Sousa: “I Will Be Voting Yes, Yes At Referendum”

June 13, 2016

“I would just ask the people of Bermuda to make the right choice — and it is your choice — but make the right choice, and I personally will be voting yes yes at the referendum,” said businessman and MP Jeff Sousa.

Mr Sousa, who was being interviewed by advocate Tony Brannon, said, “I like many others, when I was younger I had an opinion, and it was from a macho perspective, that I wasn’t keen with gays. I actually had cousins who were gay, and I was embarrassed to let people know that I had these cousins.”

“I have had a change of mind, and I want to do what is right. I don’t believe in any discrimination for race, for sexual preference, for the choice of your religion, for anything.”

Video courtesy of Tony Brannon

“All love is important,” added Mr Sousa. “It’s about love, love, love and hate will never win.”

The Referendum will be held on June 23rd with voters to take to the polls to answer two questions: “are you in favour of same sex marriage in Bermuda?” and “are you in favour of same sex civil unions in Bermuda?”

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  1. watching says:

    If all of the Government MPs are supporting the legalization of SSM, which is their right, why are they wasting everyone’s time going through this farce of a referendum? Wasting over 300K to go through this “non-binding” process is insanity. They are going to do whatever they wish to do, and that is fine, they are the government. They are proceeding with the airport, amidst much disquiet, and many other issues yet they refuse to want to take political responsibility for this one. Michael Dunkley and Jeff Sousa have stated how they are voting. It appears that there will be a chain reaction between now and June 23 in an effort to sway voters. Where do the other cabinet ministers stand? Will they publicly declare if they are voting for or against?

    • cpt says:

      The govt couldn’t get all their MPs to agree to SSM or civil unions, hence the referendum to try to get a mandate to legislate. Sylvan Richards is the most outspoken against legalisation, and he has a number of supporters among the backbenchers.

      • ReallyReallyBETTTY says:

        @ Watching, SPOT ON…….that has been my argument all along with the government…they made this nothing more than a “Political Ping-Pong OBA Game”……waste of Tax=payers monies and time….

        This is nothing more than an Expensive Poll……

        • Common Sense says:

          I have to agree with Betty on one point, that this issue should have been debated and decided in Parliament just as the decision to decriminalise homosexuality was made in 1994 by means of a “free vote” in the House of Assembly.

          Fortunately we had members of both sides of the House in 1994 who had the courage to make a decision that was exactly the opposite of the decision demanded by our churches who used exactly the same reasoning as they are using today in 2016.

          One major difference, compared with 1994, is that we had PLP leaders who really believed in equality and who strongly supported the Stubbs Bill. And it wasn’t just a few backbenchers. It was the leadership of the PLP who stood up to amend the law, and by leadership I mean not only the then leader, L.Frederick Wade, but every subsequent leader of the PLP who were in the House in 1994, that is, Alex Scott, Dame Lois Browne-Evans, Dame Jennifer Smith, and Ewart Brown.

          Dame Lois in particular made no bones about where she stood and why she did not support the position of the churches.

          Sadly, the present leadership of the PLP appear to have turned away from the direction given by their former leaders, and are likely to vote against progress rather than for it. Those five PLP leaders displayed courage in 1994, and stood up for what was right.

          • Grizz says:

            @Commonsense – I resonate with everything you just wrote but you have to understand that “having a personal opinion’ is NOT turning away from direction, but being true to who YOU are and what YOU feel! What you’re describing to me sounds like “towing the party line” and that’s exactly why we are in this political mess! People have a right to have an opinion my dear and vote with their own moral compass; just because it’s different from yours…that doesn’t make it wrong.

            • Just the Tip says:

              If it blocks some one’s rights, it is wrong no matter what you feel.

    • bluwater says:

      They are doing it to placate the old folks.

    • My dog just had pups, and from what I see how this transpired, I have to say No No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • bluwater says:

        Well, when your dog get’s the vote, get back to us.

      • Mike Hind says:

        You are just nasty.

        You’re going to post THIS garbage the day after someone who thinks like you shot and killed over 50 people?

        Shame on you.

        • Terry says:

          Oh hug yourself b

          • Mike Hind says:

            Shhh shhh shhh.

            We’re talking about important things here. No one needs your “humour”.

            Go back to your bottle, Rummy.

        • Luis says:

          The only thing nasty is 2 men in a bed. Please tell their fighting over who sleeps on the floor and who sleeps in the bed.

