Brown: “It Would Lead To A More Just Society”

March 3, 2016

“My honourable friend said that if we allow same sex unions or gay marriage it will have far reaching implications…yes, it will…it would lead to a more just society,” Opposition MP Walton Brown said in the House of Assembly.

Speaking during last night’s session, Mr Brown said, “On an issue that is in fact so controversial, we are not acting on a fundamental principle.

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“The Government doesn’t take a position…it in succumbing to pressures, no doubt from within and without….has decided to take this emotional issue and put it in the hands of the people, as opposed to leading, because on other issues the Government says we’re going to adopt this approach because there are some inherent human rights issues involved.

“What issue could be more fundamentally a human rights issue, Mr. Speaker, then ensuring the people are treated equally in society irrespective of their sexual orientation? How could that not be a fundamental issue of human rights?

Brief excerpt of Mr Brown’s speech in the House:

“But the Government has said ‘nope, we’re not going to take a position because we can’t find a position, so we’re going to have a referendum.’ That’s not leadership, Mr. Speaker,” Mr Brown continued.

“My honourable friend said that if we allow same sex unions or gay marriage it will have far reaching implications…yes, it will…it would lead to a more just society. That’s the implication, Mr. Speaker. It would lead to a more just society.

“I recognize the multitude of views out there, but we have a sacred duty here to pass laws that we believe are in the best interest of the country. How can anyone stand here and say you do not believe that people should be treated equally before the law on this issue of sexual orientation.”

Mr Brown has made his position on the matter quite clear for some years now, the video below shows him speaking at a Rainbow Alliance event back in 2012.

The topic of same sex marriage has been widely discussed for the past few months, with petitions and supporters on both sides of the issue.

On Monday, Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin tabled a draft consultation copy of the Civil Union Act 2016 in the House of Assembly, which seeks to make provision for the formalisation of a relationship between same sex adult couples, and later that day Premier Michael Dunkley announced that Government intends to table a referendum bill so that the “people of this country can express their opinions on same-sex marriage and civil unions via a referendum.”

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Comments (88)

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  1. Mike Hind says:

    Well said, Walton. Thank you for standing up for what is right.

    • Veiled says:

      I don’t buy anything Walton says anymore. He and His PLP colleagues are only trying to capitalize on the OBA’s decision to hold a referendum on SSM.

      Walton is a great manipulator.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Doesn’t make what he said wrong. And just saying it is a good step.

        I don’t care about parties. This instance, this statement, is a good one.

        • Onion Juice says:

          The African Culture dont support this Bull S!@#!!!!!!!!!!

          • Mike Hind says:

            Shhh shhh shhh…

            You don’t know what you’re talking about and are throwing a tantrum.

            Why not go have a little time out until you calm down a little…

            • Onion Juice says:

              Prove me wrong.

              • Mike Hind says:

                People have, repeatedly.

                But first off, you’re wrong because you are treating “African Culture” as a single entity and not an enormous patchwork of a multitude of different cultures. Treating an area that equals one fifth of the earth’s total landmass as though it only had one overriding culture shows a breathtaking ignorance and a deep seated colonial mindset far worse than most of the “Nasty Europeans” that you constantly rail against.
                To say that “African Culture” has a consistent, unified view and history with regards to homosexuality – in the face of ALL the evidence that has been shown you over the past few months – shows a willful ignorance of the subject.

                You wishing that “African Culture”, as a whole, has always been against homosexuality doesn’t make it true. At all.

          • hmmm says:

            South Africa does

            • Coffee says:

              South Africa was stolen by the Boers who were into that sh!! .

            • Onion Juice says:

              And South Africa is controlled by the Europeans who systematically murdered, incarcerated and oppressed the Natives and plundered the riches off the land through the evil system of Apartheid.
              Pathetic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Now Ya Nice says:

                You know and tell one side of the whole story. The side that makes you feel comfortable in a sick kinda way and helps you justify to yourself your own hatred of others that don’t look or think like you. I have read your posts and rants over the last few months. Your mindset is no different than a member of the KKK. Were you not hugged enough as a child?

