Saturday 28 November, 2020

Prime Minister Mottley says all welcomed to Barbados

(FILE) Prime Minister Mia Mottley

(FILE) Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has put to bed any question of discrimination in Barbados.

During her two-hour address in the House of Assembly (July 21), the Barbadian Prime Minister stressed that the island welcomed everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

" I want to say that as long as I am prime minister of this nation, we welcome all. Everyone. 
At this country that has been forged regrettably in the bowels of discrimination cannot want to discriminate against anybody for any reason, all must breathe in this world, all must breathe in this country."

This was in response discussions online regarding if same-sex marriages or relationships were eligible to apply as a family for the Barbados Welcome Stamp. The conversation snowballed into discussions about homophobia and the island's archaic legislation against homosexuality. 

In response, Mottley argued that the island will not be "put in a box" and has traditionally welcomed visitors without discrimination or phobia. 

She charged that the island recognises unions outside of marriage as is evidenced with more than 70 per cent of the population coming from unions besides marriage. 

"The people that want to put us in a box that will allow people to be discriminated against for any reason, that is not who we are. We are not that person and we have never been," said the prime minister. 

She further added:

"This country has welcomed people for decades and centuries without being that person. This country has made people feel comfortable and I am not going to be a part of any communication that suggest that Barbados is trying to be half of who or what it is and we are sponsoring discrimination or phobias of any type. . . . The laws of the land must not act as a scourge on the lives of human beings. The laws of this land must not act as an inhibitor to opportunity for our citizens".

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