OUTBermuda Group “Disappointed” By Decision

December 12, 2017 | 25 Comments

OUTBermuda said they are “disappointed with the Government’s decision to roll back rights extended to same-sex couples,” and explained that they “engaged constructively with the Government in response to its consultation on Domestic Partnerships, recognizing that there was a risk of an even worse outcome if Junior Minister Furbert brought a Private Member’s Bill.”

Bill Passes In House

These comments follow after the Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly on Friday, with the legislation aiming to replace same-sex marriage with a domestic partnership arrangement which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown previously said that, “We are at this point legislatively because we have a rift in our community between two competing positions” one in support of same-sex marriage and one opposed.

Saying that there was a “high likelihood” that a Private Members Bill would have been tabled in Parliament which would have outlawed same-sex marriage and afforded no rights to same-sex couples,” the Minister said the Government “took leadership on the issue and has decided to bring forward this Bill, which will ensure that same-sex couples will have a raft of legal benefits.”

As the Bill has now passed in the House, it will head to the Upper House, where the Senators will vote on it.

OUTBermuda’s Comments

Speaking after the Bill passed, a spokesperson said, “OUTBermuda is disappointed with the Government’s decision to roll back rights extended to same-sex couples in Bermuda.

“We recognize that while the weight of public opinion is moving towards embracing marriage equality, as a country we have found ourselves in this difficult political position because of a well-funded and aggressively vocal charity that has as its sole purpose the undermining of marriage equality in Bermuda.

“The challenge for OUTBermuda and all allies is to engage proactively with the wider community to provide a balance to the misinformation published on this and many other issues facing the LGBTQ community.

“Given where we are as a country, OUTBermuda engaged constructively with the Government in response to its consultation on Domestic Partnerships, recognizing that there was a risk of an even worse outcome if Junior Minister Furbert brought a Private Member’s Bill that undermined the Human Rights Act solely for the purpose of reversing the Supreme Court’s decision in Godwin and DeRoche.

“Most importantly, our efforts to engage in good faith with the Ministry of Home Affairs during the consultation process should not be viewed as our approving the spirit of the Domestic Partnership legislation.

“As long as the community continues to need a voice and allies, we will work towards marriage equality as we continue advocating for all issues that affect Bermuda’s LGBTQ people.”

OUTBermuda’s response to the public consultation on the Bill follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (25)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    A very balanced and realistic approach for representatives of a group being actively discriminated against.

    My congratulations to OUTBermuda. I wish more people had your sense.

    • PBanks says:

      It does look to be a quality response. But how does a group like this combat the misinformation from PM with a smaller budget and reach?

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        I don’t know, but I am heartened to know that we have such up-and-coming people in Bermuda.

      • Curious says:

        It is a concern so follow the money…

        Preserve Marriage is a Bermuda Registered Charity, approved by Minister Walton Brown on August 28, 2017 and thus eligible to all the rights and privileges in Bermuda to raise significant money locally and in the US through vehicles like The Friend’s of the Bermuda Community Foundation – a registered 501(c)3 for US tax purposes.

        Friends of The Bermuda Community Foundation, as a 501(c)3, allows US donors to claim a US tax receipt when they donate to Bermuda registered charities.

        US donations represent a very large source of US based anti- LGBTQ money with influence and resources capable of dominating our local politics for a very, very long time.

  2. I heart 441 says:

    The majority of those advocating for SSM in Bermuda are expats living on the island.
    Cayman Islands is a perfect example of how expats control a country.
    Continue to stand firm Bermuda!

    • brain drain says:

      Wrong. The majority advocating for SSM are Bermudian, Bermudian family members and partners of Bermudians.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Umm, where does that information come from? My family and I (all Bermudian) and most of our (Bermudian) friends find the discrimination against gay couple very disturbing.

      Admittedly though, we do not control the island or the Government.

    • Vote For Me and Your Loan is Free says:

      I Heart 441, where exactly did you do your polling? Get a life, grow up, get a life and get to know others that might not look or act like you do. You might learn to love a bit more, and hate a little less.

      • i heart 441 says:

        June 2016 referedum on SSM spoke volumes!

        • Mike Hind says:

          Yes. It did. It showed that the majority doesn’t care who gets married.

          It was unanswered and non binding. The results are irrelevant. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  3. Athena says:

    This well structured letter points to what an unnecessary and totally messy situation is being created by this government.

    So regressive and making them look completely idiotic to the outside world. In the 21st century individuals deserve the right to be equal in all ways with their fellow humans.

  4. Spanner breath says:

    Lets go block the house!

  5. I heart 441 says:

    The majority of those that have advocated for SSM in Bermuda are expats.
    The Cayman Islands is a perfect example of how a Government is dictated of what to do by expats.
    Bermuda, we need to continue to stand strong!

    For the record I have no ill feelings towards expats as I once was one myself.

    • brain drain says:

      Wrong. The majority advocating for SSM are Bermudian, Bermudian family members and partners of Bermudians.

    • puzzled says:

      Then your a hippocrite.

      • i heart 441 says:

        How so if I never protested, advocated for law change to suit my liestyle in the country I worked in as an expat?

    • Rocky5 says:

      That’s right – get rid of those pesky ex-pats! We don’t need them. We Bermudians can do anything – except, well – maybe keep a few to do all menial & dirty jobs in de hotels, restaurants, landscaping, cleaning, farming etc.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *For the record I have no ill feelings towards expats as I once was one myself.*

      So you do know that around here in many people’s eyes you’re not a Bermudian anyway ?

    • Vote For Me and Your Loan is Free says:

      You close by saying “For the record I have no ill feelings towards expats as I once was one myself”. Funny, thats not the feeling that one gets from your post? Reminds me of someone that might say “I have nothing against black(or white) people many of my best friends are black (or white).

      Ring a bell????

    • Mike Hind says:

      So, you got yours, the rest can go hang?

      Just because YOU are a bigot doesn’t mean the rest of us should be.

      And citing statistics without anything tonback it up is dishonest.

  6. Warwick West says:

    ‘Bermuda we need to continue to stand strong!”…………….YES we sure do. For EVERY SIGNLE PERSON that resides here – no matter their gender, race, age, sexual beliefs, colour of their eyes, colour of their hair, if they weigh a few ounces or hundreds of pounds. That is EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT – not just those YOU chose to pick and then YOU chose to throw away the others. Such judgements is NOT YOUR PLACE in this world. Judging our fellow humans is not our job.

    Judge not lest ye be judged.

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