          • Mike Hind says:

            What two people do in their own home is their business, not yours.

            Why do you care? Would you mind it if a stranger started judging you by what you did in your own home? Started telling you what you weren’t allowed to do? Started telling you what rights you were allowed access to?

      • Just the Tip says:

        As had been said to you and others like you before.

        Having children is not requirement of marriage and there is pleanty of research done proving that there homosexual animals with in the animal kingdom

        do you have some sort of valid reason for voting No besides anything based in religon ?

      • hmmm says:

        Do you have a licence to breed dogs on the island Onion Juice?

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Your argument is laughably hollow, since behaviours that would be considered homosexual has been documented in well over 500 different species of animals all around the world, including canine. Given that we a species are the only species on this world to have conceptualized the notion that there is a mono theistic deity out there that was sired from a poly theistic pantheon that stares down and condones behaviour that exists in most other species that this deity is argued to have created… that pretty much makes us the most unnatural species of all and arguably out of synch with that deity’s created natural order. All because of a man written book that, by all accounts, that deity had no actual direct or even 2nd hand involvement in writing.

        • Sounds like Darwinism.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Course it is, it will bring you closer to understanding the Devine truth in creation than any of the social engineering exerts from thousands years old text will.

        • Square One says:

          When you show me two adult male or female lions, tigers, wolves, bears, leopards,ox, horses, panthers, rabbits, elephants, rhinos, hippos, alligators, crocodiles etc, where one willfully succumbs and submits to the other to have sexual intercourse,bring the above crap you wrote for further debate. Do not mistake animal bonding by family members or social friends for homosexuality. Stop trying to impress with your BS writing. You want to live with another man or woman, go and do it. Don’t try to force the majority of right thinking people to accept your crappy ideas.

          • Mike Hind says:

            Have you done NO research?
            This stuff has been explained so many times, it’s ridiculous.

            AND, it’s pointless, as MARRIAGE is unnatural and doesn’t exist in nature.
            Neither do rights. Neither does religion.

            And that’s what we’re talking about.
            You say “You want to live with another man or woman, go and do it”.
            But folks can’t. This is EXACTLY what they’re trying to do, but these folks keep stopping it from happening by continuing to support the denial of equal access to rights and privileges afforded by marriage.
            What’s worse is that they won’t even offer a single reason why we should keep doing that!

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Since you haven’t the stomach to do Such an easy search that might challenge your narrowed beliefs, here you go, I’ll help you out

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wPoMj5oxdLc
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oYdcvRe7ox8

      • What?? says:

        Do you ever get tired of being a fool?

      • Sojourner says:

        There is a dog!

      • wahoo says:

        Are you the father?

      • Infidelguy says:

        What a retarded statement!!!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      So far the Premier has stated he is for CU’s and against SSM, while 3 other OBA MP’s and I believe only 1 PLP MP have now come out as yes/yes. And other than Marc Bean, who has come out as a no/no, there has been little or no other signs from really anybody else, though I think MP Furbert has expressed himself as no/no as well, but no very publicly yet. All in all, it seems the most progressive party appears to be the OBA.

      • Onion says:

        The bulk of the PLP MPs voted to ban gay marriage in 2013.

        • What?? says:

          No one voted to ban gay marriage in 2013. An amendment to the Bill to add sexual orientation to the HRA was proposed to specifically block gay marriage. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 18-12 (including all Government MPs and three Opposition MPs).

          Why does the anti-equality side feel the need to constantly misrepresent facts?

      • the truth will set you free says:

        It is more like the most morally bankrupt party is the OBA.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          So what does that say about the PLP who actually wanted to create a discrimination clause in the Human Rights Act???

  2. bluwater says:

    Well said! Yes! Yes!

    Let’s be proud to believe in equality for all.

  3. Unbelievable says:

    Yes-I, Jeff. Good to hear this!

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      Anyone familiar with the saying “Yes-I”…is against ssm…unless they themselves are gay

      • Mike Hind says:

        Huh?

        How does this make sense at all?

        Will YOU give us a reason to continue denying access to rights to Bermudians?

  4. Renee Webb says:

    Well done Jeff, continue to fight for justice and equality.

    • Would’ve been nice to see them fight for Equal Rights and Justice for Black Bermudians over de years !!!!!!!!!!!!!
      WTF

      • Unbelievable says:

        Same as the PLP.

        But that’s nobody’s business, now is it?

      • hmmm says:

        They did !

