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Barbados Preparing To Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions


Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason walking into Parliament to deliver the Throne Speech. (Image via @mamottley Instagram)

The Barbadian government announced a historic change in the recognition of same-sex partnerships during the opening of Parliament at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Tuesday.


In a Parliament address by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, the political leader revealed the intent of the Mia Mottley Administration to extend civil union rights to same-sex couples.


From Nation News:

“Mr. President, my Government is prepared to recognize a form of civil unions for couples of the same gender so as to ensure that no human being in Barbados will be discriminated against, in exercise of civil rights that ought to be theirs,” said Dame Sandra.
“Mr. President, my Government is prepared to recognize a form of civil unions for couples of the same gender so as to ensure that no human being in Barbados will be discriminated against, in exercise of civil rights that ought to be theirs,” said Dame Sandra.
“The settlement of Barbados was birthed and fostered in discrimination, but the time has come for us to end discrimination in all forms. I wish to emphasize that my Government is not allowing any form of same-sex marriage, and will put this matter to a public referendum. My Government will accept and be guided by the vote of the public as promised in the manifesto.”
If Barbados wants to be counted among the “progressive nations of the world”, she continued, the country must change “how we treat to human sexuality and relations”.
“My Government will do the right thing, understanding that this too will attract controversy. Equally, it is our hope that with the passage of time, the changes we now propose will be part of the fabric of our country’s record of law, human rights, and social justice,” Dame Sandra added.

The island has increasingly found itself on international lists of having a “poor human rights record” because of this and can’t afford to be blacklisted when it relies so heavily on external funding and investment, reports Nation News.


You may recall our exclusive reporting of a controversial decision by the Mottley administration to prohibit the extension of a special visa to same-sex couples to work remotely from Barbados. The decision was quickly reversed and prompted Mottley to address the controversy and her country's long history of LGBTQ discrimination from the Parliament floor.


No discrimination on the grounds of race, no discrimination on the grounds of age, no discrimination on the grounds of color, no discrimination on the grounds of gender, no discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
And the people that want to put us in a box that will allow people to be discriminated against for any reason, Mr. Speaker, that is not who we are. We are not that person. We are not that person. And we've never been. You know the irony is that this country has welcomed people for decades and centuries without being that person. This country has made people feel comfortable.
I am not going to be part of any communication that suggests that Barbados is trying to be half of who or what it is, and that we are sponsoring discrimination or phobias of any type."-Mia Mottley









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