Gambia: 'Marriage Should Be Based On Free, Full Consent of Intended Parties' CRC Chairperson

Chapter six of the draft Constitution, part two which deals with specific rights and freedoms have indicated that marriage should be based on the free and full consent of intended parties; that men and women of full age and capacity have the right to marry and found a family.

Many people who analyzed the new draft Constitution argued that this part promotes gay rights and marriages of the same sexes.

In an interview with this medium in Basse Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) said this provision was part of the 1997 Constitution.

"We thought the provision is clear and what is there is not new. This provision is in the current 1997 Constitution and it has never been an issue," he said.

Justice Jallow said if the public sees this to be an issue, the CRC will revisit it to make sure that national values are taken into account and adequately given the consideration they deserve.

"It is difficult to write a Constitution especially when you have to consider the opinions of the public," he said; that what is out is just a draft and is yet premature for people to take it; that otherwise, the public just has to take the opportunity to communicate to the CRC in order for their opinions to be considered.

CRC Chairperson Jallow urged Gambians to look at the provisions properly, for them to understand that there is a Law in the Criminal Act prohibiting gay marriages in the country; that nobody can build a perfect Constitution which everyone will come to terms with; that that for the interest of the nation and the feature generations to come, the CRC will deliver a good Constitution for the country.

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