Video: MP Wayne Furbert On Marriage Bill

May 31, 2017

MP Wayne Furbert said the Human Rights Amendment Act 2017 — which seeks to make an amendment to define marriage between a male and a female — could be debated in the House of Assembly in July of this year, and said that this time, it does not need to pass in the Senate.

Bill Follows Landmark Court Ruling

The Private Members Bill seeks to, in effect, restrict marriage to between a man and woman, and follows after a landmark court ruling which paved the way for same sex marriage in Bermuda.

Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche filed a legal challenge after their marriage application was declined by Bermuda’s Registrar-General, and the court ruled in their favour , paving the way for same sex marriage.

Following the ruling, Minister of Home Affairs Patricia Gordon Pamplin said the Government acknowledges the Supreme Court ruling handed down, and “we have determined that we will not lodge an appeal against the judgment.”

In a Bernews interview with three lawyers involved in the legal case, we asked what would happen to a gay couple if they got married and an amendment managed to get passed in Parliament, the lawyers explained that the marriages will remain legal – but they couldn’t get divorced.

Similar Bill Was Brought Before

Mr Furbert previously attempted to bring an amendment like this, with the Human Rights Amendment 2016 passing in the House with 21 votes for, 9 against, and 1 abstention in July 2016, however, the Bill then failed in the Senate, with six Senators voting against the Bill, while five voted in favour.

During our interview Mr Furbert explained that the Bill does not need to pass in the Senate this time.

The Bermuda Constitution [screenshot below] states, “If any bill to which this section applies is passed by the House of Assembly in two successive sessions [whether or not the Legislature is dissolved between those sessions] and, having been sent to the Senate in each of those sessions at least one month before the end of the session, is rejected by the Senate in each of those sessions, that bill shall, on its rejection for the second time by the Senate, unless the House of Assembly otherwise resolves, be presented to the Governor for assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the bill:

“Provided that the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not have effect unless at least twelve months have elapsed between the date on which the bill is passed by the House of Assembly in the first session and the date on which it is passed by that House in the second session.”

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Human Rights Amendment Bill 2017

The Bill — which is a Private Members Bill brought by Mr Furbert — states, “Whereas it is expedient to amend the Human Rights Act 1982, to preserve the institution of marriage; Be it enacted by The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows;

“In section 2 of the Human Rights Act 1981, at the end insert— [5] Nothing in this section shall be taken to override the provisions of section 15[c] of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1974 [which provides that a marriage is void unless the parties are respectively male and female].”

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Wayne Furbert’s Comments

Speaking with guest interviewer Jeremy Deacon,  Mr Furbert said, “It should be debated July 8, 2017, because the last time was July 8, 2016, and because it failed in the Senate, you have to wait 12 months before you can – and the word is pass the bill again.

When asked if can be turned down by the Senate this time, Mr Furbert said, “It cannot. And the reason why I laid is because the Constitution doesn’t say you can’t lay, I should have laid probably last year, but you cant pass it until the 12 months is up. And so we’ll go to the 8th and debate it there.”

During the interview he discussed various aspects related to the topic, and you can watch below, and if you want to listen ‘on the go’, you can also access the audio only version of this interview, and all our past interviews, in the podcast section of the Bernews app.

30 minute video interview with Mr Furbert:

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Comments (94)

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  1. PositiveVibes says:

    We take a basic step forward for Human Rights and now he wants to take it away? That takes me from undecided to DECIDED for the next election. Why is the PLP full of Haters?

    • Keep Bermuda Beautiful.

      • Rasta says:

        PLP hate the LGBT.

        • Truth Teller says:

          Guys please note that as was the case last time whenn this bill came to the House, a number of OBA members voted in favour of Mr.Furbert’s bill.

          For example current Minister Sylvan Richards voted in favour of the bill along a few others OBA MP’s.

          The bill did not pass with just PLP votes.

      • Black Soil says:

        Another reminder that the PLP want to take Bermuda backwards.

        • frank says:

          Some people call the bible a comic book written
          Years and years ago and say that God is some
          Boogy man in the sky.
          But they have not read it.
          I have and it has opened my eyes to the truth
          That something that was written so many years
          Ago the events are now taking place in the world

          Just turn on the news

          It

          • wondering says:

            so did Nostradamus……

          • Reuben says:

            Your religion should not be forced onto others just cause you believe it.

          • inna says:

            The bible was written to give people like you security in the goings on in the world.

            Others, no so much.

          • Mike Hind says:

            That’s your religion. You’re allowed to believe whatever you want.
            It’s not fair and it’s not ok to demand – through things like this bill – that everyone do the same.

            Things being against your religion means that YOU can’t do them, not the rest of us.

