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Aug 26, 2016

In House, Prime Minister Asks Churches to Meet Attorney General

Dean Barrow

The recent controversial Section Fifty-three ruling is the primary reason why almost two thousand protestors from across the country descended on Independence Hill today.  Acknowledging the presence of the demonstrators outside of the House, PM Barrow reiterated government’s position that it will not appeal the Supreme Court decision.  PM Barrow went on to say that prior to leaving the country over the weekend, he wrote the churches to invite the respective leaders to sit with the Attorney General to discuss the matter.  He says he’s not certain that the churches have accepted that offer.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Please, again the nation needs to understand that Section 53, before it was struck down by the Chief Justice, made sexual conduct against the order of nature between adults a crime punishable by ten years in prison. Now sexual conduct against the order of nature has been interpreted to mean a range of things, most notably and most sensitively, from the Churches’ point of view, said it included anal sex—but anal sex between adults, not just between homosexuals. Anal sex between adults was criminalized. What a lot of people don’t also understand that certainly before your time Mister Speaker, when I was a criminal lawyer; that against the order of nature also included oral sex. So then, until the court—unu need fi laugh because I want to know who among us is not guilty in terms of that larger definition. Anyway Mister Speaker, just again for the sake of clarity; that thing included oral sex between a man and a woman, so to the extent that the Chief Justice’s ruling does no more than to say acts of sexual behavior between consent adults in private should no longer attract a criminal sanction. I insist in my own position that the judgment from a legal point of view is correct. Clearly that is not the case of the churches. What I really want to say is this…before I left, I had written to the churches inviting them to meet with the Attorney General to discuss this matter. I haven’t had a chance to speak to the Attorney General, but there has been no response to my letter proffering that invitation. So as far as I can tell, the churches have not taken up on that offer.”

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