Column: Why I Didn’t Vote In The Referendum

June 27, 2016

veejay steede[Opinion column written by Vejay Steede]

A few days have passed since Bermuda engaged in an utterly distasteful and arrogant exercise; well, 47% of Bermuda’s registered voters did anyway.

The referendum on same sex marriage [SSM] and same sex civil unions [SSCU] held on June 23, 2016 was, to put it mildly, a despicable thing.

Why this government felt that a referendum was the best way to tackle this hot button issue is beyond me, and a mind boggling development to anyone with a brain and firing synapses.

The very nature of the thing renders a popular referendum moot as the civil rights of any minority group are rarely won by popular demand. Our government was looking for a way to avoid being unpopular and thereby committed an egregious assault on the progress of the struggle for equal rights and justice for our LGBT community.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 was a truly tragic day for all parties involved in the most expensive popular opinion poll this country has ever suffered through.

Rights, whether they be civil, human, or union [workers], have always had to be fought for. The power dynamic always dictates that the stronger party is the one withholding rights from the weaker, or numerically smaller party. Human or Union rights can be withheld by a powerful minority, but, more often than not, civil rights are withheld by an unjust majority.

Do you believe, for example, that the majority of the citizens living in Little Rock, Arkansas supported the federally forced integration of Central High School in 1957? Do you believe that the majority of US citizens support minority causes, even today?

You can bet your bottom dollar that if the citizens of Little Rock were offered a referendum on school integration back in 1957 they would have roundly rejected the idea. That is precisely why civil rights matters cannot be voted on by the citizenry; because prior to them being granted, most civil rights concessions are not popular.

In the immediate wake of the roughly 66% no vote last Thursday, civil rights lawyers and opposition MPs offered rationalizations for why this referendum was a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.

Not only was it an entirely repugnant and predictable exercise, it was also rendered inconclusive due to insufficient voter engagement; which I see as a victory in our struggle for equality and justice for all.

Mr. Walton Brown, MP explained the low voter turnout by saying that voters “felt it was inherently inappropriate to put minority rights to a referendum.” I couldn’t have said it better.

I did not vote in the farcical referendum because I do not feel that I have the right to judge peoples’ love for one another. Nor do I believe that any group has the right to limit, control, or regulate love within any other group.

Vejay Steede TC Bermuda June 27 2016 3

By voting no do you think you’re stopping the “spread” of homosexuality? By voting yes are you obliterating ignorance and bigotry? This day at the polls was a truly sad occurrence, and I am quite pleased that the question remains “unanswered.” An inconclusive result was the best result possible for this nonsense referendum.

Lawyers Peter Sanderson and Trevor Moniz, the Attorney-General, have both said that the referendum result has done nothing to change the fact that the government has a legal requirement to accommodate same-sex couples who are in a permanent relationship, as per the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. So what was the point of this dumb referendum then?

Well, Premier Michael Dunkley told the media back in March that the referendum was being called because the “vast majority” of the OBA’s parliamentary caucus supported marriage between a man and a woman and that they didn’t feel it would be appropriate to legislate without seeking public approval … no, that’s not right, it was without seeking the public’s view, not their approval. He also indicated that a bill on the matter would be in danger of being defeated if it were presented in the House of Assembly. Well that’s just a crying shame.

So it appears that, much like Little Rock in 1957, the courts will have to lead the way forward on this issue. The government is sterile, afraid, and possibly just plain old-fashioned ignorant; and asking the people to bail them out of a tough decision is not a step forward … at all.

It is a distinctly fortunate circumstance that the courts, especially the Supreme Court, are comprised of the very wisest amongst us. These are people who know that homosexuality is a biological orientation, not a social phenomenon, not a matter of choice, and certainly not an unnatural thing.

These are people who will be familiar with the landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, during which the American Psychiatric Association, and other groups, cited homosexual behavior in animals as evidence that the notion that homosexuality is a “crime against nature” is utter hogwash.

These are people who will be well aware that human beings are mammals, and that being born homosexual is no more “unnatural” than being born left handed. These are people who will get this question answered correctly, without irrational fears or disjointed, emotionally charged logic, and without the need to consult their constituents.

These are the wards of justice who don’t consider what is popular when they act, but act because what is right needs to be done. Equal rights for same sex couples must manifest within these shores, and these people will ensure that it does. Thank God for Supreme Court Justices.

The idea that we as a society continue to persecute and ostracize human beings in our community who were born with different sexual preferences than the majority is a vile, shameful thing.

Can you imagine the complete insanity we would create if we began treating left handed people the way we [still!] treat homosexuals? I cite left-handers because they comprise roughly the same portion of the population as homosexuals do -10%.

So where’s the referendum asking me if I favor “homodextrous” marriages or civil unions? There is none, because that would be ludicrous.

For me, and I’d imagine most other folks with half a brain, the referendum that actually happened on Thursday, June 23, 2016, in Bermuda, was just as ludicrous.

- Vejay Steede

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  1. Justin says:

    Just want to point out that the gov’t tried this approach when it came to immigration, and we all know how that went…

    • Real talk (original) says:

      Granting citizenship to individuals who are “guests” in a country is not a human rights issue, it’s an immigration issue. One cannot choose their sexual orientation. They can most certainly choose what career opportunities they choose to pursue.

      Apples and bananas.

      • Man what says:

        I didn’t chose where I was born and the culture I grew up in?

      • blankman says:

        Except that other countries manage to address the question of residents vs immigrants. In Canada for example, if someone is resident for 3 of the last 5 years they may apply for citizenship.

      • Real Deal says:

        One can choose their sexual orientation. One can not choses ones race.

        • cow polly says:

          So when did you choose to be gay then? Or was it straight? Regardless, did u wake up one morning and say from today I’m going to xxxxxx?

        • Think says:

          The scientific consensus has been (for some time) that sexual orientation is not a choice. Look it up.

          • sage says:

            Up to 2013 transvestites were suffering from gender disorder according to scientists, who now refer to the phenomena as gender dysphoria after being forced to change it. So no one ever changed their sexuality from one form to another, or decided to be gay or straight or a lesbian ever? Also, scientists have labelled the natural creative development of a childs’ brain to be a disorder, so…

            • Mike Hind says:

              After being forced to change it by whom?

              • sage says:

                The advocates who lobbied the American Psychiatric Association, that’s whom, homosexuality was also included in the DSM until 73′ . It was “gender identity disorder” not gender disorder ^^ in reference to transvestites, sorry.

                • Mike Hind says:

                  You know that’s not how science works, right?

                  It wasn’t changed because of pressure – unless you’d like to show evidence of this – it was changed because new data came in showing that the outdated definitions were wrong.

                  • sage says:

                    That is not how science should work, but humans and money are involved. What new data is that? Some LBGTQ groups are fighting to have it re-instated citing the diagnosis as scientific proof people are not just choosing to change gender in court cases.

          • Real Deal says:

            I have did my research all I found was chemical induced mutations. The hormone chemical were always the effects of external force around child birth. stress is one and chemicals in food and chemicals in medications.

            Next I found Group dynamics mutations. these are caused by things as captivity destruction of habitat .
            Group dynamics tells you that groups form “naturally”

            I will use animals as an example.

            If you lock up a bunch of male horse the male and female roles will be formed.

            The destruction of habitat can cause a similar thing by messing up the natural male female balance for in nature.
            You can look those up.

