So Peter Turnquest jumped to his feet in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 16 December 2020 to say that the bill which the FNM Government that he sat in two or three weeks ago was passing a bill on fisheries that would discriminate against Bahamian women. The bill prohibits non Bahamians from fishing in Bahamian waters, even as work permit holders. Nothing like a man who has just found religion. For Peter Turnquest, this must have been a Damascus moment.
Here is what he said in his own words:
“Does that mean that spousal permit holders and permanent residents are likewise excluded from being able to fish? And if that is in fact the case, how do we square that with the constitution and general human right? Because I would think that any spouse of a Bahamian should have the right to support their family in whatever their skill is and I think it’s a slippery slope because if you start with fishing, then is the hotel industry next?”
“We do not want to continue to perpetuate a discriminatory policy against Bahamian women in particular because let’s face it, that’s what we’re talking about. The constitution already has some built-in discriminatory clauses, this seems to be further entrenching that discriminatory clause were we males are saying to these females that we don’t trust you to make a decision about your spouse…and it also seems to be admitting that maybe the Immigration Department is not able to police these marriages of convenience and thus we are punishing people who actually have a sustainable marriage.”