Court Rules In Favour Of SSM, Govt To Appeal

June 6, 2018 | 224 Comments

[Updating | Summary]

  • Court ruled in favour of same sex marriage, said aspects of the Domestic Partnership Act that revoked same sex marriage rights are invalid.
  • Court ordered a 6 week stay, so the ruling will not take effect immediately
  • Following the ruling, the Minister of Home Affairs said the “Government will be appealing subject to any legal advice that we receive. As a result we are pleased that the Chief Justice has stayed the decision until an appeal can be submitted.”

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The judgment is expected to be handed down in the legal case challenging the same sex marriage laws today [June 6], with the legal action seeking to declare the provisions in the Domestic Partnership Act that have the effect of revoking same sex marriage as invalid.

Same sex marriage was initially legalised in Bermuda following a Supreme Court decision in May 2017, with Greg DeRoche and Winston Godwin successfully challenging the law, with the court ruling in their favour, saying that “common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.”

The court ruling paved the way for same sex couples to get married, however did not automatically extend all the same legal benefits opposite sex couples receive. The Domestic Partnership Act then passed in Bermuda’s legislature last year which created domestic partnerships with benefits, however the law also restricted marriage as being between a man and woman, in effect ‘overturning’ the court ruling, and the DPA took effect on June 1st.

Bermuda rainbow gavel generic hMD7T9tA

Earlier this year, lawyer Mark Pettingill — who represented Greg DeRoche and Winston Godwin in 2017 — filed a motion on behalf of a client challenging the constitutional aspects of the Domestic Partnership Act. Mr Pettingill told Bernews that Roderick Ferguson, a Bermudian man living in the United States, filed the lawsuit because “the right to have a same-sex marriage has been taken away.”

Following that, OUTBermuda and Maryellen Jackson also filed legal action in the Bermuda Supreme Court seeking an order declaring that provisions that “have the effect of revoking same-sex marriage” are in contravention of the Bermuda Constitution, and the two cases were heard together.

The judgment is expected to be announced today and we will update as able.

Update 11.07am: We are in court now, as are many other people, with many supporters present.

Update 11.21am: The Court has ruled in favour of the case, with the Chief Justice ruling that the applicants can be granted the declaration they sought that the aspects of the Domestic Partnership Act that revoked same sex marriage rights that were recognized in Goodwin DeRoche case are invalid.

Update 11.31am: OUTBermuda tweeted, “#LoveWinsAgain for @OUTBermuda and all Bermudians. Thank you to Maryellen Jackson and @RodFerguson for joining us in our firm belief that all Bermuda residents deserve the #FreedomToMarry.”

Update 11.32am: The matter is still being heard, and there has been discussion of costs and about whether to allow time for any appeal. The actual judgment is quite long, and we are trying to access a digital copy of it, and will continue to update as able.

Update 11.37am: A statement from OUTBermuda — one of the applicants in the case — said, “Today, the Supreme Court of Bermuda agreed to overturn the nation’s same-sex marriage ban and decided in favor of OUTBermuda and its co-litigants.

“Speaking for the successful Applicants, Zakiya Johnson Lord and Adrian Hartnett-Beasley of OUTBermuda said, “Love wins again! Our hearts and hopes are full, thanks to this historic decision by our Supreme Court and its recognition that all Bermuda families matter. Equality under the law is our birthright, and we begin by making every marriage equal.”

Bermuda rainbow gavel 9 TC June 6 2018

“Johnson Lord and Hartnett-Beasley are Directors of OUTBermuda, one of the successful litigants in joint lawsuits brought by Roderick Ferguson and Maryellen Jackson with an aim to revoke sections of the recently enacted Domestic Partnership Act that removed marriage rights for same-sex couples. They were joined in their statement by Sylvia Hayward Harris and Dr. Gordon Campbell.

Ferguson and Jackson offered a joint statement: “We all came to the court with one purpose. That was to overturn the unfair provisions of the Domestic Partnership Act that tried to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Revoking same-sex marriage is not merely unjust, but regressive and unconstitutional; the Court has now agreed that our belief in same-sex marriage as an institution is deserving of legal protection and that belief was treated by the Act in a discriminatory way under Bermuda’s Constitution. We continue to support domestic partnership rights for all Bermudians to choose, but not at the expense of denying marriage to some.”

The lawyers and applicants after court today:

Court Bermuda June 6 2018 (1)

“The Applicants expressed deep thanks to their attorneys Rod S. Attride-Stirling [ASW Law Limited] and Mark Pettingill [Chancery Legal], for their outstanding and expert work in the Court. They also expressed gratitude to Carnival Corporation for its leadership supporting their cause and for the affidavits in support of the litigation provided by Julia and Judith Aidoo-Saltus, Chai T, Wesley Methodist Church, Syliva Hayward-Harris, Douglas NeJaime and by Carnival Corporation executive Roger Frizzell.”

Update 11.42am: The ruling has been made, however the subsequent legal discussion is still ongoing. The current discussion is on whether a stay should be in place, while its decided whether to appeal or not. Once the legal arguments are over, we hope to speak with the lawyers and get clarification on everything.

Update 11.50am: A stay has been granted, with 6 weeks allowed for a decision on whether to appeal, meaning the decision will not take effect immediately.

Update 11.56am: The lawyers are out of court, and comments from the lawyers and applicants are below.

Update 2.31pm: A summary provided to assist in understanding the court judgment stated, “Bermuda’s Constitution is a secular one designed to require the State to give maximum protection for freedom of conscience.

“It only permits interference with such freedoms in the public interest for rational and secular grounds which are permitted by the Constitution. The present decision vindicates the principle that Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

The summary is below [PDF here]:

Update 2.47pm: The 52-page judgment follows below [PDF here]:

Update 3.58pm: The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda said they are “proud to celebrate the landmark decision by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley. Once again, we have seen the courts affirm that love always wins.