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Shows your one sided blindered view of history, civil rights in this island wasn’t just fought by black Bermudians, nor just by the PLP.

      • Rhonnda Oliver says:

        This is a fight for equal rights, and it does include Black Bermudians, so how can you stand against it?

        • It’s against African Culture, that’s why !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Mike Hind says:

            Shhhh… you’ve been shown that this is wrong every time you post it.

            You’re starting to embarrass yourself.

          • Rhonnda O says:

            Well now, you don’t know much about African culture, do you?

            The dislike of homosexuality in African culture only came about thanks to the spread of Christianity. If you go back pre-Christianity you’ll find quite a different perspective.

              • Rhonnda O says:

                It is doubtful that any citation I give will satisfy you, but I do suggest papers that were done to counter the anti gay laws that were brought about in Uganda.

                However, harder to protest would be ancient artefacts and art that depict such things. Googling will find a fair bit, though you’ll likely not wish to search such things on your computer.

              • Mike Hind says:

                You’ve been shown evidence repeatedly. You just run away and pop up later spewing the same nonsense. Time and again.

              • Ed Case says:

                After all this time you are still pathetic oj. Complete idiot too.

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                Why, you’ve repeatedly shown an abhorrence to facts and truth. It would only be a waste of time to try and enlighten you with it now when you would only reject so you can feel safe in your limited version of the world.

          • Zevon says:

            I am beginning to get it. In your mind it’s ok to hate a group of people, as long as it’s “in your culture”.
            So Africans can hate gay people, because it’s “in their culture”. Perfectly fine with you.
            Muslims can hate Christians and Jews because it’s “in their culture”.
            Black people can hate white people. Muslims can hate Armenians. The kkk can hate black people, I imagine. Anyone is perfectly justified in hating anyone, as long as they bring up this “it’s in their culture” thing.
            It’s the catch-all justification for hate.
            In your little mind, anyway.

            • Mike Hind says:

              Good point.

              The argument is the same one being used to defend the Confederate Flag!

              I hadn’t thought of that.

    • mj says:

      I hope you will continue to fight for justice and rights for the oppressed as well R.Webb..where have you been? m.i.a.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Wait… you and people like you work tirelessly to make sure Ms. Webb aren’t welcome in Bermuda, then have the audacity to ask “where have you been?”

        Seriously?

  5. Tacky says:

    Mr. Souza,

    You are a government minister. Your government has opted to hold a referendum on individual’s basic human rights. You purportedly say you’ve had a change of mind and you realize that you “want to do what is right” and you “don’t believe in any discrimination for race, for sexual preference, for the choice of your religion, for anything” & you publicize your ‘change of view’ in hopes of gaining support; how about you share your views in caucus. You don’t support discrimination but you support having discrimination voted on. Then you say you respect people’s views but then say there is a ‘right choice’ that people should make; it necessarily follows that there is a wrong choice. If you and your government know that then why are you wasting tax payers money with a non-binding referendum? Flip flop

    • Lois Frederick says:

      He’s not a Minister. He is a Government backbencher. Yes Yes.

    • Rich says:

      He’s not a Government Minister.

      • Tacky says:

        Ok so he’s not a government minister…… he’s in the government!!!

  6. Do what's right! says:

    YES, YES

  7. I heart 441 says:

    Good for you Sousa, but I’ll be voting NO!

  8. The Dark Knight Returns says:

    I am voting No

  9. Terry says:

    Where next.
    Same sex marriage.

    98% have lost sight that this really has nothing to do with SSM.

    It has to do with benefits and how they paly out in ‘Law’.

    I could give a rats a**.

    People will do what they will.
    I had 100′s of Gay people way back when. They were friends. They never harmed a soul nor interrupted other peoples lives.

    Marry a Man or Women your covered.

    Marry a Man. well that’s not in law nor bible.

    Change the law and include others.

    Either that or get a will……………………

    Rodney come home….

  10. Unbelievable says:

    Bermuda, you must make this a Yes/Yes vote. Gay people have never bothered anyone because they are gay. Gay men and women have been in meaningful relationships for years and it’s never stopped anyone from living their lives.

    All you No/No proponents will look like troglydtyes 10 to 20 years from now.

    • mj says:

      do you even know what a troglydte is? I think it will be the reverse as their birth rates have been down of late..

      • Mike Hind says:

        Seriously? You’re going to try to make the “If we allow gay people to get married, the birth rates will go down and we’ll all die as a species” argument?