    • BobTheBuilder says:

      Its called a Democracy. Meaning Majority rule. You can just as easily go somewhere else where they accept that nonsense. Funny if it swung in your favor you would’ve been singing a different tune. People wanna live in a democracy but still want nondemocratical results. SMH..Funny… Btw being black and being gay r 2 totally different things in terms of being treated badly. Its been a proven scientific fact that sexual orientation is a choice. And young kids that say they r gay or older are just having “unnatural” feelings(spiritual problems but yall don’t wanna hear that). 2 plugs…2 sockets..hmmm no electricity….shame…can u not figure it out…….

      • Mike Hind says:

        Nothing in here is based in any sort of reality.

        None of these claims are defendable or have any sort of evidence to back them up and show a breathtaking ignorance of the subject.

        You can’t just take some nonsense you made up and offer it as fact.

    • Animals don’t need to go through ALL this Bull S!@# and we’re supposed to be smarter then them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mike Hind says:

        You’re right. Animals don’t have “Bull S!@#” like rights and consent and marriage.

        Wait. Why are you bringing that up?

        • Because animals have de natural instinct to know males mate with females.
          Duhhhh

          • Mike Hind says:

            And yet, you’ve been shown, many times, that this is a lie.

            I wonder why you keep trying to pretend you’re right…

            • Jus' Wonderin' says:

              How is it a lie?! You ever watch my man David Attenborough? Male animals mate with Female animals otherwise there would be no animals besides the asexual ones.

              • Mike Hind says:

                There are tonnes of documented examples of homosexual behaviour in other species.

                This doesn’t mean that EVERY member of that species is gay.

                That argument makes no sense at all.

                • Name them.
                  Tic Toc

                  • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                    Insects, lions, primates, dolphins… could keep going on but you don’t believe in scientific fact, so… meh

                    They say ignorance is bliss, but you never seem to be happy so there goes that

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      Here’s the link you keep ignoring…

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

                      So…

                      Acorn woodpecker[17]
                      Adelie penguin[18]
                      American flamingo[19]
                      American herring gull[20]
                      Anna’s hummingbird[21]
                      Australian shelduck[22]
                      Aztec parakeet[23]
                      Bengalese finch (domestic)[24]
                      Bank swallow[25]
                      Barn owl[26]
                      Bearded vulture[27]
                      Bicolored antbird[28]
                      Black-billed magpie[29]
                      Black-crowned night heron[30]
                      Black-headed gull[31]
                      Black-rumped flameback[17]
                      Black stilt[32]
                      Black swan[15][16]
                      Black-winged stilt[32]
                      Blue-backed manakin[33]
                      Blue-bellied roller[34]
                      Blue crowned conure[35]
                      Blue tit[35]
                      Blue-winged teal[36]
                      Brown-headed cowbird[37]
                      Budgerigar (domestic)[38]
                      Buff-breasted sandpiper[39]
                      Calfbird[40]
                      California gull[41]
                      Canada goose[42]
                      Canary-winged parakeet[23]
                      Caspian tern[43]
                      Cattle egret[44]
                      Common chaffinch[45]
                      Chicken [46]
                      Chilean flamingo[19]
                      Chiloe wigeon[36]
                      Chinstrap penguin[47]
                      Cliff swallow[25]
                      Common gull[41]
                      Common murre[48]
                      Common shelduck[22]
                      Crane spp.[49]
                      Dusky moorhen[49]
                      Eastern bluebird[35]
                      Egyptian goose[22]
                      Elegant parrot[23]
                      Emu[50]
                      Eurasian oystercatcher[51]
                      European jay[29]
                      European shag[52]
                      Galah[23]
                      Gentoo penguin[18]
                      Golden bishop bird[53]
                      Golden plover[51]
                      Gray-breasted jay[29]
                      Gray-capped social weaver[54]
                      Grey heron[44]
                      Great cormorant[52]
                      Greater bird of paradise[55]
                      Greater flamingo[19]
                      Greater rhea[50]
                      Green cheek conure[35]
                      Green sandpiper[56]
                      Greenshank[57]
                      Greylag goose[58]
                      Griffon vulture[26]
                      Guianan cock-of-the-rock[13][14]
                      Guillemot[48]
                      Hammerhead (also known as hammerkop)[59]
                      Herring gull[20]
                      Hoary-headed grebe[60]
                      Hooded warbler[61]
                      House sparrow[37]
                      Humboldt penguin[18]
                      Ivory gull[62]
                      Jackdaw[29]
                      Kestrel[26]
                      King penguin[18]
                      Kittiwake[63]
                      Laughing gull[62]
                      Laysan albatross[48]
                      Lesser flamingo[19]
                      Lesser scaup duck[22]
                      Little blue heron[44]
                      Little egret[44]
                      Long-tailed hermit hummingbird[21]
                      Lory spp.[23]
                      Mallard[36]
                      Masked lovebird[23]
                      Mealy amazon parrot[23]
                      Mew gull[41]
                      Mexican jay[64]
                      Musk duck[22]
                      Mute swan[65]
                      Ocellated antbird[28]
                      Ocher-bellied flycatcher[66]
                      Orange bishop bird[54]
                      Orange-fronted parakeet[23]
                      Ornate lorikeet[23]
                      Ostrich[50]
                      Peach-faced lovebird[23]
                      Pied flycatcher[67]
                      Pied kingfisher[34]
                      Pigeon (domestic)[68]
                      Powerful owl[69]
                      Purple swamphen[49]
                      Raggiana’s bird of paradise[70]
                      Raven[29]
                      Razorbill[48]
                      Red-backed shrike[35]
                      Red bishop bird[54]
                      Red-faced lovebird[23]
                      Common redshank[57]
                      Red-shouldered widowbird[71]
                      Regent bowerbird[72]
                      Ring-billed gull[41]
                      Ring dove[73]
                      Rock dove[73]
                      Roseate tern[43]
                      Rose-ringed parakeet[23]
                      Ruff[39]
                      Ruffed grouse[74]
                      Sage grouse[74]
                      San Blas jay[29]
                      Sand martin[25]
                      Satin bowerbird[75]
                      Scarlet ibis[19]
                      Scottish crossbill[45]
                      Seagull[76]
                      Senegal parrot[23]
                      Sharp-tailed sparrow[disambiguation needed][77]
                      Silver gull[20]
                      Silvery grebe[60]
                      Snow goose[42]
                      Steller’s sea eagle[78]
                      Stitchbird[79]
                      Superb lyrebird[80]
                      Swallow-tailed manakin[33]
                      Tasmanian native hen[49]
                      Tree swallow[81]
                      Trumpeter swan[82]
                      Domesticated turkey [83]
                      Victoria’s riflebird[70]
                      Wattled starling[37]
                      Western gull[1]
                      White-fronted amazon parrot[23]
                      White stork[84]
                      Wood duck[36]
                      Yellow-backed lorikeet[23]
                      Yellow-rumped cacique[64]
                      Zebra finch (domestic)[85]