            • Coffee says:

              Only a certain segment .

          • jt says:

            Yes yes…there are no homosexuals in Africa because people don’t accept them. Therefore they decide to all be heterosexuals and everyone lives happily ever after.


          • campervan. says:

            Mandela was a champion of LGBT rights.

            Mugabe and Onion Juice are plainly not.

            I’ll take my African Culture directives from Madiba ;-)

            • Onion Juice says:

              Mandela was also a Raging Lion before he was incarcerated for 27 years and tuned him into a tame pussy cat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Mike Hind says:

                Hating on Mandela now?

                Is there no depths to which you won’t sink?

          • Loquat Juice says:

            One things for sure- ya gotta give it to OJ tho. He’s nothing if not persistent! All the countless dislikes he receives on just about every comment he makes and still just keeps on writing pure nonsense!

            • wahoo says:

              When he was in school they used to pick on him so he has become very thick skinned.

              I need to look it up but I think the definition of juice is “devoid of substance”

              • Loquat Juice says:

                Haha- i guess my Loquat is devoid of substance than!
                No matter

            • Onion Juice says:

              The Truth will set you Free but first it will piss you off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Mike Hind says:

                Is that why you’re so irrationally angry all the time?

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                When you find the truth, let us know, then we can be p!$$€d rather than just pitying you

          • Pete says:

            How can U be an Onion ??

        • Veiled says:

          Walton’s failure to see the Pathways to Immigration cause as a just one that will strengthen Bermuda dilutes his statements regarding SSM. You know why? Because he is more confident that his stance regarding SSM will secure his Party more votes with LGBT Bermudians than his stance on immigration will secure his Party votes with so-called ‘foreigners’. You don’t care Mike, but Walton sure does.

      • jt says:

        Interesting given his immigration position. On the one hand government should take a stand and do what they feel is right and in the best interest of our society and if they don’t they lack leadership. Yet on the other hand not so much.
        I agree with Mr. Brown, the OBA have failed on the SSM issue. Let’s hope their approach to Pathways matches what Mr. Brown expected for SSM (his inconsistency aside).

      • Terry says:

        See recent protests…

      • Rich says:

        Generally, I’ve not been very pleased with Walton’s handling of the Pathways initiative.

        BUT he has been a long advocate for marriage equality. On this particular issue, I think he is being genuine.

    • Now Ya Nice says:

      Finally a politician with a backbone that stands his own ground and is not afraid to go against his party. I respect you Mr. Brown.Too often politician vote on party lines and not on their own beliefs. Too often politicians keep quiet rather go against their party or are absent or travelling the days voting takes place on certain topics rather than go against the partys wishes.

      I hope more politicians on both sides stand up and express their beliefs. I mean regardless of how they feel on he topic – for or against.

      If we don’t stand up and speak, there is no conversation. Without conversation, there is no learning!

    • TMI says:

      So is this telling us that this is what Walton Brown actually said or is he just quoting what a friend told him?

  2. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    So that is Walton Brown, Mark Petingill and I believe that one other OBA MP has openly supported equality under the law, time for the other 33 to step up and do what democracy and not theocracy demands of them.

    • Longtail says:

      Yes, the time for our leaders to stand up and actually be counted as leaders – instead of being detractors, deflectors and obstructors – is now long, long overdue……

  3. one small step says:

    Well said. Walton for new leader of the PLP.

    Though I don’t like his position on Immigration….

    • watching says:

      Do you even know what his position on immigration is? I bet you don’t.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        I believe he was the one that said the granting of status was a line they would not cross

        • Rich says:

          He would be happy to grant citizenship on independence.

      • Onion says:

        Neither does he.

      • Rich says:

        Bermudian citizenship for those in Bermuda for 10 years or more, on independence.

        • hmmm says:

          Would be compulsory under international law if we went independent….

          • Onion says:

            …and since the vast majority oppose independence it will never happen so Walton is really saying that he never wants to give anyone stats.

      • jt says:

        It’s his position(s) on how government is handling the two issues that is of interest.

