The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee entertained a number question and concerns at their second opened discussion Tuesday evening at the UB Jaguar Auditorium. The topic of discussion was rooted on the which were first tabled at the House of Representatives and caught the attention of the country at large. The bill seeking to amend section 46 was especially and eyebrow raiser. The infamous words of this proposed amendment reads as follows:“Every person who penetrates another person’s mouth, anus or vagina with his penis, without that person’s consent or a reasonable belief that the other person consents, commits the offense of rape and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is no less than eight years but may extend imprisonment for life.” This amendment was drafted to advocate the protection of both girls and boys against every form of rape. However, the wording of the amendment upset many church leaders who accuse the bill of elevating the status of the anus to that of the vagina and in turn conflicting with section 53 of the criminal code which criminalizes sodomy and other unnatural forms of sexual intercourse. However, Patrick Faber, chairman of the committee said that there is no hidden agenda.
“We are saying that we have already conceded to some of the change in the language that people have been asking for, and whereas we find other areas that will not eat away at the content of the Bill, which is really aiming to protect our children, and we can take out the ambiguity that some people are afraid of”.
Patrick Faber said that the recommendations made to rectify the ambiguous language of the bill have already been taken into consideration.
Hon. Patrick Faber
“Whether or not you choose to believe, the truth is that there is no hidden agenda on the part of this Bill. The only agenda the Government has as the longstanding social workers and our children and family workers will tell you is to put in protection for the sake of our children who are abused on a daily basis, and you know that we are not lying about that because you hear the stories, because it is not to advance the UNIBAM case or to fight against any opposition to Section 53 that is before the courts. In fact, you’ will notice as we’ve said emphatically so far, there is no touching Section 53. Everything that is in there that is a crime, remains a crime, including homosexuality.”