                      African buffalo[22]
                      African elephant[23]
                      Agile wallaby[24]
                      Amazon river dolphin[20]
                      American bison[22][25]
                      Antelope[26]
                      Asian elephant[23]
                      Asian house shrew[27]
                      Asiatic lion[28]
                      Asiatic mouflon[29]
                      Atlantic spotted dolphin[20]
                      Australian sea lion[30]
                      Barasingha[31]
                      Barbary sheep[32]
                      Beluga[20]
                      Bharal[33]
                      Bighorn sheep[32]
                      Black bear[34]
                      Blackbuck[35]
                      Black-footed rock wallaby[24]
                      Black-tailed deer[31]
                      Bonnet macaque[14]
                      Bonobo[36][37][38]
                      Bottlenose dolphin[20][39]
                      Bowhead whale[20]
                      Brazilian guinea pig[40]
                      Bridled dolphin[20]
                      Brown bear[34]
                      Brown capuchin[41]
                      Brown long-eared bat[42]
                      Brown rat[43]
                      Buffalo[32]
                      Caribou[44]
                      Cat (domestic)[45]
                      Cattle (domestic)[46]
                      Chacma baboon[47]
                      Cheetah[28]
                      Chital[48]
                      Collared peccary[49]
                      Commerson’s dolphin[20]
                      Common brushtail possum[50]
                      Common chimpanzee[51]
                      Common dolphin[20]
                      Common marmoset[41]
                      Common pipistrelle[52]
                      Common raccoon[53]
                      Common tree shrew[54]
                      Cotton-top tamarin[55]
                      Crab-eating macaque[14]
                      Crested black macaque[14]
                      Dall’s sheep[32]
                      Daubenton’s bat[42]
                      Dog (domestic)[56]
                      Donkey[57]
                      Doria’s tree kangaroo[24]
                      Dugong[58]
                      Dwarf cavy[40]
                      Dwarf mongoose[59]
                      Eastern cottontail rabbit[43]
                      Eastern grey kangaroo[24]
                      Elk[31]
                      Euro (a subspecies of wallaroo)[24]
                      European bison[22]
                      Fallow deer[31]
                      False killer whale[20]
                      Fat-tailed dunnart[60]
                      Fin whale[20]
                      Fox[61]
                      Gazelle[26]
                      Gelada baboon[62]
                      Giraffe[4][26][63]
                      Goat (domestic)[32]
                      Golden monkey[64]
                      Gorilla[65]
                      Grant’s gazelle[26]
                      Grey-headed flying fox[42]
                      Grey seal[30]
                      Grey squirrel[66]
                      Grey whale[20][21]
                      Grey wolf[67]
                      Grizzly bear[34]
                      Guinea pig (domestic)[40]
                      Hamadryas baboon[62]
                      Hamster (domestic)[40]
                      Hanuman langur[68]
                      Harbor porpoise[69]
                      Harbor seal[30]
                      Himalayan tahr[70]
                      Hoary marmot[71]
                      Horse (domestic)[72]
                      Human (see Human sexual behavior)
                      Indian fruit bat[42]
                      Indian muntjac[73]
                      Indian rhinoceros[74]
                      Japanese macaque[14]
                      Javelina[75]
                      Kangaroo rat[43]
                      Killer whale[20]
                      Koala[76]
                      Kob[15][77]
                      Larga seal[30]
                      Least chipmunk[66]
                      Lechwe[77]
                      Lesser bushbaby[78]
                      Lion[28][79][80][81][82][83]
                      Lion-tailed macaque[14]
                      Lion tamarin[41]
                      Little brown bat[42]
                      Livingstone’s fruit bat[42]
                      Long-eared hedgehog[84]
                      Long-footed tree shrew[54]
                      Macaque[85]
                      Markhor[86]
                      Marten[53]
                      Matschie’s tree kangaroo[24]
                      Moco[87]
                      Mohol galago[78]
                      Moor macaque[14]
                      Moose[88]
                      Mountain goat[32]
                      Mountain tree shrew[54]
                      Mountain zebra[89]
                      Mouse (domestic)[90]
                      Moustached tamarin[55]
                      Mule deer[31]
                      Musk-ox[91]
                      Natterer’s bat[42]
                      New Zealand sea lion[30]
                      Nilgiri langur[68]
                      Noctule[52]
                      North American porcupine[92]
                      Northern elephant seal[30]
                      Northern fur seal[30]
                      Northern quoll[60]
                      Olympic marmot[93]
                      Orangutan[94]
                      Pacific striped dolphin[20]
                      Patas monkey[95]
                      Pere David’s deer[31]
                      Pig (domestic)[96]
                      Pig-tailed macaque[14]
                      Plains zebra[97]
                      Polar bear[34]
                      Pretty-faced wallaby[24]
                      Proboscis monkey[64]
                      Pronghorn[98]
                      Przewalski’s horse[89]
                      Pudú[48]
                      Puku[99]
                      Quokka[100]
                      Rabbit[101]
                      Raccoon[53]
                      Raccoon dog[102]
                      Red deer[31]
                      Red fox[103]
                      Red kangaroo[24]
                      Red-necked wallaby[24]
                      Red squirrel[66]
                      Reeves’s muntjac[73]
                      Reindeer[44]
                      Rhesus macaque[14]
                      Right whale[20]
                      Rock cavy[40]
                      Rodrigues fruit bat[42]
                      Roe deer[31]
                      Rufous bettong[104]
                      Rufous-naped tamarin[55]
                      Rufous rat kangaroo[24]
                      Saddle-back tamarin[55]
                      Savanna baboon[62]
                      Sea otter[105]
                      Serotine bat[42]
                      Sheep (domestic)[32][106]
                      Siamang[107]
                      Sika deer[31]
                      Slender tree shrew[54]
                      Sooty mangabey[95]
                      Sperm whale[20]
                      Spinifex hopping mouse[43]
                      Spinner dolphin[20]
                      Spotted hyena[16][19]
                      Spotted seal[30]
                      Squirrel monkey[108]
                      Striped dolphin[20]
                      Stuart’s marsupial mouse[109]
                      Sika deer[110]
                      Stumptail macaque[14]
                      Swamp deer[31]
                      Swamp wallaby[24]
                      Takhi[89]
                      Talapoin[95]
                      Tammar wallaby[24]
                      Tasmanian devil[109]
                      Tibetan macaque[111]
                      Tasmanian rat kangaroo[24]
                      Thinhorn sheep[32]
                      Thomson’s gazelle[26]
                      Tiger[112]
                      Tonkean macaque[14]
                      Tucuxi[113]
                      Urial[114]
                      Vampire bat[42]
                      Verreaux’s sifaka[115]
                      Vervet[95]
                      Vicuna[116]
                      Walrus[117][118]
                      Wapiti[119]
                      Warthog[120]
                      Waterbuck[121]
                      Water buffalo[32]
                      Weeper capuchin[41]
                      Western grey kangaroo[24]
                      West Indian manatee[122]
                      Whiptail wallaby[24]
                      White-faced capuchin[41]
                      White-fronted capuchin[41]
                      White-handed gibbon[123]
                      White-lipped peccary[124]
                      White-tailed deer[31]
                      Wild cavy[40]
                      Wild goat[32]
                      Wisent[22]
                      Yellow-bellied marmot[110]
                      Yellow-footed rock wallaby[24]
                      Yellow-toothed cavy[40]

                      Is that enough?

        • Mr Stevens says:

          Except for bulls…?

  2. Toodle-oo says:

    Wow , that was one passionately written piece. Well done !

  3. Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

    This is well written. It also brings into focus a very interesting dynamic. The LGBT and allies voted in this because it keenly affects their lives. If you extract their numbers, you would probably be left with something in the range of less than 20% to maybe in the 20% range. This just goes to show that the fanatic groups that are pushing for continued discrimination is a small sect of our society.

  4. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    I don’t disagree with what you’ve said about the referendum. It was a ridiculous exercise, and it wasn’t binding, nor should it have been.

    But it was being held, I believe, to get a proper sense of just exactly how difficult the course was going to be. All the bickering back and forth by the different sides was never going to give a clear picture to the government of what they’d be facing going forward.

    It was what is so often demanded of this government, consultation. Let the people be heard.

    Yes, the referendum itself was a waste of money and should never have been held, but it was being held and by not voting, regardless of why you didn’t vote, and I’ve heard a variety of reasons from people supporting all sides, you didn’t show how you felt. In the case of voting, silence is not expressing an opinion. It’s read as a statement of indifference.