      • Now Ya Nice says:

        We don’t know the position of most of our MPs on immigration. Few have spoken up and spoken the truth about their feelings. Many more I believe don’t really know, and are basing their opinions based on party.

        OBAs idea so OBA members will vote yes. Not a PLP idea so PLP members will vote No. Unfortunate because too many on both sides can’t vote based on true feelings. I wish they could vote using a secret ballot.

    • Up D hill says:

      Do not trust Walton Brown !! Mark Bean doesn’t!

  4. Disappointment says:

    You can never go wrong by standing up for what it actually right and just. Well said Walton Brown

  5. serengeti says:

    “The Government doesn’t take a position…it in succumbing to pressures, no doubt from within and without….has decided to take this emotional issue and put it in the hands of the people, as opposed to leading,”

    So on the pathways to immigration, Walton thinks the government should lead and do what is right.

    Great, we all agree then.

  6. Infidelguy says:

    Well, that’s a refreshing change but doesn’t this go against his party’s stance on same-sex marriage? To quote his “honorable” leader, Mark Bean, same-sex marriage would “…further the ongoing destruction and attack on the family unit.”.

    I don’t know about anyone else but this just looks like an attempt to score political points.


  7. Terry says:

    Just trying to score points like trump but that’s another story.

  8. Equality for All says:

    The two major issues currently plaguing Bermuda (immigration policies and same-sex marriage) are related in a very important way.

    On one side, you have Michael Fahy publicly justifying the proposed immigration reform as a method of increasing Bermuda’s shrinking population. How can this be achieved he asks? By “increasing immigration to Bermuda, decreasing emigration from Bermuda and by encouraging skilled young Bermudians living overseas to return home to put their skills to use in Bermuda’s economy”

    Upon reading the last point Fahy made, I asked myself why Bermudians leave the island. (Granted, there are various factors that contribute to ones decision to leave the island.) But one particular factor came to mind – homosexuality.

    How many arguably skilled and educated individuals do you know have left Bermuda due to its homophobic environment? News outlets have even reported on individuals whom have left the island because they are homosexual and do not feel welcome here.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what MP Brown is saying regarding the allowance of same-sex marriage on the island. Undoubtedly, it will contribute to a more just society. But perhaps it will go one step further and also help with our immigration problem. Maybe changing the social attitudes of Bermudians with regard to homosexuality will encourage young, skilled Bermudians to return home and thus help increase Bermuda’s shrinking population.

    • LOL says:

      instead of asking opened questions with anecdotal support, why don’t you produce some hard factual numbers? you do not know how many homosexuals left Bermuda and for what reason, and what skills, if any, they had. in fact, no one today can even state how many homosexuals live in Bermuda! keep puffing on that spiff.

      “How many arguably skilled and educated individuals do you know have left Bermuda due to its homophobic environment?”

      • Now Ya Nice says:

        If even one Bermudian (or foreign national) has left Bermuda because they felt unwelcome or hated FOR ANY REASON we have a problem!

        If you justify your hatred for others based on a passage in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Quran or any other religious you have forgotten the true essence of any of these great teachings – LOVE!

        If you don’t agree with the way your fellow man lives – love them still – don’t hate them. Its not you place to rule and enforce these teachings.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Odd how you only ask for irrefutable facts from one side and not the other…

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Agree with what he said but don’t trust him. Not for one nano second.

  10. smh says:

    So you agree with allowing same-sex marriage and believe it’s a human rights issue (which it is) but yet when the Pathway to Status came out you were the first to speak of your disgust against it. People who have been here for 15+ years and yet you don’t think that is a human rights issue. I don’t believe anything you say.

  11. Same Love Bermuda says:

    Finally a politician that GETS the Marriage Equality and Human Rights connection.
    I applaud you sir, whilst so many other politicians in the OBA & PLP hide, cloaked in ignorance, whilst hiding behind their perceived power of the church.

    This is NOT a church matter. This is a Human Rights issue. Well said Walton Brown Jnr.

  12. Sarai says:

    Mr. Brown, I must say that this is a topic that I agree with you on, 100 percent!

