The Seventh-day Adventist Church Encourages Participation in Gender Equality Referendum
Although the following statement was submitted to numerous media houses in the Bahamas, there have been folks inquiring as to the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church regarding the four bills for the gender equality referendum slated for June 7, 2016. In fact, some individuals have asked, “How should we vote?”
It is not the practice of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to tell members how to vote. Instead, the church leadership has sought to educate its members here in the Bahamas regarding the bills. Now, with the vote due on Tuesday, June 7, each member is encouraged to participate by voting his conscience. As citizens of Christ we are encouraged to respect the different opinions of others and in no way seek to “dis” anyone who may espouse a different view. Additionally, as this week’s article relates directly to a Bahamian referendum, I crave the understanding of the readers of my weekly articles who do not reside in the Bahamas.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church
Encourages Participation in Gender Equality Referendum
SDA Church Believes in Gender Equality
The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes and advocates that all Bahamians have the right to exercise with equality their privileges and freedoms as citizens. As it relates to the issue of gender equality, the Seventh-day Adventist Church views both males and females as having been created in the image and likeness of God as noted in Genesis 1:27.
SDA Church Commends Bi-partisan Vote of Parliament
Given this fact, the Adventist Church commends the bi-partisan vote of parliament as it sought to address the obvious gender inequality in the constitution of the Bahamas. Furthermore, the Adventist Church affirms its support for the fundamental principle of treating all citizens (male, female, young, old, religious, non-religious, of whichever socioeconomic or ethnic background) as equals under the law.
SDA Church Discourages Politicizing the Issue
Notwithstanding some concerns expressed by some of our church members regarding aspects of the Bills, the Adventist Church continues to believe in the objective of addressing the present inequalities relating to males and females. Additionally, the Seventh-day Adventist Church urges all involved to present, discuss, and educate our citizens without any hint of politicizing this critical national issue.
SDA Church Encourages Members to Vote Their Conscience
Accordingly, while encouraging support for participation and discussion in the upcoming referendum slated for June 7, 2016, the Seventh-day Adventist Church respects the rights of its members to exercise their God-given and constitutional freedom to choose based on the dictates of their conscience.