    It’s wonderful that Mr Steede has written to express why he didn’t, but he’s one person. One perspective.

    Maybe we should have put out a call for people to vote, but to invalidate their ballots because that number which is recorded, would have make a clear statement.

    I voted not because I believe that I should have a say over someone else’s human rights, but because a question was asked and I wanted my voice heard. In the same way I would speak out against a person doing or saying something that’s not right.

    • dancing troll says:

      when you ask a stupid question you get a stupid answer !

    • Jamie says:

      It is not a difficult choice! Many countries have made the choice and for many it was not made by the politicians who only want to stay in power…it was made by the courts.

      No church in Canada is required by law to marry a same sex couple. What is the issue?

      I was amazed when I saw there was going to be a prayer vigil for keeping marriage between a man and a woman. And may I ask…where are the prayer vigils for all the young people lost to guns and violence. for all the children that have fathers that have abandoned them, for all the people stuck in the cycle of poverty and so on and so on.

      I am a gay man and I come to Bermuda regularly with my partner who is from Bermuda. I love so many things about the “rock”….but this is not one of them….I am not a second class citizen in my country and I should not be one in yours.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Get over yourself…then keep living in Canada if you feel that way! Don’t force your agenda on people that don’t want it…

        • Mike Hind says:

          What, exactly, is being forced on you?
          And how is it worse than YOUR agenda being forced onto Bermudians by denying them equal access to rights?

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            Their agenda is being forced upon me. We’re all entitled to our own opinions so if you don’t agree with mine fine, I’ll just continue to not agree with yours. As far as I’m concerned there are far more important issues that this country is facing than SSM, etc.

            • Mike Hind says:

              Again with the “disagreement” thing?

              This isn’t about you agreeing within anything. It’s not about opinions.

              It’s about Bermudians being actively discriminated against and denied access to rights.

              You can disagree with whatever you want, but what gives you the right to harm people for no reason?

              And how will this “agenda” affect your life in any way?
              How will giving people equal access to right affect you at all?

  5. clearasmud says:

    I applaud you for framing this situation as an equal rights one and not a human rights one because I believe that that was part of the problem. The Premier who knew that the ECHR has already ruled that it is up to governments to decide their own path has continually and intentionally attempted to make it a Human Rights issue which made it easy for opponents to show that it was not. Even today his speech about other peoples lifestyles shows that he is out of touch as this was not meant to be a vote on lifestyle (which implies choice). His failed attempt to influence voters by disclosing how he was going to vote shows clearly he does not have the influence he thinks he has with the public.

    • Peace says:

      It is a human rights issue.

      • Not according to de European Court of Human Rights !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mike Hind says:

          As usual you show absolutely NO knowledge of this subject.

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            Guess when the ECHR said Gay Marriage is not a Human Right that doesn’t hold weight with you Mikey?

            • Mike Hind says:

              It would… if that’s ALL that they said.

              But it’s not, is it?

              Cherry picking to suit your agenda is dishonest.

              Oh, AND, I’ve never said it is a human right.

              What I HAVE said is that Bermudians are being denied equal access to rights for no reason and that that is wrong and unfair and unjust.

              Why not talk to me about things I HAVE said rather than things I didn’t?

              • Jus' Wonderin' says:

                It is pretty much all they said:

                “The judgment says that European human rights law recognizes the “fundamental right of a man and woman to marry and to found a family” and “enshrines the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman.”

                Sums it all up for you right there Mikey!

                Well we are HUMANS and you are campaigning for their rights…right?

                Well there is a reason it’s because its not legal lol.

                Schalk and Kopf v Austria <—- says it all here for you!

                • Mike Hind says:

                  You should really read for yourself and not just copy paste the things they send you.

                  That’s not all that they said.

                  And the fact that it’s not legal is why we’re fighting! How do you not get that?

                  It’s not legal and there has been no reason given to keep it so, therefore, it’s unjust and should be changed.

                  Am I wrong? Has there been a reason given?

                  • Jus' Wonderin' says:

                    I did read the whole thing :) . I know it is not but the main basis of their argument was that it’s NOT A HUMAN RIGHT! I do get that…just don’t approve of it that’s all Mike! Well like the Big Lebowski said “that’s just like your opinion….mannnn!”

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      Amazing.
                      You’re it even offering an argument. You’re just going “I don’t like it, so there. I don’t care if it hurts people, I just don’t like it” that’s not fair and it’s not just.

        • Mr Stevens says:

          Lucky it seems like we won’t be subject to the ECHR for much longer. Thanks Brexit!

          • Just the Tip says:

            Yeah which means we will have to go to the British courts to resolve this and given that Britian has marriage equality we can guess at how most of the rulings would go.

  6. Basil says:

    Hit the nail on the head ! Well done, totally agree with your article.

  7. Boohoo says:

    The will of the majority outweighs that of the few.. Thats democracy, right?

    Homosexuality is an aberration, maybe some off genes somewhere much like genetic diseases that someday maybe genetically cured. Legal rights for homosexuals I’m for. Marriage, we’ll that’s a different story. I have no problem with civil unions. That ought to stop em getting kicked out of the house when one of the partners dies. Or just make a contract that deals with any legal issues.

    • Peace says:

      Let’s just start changing everyone’s genetic code to suite the will of the majority!

      Democracy! Democracy! Democracy! Yeah!

      Let’s play God.

    • Just the Tip says:

      Sounds alot like “I like black people but i just don’t thing they should drink from the same water fountain as me” or “I respect women but come one they really can’t hand the same type of work that a man can, it’s gentics after all”

    • Mike Hind says:

      First off – “maybe some off genes somewhere”? Wow.

      Secondly….

      We do have a contract that deals with any legal issues. It’s called marriage.

      Why shouldn’t they be allowed to sign that contract?

  8. Rich says:

    You say that you did not vote because you did not feel that you had the right to judge peoples’ love for one another.

    You didn’t want to judge others’ love, and yet that’s exactly what you did.

    While the referendum never should have been called, by choosing to not participate, you and others have given Preserve Marriage a massive PR victory and have set the possibility for immediate reform back.

    You cast a judgment that others’ love was not worthy of your voice in solidarity.

    • Rich says:

      Also, this author demonstrates one of the worst forms of heterosexual privilege – that of so-called ‘allies’ who won’t take an opportunity to help members of the LGBTQ community on the basis of ‘principles’ and who hide their inaction through soothing BS in hope that members of the LGBTQ community won’t see it for what it is – a failure to stand to the wicket when they need him and others most.

      It is not a guarantee that litigation will succeed. And litigation is costly and time-consuming. You didn’t have to litigate for your privileges. Why should the LGBTQ community, in your judgment, have to?

      • Lumumba says:

        So engaging in discussion and taking a very strong public stance on the matter is tantamount to NOT standing to the wicket then? Wow. You seem like an ally but your anger makes you lash out at friends as much as enemies … That’s been the bane of progressive people’s and groups for decades … Shame really …

  9. Peter says:

    Folks would do well to note that proof texts from the bible were used by the klu klux Klan and the Nazis to support their prejudices but if God created us and everything he created was good ,how can a gay person be guilty of anything more than what God created him or her to be .

    • frank says:

      Let’s get it. Right. God created a man. And. Woman he did not create nothing. In-between

      With the. Animals. He made. Them. Male and. Female. And the animals seem to always know
      What. Sex. They are ment. To. Be

    • Eagles eye says:

      Everything that God created was good from the beginning, until man sinned. Gen3: many are taking bible verses out of context or are trying to fit them in their life style.

