Bill To Address Sexual Orientation Discrimination

November 2, 2012 | 20 Comments

equal rights justice male femaleSaying Bermuda’s Human Rights Act 1981 no longer meets the standard for human rights in a 21st Century democracy, the Governor said Government proposes to introduce a “new broadly based Bill” that will address protection against discrimination based on age and sexual orientation.

During this morning’s Throne Speech, the Governor said: “Your Government has made a determination. Justice is about fairness and equality of access for all. Bermuda does not have that standard and it is to our collective discredit as a democratic country in the 21st Century.

“Bermuda’s Human Rights Act 1981 no longer meets the standard for human rights in a 21st Century democracy. Government proposes therefore to replace the outdated Act in this Parliamentary Session with a new broadly based Bill that will address protection against discrimination for a range of characteristics including age and sexual orientation.”

In July of this year politicians debated adding an amendment to the Human Rights Act to ban discrimination based on age and sexual discrimination, with the majority of MPs who spoke in favour of extending the Human Rights Act.

In 2006, then-MP Renee Webb [PLP] brought before the House of Assembly a Private Members Bill to add sexual orientation as a protected grounds of discrimination under the Human Rights Act. The bill did not pass.

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  1. Groups Call For Human Rights Act Amendment | Bernews.com | February 7, 2013
  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    How many years has this one been kicked around. So, now they want to introduce a Bill to talk about a Bill to form some legislation which should have been on the books years ago.

    Good grief! The inmates really are running the asylum.

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  2. SoMuchMore says:

    you all better wake up! this topic has been in the news for some time and NOW the gombeyment wants to do something????? o please... its an election coming and they want your vote.

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  3. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Hmmmm...a WHOLE lotta stuff to get done before the election is called! Will it make a difference? We'll see...

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  4. Family Man says:

    All you need are two words and a comma.

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  5. grifter says:

    why are not gay people fighting for their rights to get into the Bermuda army like in the United States, I personally would welcome gays in our regiment, nothing new there. At least the army would be happy, That way it is a win win, gay people finally get recognezed for the valuable contribution they make in protecting society

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    • rich says:

      Gays CAN get into the Bermuda Regiment. Also, harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is outlawed under the Regiment's Standing Orders.

      That is soooo far from being the main battle in this campaign ... not entirely sure what the point of your post was.

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  6. Sandgrownan says:

    WHY IS THIS EVEN BEING DISCUSSED????

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  7. Sandgrownan says:

    DO IT NOW..DON'T WAIT

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  8. cool... says:

    Yawn---quite bored with the gay issue....the word "sexual" implies of a certain sex--we have only two sexes: male and female, males have the penis and females have a vagina,if someone is born with both, they are still male,unless they have a womb which would qualify them to be called "woman", how one has sexual intercourse is too personal for legislation, the only thing they can do is put an age limit to it..No one knows what goes on behind closed doors and it is no ones business; however, how one acts and dresses needs to be addressed so that we are not discriminated against by our looks! How will I know how someone has sex just by looking at them? sigh..,

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  9. rich says:

    Centre for Justice has a petition online calling for the Human Rights Act to be Amended. Sign here if you haven't done so and show the government we want action now: http://www.justice.bm/campaigns-law-reform/petitions/sexual-orientation.

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  10. K'ween-ie says:

    To this day the passage of the Stubbs Bill , championed by the late Dr John Stubbs and Harry Viera, remains a thorn of monumental proportion in the sides of many PLP suporters and the AME church.
    A final and proper amendmant to the HR bill will absolutely and completely piss off for ever the above mentioned people despite the fact that they have themselves helped contribute to the number of gays in the island in no insignificant way. By far the largest number of my gay friends are black and from 'religious' homes.

    If this current government ever impliments this , and I doubt they will , it will have to be immediately following an election win to give their rabid and hateful supporters at least 4-5 years to cool off and forget about it.

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    • Common Sense says:

      If there is a monumental proportion of PLP supporters who are still "pissed off" (excuse the language) with Dr. John Stubbs and Harry Viera re passage of the Stubbs bill, then they are completely ignorant of who voted for it. Tne fact is that every single leader of the Leader of the PLP at the time and since then voted FOR the Stubbs Bill - not against it. This includes then Opposition Leader, The Hon L. Frederick Wade, Dame Lois Browne-Evans, Dame Jennifer Smith, The Hon Alex Scott, and The Hon Dr. Ewart Brown. To the best of my recollection these are the men and women who have led the PLP ever since passage of the Bill in 1994. The only exception is our present Premier, The Hon. Paula Cox who was not an MP at that time.

      I would strongly suggest that the naysayers read the words of Dame Lois in supporting the Bill. I look upon Dame Lois as one of the main proponents of human rights in Bermuda. Perhaps she set a standard that our present leaders cannot match.

      I guarantee that those PLP supporters who are now against amending the Human Rights Act will continue to blame the passage of the Stubbs Bill on the likes of John Stubbs and Harry Viera, and the UBP, and will try to conveniently forget that their leaders stood arm and arm with the bi-partisan group that passed the Stubbs Bill.

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  11. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    tell me something ...why do elected officials take a vow on the holy bible then condone things that the holy bible condemns...?? and for that matter each and everyone of you who think you are good upstanding GOD fearing people the same question is to you too.

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    • Kevin says:

      Do us all a favor, go and "keep it real, 4real" in a corner until you can formulate a legitimate argument. Peace

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    • The nitty gritty says:

      And what makes you think YOUR bible is anything more than parables and prophecies hand written by man thousands of years ago in Greek and Hebrew that defy modern day interpretation and translation?
      This is the same mentality Sharia followers abuse to antagonize their fellow man!
      From experience, the more religious and god fearing a person seems the more I don't trust them.
      As for the governing politicians......

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  12. You can discuss this bill and you can vote this bill and no matterwhat the outcome if it is passed or failed,it would never make an alternative life stylt right and it will never be normal,two males cant reproduce life and two females cant reproduce life,so P.L.P or O.B.A or any other party do what you must but you cant make it right and while we are talking about sexual orientation make sure you dont forget to put in the list of items discussed under this bill,the right for muslims in Bermuda to have more then one wife and any other religion that believes in more then one wife at the same time. in other words it sounds sickening and for a small country like Bermuda it is.I say to the whole church population vote and rally your parishners to vote and when you do make sure you are voting for those that will bring about Righteousness and not reproach.

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  13. Jules says:

    I have always been confused how a government which was born to represent all people but especially the marginalised, has taken so long to even cautiously move on such an important matter to ensure that all citizens have equality. Part of the title of a previous local book springs to mind "Second class citizens ... ."
    Without this amendment to the Human Rights Act (1981) the Bermuda Government continues to be an accomplice to any acts of hatred, bigotry or discrimination against all lesbian,gay and bi-sexual people; and with Bermuda's ethnic demographic that means mostly blacks.

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