Debate Over Same-Sex Marriage Continues

December 1, 2015

[Updated] In advance of this evening’s [Dec 1] forum, the debate over same sex marriage continues, with the PreserveMarriage.bm website releasing a statement about their petition, while the SameLoveBermuda.com website has launched a new section on their website showcasing local supporters.

Photojournal Page Of Supporters

The SameLoveBermuda.com website, which is spearheaded by Tony Brannon, has created a photojournal page which features photos of local supporters.

Individuals featured as of this writing include Mr Brannon, DJ Felix Todd, singer Heather Nova, musician Mike Hind, lawyer and MP Mark Pettingill, Jordan Sousa, Linda Meinzer, Adrian Beasley and more.

The website was launched in October of this year, and states “same-sex couples want to marry for all the same reasons as their opposite-sex counterparts. These reasons include: for legal security, to publicly celebrate their commitment, to provide greater legal protection for their children, or simply because they are in love.”

Screenshot from the website:

Fullscreen capture 01122015 104018

“Concerned Citizens of Bermuda” Statement

In addition, the organisers behind the petition opposing same-sex marriage released a statement in which they said the petition has “reached over 7,000 signatures.”

The organisers said, “The online initiative spearheaded by ‘Concerned Citizens of Bermuda’ represents signatures from a wide cross-section of the local community including business managers, educators, hospitality workers, pastors and homemakers.

“In late October, members of the Concerned Citizens group presented some 6500 signatures from Bermuda residents who are opposed to same-sex marriage to the Bermuda Government. The signatures have quickly increased by more than 500 signatures.”

Concerned Citizens Spokesperson, Dr. Melvyn Bassett said, “People have falsely accused those who support this petition as being hateful or homophobic – both are far from the truth.

“While we have received a barrage of derogatory comments by some who are in favour of same sex marriage, we stand united and strong on this issue and we’re very encouraged by the overwhelming support we have received from the general public.

“Because of the rapid growth of the signatures, we were accused of having a discreditable website as more than one person can sign the petition from the same computer. This feature was intentional to allow the seniors and other sectors of society who may not have internet service the opportunity to sign the online petition.

“Interestingly, we did identify duplicate entries from those who tried to sabotage our website by entering false names such as ‘Bob Marley’ or ‘Jesus F. Christ’ as coming from the same IP address from which the derogatory comments were made. We take the integrity of our data seriously and remain diligent to remove any duplications and all false information.”

The petition states: “We agree that marriage in Bermuda should remain defined and upheld as a special union endorsed by God between a man and a woman. This union recognizes and celebrates the natural distinction between a male and female to procreate, to foster moral integrity and to strengthen the family unit and our society. Therefore, we are opposed to same sex marriage in Bermuda.”

Forum To Be Held This Evening

The “‘Concerned Citizens of Bermuda” will be holding the first of their two public forums this evening, with the event scheduled to get underway at 7.00pm at the New Testament Church of God, Heritage Worship Center on Dundonald Street in Hamilton.

The forums, which will feature overseas speaker Dr Ryan Anderson, were originally supposed to be held at the Hamilton Princess, however the hotel subsequently declined the booking say their “policy is to celebrate diversity in all its forms.”

Update 7.18pm: The forum is just starting to get underway this evening

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Comments (46)

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  1. LOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

    People should mind their own business when it comes to whom people love and wish to spend their lives with. Why is their life so important to you???

    I’m a heterosexual male and have no problem with same-sex marriages.

    For those religious folk, regardless of what you say concerning gay, lesbian, transgender or whatever are an abomination by God or whatever other selective phrases from the bible you may try to use, just remember this – Matthew 7:1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2″For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you…

    Understand now.

    • Damyon says:

      Here is a video that addresses the homosexual question without judging.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbPu2rtmDbY

    • @ lol,lol,I think you have got some of your comments twisted, while I must agree with you that people have the right to choose what they feel to do, or who they feel to love, regardless of sexual persuasion. I have strong moral beliefs and I am a Christian, I stand for what i believe but I don’t need my beliefs to be legislated, neither do I need to cram it down the throats of others, I would be the first to say that for many years we as Christian have been taught to do just that, in a round about way,but as a mature adult who has had to live a while and experience life’s pitfalls and short coming’s, I have learned that people will be people the world over.