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda [RAoB] would like to thank Rod Ferguson, Maryellen Jackson, OUTBermuda, Dr. Gordon Campbell of Wesley Methodist Church, and Pastor Sylvia Hayward-Harris of Vision Ministries for their courage in pursuing this case.

“We applaud their respective legal teams and the financial support from Carnival Cruise Lines to their case. We would also like to acknowledge Winston and Greg Godwin-DeRoche, Two Words and a Comma, the Bermuda Human Rights Commission, and the countless other campaigners over the years that have fought for equity for the LGBTQ community. This legal outcome is not just a win for the successful applicants, but also for all same-gender-loving couples in Bermuda.

“RAoB remains, however, committed to creating safer spaces for the LGBTQ community in Bermuda. As Minister Walton Brown succinctly said during our ‘Speak Out’ Event in 2012, ‘We need to create a society which the consciousness of people is changed in which we respect differences. Because you can change laws, but those laws in and of themselves won’t change attitudes. And we probably will have an easier time changing legislation then we will changing attitudes.”

“RAoB look forward to continuing to champion recognition, respect, and equity between all members of Bermuda’s society, and hope that now that this legal matter has concluded, we can heal some of the wounds created by the divisive and often-hurtful campaigning over the past few years, including homophobic and transphobic attacks on the humanity of LGBTQ people through intellectually dishonest and sometimes hateful propaganda.

“This fight has been long and may not yet be over but we know that ultimately, love will continue to win. Happy Pride, Bermuda!”

Update 4.23pm: Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, “The Government has been informed of the decision of the Chief Justice. The Government will be appealing subject to any legal advice that we receive. As a result we are pleased that the Chief Justice has stayed the decision until an appeal can be submitted.”‘

As the statement used the term “will be appealing subject to any legal advice that we receive” we sought clarification, as in a yes/no response to will there be an appeal, and Government responded, “Yes they will appeal.”

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  1. Carlton says:

    Hallelujah LOVE IS BIGGER than anything in its way

    • Tony Brannon says:

      The #Bermuda Government have stated they will appeal “pending” legal advice. Let’s hope the advice is, “the judgement is airtight” and that it would be “futile” to appeal, let alone morally bankrupt.
      Imagine reversing #Equality again ?

      PLP to appeal Supreme Court ruling ?
      YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS
      The price of prejudice – what if the PLP spent the $$$ supporting #Bermudians instead of suppressing them – how many children could have had scholarships to college or the $$ went to the family center?

      So ugly they would attempt to appeal. Many lied to the people and the press claiming 68% voted against SSM – a bold faced ugly lie.
      53% stayed home in referendum and only 14,000 out of 44,000 registered voters were against SSM
      Imagine reversing #Equality again ?

  2. sandgrownan says:

    Yay.

  3. WSP says:

    Take that to the bank flip flop Furbert

  4. Wahoo says:

    Cruise ships happy again. Not sure about Walton and Wayne though…..

  5. So Tired says:

    After all that, I hope there is a wedding every week

    • Hey says:

      “If that Bill was to pass, same-sex couples would have no legal protections whatsoever.

      “What this government is doing, is ensuring that same-sex couples do indeed have a raft of legal benefits because of what would happen if we do nothing.”

      Walton Brown said the above in reference to WF’s private members bill and in support of the Domestic Partnership Bill in 2017.

      Now, Both bills have no place and would be defeated by a constitutional challenge, so why was Brown on the one hand pretending to be a bastion of support for same sex couples, but now where it is clear that the private members bill and the Domestic Partnership act have no place in Bermuda constitutionality is he attacking same sex couples rights.

      Answer = Snake. (In my opinion)

  6. Adam says:

    #lovewins
    #loveislove
    #f***hate
    You are so lucky.
    Gooooood news. Greeeeaaatt.
    So so so happpy for you.
    Wish my country doesnt make us criminals any more by repealing its anti- gay archaic laws and offer us protections before talking about any gay marriage.
    Goood day for millions of lgbt all over the world.
    Goooooood.

    • andre says:

      Because you disagree doesn’t mean it’s hate. Stop with the assumed labels.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Noone is asking you to agree, actually it’s irrelevant. The issue is that you want to force your view on others.

        • andre says:

          I always thought majority ruled?

          • Mike Hind says:

            The majority DID rule. We set out a set of standards and laws that we all agreed to abide by. The DPA goes against those.

            Or were you talking about the referendum?
            That wasn’t the majority. You’ve been fed a lie.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Not always.

            In this case “…the principle that Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application…”

          • Punch says:

            You don’t get to vote on human rights issues. Or shouldn’t.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            *I always thought majority ruled?*

            On an issue like independence , yes.
            On a human rights issue , NO .
            Got it ?

          • Chris Nelson says:

            “Of course, the aim of a constitutional democracy is to safeguard the rights of the minority and avoid the tyranny of the majority. (p. 102)”
            ― Cornel West, Race Matters

          • just wondering says:

            The Majority do NOT rule on matters of Constitutional law – the reason human and constitutional rights exist is for the precise reason of protecting minorities

      • Adam says:

        Oh please.
        No unnecessary conversation needed . it is hate plain and simple.
        Just like the world hated women and blacks before and segregated against
        Guess why oh yes cos of religion and the bible.
        And yes it is hate that some still want to impose especially on lgbt now
        No hate.
        Peace brother
        Only love and tolerance
        Have a nice day

      • Mike Hind says:

        True. But there’s a difference between disagreeing with something and actively enforcing that disagreement unjustly.

        You can disagree all you want. Where it becomes unfair is when you start demanding that all of us, as a society, disagree, too.

  7. Community First says:

    When our politicians go low, our courts go high!

    • Cow Polly says:

      Thank goodness someone had their big pants on today!

      Rainbows and love everybody

  8. Anonymous says:

    Troubling. You all have no idea what you’ve wrought.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Sure we do!