        Come on. PLEASE try honesty. Please.

        Come on. Give us one good reason that we should continue to deny people access to rights.

        Just one. Can you?

  11. Reality Check says:

    Well done Jeff ! Let’s hope more of our elected legislators show some leadership on this issue . SSM is a matter of law , not personal religious beliefs . We Bermudians only embarrass ourselves internationally by clinging to old bigotry .

  12. Rene Clarke says:

    well done Jeff

  13. Paul Revere says:

    That ya business Mr. Sousa

    I’m voting NO NO

    Guess now you know how i’ll be voting

    • Mike Hind says:

      A. Not really, seeing as you’re hiding behind a fake name

      B. Would you care to have the courage to offer a reason why you think we, as a society, should keep denying people access to rights?

      • Ed Case says:

        That’s what religiotards do.

      • Paul Revere says:

        Cause that’s my right Mr Hind.

        We all have our individual rights, I don’t need to explain anything to you.

        And go TCD and look me up

        • Mike Hind says:

          It’s your right to discriminate against other people for no reason?

          This is news to me.

          But I guess you’ve got yours, so the rest can go to hell, right?

          Pathetic.

          • Paul Revere says:

            What’s pathetic is you and the nonsense you continue to write, only when it suits.
            You talk from both sides of your mouth.
            You are a confused individual Mr Hind.
            No need to reply, as you will go back into your cave, until the next LGTB issue arises.

            Only time we hear from you and your kind.

            • Mike Hind says:

              And here we have yet another reason that I DON’T post on anything but this issue.

              Trolls like this who think ad hominem, personal attacks are reasonable debate.

              I stopped posting on other issues because of cowards like you who post nonsense about me, too stupid or ignorant to actually engage in a decent conversation. I got sick of listening to you lie and defame people better than you because you have nothing of value to say.

              Crawl back into YOUR hole until you’re willing to actually add something to a discussion, you ridiculous little clown.

      • Thinking says:

        What rights question when 2 nasty man get married where our beautiful children going to come from huh who going to make them you and sick friends or the world going to be kids less like you now you just selfish go find a beautiful female and multiple like you mom and dad did so you selfish a$$ can be on earth

        • Mike Hind says:

          Well this is just insane ranting.

          our beautiful children are going to come from the same place they always have.
          The people that are going to make them are men and women, just like always.
          I will not be making any. The reasons are my own, but what if I COULDN’T have kids?
          You keep saying I should be quiet because I can’t have kids. What if I had had an accident? What if I was sterile? What if I was too old to have kids? Should I still be silent, then?
          What am I doing? I’m asking YOU a question. You don’t answer those, do you?

          On to your “points”:
          No one will be forcing heterosexuals to get married to someone of the same sex.
          Birth rates will not be affected by marriage equality.
          The ability to have children is not a requirement for marriage.
          I am heterosexual and married, we just don’t have kids.

          I’m not being selfish, you are, by trying to “protect” marriage so it’s only available to people like you. That’s pretty selfish.

          You gonna keep posting nonsense like this, so I can explain to you, or are you going to offer a valid reason that we should continue denying access to rights and privileges to Bermudians for no reason?

    • Just the Tip says:

      Why? why do feel you its the right thing to do to block others rights?

      • Thinking says:

        What rights are you talking about ?

        • Just the Tip says:

          The ability to get married
          widower’s pension
          the right to make medical decisions for your partner
          the right to have the partner live and work in Bermuda (that’s actually two)
          the right for partners to inherit property and funds if there is no will
          putting or being put on your/partner’s health insurance
          loans/ mortgages since you’re a married couple opposed to just two random people
          tax breaks

          these are the ones that come to mind right now I’m sure there are plenty of ones I’ve missed, but the easiest thing to say is if you are married thing about everything you and your partner are allowed to do and that is what you are denying me.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Do you really not understand what the whole issue is about?
          Do you really not know that there are tonnes of rights afforded by marriage?
          Do you not get that, currently, Bermudians are denied access to those rights and that no real reason has been given? Not once?

          Surely, once this injustice was pointed out we, as Bermudians, deserve at least one argument against letting our brothers and sisters and cousins and nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles enjoy access to the same rights as the rest of us. No?

        • Mike Hind says:

          Now that your question has been answered, will you be returning the favor?

          Or is that not part of your agenda?