      This does not how ever make us rulers over the universe or how it was created, or how humanity should behave.Let those that believe in the gay lifestyle live their lives but respect the life of those who do not subscribe to their belief, and do not try and push this down the throats of our children within our schools. what the gay community does is of no concern to me, but becomes my concerns when my rights as a believer is being put to the challenge, and I could be held liable for my difference of opinion, any way you want to dice it here or abroad, it is giving more rights to one sector and taking away from the majority.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Who is doing this? Where is this happening? Please. Show us some examples of this.

        And “giving more rights to one sector and taking away from the majority” is simply not true.
        Marriage equality is giving THE SAME rights to one sector AS the majority.

        No one is forcing anything down your throat nor challenging your rights nor forcing anything “down the throats of our children within our schools” (a disgusting turn of phrase, by the way).

        If you’re going to oppose Marriage Equality, at least do it for honest reasons.

      • Who Cares says:

        I think white shop owners had the same fear back in the 60′s and 70′s when they were told they could not discriminate against black Americans. If you open your business to the public, you cannot discriminate based on gender, race or sexual orientation.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Your entire arguement is without reason, your rights are being challenged and there is no agenda being taught to our children, no matter how many times you repeat this ridiculously unsubstantiated notion. What is being sought is democratic equality, and what is being taught is tolerance and acceptance to the diversity of creation. You say that same sex couples should live their lives, but that they should respect others who believe otherwise… the pointlessness to your statement is that currently it is your beliefs that are supressing their democratic right to live their lives… and one the foundations of democratic freedom is the freedom of religious persecution. Whenever equal rights are granted, it will in no way infringe on your rights or beliefs, your rights won’t change; but until equal rights are upheld and protected, it is your beliefs that are infringing on their rights and freedoms. You are the oppressor, as it is you who is cramming your beliefs down others throats, and forcing them to live under your religious doctrine, rather than democratic freedom.

      • Paul says:

        Can you explain exactly what the additional rights are that gay people are getting and taking away from the majority? Your claim is completely unsustainable I think.

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    Allow for Multiple Spouses ;-)

    • Jus' Replyin' says:

      You must be rich, a fool, or both!

      Proverbs 21:19
      It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.

      Modern Translation: You’re better off living in a cave rahn Spittal Pond then with 2 crabby, complaining wives!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Are you seriously pushing for this?

      Let us know what your active movement is all about and you might be surprised at the support you get.

      • sage says:

        Thank goodness mentally ill people were afforded rights then, since they weren’t “pushing” for it.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Maybe you misinterpreted what I was saying.

          What I meant was “Is there a movement that’s trying to get polygamy on the books?”

          See, I see a lot of opponents of Marriage Equality saying they want Polygamy, but not really meaning it, so I was asking if “Jus’ Askin’” was serious.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Why not, their are of examples of normal functional polygamist families, but because they live outside of legality, they aren’t readily documented except in fringe documentaries and studies. Seen a couple of them. Now I am not talking about the Mormon extremist take on polygamy, but actual true functional polygamy, women and men who (well, can’t really say marry as it isn’t legally recognized) live with multiple men and women on a equality basis; not some religious patriarchal structure of one man, multiple women. Such a structure I do not believe in as it is often very submissive under a singular individual in nature, and it is these that are more often used to demonize the practice. But as equal based relationships, they do exist, and show strong familial support capacities, with their children excelling in academics. But again, because such lifestyles aren’t openly accepted, they aren’t well studied, so there are limited citing on such family units. Course the challenge for such legality would represent would require, unlike same sex marriages, additional legislating for defining legal rights on natures of inheritance, finance, medical authority… something that might require proof of defined living wills prior to such a license being granted.

  3. hmmm says:

    Does this guy make money from this talk?

    Melvyn, please answer

  4. Who Cares says:

    Who cares how many people sign the petition? The rights of the minority should not be decided upon by the majority. Equal rights for all!

    If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Exactly. Equal rights aren’t granted. They’re won.

    • HW says:

      I’m sorry but I don’t find that logic compelling. Can I apply that to everything then? If I don’t like something then just don’t participate in it?

      I can’t imagine you truly live by that principle or believe in it.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Any examples where this wouldn’t apply?
        Please remember we’re talking about two consenting adults…

  5. Proud to be Bermudian says:

    Only a matter of time.

    To my brother’s and sister’s… be patient. Love WILL Win

    #LoveIsLove

  6. Mike Hind says:

    “This union recognizes and celebrates the natural distinction between a male and female to procreate, to foster moral integrity and to strengthen the family unit and our society.”

    And yet, none of these are a stipulation for marriage, other than “Male and Female”…

    Weird, that.

