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The Nassau Guardian reported last week on 25 April that the former President of the Court of Appeal Dame Joan Sawyer described the attempt to amend the constitution by the Government as “ a waste of time”, even though she never read the bills. The female community was incensed. Amongst those offended was MP Loretta Butler Turner. She told The Tribune in her own words:
“Dame Joan is misleading the electorate.
“There are laws already on the books against discrimination based on religion, creed, sex and the list goes on. Clearly, any form of discrimination can be dealt with from a judicial standpoint once proven in the courts but this referendum is about equality not discrimination.
“This is about equality for men and women where they are not able to pass citizenship. This is about equality for our boys and girls. What really bothered me and most Bahamians is the fact that persons like Dame Joan Sawyer have reached the pinnacle of their legal career, she retired as the chief justice and the fact that she was able to make such strong pronouncements in the absence of facts, really gives me reason to question the motive.
“I would think in the regard that I hold her, I would want to know before she speaks to an issue as critical as this, she would be speaking from a position on knowledge, it seems that she has put these statements out there and by her own admission has not read or studied them.”