  14. steve says:

    I don’t know Jeff Souza.But i admire his honesty in briefly describing his thoughts during his earlier years and how his opinions and perceptions have changed with maturity. It resonates with me personally as i am sure it does for many other middle aged men who grew up in the small town mindset(if you will) of the 70s and 80s.Thanks for standing up and being counted.

  15. Frank says:

    Every elected politician should be asked the same question by the local media yes?? We voted you in so time to counted.

  16. Straight up says:

    This is only the beginning. Next the bisexuals are gonna be fighting to have the law changed so they can marry their boyfriend and girlfriend at the same time.

    …and do you Mr X, take Miss Y and Mr. Z to be your lawfully wedded partners…..! SMH

    • Unbelievable says:

      That’s a silly, unfounded fear. Grow up.

    • Just the Tip says:

      So its the slippery slop and polygamy (sp?) again? this issue has been repeat before and answered.

    • What?? says:

      And if they do how is it in anyway going to harm you?

    • Mike Hind says:

      First off, you’re being ridiculous.

      Secondly, and? What would be wrong with that?

  17. Coffee says:

    No means no , not maybe or later . NON, NEVER , NO !

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      What’s funny is that only a few decades ago, people who think just like you said that about the civil rights movement for equality under the law…

    • Mike Hind says:

      And yet, you never explain.

      You spread lies about the victims of the Orlando shooting all being white, but when asked to explain why?

      Nothing.

      Why not just say why?

      Or are you afraid of the conversation that will follow?

    • Unbelievable says:

      Coffee, I bet if the PLP were the Govt, you’d be voting Yes/Yes! Hahah

    • Thinking says:

      Noooooonooooonoooooooooooooooo

    • Mike Hind says:

      And yet, they say there should be some recognition.

      Does this mean you’ll be voting for Civil Unions, then?

      Or is that link your justification to continue discriminating against LGBT Bermudians?

  18. Infidelguy says:

    I too will be voting Yes, Yes.

  19. Joe says:

    All twenty of our employees will vote YES YES love is the only way the hatred in America over the weekend is the other way , preserve marraige group need to stop the lies

    • question????? says:

      How’s that possible when half the employees on workpermit

    • No laughing matter says:

      First of all, be it no no, yes yes, you have NO right asking your employees (or snooping around for info) how they will be voting in the referendum. It’s their democratic right.

      Sure, if I feel that my employer is being pokey about my vote, trying to put pressure on employees to vote a certain way or else…Hey! Sure… I’ll say whatever the employer wants to hear. Come voting time and I’m standing alone in that voting booth…that will be a whole different story…

      • Mike Hind says:

        Or, maybe, they just told him. Or just made it public knowledge that they support equality.

        Everyone I work for knows how I’m voting. No one asked.

    • mj says:

      why do you think this vote is about love? the end must be near, there is no common sense anymore smh…tsk .tsk. love has nothing to do with an overwhelming desire .

      • Mike Hind says:

        Please stop posting falsehoods. It’s hurting people.

  20. Smh says:

    Yes! Yes!

  21. shutthemdown says:

    lol,

    He is for sure telling a lie, he is just afraid to be called all sorts of names by the friendly gay community. lol

    bet your boots he is voting no

  22. Verly says:

    I will abstain from voting. Although I support SSM, personally I don’t feel this is a matter for a referendum. We shouldn’t be taking a vote on a basic human right.

    • O'Brien says:

      Cutting off your nose to spite your face. Cute.

      • Verly says:

        How is that?

        • Unbelievable says:

          Verly, I would vote if I were you. This is an opportunity to tell the Govt how you feel. It may not come back around anytime soon.

    • steve says:

      Verly I agree. However a few years ago it wouldn’t have even been a discussion in politcs (save a lawsuit)… so a less than perfect opportunity to push human rights is upon us.Go out and vote, you will be proud that you did

    • What?? says:

      Of course we shouldn’t be taking a vote on human rights but since we are get out and vote. Think of it as an elaborate (and expensive) opinion poll if it makes you feel better (since that’s what actually is).

  23. Who are you to tell me.. says:

    Jeff, I’m really impressed. Thank you for being true to your thoughts and your feelings. And for not being afraid to express it. Quite frankly I’m tired of this hypocritical crap out here. This sin or part of the bible is wrong and this part of the bible is ok. At the end of the day it’s about love and respect. That’s it. Who are you to tell me what’s love and respect when it’s clearly hitting me right in my face….

