“The amendment does not affect the status quo at all in any way, the amendment does not seek too, nor does it at all give additional right to anybody who wanted to get married before the amendment.
“I want to be very clear on that, the amendment does not seek to nor give any loophole or any extra power or any extra right that was not there before,” said Hood.
The bill is one of seven that will be voted upon during the October 27 referendum for a new constitution. Gender equality, according to the legislation, provides for both men and women to be entitled to equal rights and status in all spheres of life, especially in economic, educational, political, civic and social activities.
“This therefore goes to the heart of the matter of the intention of the Bill, the Intent is equal rights for both men and women and not one having more rights than the other,” Hood said, while stressing that government will not in any way go down that route even as he acknowledged that any lawyer can build any case using any law.
Urging the general public to inform themselves with the facts of the issues, he said they should not listen to rum shop talk.
In recent days, several religious bodies have begun campaigning against the Bill, saying that despite it good intention it creates a loophole for gay marriage.
Hood further explained that Grenada’s Marriage Act has not changed and there is no proposal to change it. “The amendment doesn’t speak to marriage,” he said.
Junior Education Minister Simon Stielle said that the present Administration does not support same-sex marriage and it is not the intention of the Keith Mitchell Government to weaken any legislation that will create any loophole within the law.
“There is no intent to weaken any provision that will provide for same- sex marriage…the Bill speaks to equal opportunity, it does not speak to same-sex marriage,” said Stielle, who reminded journalists that Prime Minister Mitchell has openly said he is not in support of same-sex unions.
Hood said that as a country, he trusts that the voting population will see the opportunity that is presented to play an important role in the having a say in the supreme law of the land.
‘It’s the first time the people are having a say and no politician can do it, it is now up to people,” he said.
The Bill needs to be passed by a two-thirds majority of those voting in the referendum to become law.