      There is no doom and gloom result of Marriage Equality anywhere it’s happened. All that’s happened is that people can get married.

    • Mark says:

      stay anonymous please

    • jt says:

      Please tell us.

    • nerema says:

      Oh, a threat. Didn’t take you long did it.

    • Bermudianne says:

      Oh but we do. We have wrought happiness, love, respect and fairness. Or at least The Chief Justice did. Good for him. We could all use a little more happiness, love, respectable and fairness in our lives!

  9. nerema says:

    Hopefully the government will stop wasting time and money trying to restrict rights, and get back to trying to do things that matter.

    • Hey says:

      I would like to know how much of all our taxpayers money the Government has wasted on this already.

    • Holy Moly says:

      Hear! Hear! Couldn’t agree with you more!

  10. puzzled says:

    Glad this happened.

    Thank God for the Constitution.

  11. Love. says:

    It’s about time. I am glad it happened so soon. The PLP had no right to change it and let Preserve Marriage and there legion of narrowed minded individuals sway them to this decision.

  12. Street Smart says:

    Great!! Bermuda is now a Dictatorship not a Democracy!! How the opinions of the few, out weigh those of the many! Sounds like a proper dictatorship to me!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nah. These are actually the values of the people of Bermuda: tolerance, respect, love and equality.

      Don’t let some foreigners come down here and tell you that these aren’t Bermuda’s values when it comes to a certain group of our brothers and sisters.

      Remember who we are!

    • Mark says:

      wow. you have no idea what you’re talking about do you? the protection of minorities is what human rights is all about and is anathema to dictatorships. glad your view are going the way of the dodo bird but it cant happen fast enough.

    • Chris Nelson says:

      “Of course, the aim of a constitutional democracy is to safeguard the rights of the minority and avoid the tyranny of the majority. (p. 102)”
      ― Cornel West, Race Matters

    • puzzled says:

      Your not very ‘street smart”.
      Must have just been born.

    • sandgrownan says:

      How does this affect you directly? Explain. I’ll wait.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Why should something that has no effect whatsoever on the ‘many’ be rejected because the many simply are afraid of it ?
      And if your position is ‘faith based’ what if a majority arose up and decided to ban your religion simply because they didn’t like it ?

    • Well Actually says:

      That’s not how dictatorships work. Courts are not dictatorships. An individual is usually a politician or someone involved in the military. Dictatorships are a political function not a legislative one.

    • nerema says:

      A democracy is where we all have equal protection under the constitution.

    • Punch says:

      It was always wrong to have people vote on a question of human rights.

  13. Warwick West says:

    The first bit of good news in a long time! WELL DONE to all participants! Lets hope the STAY does not reverse or change in any way this judgement. GO LOVE !!!

  14. Concerned Bermudian says:

    We accepted voting rights for women, interracial relationships… black, white, straight, gay…. unconditional love for one another is the ultimate message. Religious beliefs that force you to judge and shun another beautiful soul all because of who he/she loves??? This never should have had to jump the hurdles it did! You may not understand or appreciate these things, but just because I happen to be straight it doesn’t mean it is the only right way in life. Everyone deserves to love and be loved for who they are.

  15. Bolt Action Rifle says:

    Cat just got thrown amongst the pigeons!! What will our wonderful PLP Govt. do now to shut down SMM????

  16. alistair maclean says:

    wow, simply wow. Having now lost twice in the courts, will the PLP get the message at last that they cannot take away basic human rights.
    The Premier says that this Government is a government for all – now prove it and do not appeal!

  17. Street Smart says:

    The very lawyer that said no one in their right mind would take such a case to court is a LIAR!!

    • Mike Hind says:

      So is everyone who says there is a valid reason that we should deny people the right to marry.

  18. Pastor Syl says:

    Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! As Bishop Desmond Tutu says: All, ALL are welcome at His table.” Discrimination is wrong, and the wrong has failed, the right has prevailed. I give thanks – to the Almighty, the courts, the lawyers, the brave souls who came forward, and all supporters. I even give thanks for those in opposition, who created the situation for this court case to be fought and won, thus clarifying the law for us all.

    • chris says:

      This is Great news, maybe now there wont be so much flaunting, and fuss and we can all act like the human beings we were born into, what ever makes you happy, so be it,Amen

  19. Silence Do Good says:

    WOW, I guess I can tell my two husbands we are back on again. First step Same-sex marriage next step polygamous marriage as our religious right.

  20. Jus' Askin' says:

    :-(

    • Mike Hind says:

      Why sad? How will this affect you in any way?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Umm , well , ahhh ,errr , COZ IT’S YUCKY .. lol
        -sarcasm turned on-

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        …when courts/1 judge decides for the country, after the majority of a country have spoken, truly is sad… :-(

        …what people fail to take on is…….

        This does not affect, effect or impact Me in any way ;-) ;-)

        BERMUDA BERMUDA BERMUDA!!!!!

        • Mike Hind says:

          This is a lie. The majority spoke when it agreed to the rules and laws of this country.

          The court doubt the DPA to go against those laws.

          The referendum was non-binding, so this “the majority is against it” thing is false. Please stop spreading lies

          • Jus' Askin' says:

            are You saying that if the referendum was binding, You would then except that the majority are against SSM? ;-)

            Mike, You have solved this for “The Majority” :-D

            I CALL FOR A BINDING REFERENDUM!!! ;-) ;-)

            Let The People decide NOT the Courts!!!!!

            • Mike Hind says:

              This post makes no sense.

              How are we supposed to take you seriously when you post things like this?

              You have absolutely zero understanding of how the law works and are so blinded by the hate that you have been taught by a foreign group that you can’t even seem to make a coherent argument.

              Your outright refusal to engage in any sort of honest conversation shows exactly how weak your position is,

              It’s time to give up.