  24. LOVE says:

    YES YES YES YES YES!!!! For all those who are against this how would you feel if your rights were denied? If you were told NO NO NO NO?? Take the ignorant blinkers off and live in 2016. I’d rather see 2 women/men loving each other than a married man and woman who disrespect the sanctity of marriage by adultery, having children with others, disrespecting one another..etc which for some reason has become a trend.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      No sin is greater than another. Hence the reason for the prayer vigil.

    • Thinking says:

      You mom and Dad shouldn’t let you come on this earth selfish how can the same sex make children if you dad was with a next man you wouldn’t be here selfish

      • Mike Hind says:

        OMG! How many times does this have to be explained?

        Having kids is NOT a stipulation or requirement for marriage!
        It simply isn’t.

        The ability to procreate isn’t even a LITTLE part of this discussion.

        There is absolutely no requirement for people to be able to have kids together in order for them to get married.

        I don’t know how to make it clearer.

        NOWHERE in law does it say that you gotta be able to make babies in order to get married.

        Get it?

    • Square One says:

      You live, you breathe, you talk loudly, you publish your thoughts, you move around freely, you associate with whom you wish, you vote, you love whom you wish, you have sex with whom you wish, i assume you work.. what rights are you being denied? You enjoy every right that a normal person has.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Seriously? This has been explained many times.

        First off, “every normal person”. And people yell at ME for lack of respect!
        Secondly, I’m not gay. I’m a heterosexual, married Bermudian. I’m not being denied rights.

        Thirdly, do you REALLY not understand that there are many, many rights that marriage grants?
        Do you not get what this whole thing is about? That’s the ENTIRE point.
        How are you not getting this?

  25. swizzle bit says:

    Thank you Jeff for standing up in solidarity. #VoteYesYesBermuda

  26. Tired of the Negative says:

    @Mike Hind:

    After Sunday’s shooting, I thought long and hard about how I felt about this vote on June 23rd. My heart cried our for the victims, their families and the country as a whole. I searched my soul about how I felt and what, if any, that tragedy would/should influence my vote on June 23rd. Then you know what? I read a post of yours from FB where you posted, “So in other ‘Completely Friggin’ Tone Deaf’ news, on the day that the news broke that over 50 innocent LGBT people were murdered in cold blood, these hateful bigots are standing around staring at a wall, hoping they get to keep the privilege of treating other Bermudians as less than human.”

    This post, to date, has 45 likes, 31 comments and 19 shares on FB.

    I found your post unnecessary and full of the same hate that you believe that the religious community has toward the LGBQT community. You want those who do not think as you to to tolerate and accept your thoughts/beliefs, but you denigrate anyone who doesn’t think the way you do – that’s unfair and uncalled for.

    My vote on June 23 will be my decision and will be based on how I feel and not the religious influences in my life OR the LGBQT Zealots like you and Tony Brannon who believe that anyone who is not fighting for gay rights is the devil in a heterosexual suit. Love is not just love – - – love is understanding differences and living with them as well.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Oh, yes. It’s me that’s the problem.

      Not the people who support denying rights to people, based on NOTHING.

      You don’t like what I post on my personal Facebook page? Then don’t read it.
      I’m not forcing you to do so.
      You don’t like it when I call bigots what they are? Then scroll past.

      You aren’t a friend of mine… and if you are, please feel free to unfriend me.
      I’m sorry, but this is too big an issue. This is too important.
      We’re talking about lives here. How can you feel for the victims of that murderer, but not for our fellow Bermudians that could and would be targets of him?

      You say that I denigrate anyone who doesn’t think the way I do.
      This is not true and is a misrepresentation of the situation.
      The people I was talking about in that post support and are praying for – something that they feel is important and will get results – denying rights to Bermudians. For no reason.
      It’s not about them not thinking like I do. It’s the fact that their actions are hurting people.
      They are hurting people. They can think whatever they like. I’ve said this over and over again. I guess you didn’t read that.
      I will defend their right to believe and think whatever they want.
      But the instant… THE INSTANT… they think they have the right to impose their personal choice of religion’s rules onto ANYONE else… the instant they think that they have the right to demand that our society observe the taboos of their personal choice of religions, we have a problem.
      And I speak out against that. Why don’t you?
      Are you ok with people forcing the rest of us to observe their religion’s rules?
      Or is it that you agree with them? Would you be ok with someone doing that to you?