  7. Petition is Fake says:

    So I signed that anti same sex marriage petition about 5 times with made up names to see if there is any sort of qualification and each time the signature count increased. I don’t believe that 7,000 “real” people have signed it. It needs to be verified. Just let people love who they love. This has NOTHING to do with any church.

    • Tony Brannon says:

      If it is not with a bonafide petition website it has no credibility. This was a cheapo website – that the web master had to struggle to decide who was bonafide and who was not. Like a said…. no credibility for accuracy…. I kept a track of the numbers and printed off the screen shots on Oct 29th / 30th…. It was like a wild YO YO…. So this so called petition cannot be valid simply because the numbers are unverifiable.

      Like I said they took the cheap way out. They used a local company who outsources their web designs to a country far away from Bermuda. Why they didn’t use iPetition or change.org is beyond me. In fact it boggles the mind.
      If you want to proper petition website, here is one !
      https://www.change.org/p/the-bermuda-government-legalize-same-sex-marriage-and-implement-complete-and-full-human-rights-for-all-bermuda-citizens-visitors

      • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

        The fact that the same people that put the petition up can alter the numbers at will, and they admit it, should be concerning.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Their continuous flaunting of the speed by which they are garnering this support also doesn’t help them. It raises the question of how many people do they have fact checking, how are they fact checking. We’ve seen other petitions signed, then closed out, but not submitted for weeks as they are checked for repetition. They say they are weeding out false names by IP checking, but they have allowed it so multiple people can use the same IP address… so how do they know who is signing multiple times, other than being able to identify opponents who use ridiculous names? How do they weed out the supporters who sign with multiple reasonable names? Any petition has the potential for fraudulent repitition signing, online even more so, even the pro petition you cite Tony, however their choice of petitioning leaves the door open the widest, at least with the pro-petition, it is hosted by an independent service that has checking personnel.

      • HW says:

        Tony it would be awesome if you went to these discussions with Dr. Anderson and spoke up. I wish more supporters of SSM would actually attend and engage in meaningful dialogue rather than just on here.

    • Terry says:

      Well have a referendum.

      You could get 150,000 online signatures.
      How many people of age in Bermuda are there to vote on anything.
      40,000?
      Shalom.

  8. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Gays,perverts,lesbian,homosexual,or whatever you decide to call yourself,you are off the right path ,the normal,path , the natural path and far,far,astray.!Allah says of the ibliss or the devil or shaitain or satan ….(and if they follow you) I will fill hell with all of you.That means in this life and in the afterlife.And you are catching hell right now……..in this life,and much ,,,,much,,,,much,,,,,more to come..,,,,,,in after life……..

    • Mike Hind says:

      And no one is stopping you from believing that.

      But why, exactly, do you think anyone else should have to believe that?

    • Strike fund says:

      Did Allah actually say all that though?
      Didn’t think so.

  9. Cow Polly says:

    The petition states: “We agree that marriage in Bermuda should remain defined and upheld as a special union ENDORSED by God between a man and a woman”

    Can’t remember the last time I either heard God or saw God’s John Henry ENDORSING a hetrosexual marriage. Does that mean they’re invalid too?

  10. Robert says:

    “This union recognizes and celebrates the natural distinction between a male and female to procreate, to foster moral integrity and to strengthen the family unit and our society”.

    Which Churches’ marriage vows contain that statement? In fact show me any version of any traditional wedding vow that mentions procreatation in any way? For something that is supposedly so central to the meaning of a real marriage I’m surprised that not one single Christian church thought to include it in their vows in the past 500 years.

  11. Coffee says:

    Same sex marraige is just …. Creepy ! Imagine this …. Do you John take Frank to be your lawful wedded husband … Look up the definition of husband … Look up the definition of wife …. Suppose Prince William married a EFFIN bloke ! Or Elizabeth decided to marry a lass ! And it’s legal in the U.K. , so why haven’t we heard of any same sex marraige amongst any Royal or Peers … Because even though it may be legal , it’s still wrong …. And against natural law !

    • Mike Hind says:

      You’re ridiculous.

      No one is forcing you to get married to a guy, no one is forcing you to go to a wedding.

      This is none of your business whatsoever.

      Would you be ok with someone getting into YOUR private business and telling you what you do and who you love is wrong?

      Oh, and “natural law”?
      You keep trying to push this idea as though it had any merit, and people keep proving you wrong.
      Don’t you get tired of being wrong?

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

    There is a great contention by the “Homosexuals” and society in regards to the Bibles laws, mainly in Leviticus and Deuteronomy Many of these verses on abominable acts such as incest, homosexuality and bestiality are found in Leviticus 20.