              • Jus' Askin' says:

                “…blinded by hate…” :-D :-D :-D

                Reminder ~ “This does not affect, effect or impact Me in any way” ;-) ;-)

                ..the one that can not see here is You, Mike’Blind’ :-D

                continue with YOUR Heterophobic posts ;-)

                • SMH says:

                  “continue with YOUR Heterophobic posts”

                  Aww, poor snowflake…scared of the gays…because you are one!

                  LMFAO

                • Mike Hind says:

                  And now you’re trying to make “heterophobic” a thing! Ridiculous.

                  I’m a heterosexual, you idiot.
                  The only -phobe around here is you, scared that you’ll somehow lose something if other people are given equality.
                  You won’t. Don’t worry.

                  You haven’t given a single example of how this has effected yours or anyone’s life in any way, but you keep attacking.

                  As for hate? I’m not the one irrationally pushing to harm Bermudians for absolutely no reason. That’s you. That’s what you are doing.

                  And you don’t even have the decency to stand up for what you believe in!

                  This cowardice is exactly why you and bigots like you are always on the wrong side of history.

                  • Jus' Askin' says:

                    Reminder ~ “This does not affect, effect or impact Me in any way” ;-) ;-)

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      No. It doesn’t. So why are you fighting so hard?

                      Or are you just trolling?

                    • Toodle-oo says:

                      Don’t bother Mike . You’ll never get anywhere with someone who thinks that endlessly inserting childish smilies into their posts somehow makes them credible .

        • aceboy says:

          Your version of the majority is actually a relatively small minority comprised of a bunch of hypocrites who break Gods law on a daily basis.

          • SMH says:

            “break Gods law ”

            No laws have been broken, as there is no god.

            Thanks for your opinion though, like an a$$h**e, everyone has one!

            • Anonymous says:

              The fool says in his heart there is no God.

              • SMH says:

                Only fools believe in the all knowing sky fairy.

              • Mike Hind says:

                This is an irrelevant argument.

                No one is saying you can’t believe in god. What they ARE saying, and it’s quite clear in our laws, is that one religion cannot take precedence over others, which is what folks are pushing when they use religious reasons to deny people equal access to rights.

                That’s why these lawsuits go the way they go.

                The constitution protects all of us from religious persecution, not just the few.

          • Anonymous says:

            Aceboy has the right of it. You say this “doesn’t affect us” but it does my friend. God will bring down judgement on Bermuda and every other place that defies Him.

            I can hear your rebuttal: “Oh I don’t believe in that”. You can’t create your own reality. Not believing water is wet doesn’t make it so. I only pray you see the light before its too late. While we still draw breath there is time.

            • Mike Hind says:

              Regarding your religious argument,
              “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

              Your personal choice of religions is yours. No one else has to believe what you do.
              The quote? It’s about protecting all of us from oppression from folks who think their religion should take precedent over other people.it protects YOU from this happening to you.

            • Chris Nelson says:

              Which god are you referring to exactly? I believe water is wet because I can see and feel it. On what basis do you believe in your god? That said, believe what you want, but do not attempt to base laws, that apply to everyone, on YOUR beliefs. Would you be happy to live under Sharia if Bermuda became majority Muslim?

              • Anonymous says:

                You know exactly to whom I am reffering. The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The God who sent his son to die even for those that would not accept Him.

                You insinuate that we cannot prove God exists but God asks us to seek Him out. I see His favor and blessings upon my life everyday, and I would continue to practice my relegion even if it meant my death.

                • SMH says:

                  Anonymous….a bit of advice for you.

                  Education will cure your religion….there may still be hope for your kind.

                • Chris Nelson says:

                  So the same god that the Muslims worship?

            • Mobile says:

              Don’t know about yours, but my God is merciful and inclusive. Loves and wants happiness for ALL his children, whom he made in his own image.

              He’s kinda like my nice, gay dad.

  21. campervan says:

    Heartening news. The law has spoken, now lets move on and let people get on with their lives.

  22. Bolt Action says:

    NOW we know the REAL reason PLP want Independence – so THEY can tamper with our Constitution and REMOVE freedoms!!!

    • SMH says:

      This is correct:

      NOW we know the REAL reason PLP want Independence – so THEY can tamper with our Constitution and REMOVE freedoms!!!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The PLP does not need independence for that, just look at the Domestic Partnerships Act and the Immigration Amendment Act the PLP have passed seeking to take away rights from certain classes of people (can’t say “human” because the do not deserve “human” rights apparently)

  23. Micro says:

    I would imagine this was the plan all along anyway. Garner favour with the electorate by banning ssm and implementing domestic partnerships knowing it will inevitably end up back before the courts.

    Let’s see if the court ruling is appealed

    • Bolt Action says:

      Guaranteed PLP appeal – all the way to the Privy Council – at much expense to the taxpayer! They will lose and then use the loss for further traction/movement towards INDEPENDENCE.

    • frank says:

      I think it may be appealed

      • Mike Hind says:

        On what grounds?

        The law is clear. What possible reason could be given?

  24. Stand For Truth says:

    Prophecy being fulfilled, which has been prophesied mankind will have an immoral mind. The courts and this unjust and oppressive system was set up by them for them and benefits them.

    And if you take a stand they will label you as something you are not but what they actually are.

    • SMH says:

      24 – 12 LOL@SFT

    • Infidelguy says:

      What Prophecy? What “them” are you referring to?

      The only people labeling anyone are the ones that try to interpret the bible literally in order to justify their deep-seated prejudices. Are those the people to whom you refer to as having an “immoral mind”? If so, I agree absolutely!!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nope. None of this is true.
      Not a single word.

    • legalgal says:

      A lot of us Christians are feeling blessed right now. Please read Peter Gomes’ The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind for a Christian viewpoint.

      • Infidelguy says:

        Go and spread your religious propaganda somewhere else!

    • Mike Hind says:

      “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

    • Bermudianne says:

      Who are them? Mankind? Aren’t we all Mankind? In which case there is no us and them and we are all on the same page which means we are all on Chief Justice’s page so we are all in agreement that this is a good result. Unless somehow, you are not mankind and possibly, I dunno, mermaidkind? Alienkind? Which makes you, in your mind, “us” and mankind “them”. Confused? Yeah, me too.