      You know what? I wasn’t respectful to the hateful bigots standing around facing a wall, praying that they get to have a say in denying someone else’s happiness. I wasn’t. I was upset that a crazy person who shares the same views as them went into a club and shot a bunch of people.

      I don’t hate religious people. I’m not full of hate at all.

      But I AM frustrated that I can’t get a single person who opposes Marriage Equality to have the courage to step up to the plate and give one good reason why we should continue denying access to rights to Bermudians and those they love.
      Not once have they ever done that.

      I don’t “believe that anyone who is not fighting for gay rights is the devil in a heterosexual suit”, but I do believe that we should constantly ask for reasons to treat people as though they don’t deserve rights… as though they were less than the rest of us… as though they were less than human.

      Why don’t you?

      • Tired of the Negative says:

        Mike:

        Let’s get real for a second. I will try to explain this to you so that you can understand.

        You don’t know what each person was praying for around that building on Sunday – - some were praying for peace and comfort for the victims and their families in Orlando. Yes, I won’t deny that some were praying for the “no/no” vote on June 23rd – and they have every right to do so.

        But you are wrong when you state that “a crazy person who shares the same views as them went into a club and shot a bunch of people” – - the fact remains that the shooter was confused about his own sexuality and THAT’S WHY HE KILLED PEOPLE – the media is creating this false idea it was about religion and ISIS – that’s crap – - he had been in Pulse several times and had profiles on gay websites – - HE WAS CONFUSED ABOUT HOW HE FELT AND KILLED HIM BECAUSE IT – NOT RELIGION.

        For the record, I do not oppose Marriage Equality – - I have a problem with LGBQT supporters who viciously attack anyone, based on their faith (which means that it cannot be proven – it is a belief) that they are wrong – - they just don’t agree with it – and that’s ok.

        I have told you before that you aren’t going to get anyone who opposes Marriage Equality to give you a good enough reason why – - because it isn’t going to be good enough in your eyes regardless of what they say – - it is a mute point. I will say though that your comment of the denial of being able to marry is treating people “as though they were less than human” is a bit overstating in my opinion. You act as if marriage rights equates to being a human being – as if you cannot marry, you are some mammal that isn’t human – and you know that’s not the case.

        Not being able to marry in this country does not stop anyone, gay or straight, from getting married anywhere else – - and that’s a fact. One other pet peeve I have with this issue is how we have allowed it to be used for personal scores in this country. Tony B is a prime example of this – - he has stated on numerous occasions that allowing gay marriage in Bermuda will increase tourism numbers and revenue dramatically – this is just plain untrue. He is using the issue to promote and prop himself up like he is the Saviour of the Gays in Bermuda – and it is sad.

        All that to say this – - 1. I will vote from my heart on June 23. 2. I respect that you are very passionate about this. 3. I pray that you understand that your words have power – use them wisely – if you want people to change their minds, your words could gather not separate.

        Just my 2 cents,

        TOTN

        • Mike Hind says:

          Let’s go through this:

          The killers motives are still coming clear. We can discuss that later, but there is abundant evidence – his father’s words, for example – that homophobia is absolutely a part of the motivation. You say “he was confused about how he felt…” Don’t you see that these messages from anti-equality sources, this misinformation, the lies, the use of language like, above “You have the same rights as normal people” are all part of that?

          Let’s move on, because I know this will be a cherry picked point.

          “I have a problem with LGBQT supporters who viciously attack anyone, based on their faith (which means that it cannot be proven – it is a belief) that they are wrong – - they just don’t agree with it – and that’s ok.”
          I have a problem with that, too. And speak out when they do that.
          I DON’T do that and I truly hope that you aren’t saying that I do.
          I DO speak out when people post lies and misinformation. I DO ask “Why?” when they say they are going to vote No/No. The reason I do is that it’s not a matter of “they just don’t agree with it”. Voting No/No affects other people’s lives, relationships and happiness and leads to a continued denial of rights. That’s not a viewpoint. It’s action. And it needs a reason to do so.