          • blankman says:

            frank, really hate to tell you but every reputable survey says that on average atheists know more about the bible than most Christians. And most have read that book – why do you think they’re atheists?

            To quote Mark Twain: “The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible”

            Or, if you prefer a different phrasing:

            Buy a bible, never read it and you’re a good Christian
            Buy a bible, read parts of it and you become a pious SOB
            Buy a bible, read it carefully, and you become an atheist.

      • Reuben says:

        Care to give a reason why you should have rights and I should be denied the same rights?

      • wahoo says:

        So stop throwing your trash in the trees.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Sadly, both sides are! Haters and cowards.

      • torian says:

        Political landmine. No party has the courage to stand at the forefront of this divisive issue which sucks because it’s a standard human right!

        • Its a human disaster. If majority of people were gay in this world we would be extinct in no time

          • Cow Polly says:

            So why are you so afraid?

          • Mike Hind says:

            And? What does this have to do with anything?
            Do you think that being gay is catching?

          • Reuben says:

            That is a pointless fear tactic, the majority are not gay and people won’t magically become gay once we have marriage equality. you know this and yet you still keep lying to people.

          • Zevon says:

            What, are you afraid of becoming gay?

  2. A Chap called V says:

    Wonder if he rents his Airbnb apartment to gay couples?

  3. ‘Full of Haters’ or full of people that don’t think like you on this subject?

    • Mike Hind says:

      No… full of people that think it’s ok to discriminate for no reason.

  4. Family Man says:

    What’s next?

    Maybe Furbert can draft a law to prevent gay people from owning property. After all, they can just rent.

    How about preventing gays from registering a car? They just need a bike anyway right?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Remember, he pulled the “expats shouldn’t have a car” crap years ago….

      He really is a discriminatory POS.

      • Zevon says:

        It’s why I stopped using his sandwich shop.

  5. Reuben says:

    I figured he would pull a Dr. Brown move.

    Well the Government will have to get ready for another court case then, which is a waste of the tax payers money.

    • frank says:

      Some people call the bible a comic book written
      Years and years ago and say that God is some
      Boogy man in the sky.
      But they have not read it.
      I have and it has opened my eyes to the truth
      That something that was written so many years
      Ago the events are now taking place in the world

      Just turn on the news

      There will be no court case if his bill passes
      It will be the law

      It

      • Mike Hind says:

        It’s law now.

      • Reuben says:

        This has nothing to do with my comment.

        Why should your religion be forced onto me? Why should I be denied rights under the law that you are allowed to have?

        and as some one above pointed out “so did Nostradamus……” and a couple other soothsayers.

        • Mike Hind says:

          The problem is: folks like “frank” don’t think that their religion is a religion. They think it is absolute truth and, this, it’s ok to demand that everyone believe it. It’s a cognitive dissonance that allows them to blatantly lie and then attack others for telling the truth. It allows people like “Onion Juice” to dismiss opponents with “go ahead. Show all those examples that prove me wrong. I’m still correct!”

          The problem we’re having with these “discussions” is that we’re treating them like the folks we’re talking to are willing to engage in sane, honest conversation when they absolutely, positively aren’t. They are willfully ignorant because it suits their needs.

  6. sandgrownan says:

    He’s a f***ing disgusting sack of sh*T. Utter utter scum.

  7. spider says:

    The bill still needs to be presented to the senate,if at that point it doesn’t pass ie: the senate voted “no” it’s pointless to present it to the governor to give his assent to it, it’s not likely the governor will intervene. I think Wayne should clarify that as his statement suggests that the bill only needs to pass in the house. It needs to pass in the house and then be rejected by the senate before it can go to the governor, then it will truly be dead as the governor will do nothing.

    • Reuben says:

      It does just need to pass the house, DR Brown did the same thing to the taxi drivers with the GPS law, MP Furbert is just coping him.

      • spider says:

        If that were true then the house would rule all they would have to do is resubmit bills every year to pass legislation.

        • Reuben says:

          Um… it is true and its a matter of history and record. How else do you think you got useless gps in taxis today.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      Hi, the Bill does not go to the Senate. The Senate can only turn it down once. If this is passed in the House, it will become law.

      • A Chap called V says:

        Governor can knock it back.

        Rule Britannia!!

        • Jeremy Deacon says:

          then we might well have a constitutional crisis

          • Reuben says:

            How would it be a constitutional crisis? Wouldn’t the decision of the Queen’s representative be factored into the the constitution of Bermuda?

          • blankman says:

            It wouldn’t be a constitutional crisis – it would, in fact, be following the constitution.