  25. puzzled says:

    Irony is the law is the law.
    The Chief Justice reviewed it et al and ruled.

    As Rodney (RIP) King would say; “can’t we all just get along’.
    Namaste’

  26. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    This news is TERRIBLE!

    • Pray Away The says:

      Ditto

    • Mike Hind says:

      Why?

      How will this affect anyone?

      How has it affected anyone, other than those who have been able to get married over the past year?

      Not that you’ll answer. You don’t have answers to that, do you?

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Why do you lot make such a big deal of this? It’s not natural…I could care less about the religion part. And IMO I still think marriage should be between a man and a woman! There you have it ;) Keep that $#@% behind closed doors….

        • Mike Hind says:

          Well done not actually answering the questions. I wonder why you didn’t. Oh, wait, I know! Because you can’t answer them honestly!

          As for your opinion on other people’s relationships?

          Keep THAT behind closed doors…

          Unless you want people to point out that you’re a bigot.

          And you KNOW the “natural” argument is nonsense. It’s been explained to you enough times.

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            I couldn’t care less about being a “bigot” as you would say, but frankly this country has far more serious issues to deal with than people being able to get married, they actually got more rights with the civil unions, etc but that don’t fit you lots narrative. Even worldwide, why isn’t it accepted in all countries if it’s such the right thing to do, even in major countries? The MAJORITY STILL SAYS NO!

            Bet if we were face to face you wouldn’t point it out ;)

            Must have been confused with other posters but I could care less lol. If you aren’t able to produce babies then it’s unnatural point blank period!

            • Mike Hind says:

              “Bet if we were face to face…”?

              Unlike you, this is my face. I use my name. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I say. I don’t hide like a coward behind a pseudonym, attacking others like you do.

              And it’s been explained to you how this works. The majority can say what it wants, but if it’s against the law, they have to change the law first. And this Act was against the law.

              “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

              So, the question is: do you want to get rid of that protection in order to deny rights to people?
              Do you want to remove the protection from religious oppression from someone else’s religion from our laws?

              If so, you are an idiot, because religious freedom is incredibly important.

              If not, you don’t have a leg to stand on.
              Every single argument you can and have made has been debunked many, many times. There IS no argument.
              And no “it’s not natural” isn’t an argument. It IS natural. You know this. You’re just making things up because you know your position is built on sand.

        • curious says:

          so no one is forcing you to marry a man and similarly no one is forcing you to marry a woman – you have a choice!! JUST like everyone else. Or do you prefer to force your view on others who disagree with it?

        • Mike Hind says:

          The difference between us is that I can and will answer any and all questions posed to me and back them up with data and facts.
          You can’t. That’s how I know I’m right and you are wrong.

          Unless you’d like to try a question for question thing?
          Do you have the courage of your convictions?

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            Sure, you go first ;)

            • Mike Hind says:

              Absolutely.

              Do you have a valid reason, one that hasn’t already been debunked for us to continue to try to ban same sex couples from getting married?

              Just one. A single, solitary excuse for us, as a nation, to do this.

              Because that’s the crux of it.

              There HAS to be a reason offered if we’re going to do this.

              So, that’s my question.

              Let’s see if you can answer it. If you do, you can ask me anything you want.

              • Jus' Wonderin' says:

                Debunked by you or debunked by who? Because the rest of the world hasn’t accepted it. Why do we have to be like the rest of the world? The majority of Bermudians voted against same sex marriages so why can’t you live with that until its time comes?

                Why do you care so much if the civil unions gave them more rights than what they had before?

                • Chris Nelson says:

                  “Of course, the aim of a constitutional democracy is to safeguard the rights of the minority and avoid the tyranny of the majority. (p. 102)”
                  ― Cornel West, Race Matters

                • Toodle-oo says:

                  ~Because the rest of the world hasn’t accepted it. Why do we have to be like the rest of the world? ~

                  Err, the rest of the world is actually beginning to accept it . The proof ?
                  How many place in the world had SSM 30 years ago? None ? How many have it now ?
                  The truth is the rest of the world IS starting to accept it.
                  And please quit with that non-stop lie that ‘the majority’ here voted against it. They didn’t. Repeating the lie endlessly does not suddenly make it the truth .

                • Mike Hind says:

                  I thought you said you would answer questions.

                  This post is nothing but an evasion.

                  You just exposed yourself as a liar.

                  Let me know when you’re going to be honest.

        • SMH says:

          ” And IMO I still think marriage should be between a white man and a white woman! There you have it ;) Keep that $#@% behind closed doors….”

          Agreed, this law needs to be rolled back! This race mixing is disgusting!

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            Didn’t say that but sure twist my words and compare apples and oranges.

            • SMH says:

              You obviously don’t have the ability to comprehend the similarities. Clearly, you’re stupid.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Damn , how many times must I say it ?
        Even though it affects me in no way whatsoever , or ever will , IT’S YUCKY !
        (sarcasm still turned on .. lol )

        • SMH says:

          ” IT’S YUCKY !”

          ….but not as yucky as multiple children by multiple fathers…..that’s just good breedin’

        • Honestly says:

          It’s immoral. That simple. Because you act in such a way doesn’t make it right. Call it yucky, nasty or whatever… it’s immoral!

          • SMH says:

            “it’s immoral!”

            So is being a racist…like you and your government.

            It’s immoral to spew your hatred at others, but you do that every day.

            people like you will burn in hell…because you’re immoral.

            • Honestly says:

              Firstly I’m not a racist. You on the other hand… maybe! I have a big heart.. I’d share it with you bc you sound extremely bitter. There is a place for you right next to me!!

              • SMH says:

                ” There is a place for you right next to me!!”

                in hell?

                lol, another fool spewing hate with a fake smile.