          “I have told you before that you aren’t going to get anyone who opposes Marriage Equality to give you a good enough reason why – - because it isn’t going to be good enough in your eyes regardless of what they say – - it is a mute point.”
          And I have pointed out, many times that this is simply not true. At all. It is an outright falsehood.
          If someone offers a reason that we should continue denying access to rights to LGBT folks that want to get married, one that stands up to the slightest scrutiny, one based on reality and things that exist (i.e. not falsehoods like “It’ll lead to bestiality”), that they’re willing to defend and discuss, I’ll happily take it in and change my view. HAPPILY.
          But they haven’t. Ever. Not once. That’s why I keep asking.
          And it’s not a moot point. This is the crux of the issue.
          When we, as a society, decide to deny people access to rights, we HAVE to do it for a reason.
          And that reason should be simple to explain. For example: when we jail people, we deny them access to rights. But it is very simple to point out WHY we do that. Someone says “Why should we continue denying jailed people access to the right of freedom of movement and association?” we can respond, simply, “because that is what the law says is the punishment for their choice to break the law, ignoring other people’s rights (i.e. stealing, assault, etc.)”
          See? Simple.
          Now, there ARE unjust laws. “What about marijuana?” some might ask. “It’s unfair that people are jailed for that. It’s a victimless crime!” And I reply “Absolutely. So let’s change it! Demand a reason why people should be jailed for marijuana!”
          Which is what we are doing here. The law, as it currently stands, is unfair, unjust and wrong, because it discriminates against a group of people based on both sexual orientation and gender. It discriminates by denying them access to rights that the rest of us share.
          If someone supports this denial, and will ACTIVELY support it by voting No/No, then there HAS to be a reason given. I, and others, are not in the wrong for asking for that reason.

          Do you get it now? It’s not that there will be no answer I’ll accept. If it’s real and stands up to scrutiny and proves my position wrong, I will accept it. But I will not accept it without questioning it. I WILL ask questions. I WILL point out flaws in the thinking if I see any. And, if I’m wrong about THAT, I will accept it when someone points out the flaws in mine. That’s what discussion is. That’s what debate is.

          To say that I won’t accept arguments and reasons is a complete misrepresentation of the truth.
          No one has given any. Not once. Ever. No one has ever, EVER offered a reason they’re willing to back up with facts, reality… heck… or even a simple response. Every time, they disappear when I ask questions. Every time.

          As for the “Less than human” thing? You may think I’m overstating. I don’t.
          What else would you call the view that someone is less worthy of access to rights for no reason at all? I’m not saying that marrying makes you human. That is a bizarre twisting of what I said. I was very clear. The denial of equal access to rights treats people as less. Please don’t twist my words.

          You seem to have a problem with Tony Brannon. That’s fine. But take it up with him.
          Taking me to task for someone else’s actions is unfair.
          If you think _I_ have a personal score to settle regarding this, bring that up.
          I have no responsibility for someone else’s actions.

          You also say “Not being able to marry in this country does not stop anyone, gay or straight, from getting married anywhere else – - and that’s a fact.”

          I have no idea what you are saying here. No one is making this argument. No one is saying “Not being able to marry in Bermuda will stop someone from marrying elsewhere” Why would you argue against something no one is saying.
          Here’s the thing, though. Not being able to marry here DOES mean that someone’s marriage from elsewhere is not recognized in Bermuda. It does mean that a Bermudian who IS married elsewhere cannot share in the same rights as I have as a married man.
          Why is the ability to marry somewhere else a solution. Are you saying that Bermudians should just leave if they want to get married?
          Come on.

          And then this:

          All that to say this – - 1. I will vote from my heart on June 23.

          As will I. And I will vote for equality and treating people with respect. How will you vote?

          2. I respect that you are very passionate about this.

          I am. But taking me to task for other people’s actions, arguing against things I didn’t say and misrepresenting my position aren’t very respectful. So… do you really?

          3. I pray that you understand that your words have power – use them wisely – if you want people to change their minds, your words could gather not separate.

          I’d love to think that my words have power. I despair that they don’t, as no-one, including you, seem to be listening to what I’m actually saying, given the way they ignore… you know… what I’m actually saying.

          As for “gather not separate”? You didn’t mention anywhere that I HAVEN’T done that. You went off about other people, but didn’t point out where I have been trying to separate. You talked about people that attack others based on religion, which I don’t do. You talked about Tony Brannon, who isn’t me. You talked about me not accepting any argument, which is a lie.
          How are my words “separating” people? Why didn’t you talk about that?

          Ok, this post is too long. I’ll stop now.

          I look forward to your response. I hope it will talk about the points I made and not about stuff other people do.

  27. Forethebest says:

    Every person’s capacity to love is good. Judge not lest you be judged.

  28. So Tired says:

    I respect your position Jeff, and that you were bold enough to voice that you had a change of heart. I hope you likewise respect mine…NO, NO!

  29. Joe says:

    My God loves EVERYONE