      It is interesting that people are trying to bring all sorts of excuses in an argument that’s plan and simple. It’s a sin.

      Just as the bible says murder, stealing adultry etc is sin and will be judged and condemned by God then so will the choices people make in this life about their lifestyle whether it is a “human right” or not. God alone holds all the rights of humans, he sets the rules and standards.

      Not believing there is a God does not change his existence or his rules. As Hebrews 9:27 says, it’s appointed for man to die once and after that the judgement.

      So please don’t try to water down the bible to suit mans earthly desires.

      It is arrogance on the part of man to try and brush the word of God aside and replace it with earthly wisdom as if we know better than God.

      • Just the Tip says:

        We’re not, we’re saying why should your book dictate anything to do with my life? why should your choice of religion effect my life?

        also you side is the ones that like to cherry pick verses.

      • Mike Hind says:

        So… you’re saying that we should all have to obey the rules of your personal choice of religion?

        Is that correct?

        So… would you be ok with someone else doing this to you? Would you be ok with someone from another religion forcing you to obey the rules of their religion?

        If so, WHY?

        If not, why is it ok for you to do it to others?

  10. ziya says:

    This gay marriage issue is not a matter of human rights, it is a matter of divine order. It’s an ethical issue. There has to be societal boundaries in regards to sexual conduct. If you make it an issue of human rights then why can’t men have multiple wives? why can’t women have multiple husbands? why can’t adults marry and have sex with children? why can’t people marry and have sex with animals? why can people have sex with trees? why can’t children marry and have sex with each other? If you make it a human rights issue there will be many more rights to fight for including the ones I just stated. An anus/colon is meant to eliminate poop and a vagina is meant for penis penetration.That is how our reproductive organs were meant to operate -within marriage- for the purpose of procreation. Anything else is a perversion of divine order and our biological nature. Homo-”sex” is un-natural.

    • Just the Tip says:

      all of this as has been addressed in previous thread multiple times and you just need to stop trying to spread this bulls#!t.

      If people want multiple partner then they need to bring it to the attention of the government, start a petition, educate and get the public behind them just as every other group fighting for rights has done in the past.

      The age of consent is the law that protects children because it has been proven that such interactions at a young age actually causes mental harm to the child and can lead to physical harm later down the line. Also children can not give legal consent because they are not of age to make legal decisions which also means they can not legally sigh a marriage certificate which is a legal document that makes marriages valid.

      Animals can not give consent and they can not sign documentation because they are not capable of doing so.

      Reproduction is not a requirement of marriage as has been said over and over again, and from the post above https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior. This shows that it is natural because it is being done in nature.

      This is all based on your religion so why should I have to follow it? why should your religion trump my rights? And what happens if my religion disagrees with your religion?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Another religious argument, with a soupçon of “slippery slope”.

      But let’s go through:

      “Divine order” is religion. Do you think everyone should have to follow the rules of your personal choice of religion? If so, would you be ok with someone doing that to you?

      Ethical issue. What ethics? Who’s ethics are being infringed upon.

      Polygamy. This is a separate issue and not part of this, as there isn’t a societal movement to allow people to marry several people. But, what would be so wrong with that?

      Paedophilia. We’re talking about a relationship between consenting adults. Children cannot give consent. Adults cannot marry children because they cannot give consent.

      Bestiality. Neither can animals. This is about consent. Neither animals nor trees can sign legal documents.

      Procreation. This is not a requirement for marriage. The ability to have children together is not a stipulation for marriage.

      Anus/colon/vagina. You don’t really have a right to tell people what to do with their bodies, do you? Again, would you be ok with someone else telling you what to do with yours?

      So…

      Nothing you’ve said in here is a valid reason to continue denying rights to Bermudians, for the reasons that I’ve given. If I’m wrong, please feel free to point out how.
      If I’m not…

      Do you have any actual, real reasons to continue hurting people by denying them equal access to rights?

    • Juice says:

      And what if there is no “Homo-sex” involved? There are plenty of gay men (and probably most gay/lesbian women) who want nothing to do with the poop chute. You seem to be very caught up on the sexual intercourse that gay men in particular may or may not be having.

    • Eagles eye says:

      Ziya
      These people know better, they know the nature and design of the body for its purpose. They choose to rebel against God and nature.

      As Romans 1:23-29 God has given over to a debase mind.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Again, you’re making a religious argument and I don’t think you will agree that everyone should have to obey the rules of your religion. Therefore, this argument is invalid, when it comes to denying Bermudians equal access to rights.

  11. Banana says:

    Well said.

  12. Terry says:

    Vejah.

    Four.

  13. Rhonda says:

    The losing side of any vote, says practically the same thing..

    • Big lad says:

      The losing side is Bermuda as a whole! Approximately $350,000 was wasted on a referendum where there is no conclusion.

    • steve says:

      winning and losing? Did you get a trophy Rhonda? Humanity lost.

  14. Coffee says:

    The ill fated referendum on civil unions and same sex marraige had nothing to do with civil rights at all . If in hindsight one looks at the process in which the UBP/BDA/OBA promoted this thing , it makes one wonder who or what , was the main objective of the campaign using taxpayer money to fund it .
    Although the motive of OUTBermuda may be singular and pure , it must be questioned of the financiers of the movement . Was it human rights or the rights of big business ? Everyone knows and understands the immense wealth of the homosexual community around the world , Bermuda has many hotel rooms and property to sell . The intellectual resource of that particular community is deep , so it stands to reason that the movers might want to capitalize in that area as well .
    For me , I care not what folks do in the privacy of their accommodation but , I will never subscribe to the notion of SSM and I’m immune to the hateful darts of emotional bullying from the proponents .
    In summary , I believe that unbeknownst to the gay people of Bermuda , they will be used by big business to sell Bermuda for very selfish reasons . Bermudian gays , male and female are being fronted and won’t make a penny for the effort . The people who are really behind this probably care as much about the lifestyle as I do , but if they could turn a buck in the investment , they sure as hell will .

    • Peace says:

      Some people may question your reasoning, and this may seem a bit hateful but it is not.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nothing in here is true or real or based on actual things.

      As usual.

      The only hate around here (and I thought we weren’t supposed to use the word “hate” to describe things? Didn’t you rant at me – and then run away – for that last week?) is coming from people that are using lies and misinformation to continue to deny Bermudians equal access to rights and privileges afforded to the rest of us.

  15. Rhonda says:

    Marriage is not a human right… No matter how many time anyone says it is…

    With that said this issue needs to come to a close..

    The OBA needs make a decision, and accept whatever happens politically.

    • cow polly says:

      Marriage is a human right, that was stated in the US Sepreme Court decision and supported by President Obama

      • So Tired says:

        And?

      • LOL says:

        you are incorrect. the US Supreme Court NEVER said that marriage is a human right. who cares what Obama says?

        • Mike Hind says:

          All of that is irrelevant.

          What IS relevant is that we are hurting Bermudians by denying them equal access to rights for no reason at all. This is unjust and unfair and needs to change.

          Unless you have a reason to offer?

    • Peace says:

      Can you explain how you came to the first conclusion?

    • Just the Tip says:

      It is a right and has rights attached to it, the fact that these rights are being blocked based on sexual orientation which makes it a human rights issue as it is against human rights to discrimnate against some one due to their sexuallity.

      • LOL says:

        marriage is not considered a right

        • Mike Hind says:

          Why didn’t you address the part where marriage does impart rights to people and those rights are being denied to people for no reason? And based on both sexual orientation and gender, both of which are protected under the Human Rights Act.