          • nerema says:

            It’s immoral to try to make it so that some people are superior to others.

          • Mike Hind says:

            We’re talking about marriage, not homosexuality in general. You lost THAT fight a long time ago.

            And it may be immoral to YOU, but that means YOU don’t get to do it.
            Leave other people out of it. Your attitude hurts people. That’s WAY more immoral.

          • Chris Nelson says:

            Why is it immoral? Can you answer that without referring to religion?

            • Anonymous says:

              No I can’t. God said not to do it and thats the end of it in my mind. If someone wants to damn themselves, thats sad but fine. What this is trying to do is drag everyone down with them.

              • nerema says:

                God is a mythical construct. If you choose to believe in something like that, it’s fine, but you can’t justify imposing your rules, that are based on your own belief in myths, over everyone else.

                Nobody is ‘dragging down’ anyone else. You can carry on living your life the way you want, while other people live their lives, the way they want.

              • SMH says:

                “What this is trying to do is drag everyone down with them.”

                That’s what religion does…it’s disgusting!

              • Honestly says:

                I agree.

              • Chris Nelson says:

                Don’t be ridiculous. Do you eat shellfish? Do you ever wear two different fabrics at the same time? Do you think human slavery is acceptable. I really pity you for your closed-mindedness.

              • Mike Hind says:

                God saying you can’t do it means YOU can’t do it!

                Not the rest of us.

          • Mobile says:

            I believe it’s immoral to use religion to control the lives of others.

            • Honestly says:

              I never mentioned religion. It’s the principles I was raised with.

              • Mike Hind says:

                Then what makes it immoral?

                And exactly what is immoral?

  27. me says:

    finally there is HOPE

  28. me says:

    love is all we have left

  29. facts of the rock says:

    another jab in the eye for the plp

  30. alistair maclean says:

    got to laugh ….. surely another excuse to attack the CJ.

  31. Sandy Amott says:

    Fantastic news!!! Has made my day!!!

  32. Infidelguy says:

    Sweet Justice!

  33. Onion Puke says:

    Wonder if Bishop Lamb has a few slots available for weddings??

  34. Curious says:

    I hope our Bermuda Community Foundation will finally stop funding Preserve Marriage through their US arm.

    We don’t need more US ‘Trump’ money funding this issue in Bermuda.

    Please BCF – Let Love Win

  35. Pray Away The says:

    Let’s be straight about this:

    There is nothing to celebrate or be proud about one guy with another. If that’s what both want, that’s their affair – but it will never amount to a real marriage. At the end of the day, the joke is still on you boys (and girls).

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nonsense! There is nothing factual backing up this statement.

      Two men or women getting married is just as legitimate and real as my marriage to my wife.

      You don’t get to define other people’s lives.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      How can you say it’s ‘their affair’ and still want to deny them ?

    • Hey says:

      What about me woman with another woman? Why your fixation with men? Something is not balanced in your thought process,

      A marriage is a marriage, what do you not understand.

    • Anbu says:

      If theres rings and a certificate then guess what? It amounts to a “real marraige” like it or lump it. Lmao. Pray all u want, wont change a dam thing

    • Bermudianne says:

      Why won’t it be a real Marraige? What’s a real Marraige? One where a husband beats his wife or where a wife cheats on her husband, or one where a man and a woman get divorced, or where a man marries a woman so she can get the right to reside in a country, or where parents force their son to marry the daughter of another family in an arranged Marraige? A real Marraige, or at least my very real Marraige is one where two people love each another enough to declare it to the world by making a legal commitment to each other. How is two people of the same gender doing just that not a real Marraige?

  36. LOL says:

    ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE NEWS. REALLY SAD. RIGHTS???? RIGHT TO STAY INSIDE WITH THEIR .N.A.S.

  37. legalgal says:

    Good day in Court. And from a legal perspective it was decided on an interesting point. Love and reason won. Well done Bermuda.

  38. In my opinion says:

    Wonderful news!! Well done to all that fought for love. Love wins!!! and hopefully always will

  39. Carlton says:

    all you need is love ,all you you need is love… LOVE ! LOVE ! LOVE !

  40. Lynn says:

    This is a sad day for Bermuda. OutBermuda you fought for what you believed. Christians did we fight hard enough for what we believed? At the end of the day God is in control and Will have the last word. Tomorrow will be the dawning of a new day and Christians will we be caught sleeping again?

    • Anbu says:

      LMFAO!!!! And here we go with god again. Smh. I thought god was in control the whole time. So why did he direct the judge to his conclusion? Thought he was on your side or am i wrong? Oh wait, it was prob the devil that made him do it right? When are u oldie goldies going to see that the youngsters are moving away from god because we see why it was created in the first place, to control the easily influenced. We have the basic understanding that what two people do with their lives has absolutely zero impact on anyone else. For some reason the older gen doesnt grasp that simple fact. We do not need to be controlled like they seem to want to be. I just dont get it.

      • spider says:

        Hey hold up I’m one of the older generation and I love it.
        Could not be happier,everyone needs respect.

        • Anbu says:

          Sorry for generalizing spider. Only going by the “majority view” as they put it lol. Good on you tho.

    • Mike Hind says:

      No. We fight for what you believe, too.
      Equality. Fairness. Love. Brotherhood. The Golden Rule.
      We fight for the same things Jesus taught.

      You folks are the ones going against His teachings.

      Levitical laws applied to the Levites.

    • Reuben says:

      Why? What have you lost? How will this adversely effect you? How does this change what you believe in any way?

    • Mike Hind says:

      “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

    • Mike Hind says:

      “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

      This protects all of us. If you believe that you should be protected from someone else’s religion being imposed on you -which I assume you do… unless you’d be cool with wearing a burkha or not being allowed to eat bacon? – then you agree with this ruling.

      Or do you think that yours is the only religion that matters and everyone should have to follow it?