      • spider says:

        If the same bill goes to the senate it is automatically rejected by the senate at which point the bill can be presented to the governor. When the senate rejected it the first time it can only be resubmitted with amendments approved by the house and senate. So you are correct the senate can only turn it down once it is automatically rejected if sent back again. However it doesn’t automatically become law it has to go the governor to decide. Then it’s up to the governor and I doubt he will pass it into law.

    • What?? says:

      Ìt has already failed in the Senate once. That means that, after waiting a year, if it again passes the House it is passed. It won’t need Senate approval.

    • mark says:

      nope. doesn’t need to go to the senate again. it can just pass the house. very scary.

    • frank says:

      It does not need to go to the senate

  8. HMM.. says:

    aint this something. funny how none of these people worry about more important issues like gun violence and the condition of schools yet the min something to do with same sex comes up everyone wants to have an issue with it. we all travel ssm is everywhere yet it don’t stop us from traveling. this all just makes no sense. there is way more important issues out there! let me marry who i choose to marry!

  9. Bermudian says:

    Matrimonial Causes Act 1974- think its time for an updated Act!

  10. Bermudian says:

    My biggest problem with those wh

  11. Peter says:

    At the end of the day nothing changes the gay community can get married somewhere else and come back and live as they always have so what’s is Furbert hate bill hope to do only discriminate Bermudians No PLP vote for
    Me

    • Well let them, but we will stand our ground and proclaim marriage is defined between MAN and a WOMAN.
      Just as our anscestors practiced.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Bigot.

      • Reuben says:

        ancestors practiced same sex marriage too

      • Reuben says:

        Again why should you be given rights under the law that are denied to me?

        • sage says:

          Exactly that is what I wonder every time I see someone smoking cancer sticks which kill millions, while I can’t smoke a spliff that never killed anyone.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      The issue isn’t where they get married, it is that is no equality in local laws that would grant equal legal standings. They get married Ian Canada, but their marriage won’t be recognized locally, so they won’t have the same inheritance protections, same medical rights, if one spouse is a foreigner, they won’t be eligible for status, family rights for children… everything that the Marriage act grants in legality is denied. And that is a violation of the Human Rights Act as well as the principle promise of democracy, equality of its citizens under the law.

    • Mike Hind says:

      But they can’t if they marry someone from overseas. Only recently has the Government started taking steps to fix this, but it still isn’t allowing folks to “live as they always have”. Overseas same-sex marriages aren’t recognized here. This is the problem.

  12. mark says:

    What is this UBP stalwart going on about? He loves to stop the advancement of human rights but how do we know he will hold the same opinion tomorrow? he is known as Flip-Flop Furbert after all!

  13. wahoo says:

    Wonder how Julian Hall felt about this subject.

  14. wow says:

    Good to know that religion owns Marriage. Of wait religion and politics aren’t supposed to mix.

  15. sandgrownan says:

    I know…but he’s such a moron. He really is the village idiot, no moral compass…

    • wahoo says:

      Well perhaps, but you gotta admit he looks bright in that picture.

  16. puzzled says:

    He is just play for his band that left him standing alone.
    This guy gives a new meaning to “Floored”.
    Just wants attention prior to the election.
    Nothing here.

  17. mark says:

    PLP = politics first, discrimination second and country last

  18. Trump supporter says:

    Votem back in, they’ll fix it all.. marriage bill, education, oh and the 2025 plan.

    • wahoo says:

      Yes it will take then eight years to come up with an idea.

  19. Joe Bloggs says:

    Let’s amend the Human Rights Act to make sure that gays do not have the same “human” rights as others and enshrine the “two Bermudas” in law forever.

    Now that I have written it, it looks even more ridiculous than it sounds

  20. Kevin says:

    Furbert is doing what he has to do to get elected, how else do you explain him winning the same seat representing 2 different parties. They scream and he says How high.He will get what he deserves someday , one can’t be in judgement of others and not be held accountable at some point. The thought that these folks are trying to argue that they are doing God’s will, doesn’t make them any better than the terrorists also claiming to be doing their gods will.
    Everyone in this world deserves to be treated equally ……….

    • PBanks says:

      Hamilton West didn’t get the nickname “Bible Belt” for nothing. Furbert likely has the full backing of the church communities in his consituency.

  21. Peter says:

    The disgrace this man brings to Bermuda will be his legacy and the PLPs backward thinking

  22. Mary says:

    the Furbert hate bill along with the Shameful 21 is really the start of The second PLP reign of un progressive ,taxpayer plundering and antiequality me me me politics for Bermuda have fun u voted for these clowns

  23. BDAGIRL says:

    I wish Mr. Furbert had this much energy to put into the shootings of our young men, and the drug addiction/trade here in BDA. You can try and stop the bill from passing, but you will never stop LOVE between same sex people.

