also from decisions of the courts of the Unites States of America.

“But our references to the views of justices of the United States are not limited to referring to those decisions in our own judgments.”

He went on to say that similarities with the US due to its close proximity to the Bahamas would play a role in how possible legislation would take shape.

“Based on its proximity to the United States, commerce, trade and tourism link our respective economies,” he said.

“More and more citizens of both our countries are finding it necessary to resort to the courts of our countries to resolve the disputes that inevitably arise.

“Ours is an ever shrinking global village. The problems that affect the lives of our citizens and the residents of our respective countries have more in common than there are differences.

“Our respective countries both have written constitutions that protect our human rights. Our citizens and visitors look to us, the justices of court, to protect these rights. Little justice is served by reinventing the wheel.

“Our task as justices is helped by looking to our colleagues of different countries to see how they have considered and dealt with the problems.”

He went on to say that the internet made it easier to research similar cases around the globe.

Two weeks ago in the Bahamas, Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd recommended that the constitution be amended to rule out the possibility of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Boyd presented his recommendations to the Constitutional Commission on 1 February, and did go on to say, however, that he did not support equal marriage.

While civil unions and equal marriage both remain illegal in the country, some same-sex Bahamian couples have travelled abroad to marry.


Related topics: equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, wedding

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