    • SMH says:

      Lynn, it’s obvious that your god is disgusted with you and made the correct decision on this.
      why do you feel you have the moral authority to question gods plan?

  41. Mike Hind says:

    And this thread will go as per usual: messages of bigotry and hate responded to with points, facts and questions, then the bigots will run away without engaging.
    All the while complaining about their hate and bigotry being pointed out…

  42. AluB says:

    …and Bermuda returns to the 21st Century again!!

  43. Sea Breeze says:

    Proud to be Bermudian again! Let’s hope this ruling sticks…..
    Love you Bermuda <3

  44. Joe Bloggs says:

    As I said last year, a very astute move on the part of the PLP. They knew the law would be incompatible with human rights. Now they can blame the judges for all being colonial hacks (or Indian) and demand independence so that only born Bermudian judges who agree with the PLP government get to interpret the law.

    That said, I do not recall Mrs. Justice Simmons coming in for much criticism last year. Strange that.

  45. Nonsense says:

    God made man for women and women for men. This is a sin. In the eyes of The Lord He is not pleased. This is the devils doing. I will pray for you all.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Nah, don’t bother. I’ll take my chance.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Your religion is your personal choice. No one else should have to follow its rules.

      And what you are promoting is against the Human Rights Act.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d rather follow God’s law than man’s.

        • SMH says:

          “I’d rather follow God’s law than man’s.”

          be my guest…just keep it to yourself and don’t rub your disgusting, immoral religion in my face.

          • Honestly says:

            And please keep your lifestyle to yourself!! Not interested in what you or anyone else has to say. Bye Felicia!!

        • nerema says:

          So you don’t agree with democracy then.

        • Mike Hind says:

          “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

          No one is stopping you from following God’s law.

          What you actually mean is that you would rather that we ALL follow YOUR God’s law… or at least the ones you’ve cherry picked ‘cuz they suit your needs.
          That’s not on.
          Just as you wouldn’t accept someone imposing THEIR religion on you, you don’t get to impose your religion on us.

          The ruling above protects all of us from oppression. Just because you want to oppress doesn’t make you right.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Read the judgment.

      “the revocation provisions gave believers in traditional marriage an advantage which took the form of the State solely recognising a form of marriage which that clearly identified group of believers adhered to. Because the essence of the content of the new provisions was that it reflected the preferred group’s religious (and/or cultural) beliefs in how the institution of marriage should be legally defined, this group was clearly preferred on grounds which were wholly or mainly attributable to their beliefs”

      Do I need to substitute “white people” in the appropriate places to make you see how outrageously discriminatory the DPA is?

    • Mike Hind says:

      From the judgement, regarding your religious opposition…

      “…Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole through legislation of general application.”

      What you are promoting is against the law.

      • puzzled says:

        Why do you have two profiles Mr. Hind.

        • SMH says:

          Why do you have 5 profiles, puzzled?

          Lose track? stupid? some other reason?

        • Mike Hind says:

          I don’t. I’m on iPad and iPhone and for some reason it keeps acting up, sometimes using the avatar and sometimes not. I don’t know why.

    • Me says:

      No more lobster or man made fabrics for you darling

    • rene says:

      Actually no there is no God there are many Gods all in peoples minds. Evolution produced diversity in animals,plants for the survival of species. So we have same sex couples who “evolved” based on a genetically favorable or environmentally favorable characteristic which probably ensured your survival. So get over it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Evolution was debunked a couple of years ago. Hasn’t quite filtered down to us regular folk yet but look it up and educate yourself.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Um… links? Because that sounds like nonsense…

        • Question says:

          Ok well in that case you should look up how religion has been debunked. They haven’t told us ordinary people yet but they proved there is no god. You need to look it up and educate yourself.

    • BDAGIRL says:

      Dear Nonsense you continue to believe in this nonsense of this story book god. And I will continue to support who we choose to love. When you meet this god and the devil send us all a message and let us know what they have to say.

  46. Stephen Thomson says:

    Can’t believe Govt is choosing to appeal this verdict.
    Another waste of tax payers money.
    Leave this alone Govt.
    Clearly, the decision to remind same sex marriage was wrong.
    Stand up with broad shoulders and accept that this was an error .
    Don’t waste our money on more appeals.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      This is why the OBA was falsely accused of doing nothing with the issue.
      They actually WERE doing something by not challenging the first ruling but the politically illiterate mistook the PLP for seizing the issue and righting it for all while accusing the OBA of being afraid of the issue for loosing votes.
      Now look where we are and who has egg on their faces. .

      • Infidelguy says:

        I have to disagree. The OBA displayed political cowardice by doing nothing. Doing nothing is not equivalent of doing something. Both parties were trying to keep their political base happy instead of focusing on doing what was right for society.

        The PLP looks Constitutionally inept for passing the Domestic Partnership Act and the OBA are a bunch of political cowards.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Believe what you like , but as much as I wish the OBA had taken a position on they knew what the outcome was going to be .They remained quiet and rightly let the courts decide what the law already knew.
          Either way they were damned if they do and damned if they don’t as it wasn’t going to be much of a vote getter in any instance and the OBA was terrified of people who would lie and say that because of such a move they would never vote for them .
          Remember , the ONLY thing that matters to a politician or political party is getting re-elected.

  47. King Jammys says:

    If SSM is not for you. Marry someone straight. It really is very simple. Do not hate.

  48. puzzled says:

    Whats the price of bagged frozen corn again.

    I need some pop corn……

  49. Is it just me? says:

    Facts
    If you believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
    Get one of those
    If you don’t think a man and a man should marry
    Don’t get one of those
    If you don’t feel a woman and a woman should marry
    Don’t get one of those either

    No regular thinking straight person should have a problem with this. Because we aren’t being forced to leave our wives or husbands and marry the same sex. So it shouldn’t concern us should it.

    Hopefully this puts this topic to bed. And let’s move on to legalizing some marijuana for medical and recreational use.