          Odd that you skipped that.

        • Just the Tip says:

          Okay so what is a right to you? And if marriage is not a right then what is it to you?

  16. OBSERVER says:

    Whether you voted or did not vote, who cares!!

  17. Charlly X says:

    More money wasted ! Diversion to hoodwink people again .. Funny thing is “And this to shall passss ” !

  18. j says:

    I didn’t decide where, how, or why I was born. Who am I to decide what is right, wrong, moral, immoral or otherwise? I’ve yet to engage a reasonably intelligent person in this debate.

    • j says:

      (To clarify, for every single reasonably intelligent person I’ve engaged, this isn’t a debate – the rights of individuals is forefront, and the oppression of others for reasons outside of their control is deplorable.)

      • sage says:

        Good, I’m curious, what is your position on the war on some drugs and some of the people who use them?

  19. dancing troll says:

    I did not vote for the same reason ! I have said it before ! but the true question I ask my self is? on the next general election will I forfeit my vote or vote for an un elected official that just fed an entire group of people to the wolves?

  20. Gabriel says:

    Learn to spoil your ballot.

  21. We the People (1st!!) says:

    Whether the referendum was a waste of time or not is neither here or there. The fact remains, the vast majority of this islands voting (Bermudian) population is against same-sex marriage. Is that simple! It’s that clear!

    There is no equivalency between traditional (opposite-sex) marriage and same-sex relationships. NONE! You can’t keep calling for equal rights when the two kinds of relationships are inherently different.

    When you say that government has a legal requirement to accommodate same-sex couples who are in a permanent relationship, as per the HCHR, you’re not telling the complete truth. So let’s tell the truth here.

    Accommodate does not mean the government has a legal obligation to grant same-sex couples access to marriage. Accommodate does not mean access or the granting of same-sex marriage is a human right. Accommodate does not mean, marriage or civil unions. Therefore, same-sex marriage is not a civil right. The government can accommodate same-sex couples by what the HCHR calls a registered partnerships. Again, not a human right or a civil right.

    Here is the truth about the HCHR.

    Oliari and Others v. Italy, the judges Italy, in failing to make available “a specific legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of same-sex unions.” HOWEVER, what this ruling DID NOT do was DETERMINE that there is a LEGAL RIGHT to same-sex marriage.

    This issue had previously been brought to the ECtHR in 2010 in the case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria, and it was ruled at that time that Article 12 of the ECHR—“men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family”—DID NOT extend to IMPOSING on European states the DEMAND TO RECOGNIZE MARRIAGE for SAME-SEX couples.

    The applicants in Oliari and Others v. Italy challenged, the judges ruling that SAME-SEX couples, DO NOT have a RIGHT to MARRIAGE, stating Article 12 again, in conjunction with Article 14 that prohibits discrimination. Despite the challenge but the Court’s mind was not changed. The judges stated that while the wording of Article 12 does not limit marriage to one man and one woman, it also “does not impose an obligation on the respondent Government”—in this case, Italy—“to grant a same-sex couple access to marriage.” The final judgement by the ECHR is, that is NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT to RECOGNIZE MARRIAGE for same-sex couples. “European court: Gay marriage is not a human right.”

    • We the People (1st!!) says:

      Also:

      I quote “Do you believe, for example, that the majority of the citizens living in Little Rock, Arkansas supported the federally forced integration of Central High School in 1957? Do you believe that the majority of US citizens support minority causes, even today?”

      Gay rights and Civil Rights comparisons are NOT EVEN CLOSE! That is a bad example. The reason why this movement cannot be compared or justified to being similar to the civil rights movement, which to be clear was about RACE is because RACE is an unalienable right – given by the creator. SAME-SEX is not an unalienable right given by the creator. So it doesn’t even matter if “majority of the citizens living in Little Rock, Arkansas supported the federally forced integration of Central High School in 1957.” It is a bad example of the majority vs minority argument, especially when the ECHR say that access to same-sex marriage is not even a human right. Race – An unalienable right given to one by God vs same-sex which has no rights, just requires recognition by accommodating same-sex couples. Accommodating – (definition) fitting with someone’s wishes or demands in a hopeful way. Hmmm. Accommodation vs Unalienable right? Hmmm.

      And yes, in some cases the majority of US citizens do support minority causes, even today! Depends on what that cause is.

      Stop with the insult examples to black civil rights fights – Same-Sex and racial (one race) injustices are two different, separate, and unequal fights.

      • Just the Tip says:

        this is all based on your religion why should what you believe about your religion effect any one else?

      • Lumumba says:

        Did you say race is an unalienable right …? Well there’s no arguing with that logic … See j’s comment above for clarity …

      • dancing troll says:

        you are wrong if you are born gay them who made you ?little green men? same argument? as you say god made all people black and white gay or straight. Marriage is not to be taken religiously but the name giving to a contract between to equal partners. Any sex.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Gotta be asked:

      “There is no equivalency between traditional (opposite-sex) marriage and same-sex relationships. NONE! You can’t keep calling for equal rights when the two kinds of relationships are inherently different.”

      Why not? How are they not the same? Two people who love each other that want to be a family and share in the same rights as the rest of us… sounds like a marriage to me. Why are they not equivalent?

      • Mike Hind says:

        Three dislikes, but none of you will answer the question.

        I wonder why…

        • We the People (1st!!) says:

          It doesn’t make sense to answer the question to your question. You try to make this issue too simplistic by minimizing a relationship to, “Two people who love each other,” when it is much more than that.

          There are at least four main kinds of love, all meaning different things. So which ‘two people’ of what kind of ‘love’ are equal?

          So should a mother who ‘loves’ her daughter, both adults, be able to marry?
          How about a brother and sister? Should two, consenting, adult siblings who ‘love’ each other , should they be able to marry?
          How about a group family marriage? Should all consenting adults, in a family, who all “love” each other, should they be able to marry?

          • Mike Hind says:

            First off, it’s not “much more than that”?

            You are the one that said they weren’t the same. Now it’s too difficult to explain why?
            How is it not as simple as two people (consenting adults) that love each other and want to be a family together? How is it not that? Why didn’t you explain what you mean by “at least four main kinds of love”? Which two people? The ones that want to get married (i.e. gain the rights of family that marriage affords the rest of us.)

            And here’s the incest and polygamy arguments… here we go again.
            This has been explained many, many times. How did you miss it?

            Marriage is… Ok… here’s the thing.
            Families have rights together, right? Next of kin stuff. Right? Can we agree on that?
            Mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters. They have these rights.
            A marriage is when you want someone outside of your family to have those rights, too.
            So, to answer your question, a mother and daughter and brother and sister can’t get married because they’re already family. It’d be redundant.

            As for polygamy? It’s a different topic and one that should, and will, be discussed when people are asking for it. But they aren’t at the moment. Bringing it up is just a smokescreen and a deflection.

            So… I’ve answered your questions. If I’m wrong, please feel free to point out where.
            But, I have to ask…

            How about answering mine, first? So we don’t go down a rabbit hole and off topic.

            How is a marriage any different if it’s a same sex couple?
            You made the claim. Will you back it up?

            • Mike Hind says:

              Guess not.

            • We the People (1st!!) says:

              Families do have some ‘rights’ together. However, families do not all have the same rights as a married couple.

              Like I said, how about a mother and daughter that want to marry. Based on your definition, what about two siblings? Some of these ‘rights’ you could get through other legal means, however, there are some legal rights you could not get without being married. So, it wouldn’t be redundant. They don’t have all of the rights of a married couple. That is a FACT! So no you have not answered my question.

