Gambia: The Draft Constitution and Same Sex Marriage

analysis

Section 27 of The 1997 Constitution states:

"Right to marry

(1) Men and Women of full age and capacity shall have the right to marry and found a family.

(2) Marriage shall be based on the free and full consent of the intended parties."

Clause 54 of the draft Constitution states:

"A man and a woman of full age and capacity have the right to marry and found a family and such marriage shall be based on the free and full consent of the man and the woman"

The CRC decided to make it impossible for anyone to give any interpretation to the right to marry by indicating that a man and woman have a right to marry by using the indefinite article and further based their marriage on free and full consent by using the definite article.

In the first phrase an indefinite article is used to introduce the concept of marriage between a man and a woman, thus limiting the number of people entering the marriage to one pair.

Furthermore, the second phrase introduces the definite article by indicating that such a marriage between the pair shall be based on the full consent of the pair.

Anybody who gives any other interpretation to this clause must be seen to be guilty of ignorance or deception.

Suffice it to say, marriages are officiated based on law. Muslims have the Muslim Marriage Act. Christians have the Christian Marriage Act and the State has the State Marriage Act. There is no law in the Gambia that talks about Same Sex Marriage Act. All those who are giving sermons against Clause 54 of the draft Constitution should be asked why they did not give sermons against Section 27 of the 1997 Constitution which The Jammeh administration brought into being and which is still the Constitution of the Republic. Nobody had ever indicated that Section 27 could be relied on to promote same sex marriage.

Ignorance is the road to national distrust, disunity and retrogression.

Gambians should always bear in mind that an intellectual without conscience is a virtual criminal. Such an intellectual would promote truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth.

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