    Or does the good book have a loosely worded scripture on that too?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Or does the good book have a loosely worded scripture on that too?”

      Which “good book” would that be please?

      • Anbu says:

        Its bermuda joe. Which fictional book do u think? Your attempt to be fecicious has flopped

  50. What?? says:

    It is ironic. The opposition of Preserve Marriage to civil unions because they believed it was a step towards same-sex marriage has hastened the adoption of the thing the most feared.

    • Hey says:

      God moves in mysterious ways

      • SMH says:

        “God moves in mysterious ways”

        …and his latest decision should be a wake up call for all you bigots…he’s not happy with you at all!

  51. Mark Anderson says:

    Another proud moment here in my country as a proud openly gay Bermudian. Today I’m thinking of my Late close friend “”The Late Dr Maya Angelou”" Who said to me that I was a singing river on the little rock of Bermuda! She told me she was so so proud of me and I had her full support when I had stood up to the government of the day in May 24th 2006. She was a great support for the gay community for equality and social,justice! Thanks for everything Dr. Love and miss you!!!!!! Mark Anderson, The man behind Sybil Barrington, The Queen Of Bermuda!!!!!!!

  52. Infidelguy says:

    So this government is going to waste more of OUR money and appeal this latest ruling. Are they that ignorant? If they cannot understand that what the’re trying to do goes against the Bermuda Constitution, they don’t deserve to be in office.

  53. Athena says:

    There are Civil laws and Canon laws.

    Civil laws encompass each human under a specified government.

    Canon laws govern specific religions and each religion has its own and it is a personal choice the individual decides to follow.

    It’s quite straightforward. In the 21st century all are not subject to any one religion and it’s beliefs.

    • Infidelguy says:

      Exactly. And the most important fact that you did not mention is that we live in a DEMOCRACY not a THEOCRACY!!!!

  54. Harold evans says:

    It beggars belief that government is appealing this and since when did Walton brown become so right wing?
    How much money is going to go on this – while teachers complain about spending their own money on things like text books?
    Bermuda has turned into one mixed up, nasty racist, bigoted and xenophobic country with leaders who encourage – and display – that kind of behavior
    Sad, sad day

    • Mike Hind says:

      This isn’t about being right wing. This is simply a ploy.
      Appeal, go to privy council, get rejected, scream about England not letting us do what we want, “INDEPENDENCE!!!”

      It’s pretty transparent, but will probably work, sadly.

  55. Question says:

    Will you lot stop wasting money

  56. Two So Far says:

    First the government lost the case to permit SSM, and now the government again loses a case to restrict SSM. That’s two down and the government is appealing only to fulfill promises apparently made to certain pressure groups. The appeal will be even more controversial than the recent legislation attempting to overturn SSM. Good luck with that.

  57. rene says:

    Wonderful decision Mark Pettingil just needed to show up as the AG had no case for their complaint. I expect any appeal will be equally without substance. The magistrate clearly made the case for the Applicant.
    2x now

  58. Jay_O says:

    Love wins? What kind of love wins? Is there is no line to ‘love’ then why not advocate for ALL limits to be removed on who can be married?

    When you invoke such terms as ‘love wins’ you need to explain it to me. Particularly those of you who profess atheism. In your worldview love is merely chemical reactions happening in your brain. If that’s the case then we’re all just stardust and therefore the usage of language put forth by these groups is completely irrelevant. If we’re just the byproduct of a purposeless universe where we’re all just blobs of biological material, none of us have any value whatsoever. So there should be no campaigns to treat people this or that way. Nothing matters.

    I wish people like this would just be consistent with their worldview and stop borrowing Jude’s-Christian values to argue against them. .

    • Anbu says:

      Ur just figuring out that nobody matters? Where have you been?

    • Mike Hind says:

      “…why not advocate for ALL limits to be removed on who can be married?”

      Because the other limits have reasons for being there – save MAYBE polygamy, but no one is really asking for that on any real level – and, thus, should stay.
      The limit of opposite sex has absolutely no reason for being there, therefore it has to be removed.

      This is not hard to understand, unless you’re desperately trying to rationalize opposition to Marriage Equality…

      As for what love is? You don’t get to define that for anyone else. Speak for your own definition. Don’t project that onto others.

      If you HONESTLY don’t believe that love is a real thing, I pity you.

      And your attack on atheism is puerile at best. It’s not worth even rebutting.

  59. Jay_O says:

    *Judeo-Christian

  60. Adrianne says:

    Lets REVERSE THE VOTES IN THE NEXT ELECTION FOR THE PLP THEN trying to take away peoples RIGHTS

  61. Real Deal says:

    We will Fight tooth and nail against our colonizers that are trying to mess up our family structure . Family structure is key to Bermuda and more so Bermuda that is recovering from damages to Family structure cause by slavery. Seems like the colonizers don’t want our community to grow in strength so we will fight.

    • SMH says:

      “Family structure is key to Bermuda”

      You think that breeding as much as you can with as many as you can is a ‘family structure’, and you’re trying to preserve this?

      LMFAO, you’re as stupid as your racist government is.

    • Mike Hind says:

      This is nonsense.

      The only colonizers involved with this are the foreign NOM who taught you all these false arguments.
      Creating families is a good thing. That’s what marriage does.
      Two people getting married won’t affect your or anyone else’s marriage in any way.

  62. More says:

    We need to march. Do not waste our taxpayer dollars.

  63. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, “The Government has been informed of the decision of the Chief Justice. The Government will be appealing subject to any legal advice that we receive. As a result we are pleased that the Chief Justice has stayed the decision until an appeal can be submitted.”

    Subject to any advice? You mean government is appealing because it does not like the judgment, but without any advice on the success of an appeal?

    Unbelievable!

  64. Toodle-oo says:

    Alright , someone’s got to ask and it may as well be me .
    203 posts . Has OJ died ? Did someone take his computer away from him ?
    LMAO

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