  13. Shari-Lynn Pringle says:

    Thank you MP Brown for your consistent support of human rights for all and recognizing that ones sexual orientation should not be the reason rights that encourage a fulfilling life are denied.

  14. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    “I recognize the multitude of views out there, but we have a sacred duty here to pass laws that we believe are in the best interest of the country. How can anyone stand here and say you do not believe that people should be treated equally before the law on this issue of sexual orientation.” Walton Brown

    You make the vacillating, fearful and politically motivated Members of the House look small and petty.

    This is both sensitive and sane. Thank you for your eloquence.

  15. PPP Knowledge says:

    Have a referendum why not? The only pitfall is that it may demonstrate the level of bigotry and discrimination in Bermuda to the rest of the world. Lets hope not let’s hope that the people of Bermuda whether gay or straight can vote for what is right out of principal.

    I would like to see the Government lead that vote and argue the case clearly that would demonstrate their level of integrity once and for all.

    • blankman says:

      While I don’t think that human rights should ever be subject to the popular vote, I do agree that a referendum will demonstrate the level of bigotry and support for discrimination that exists in Bermuda. Sad really.

  16. Joe Gibbons says:

    Forget about the politics. The OBA has shown enormous incompetence and immaturity in the handling of this issue. Brown has the courage to speak out and share what he believes, regardless of the politics. Clearly he is at odds with his leader. Who dare speak out in the OBA? Only the Premier, to say he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. He is ignorant, and should not enjoy the privilege of leadership.

    • Believe says:

      In fairness, the Premier can believe whatever he wants and he can also express that opinion.

      However, his belief should not interfere with granting people the right to get married. The personal opinion of anyone, including the Premier, does not supercede the rights of others.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Actually, Mark Petingill and Susan Holshouser have made their stances clear as well for SSM. Neither party is handling this appropriately at the party level and should be ashamed for their competing failure to uphold the core principles of democracy.

  17. sage says:

    Not locking people up for herb and ruining their lives would lead to a more just society too, and certainly a less hypocritical one.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Agreed. But a completely different topic

    • serengeti says:

      That is a lifestyle choice.

      • Come Correct says:

        And? If I chose drinking bleach as a lifestyle choice there isn’t a damn thing anyone could do to stop me. I guarantee I’d only do it once though. So why are people being charged over a natural substance that is now proven to be less harmful and more useful than you were always told to believe? 14 years later I’m still here to talk about it, one bottle of bleach and that’s all she wrote, yet I can walk into a store right now and buy it completely unrestricted. Ammonia too, did you know mixing ammonia and bleach reacts giving off a gas very close to mustard gas? Completely legal and unrestricted.

      • sage says:

        Different yes, but far more heinous and more urgent.

      • sage says:

        I was born a ganja baby.

    • LOL says:

      how about just doing away with every law on the books? that way no one gets locked up.

  18. RIP says:

    So I am confused: Is the PLP For or Against Same sex marriage. One press release agrees and the next opposes it! PLP is full of flip-floppers!

    Seems to me that WB might be playing politics: Wanting OBA to forgo the Referendum and then flip-flop to blame OBA for not doing it when the election comes around- Never gonna trust a word he says!

  19. PPP Knowledge says:

    Surely all sane people are against discrimination?

    • Mike Hind says:

      All evidence points to you bring right.

  20. Reality Check says:

    I have never hesitated to criticize walton Brown when I thought he was wrong . Today I would like to be equally timely in congratulating him on being right . Rights are not subject to a vote , that’s why they’re called RIGHTS !

    • Terry says:

      He picks and chooses his fights.

      You don’t get it do you.
      You think he care about LGQS et al?


  21. Free the people says:

    Free the people!!!! Don’t let plp hold you back! They are always trying to put restrictions on Bermudians lives! Don’t allow them too! Walton brown the issue is bigger then you and you believe to be right or wrong. There are plenty people in the closet in Bermuda. Just because you don’t agree with it doesnt mean it’s wrong. What does Bermuda have to loose by passing this law? I can’t see any direct threats.

  22. Free the people says:

    Why is he wearing purple? What a joke, shouldn’t you be repping plp with black or green???? He is losing credibility. He is a hypocrite!!!!