    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” Leviticus 20:13″

    To answer this the Bible talks about Satan, a created being working to move men’s hearts away from the natural laws of God and his creation by perverting the natural order as a way to rebel against God. Where God seeks Truth of all His creation the devil seeks lies, where God wants to bless the devil curses, where God promotes life the devil promotes war, starvation and death, and where God seeks family blessings the devil seeks perversion.

    God is very clear that He does not tolerate anyone who rebels against the created order, to do so is to war with God Himself. God has left his mark on his creation through manifold layers of natural laws that must be obeyed, to do otherwise is counted as rebellion against God.

    Ask yourself, if sex is clearly defined and demonstrated by all of creation as copulation of a male and female of the same species then what act could be defined as the exact opposite and ultimate rebellion? S****** would be the answer. Think about it, if the womb is the source of life, then the **** or any other orifice for that matter is the source of death and waste. Homosexuals and even in heterosexual partnerships the spilling of ****** into the **** can be viewed as a ultimate abomination and perversion of the intention and design of our creator God. This is the lifestyle the Bible condemns, for most people talking about this is grotesque, yet through pornography and homosexual propaganda these things are being forced into our society as a natural act. The effect it has had on the moral fabric of our society is disastrous, we live in a time where families and children are being destroyed as men and women forgo the required sacrifices, responsibilities and duties we are meant for and follow after their own lusts.

    We have to realize that the straw-man arguments and logical fallacies the world offers regarding marriage the family and sex contradict the natural law, order and commandments of our creator God. It is Bad Law. When any people engage and normalize perverse behavior we do so at great cost to ourselves and posterity. The cost is divorce, adultery, abuse, moral degradation and societal corruption and we will reap the rewards of such living if we haven’t already. It only took 50 years for America to go from a nuclear traditional view on marriage and family to the one we have today. This is the power of money, propaganda and fear based hate laws and if we don’t stand for Truth of the most obvious fashion we will fall for all lies on every issue.

    Remember there is no such thing as “Homosexuality” this is a political straw-man that can only be defeated by addressing the logical fallacy type arguments. If Christians and moral people wish to counteract the lies in society then we can not get wrapped up in the wrong debate. The manipulation of language has got to be addressed, definitions must be adhered to and people of Truth and morality must stand for the family and marriage once again if we are to win this culture war. To do otherwise is to live under the curse of God.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Complete nonsense. Not a lick of sense in here.

      Using religion to rationalize discrimination. It’s disgusting.

      This is YOUR religion. It shouldn’t apply to ANYONE else that doesn’t wish to believe it.

      THIS is why people call you a bigot. And dishonest. And hateful.

  13. Coffee says:

    Dr.Bassett is right ! Same sex marraige is wrong !

  14. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Interestingly enough some pundits accuse catholic bishops premiers and ministers of government etc. of being gay or homosexual.If they accused all the prophets of G-D of this behaviour ,it would not make it right.Truth and righteousness will prevail or there will be no world or earth as we know it.It will just no longer exist.The creator of it can remove it in his time and replace it at will.Where do human beings get off with thinking that they can do as they please with no regard for the creator ,or his plan.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Again. You’re welcome to believe that.

      It’s just unfair to expect anyone else to do so.

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

    I see the truth is still suppressed.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Maybe you should try using it for once, instead of the same tired, dishonest arguments you try to push.

  16. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    For all of you phony intellectuals who like to use statistics to impress people that truth equals statistics.Try this on for size,,,,,,recently it has been stated that homesexuality and lesbianism has existed for years and that approximately 2% of the worlds population practice it,,,,then polygamy has existed ?.as long as mankind has been in existence in far greater numbers then same sex practice will ever exist,but you resist it why.?You phony ******* are liars and the truth is not in you,you are the brothers of the devil and your abominations will fail ,like your other evil plots.Just so you can get to know me cause I do,nt hide behind a pen name.My name in Takbir Karriem Sharrieff born in 1943 from a female mother and a male father thank G-D,I have been married 53 years,and have 6 children by my wife and one child by another woman,19 grandchildren and hopefully more to come.I pray every day that they all have healthy marriages to a member of the other sex,but if any of them differ with that and join your ******* lifestyle,to hell with all of them and do,nt spare the horses.

    • HW says:

      I don’t find your post particularly helpful to the debate. It’s posts like this that mislead supporters of SSM into thinking all opponents of redefining marriage are hateful bigots. Is it not possible to disagree with them without spewing such unloving judgmental and mean words?