“I can assure you that under my leadership this is not about same sex marriage, and under my leadership that will not happen,” Premier Craig Cannonier said at a press conference yesterday [June 18].
Minister Bob Richards also addressed the matter, saying that the Human Rights Amendment has nothing to do with marriage, as marriage is dealt with in separate legislation.
“We have a Marriage Act,” said Minister Richards. “So if anything was going to be done about changing the ability of people to get married, of the same sex, it would have to be done to the Marriage Act not to the Human Rights Act.”
On Friday [June 14] the amendment to the Human Rights Act to ban discrimination based on age or sexual orientation was approved with MPs from both sides of the aisle voting in favour of it.
During the session PLP MP Wayne Furbert brought forward a proposed change to the amendment trying to specifically exclude it from pertaining to marriage.
The motion was defeated with all the One Bermuda Alliance MPs and three Progressive Labour Party MPs [Walter Roban, Walton Brown and Michael Scott] voting it down by a margin of 18-12.
During the debate Attorney General Mark Pettingill — who has been criticized by the Opposition for his comments about religion — commented on civil partnerships.
“My own personal view is this, that for a gay couple not to have rights under the law of survivorship is an abomination,” said Mr Pettingill. “We are going to ultimately, in my view…everyone knows I am a pretty liberal AG…we are going to have to look at how we address that particular issue with regards to people’s rights.
“Other countries had civil partnership acts and so on. So at least we are able to address that people who have been in co-existing relationships for many, many years. And we have people in those relationships in this country who have adopted children, let’s not kid ourselves.
“Those are the types of of rights we are going to have to consider, that I certainly am considering having conversations about, and we have to have that type of consideration,” said Mr Pettingill.
Laws surrounding the matter around the world vary. Some nations have civil partnerships, some nations have legalised same sex marriage [such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain & parts of the USA] while at other end of the spectrum a Ugandan lawmaker proposed an anti-gay bill which recommended the death penalty.
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- No “Moral Disruption” From Same Sex Marriage | Bernews.com | July 12, 2013