She said the Government is opposed to same-sex relationships, when asked if the Government has altered its National Gender Policy from its first draft, at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. Previously Prime Minister Patrick Manning had rejected a call to re-define “gender” to include gays, as on March 25, 2006 he had said, “A man is a man; a woman is a woman. And whenever the twain meet it is in special circumstances.”
Mc Donald yesterday agreed, referring to the latest draft. She said: “This document is very clear. We are not dealing with any issues relating to termination of pregnancy, same-sex unions, homosexuality, or sexual orientation. The Government’s position is very clear also. The policy is that we do not support abortion. We are very clear on that.”
Mc Donald said this latest draft, yesterday accepted by Cabinet, would soon be laid in Parliament as a green paper, open for public comment.
“So there will be a debate out there in the public domain,” she said. She vowed support for global goals of gender equality such as the United Nations’ Millennium Goals and Platform for Action , and the Beijing Declaration.
Mc Donald said Cabinet had in September 2002 agreed to develop such draft policy, and a national action plan. Consultants, the Centre for Gender and Development Studies (UWI, St Augustine), submitted their report, ‘‘The Draft National Gender Policy and Action Plan’’ to the ministry in 2004.
She listed the centre’s consultations. “This included a national stakeholder consultation, seven committee consultations, 10 interest group consultations in Trinidad, six interest group consultations in Tobago, and island-wide consultation.”
She said the draft policy supports “gender perspectives in all activities of government and civil society”.
Mc Donald said the Government and Economic Community of Latin America and the Caribbean will host the 43rd Meeting of Presiding Officers of the Conference of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Hyatt Regency on July 7 and 8.