              So you’re definition makes it perfectly okay for two siblings to get married. Especially two siblings of the same-sex? It should be perfectly okay for family to get married? In some countries a brother and sister can get married. The polygamy example was asked based on you’re definition.

              How is a marriage any different if it’s a same sex couple? It would take a long comment, to explain, which I will might write, put it together, and post another time, so I can be clear with evidence.

              Really, government can make any kind of relationship acceptable or the same in the eyes of the law. You name it, it can become legal. Anything! However, this doesn’t make all kinds of relationships equal.

              The ECHR have said the same thing. Governments can provide recognition of same-sex couples but are in no way obligated to grant same-sex couples access to marriage. The ECHR says this, “the legal recognition of homosexual unions does not require a union equal to marriage.” The court confirmed that “the protection of the traditional institution of marriage is a valid state interest,” —implicitly endorsing the view that relations between persons of the same sex are not identical to marriage between a man and a woman, and may be treated differently in law. This is why in many cases they have told persons who have brought their cases for same-sex marriage or transgender marriage to the courts, that civil unions shall be good enough for them. They have also said that member states are not obligated to have civil unions. The ECHR said member states, can also do something like ‘registered partners.’

              Write to the ECHR and ask them to explain their position essentially agreeing with what I said.

              Then we can argue that the two are not the same based on what the ECHR called ‘valid, key word, valid, state interest. Then we can argue from a science perspective. Then we can argue from a moral perspective, which doesn’t make sense because our morals are different. Then we can argue from a biological perspective, which we will have a different opinion. We can argue about laws, which our opinions will differ. We can argue the points in many ECtHR rulings which mostly agree with my position, but this still would not be valid for you and still you won’t agree. It doesn’t make sense.

              What I DO KNOW, is that the ECtHR shares many of the same positions as my argument. But it doesn’t matter.

              • Mike Hind says:

                It appears that you didn’t actually read what I wrote, given this drivel that you’ve written.

                “Families do have some ‘rights’ together. However, families do not all have the same rights as a married couple.”

                Such as? It’s amazing how you constantly evade actually saying anything.

                You DO realize that the “slippery slope to incest” argument has been debunked many, many times and you’re completely wrong here, right?
                I mean… this is not an argument you can win. You are just plain incorrect.
                Marriage equality will not lead to incestuous marriages. The evidence? All the places that already have it… and it hasn’t led to this.

                “How is a marriage any different if it’s a same sex couple? It would take a long comment, to explain, which I will might write, put it together, and post another time, so I can be clear with evidence.”

                And yet you wasted all this time writing out THIS evidenceless invective.
                I’d love to see this “evidence” you claim exists. It would go a long way to giving an argument for continuing to deny people equal rights.
                I really look forward to reading this “long comment” where you actually explain how these marriages are different.
                I certainly hope it won’t include any of the usual already-debunked arguments like polygamy or incest or paedophilia or pretending that procreation is a stipulation for marriage or the whole “kids have a right to a mother and father” nonsense or the “we weren’t created that way” or “It’s unnatural” garbage that people keep trying to pretend is true.

                “Really, government can make any kind of relationship acceptable or the same in the eyes of the law. You name it, it can become legal. Anything!”

                There it is. The ol’ thinly veiled “slippery slope”. Unbelievable.

                Then you go on, yet again, to misrepresent the entirety of what the ECHR said.

                But let’s go into this. You’re saying that they are saying we should/could have “registered partners” or civil unions or something (They DID say – and you seem to have conveniently ignored this – that there has to be some sort of legal recognition for these relationships.)

                So, I have to ask. Why not just let them get married? Why create all these new things when it’s the same thing as getting married?
                Why treat them like second-class citizens?

                You’ve written all this stuff, but haven’t addressed the core issue.

                Why SHOULDN’T we just let them get married?

                • We the People (1st!!) says:

                  First: “Families do have some ‘rights’ together. However, families do not all have the same rights as a married couple. Such as?”

                  Sorry I didn’t know I had to spell it out and give examples of some laws. One law would be the adoption of children. Another would be nationality for step (half) siblings, or step mothers born in different countries and having the ability to work and move here. It is similar in the US. Similarly, stepchildren do not inherit from their step-parent unless the terms of a statute grant them this right. This can be automatic through marriage. It is very true that siblings and children of parents, particularly step parents and children do not have the same rights or all of the rights as a married coupled. Then there are laws regarding wills. There are many laws, but because of your ignorance to the laws doesn’t mean what I said is not true.

                  Second: “You DO realize that the “slippery slope to incest”"

                  What the he(ll) are you talking about? No one is talking about incest. I didn’t say incest. My example is based on your definition about marriage simply being between two people who love each other. I guess I have to spell it out. “Incest is sexual activity between family members or close relatives.” Is sexual activity a stipulation for marriage in the eyes of the law? No, right? Is sexual activity a prerequisite mandated to qualify someone for marriage? No, right? Can two married people be married and not engage in sexual activity?Yes, right? So by you’re definition there are no reasons why we should not allow the relationships outlined in my example not to get married. If you are against this, you are simply discriminating. So No, this (my) particular argument has not been debunked many, many times. Please tell me how I am wrong here. Is my incest definition wrong? Are my questions about sexual activity wrong? Tell me, based on your clear definition above on marriage, and the definition of incest how are my examples wrong if they do not engage in sexual activity. They can get married for legal benefit reasons and decide to have sexual activity outside the relationship.

                  Third: I said, “Really, government can make any kind of relationship acceptable or the same in the eyes of the law. You name it, it can become legal. Anything!” You reply: There it is. The ol’ thinly veiled “slippery slope”. Unbelievable.

                  It is true they can. I don’t know what this slippery slope is that you are talking about. Just go around the world and see what is allowed in terms of marriage. It is not slippery slope. You keep using your ignorance and lack of knowledge to try and dispel what I am saying. Yes answer yes or no. Can government’s pass laws to legally recognize any types of relationships? Yes or No?

                  Last: “Then you go on, yet again, to misrepresent the entirety of what the ECHR said.”

                  I said exactly what they said. I read the rulings and we discuss them in law study. I have a great understanding of laws.

                  You said, “They DID say – and you seem to have conveniently ignored this – that there has to be some sort of legal recognition for these relationships.” “You’re saying that they are saying we should/could have “registered partners” or civil unions or something (”

                  But yet you conveniently did not read where I addressed this in my first comment. So there you go, you nit pick what you would and shoot of comments without actually and kind of comprehension.

                  And no I am not saying that the ECHR is saying that. In a recent ruling, within the past two weeks, The ECHR judgment was handed down in the case of Chapin and Charpentier v. Francebourts did not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, when it declared a ‘marriage’ between a same-sex couple to be invalid. It also ruled that if a state does not recognise same-sex ‘marriage’, this does not constitute “discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation”. That is not my interpretation, this is what they ruled. In other cases, where some countries have civil union laws where couples was seeking marriage the ECHR said that civil unions are good enough for them. Again, not my interoperation, that is what they ruled.

                  Ask you’re last questions to the ECHR and actually read what I said about what the ECHR means by legal recognition for these relationships. They themselves have said civil unions are good enough or something such as a registered partners. Their words, not mines.

                  I am not discussing this anymore, because clearly your ignorance on the ECHR rulings, multiple rulings, and laws make the discussion pointless. Especially when you’re the one not even reading what I previously wrote and not understanding what I am saying. Going off on about incest and I didn’t even mention or what not even talking about incest.

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    Yeah. It’s ME that’s the ignorant one.

                    This huge diatribe and still not a single reason to continue denying people equal access to rights.