  24. Jon says:

    Pass the Bill and then burn the Act…..no point in having it anymore if the core purpose of it cannot be upheld by members of parliament. Majority this, Consciousness that, what a bunch of rubbish….if this goes through, burn the Act because it will no longer be valid for all types of minority groups UNLESS it will only apply for the rights to marry for same sex couples. Are our politicians going to vote yes to this bill thereby openly admitting they believe in disrimination? I wonder how many times it takes to be “born again” before this will get cleansed from their souls? Too many I’m thinking so they better crank up their heaters all the way through summer so they can begin to get used to where they are heading. Heathens!

  25. pardon says:

    I am very much ready to vote OBA! This swing voter has made her mind up .

  26. Will says:

    I dont understand why this is a legal issue? if it’s based on religion, surely this is a secular society nowadays? also im atheist and if im gay (im not) why should i have to abide by a religiously based law? law should be for all mankind and not favour one group(s) over another.

    • Mike Hind says:

      At the protest the other day, I was told that being gay was wrong because God said it’s wrong. I said “that’s your religion. No one else has to follow that religion if they don’t want to.”
      The counter argument from this guy’s was “it’s not religion. It’s in the Bible.”

      THIS is why you can’t make sense of it. It makes no sense.
      They believe in equality, as long as THEY are the ones that get the “equality”.
      It’s about privilege and pathetically trying to hold on to it because they don’t want to share.
      “When one is used to privilege, equality seems like oppression”

  27. Renee Webb says:

    In the meantime, I was honoured to have attended the first Government executed same sex marriage at the Registrar General’s Office today. The weddings vows were given to the brides by the Assistant Registrar who is to be commended for her professionalism and compassion. The staff were very helpful to all of us in attendance. They demonstrated the friendliness that Bermudians are known for.
    The staff at the reception on the beach at Elbow were also superb. Both the wedding and the reception went off without a hitch. Congratulations to the brides for their courage and demonstration of love. Love wins.

    • Mike Hind says:

      This is fantastic!

    • Cow Polly says:

      And my understanding is, and no offence to the Brides, that if Furbert’s bill goes through and the law is changed back to discrimination,then these lawful same sex marriages will not have the option of divorce and this will cause so much mayhem. Its ridiculous.
      And may I add my congratulations to the beautiful brides may your marriage be strong, long and full of love.

    • PBanks says:

      Congrats to the couple and may their marriage in the years to come not be seen as an anomaly of a footnote in Bermuda history.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I was just thinking (sarcastically) that “Renee Webb must be so proud of Wayne right now”. Thank you for adding some warmth to an otherwise cold debate

  28. Mary says:

    the international media is watching the Furbert hate bill if it passes Bermuda will be known as the anti equality country turning the clocks back to discrimination spear headed by the one and only Mr Wayne Furbert the sad legacy he will be known for his colleagues will have a chance to spare him and the country the embarrassment we can be progressive if we want to its takes a little courage not small minded judgments made by some church club . step up Bermuda Americas cup does not need to be followed by discrimination laws lets move forward for Gods sake if nothing else after all there is only one and he alone decided our fates if you choose to believe that …hmm oh yeah that’s a choice … right

  29. Coffee says:

    Marriage is a business . Gay marriage is a nasty business . Bermuda has always been open for nasty business .

    • Mike Hind says:

      Note here that this poster doesn’t actually say anything. He just spews his distaste about other people’s relationships, as if he has some say in it.
      This is the problem with the anti-equality side. They are so self-important, they think they should have a say in other people’s lives, claiming – but never showing how – that, somehow, other people getting married will have some sort of effect of their lives.
      It won’t, of course, but that won’t stop them from claiming it will… and then running away when asked how.

      • Coffee says:

        Note … This poster says nothing about relationships .. Only about the business !

        I really don’t care about peoples relationships , it’s absolutely none of my concern , I’ll not deny anybody the RIGHT TO MARRY !

        Royalty marry in a particular way , some marry first cousins , it’s all BUSINESS , it may be about love !

        Some are forced to marry , nasty business ! Some because a child is involved , no love between the parents , nasty business !

        Business , some more nasty then others … Gay marraige is particularly … Just nasty .

        Who cares about your opinion , my opinion ? In fifty years we will be dead , if not way before … But the nasty business of gay marraige is here to stay … It will always be NASTY TO THE MAJORITY !

    • aceboy says:

      The real nasty business is the having of children out of wedlock and then abandoning the offspring to *the village* where everyone else is expected to deal with an angry unloved and uncared for child.

      Gay marriage is not the problem with Bermuda society. Irresponsible fools are…..

  30. John says:

    All marriages can be nasty business bermuda can attest to that what’s the point