  23. Coffee says:

    Homosexuality is a choice made by the individual . Heterosexual is a choice made by an individual . Drug addiction is a choice made by a individual . Taking or not taking a bath is a choice made by an individual . Growing hair out of the nostril is a choice made by the individual .

    • Mike Hind says:

      Not true. I did not choose to be straight.

      • Coffee says:

        Maybe you aren’t , but that won’t be any of my business .

        • Mike Hind says:

          So… You actually made the choice to be straight?
          You said “I like both boys AND girls, but I’m gonna go with girls.”
          If so, you didn’t make a choice. Your orientation says that you like both.
          If not, then you didn’t make a choice.

          See how it works?

          Oh, and nice try at a dig. Problem is: calling me gay isn’t an insult to me.
          I don’t hate like you do.

    • Cow Polly says:

      Imagine Coffee for just one moment if the rules were reversed and the ‘norm’ was homosexual relationships. Man on man, woman on woman. And someone said to you that it was your choice being attracted to a member of the opposite sex and that it was disgusting. Could you change? could you say it was a choice? No you were born to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex. You don’t sit down with yourself one day and decide oh, I’m going to only be attracted to members of the opposite sex. No, you walk into a room and someone catches your eye and you talk to them and get butterflies in your stomach and you want to spend the rest of your life getting to know this person because they make you want to be a better person whilst you’re with them.
      As so many brides and bridegrooms have said in the past, ‘I had no choice’ I just fell in love.

    • Disappointment says:

      Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not a choice.

      You choose to go to work. You choose what flight you buy. To even think that you decide to be one thing or another in terms of sexuality is a signal to how you view the world we live on.

      It is shocking that in 2016 people still believe this rubbish.

  24. Ary says:

    Through what approach to human understanding does it hold that a loving relationship between two men or two women should be recognized in a society as a legal marital union?
    If it is the ‘Word’ we seek; we would certainly struggle to justify this reasoning.
    If it is a natural approach then we should certainly conclude that this is non-sensical;
    And for all those who believe in Modern Science; you would have to object the evidence available in this field as well to support these unions in such such manner.

    In this predominantly religious society we can be a just society by not taking offense to what two consenting persons do in the privacy of their own bedroom; but it is a great imposition to ask members of society to recognize a relationship of two members of the same sex in a manner distinguished by the acts which take place in their bedroom.

    • Mike Hind says:

      All of this has been addressed and shown to be false. Many times.

  25. Ary says:

    Imagine this;
    One day we will be heavily persecuted for views against LGBT relationships. We will have to that bold outkast in society to tell our children that heterosexual relations are natural; and same-sex unions are a new thing; because we all knoow how quickly traces of history are forgotten!
    We will have to FIGHT to convince our children not to look up to his favorite idol for his or her openly homosexual orientation; and we know growing up our favorite superstars were faultless beings in our eyes!

    We need to be cautious; not to stop same-sex unions; but to ensure that these do no become ingrained into society norms for my young generation of parents and future-parents to have to fight against a notion that a homosexual relationship is more favourable than a heterosexual one.
    Soon ‘gay’ might be ‘in’ and hetero might be so ‘out’.
    Let’s make sure our children aren’t bullied for being ‘heteros’!

    • Mike Hind says:

      None of this is true.

      You will never be persecuted for your views on LGBT relationships.
      You WILL be called out, however, when you think those views should negatively affect someone else’s relationship.
      That’s where the problem is.

      I did find it odd that you, who mentioned “the Word” speaks of being ok with kids having idols that are faultless in their eyes, though. Isn’t there something about that in the Bible?

      It’s also odd that you have a problem with one orientation being more ‘in’ than the other… When a. This is what you are promoting and b. No one is asking for that. They’re just asking for equality. No one is going to bully kids for being hetero. It’s very telling that you have a problem with an injustice like that, but only when it’s happening to your side.
      At least admit that you’re trying to stop same sex relationships. At least try to be honest,

  26. Blind Sheep says:

    He is looking for political points. If he cared what is right then he will not be fighting on immigration pathway to status.