                    Of COURSE you aren’t going to discuss any more. This is all gibberish!

                    • We the People (1st!!) says:

                      You’re discriminating. You have not a single reason to deny the people in my examples access to marriage.

                      As the ECHR says, same-sex couples do not have equal rights to marriage. You won’t attack what the ECHR says right, No!

                      As the writer of this article says, the ECHR, which we will no longer be under their rule thanks to the BREXIT, recommends there should be some accommodations for same-sex couples. Is that not what the writer of this article says? Accommodations do not mean equal access to same rights as marriage. Read what I said above about accomodations.

                      Get out of your own little word, read, seek understanding, seek the truth, and stop commenting to me based on your emotional feelings. You can only call what I wrote gibberish because you cannot handle the truth.

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      This is nothing more than an evasion tactic to distract from the core issue.

                      There has been absolutely NO valid, reality-based, defensible reason to continuing the denial of equal access of rights to same sex couples.

                      You haven’t offered one, for al the verbosity.

                      Why shouldn’t we allow these folks access to rights?

                      Because the echr says we don’t have to? That’s not a reason.

                      Everything you’ve written is a weak attempt to avoid addressing the issue: the current law is discriminatory based on both gender and sexual orientation and there is no reason for it to be so.

                      All the “yeah, well, brothers and sisters can’t get married either” nonsense in the world is going to change the fact that the “truth” you wrote is irrelevant garbage, designed to move the goalposts.

                      If your position is so strong, why not just offer a reason that same sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to share the same rights the rest of us have?

                      Until you actually do that? Your arguments are, in fact, gibberish.

  22. My Opinion says:

    We elected the government and hence the Premier to lead and to make the tough decisions. However, his stint as Premier would have probably ended if he protected the rights of the minority as many in his inner circle would have turned on him. So in order to maintain power he chose not to be a leader, he chose to turn his back on the minority and not to make the tough decision. It is sad. Incredibly sad. The churches bused their flocks to the polls in order to preserve marriage. I find it ironic; how many of the no advocates including the pastors have been divorced or broken those marriage vows and had affairs? Do we judge them? Do we say they can’t marry again? Yet, they can dictate who is allowed to marry. I am not gay, and yes I have been married to someone of the opposite sex for decades, but what gives me or anyone else the right to judge others. I voted yes, yes.

  23. KaosWorld says:

    In our FARTHER’S book that we all worship LEVITICUS 22 – Thou shall NOT lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is ABOMINATION. Who’s word is more right then or LORD? This coming from the next generation of Bermuda, the ones everyone should be listening to, we ain’t all no good some of us are smart and pay attention to what is going on in our island. Um just saying
    ….

    • Mike Hind says:

      Another religious argument.

      Your “FARTHER’S book” is part of your personal choice of religion.
      Are you arguing that everyone in Bermuda should have to follow the rules of your religion?

      Would you be ok with someone else forcing you to follow the rules of THEIR religion?

  24. Sincerious says:

    Sorry I cannot hear you. Those that do not vote cannot complain.
    The opportunity for you to express your views on the subject was last week at the appointed time to vote ie express your opinion.
    That is the issue with democracy those that participate have their voices heard. Those that do not cannot complain as you get what other people want not necessarily what you want.

    Next time it is important to you I suggest you use your vote to make your voice known.

    • Mike Hind says:

      You do know this was a non-binding referendum and not an election, right?k

  25. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    They could have used the occasion to put another 49 items to the test ?

  26. the truth will set you free says:

    Soren Kierkegaard: There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. There is no scientific evidence that a person is born a homosexual even though those who are promoting this agenda would like for you to think so. They also give you this child-like line what is it to you what someone does in private, what you are doing in private you want to make public. And there are some of us who do not want our children grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be exposed to such “confusion”. Which is our right, why should individuals of European descent get to decide what we as a society should accept what they say as the standard in which to live by.

    We are already living under a system that they implemented that is oppressive to us as a people and they have the nerve to say religious people are imposing their religion on society when they have imposed their barbaric, unjust and inhumane ways in Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and right here in Bermuda. Hypocrites that is what they are, and they are deceiving the masses by saying it is a human rights and equal rights issue when it is not. And those who are sheep and do not know their African history or history in general are falling for it like lost sheep.

  27. the truth will set you free says:

    The homosexual discussion in Africa and countries of people of African descent are driven by Western interests, not our interests. Given all the other pressing socio-economic problems we are facing, homosexuality is not a top priority for us.

    The exportation of Western mass media products all over the world is producing the one-way flow of messages or media products as a form of cultural dominance over African people. Media promotes the messages of Euro-American/European imperialism and ideological propaganda. One of the concerns is that it causes real damage through disruption of basic social and cultural institutions such as African sex and family norms which is having a deleterious effect on communities of African descent. Ultimately, the value conflicts between the pro-homosexual group and those that oppose the rampant homo-sexualisation of society under the misguided notion of ‘tolerance’ is a battle to shape the minds of society, and ultimately the moral climate of our future.

    This is about the legitimacy of African peoples to hold a differing point of view, and to have the freedom to choose what moral standards we desire to live and raise our families by. There is a growing trend in this to indoctrinate people to the homosexual lifestyle. This goes beyond allowing them their freedom of choice.

    As part of their ideological psycho-spiritual arsenal, there has been an attempt to impose the sexual mores and meanings of Euro-American/European societies unto people of African descent. We cannot therefore underestimate the power and influence of the Western power structure which, continues to impose western norms of sexuality onto African and African Diaspora societies. This is another form of “CULTURAL IMPERIALISM”.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Hatred of homosexual is a “sexual more and meaning” that Europeans introduced to Africa.

      There is so much wrong with these two posts.

      Sadly, you’re not interested in discussion, so pointing out all the logical fallacies and factual errors and complete misrepresentations of the truth would be a waste of time.

      Suffice it to say, there is nothing in here that warrants treating a group of Bermudian as less than equal, less than human, less than worthy of rights. Nothing.

      You are hurting people for no reason. This is not ok.

    • Lumumba says:

      Wow. You start by quoting Kierkegaard and then cite hypocrisy and cultural imperialism … There seems to be some confusion there. Europe and the U.S. Has a long, rich, devastating, and deplorable history of persecuting homosexuals. Only recently have they begun to realize the error of their ways and try to reverse the damage they have done to these people. One of the things they need to reverse is the mentality that you just spewed all over Bernews. The Europeans cultivated that mentality brother. In fact, any religiously informed black mindset existing today was heavily influenced by western ideas due to the 400 years when they controlled everything; and the 182 years we’ve been mimicking them since.

      The fact that you choose to champion a learned European stance by quoting a celebrated European philosopher speaks volumes. It shows how deeply indoctrinated you are whether you know it or not. Maybe a quote from Janes Baldwin or Audre Lorde, who are powerful black philosophers and authors would have served you better. But wait! Those black warriors were both homosexual … So never mind, carry on spewing your Euro-informed pseudo-African nonsense and hope it sticks somewhere.

      We are at a time in western history when the wisest amongst us, both black and white, are recognizing that persecuting people for being born differently is wrong. There was another time this happened … It was called emancipation. Countless thousands of slavemasters railed against the abolitionists back then, but justice prevailed. It will prevail again.

      Your truth will set no one free (including you) … Your truth imprisons and withholds … Shackles and deprives … Your truth has nothing to do with freedom at all ..,

      • Lumumba says:

        That, of course, should be James Balwin, whose master opus “The Fire Next Time” remains essential reading for any oppressed person who intends to rage against the machine …

        “Sister Outsider” by Audre Lorde is essential reading as well.

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