Scott: “Always A Good Time To Do Right Thing”

June 15, 2013

Speaking after the amendment to the Human Rights Act to ban discrimination based on age or sexual orientation was approved by MPs last night [June 14], Community & Cultural Affairs Minister Wayne Scott said it is “always a good time to do the right thing.”

“This is the first piece of legislation I am bringing to the House, and what a piece,” said Minister Scott. “But it is always a good time to do the right thing. This is long overdue. This is basic human rights. This needs to be done. Period.

The legislation passed with politicians from both sides of the aisle supporting it, with the vast majority of MPs speaking in support of the bill and against discrimination in general.

MPs started debating at around noon, and finished at approximately 10pm. Michael Weeks [PLP] was one of the first to speak, and suggested the matter should go to a referendum.

Jeff Sousa [OBA] spoke in support of the amendment saying, “We must be a society of inclusion, not denial.” Lawrence Scott [PLP] said as 67.3% of the residents of C#24 who completed the survey he provided were in favour of the amendment, he will be voting in favour.

Minister Scott speaking after the amendment passed:

Shawn Crockwell [OBA] spoke in strong support of the bill saying, “Today, justice will reign.” Walton Brown [PLP], who has been an outspoken supporter of equal rights, said: “My position is very clear, I will support this amendment.”

Jeanne Atherden [OBA] said, “I am against all forms of discrimination,” while Lovitta Foggo [PLP] referenced discrimination she has felt as a black woman, and said she supports the bill, however feels it does not go far enough in some levels.

Suzann Roberts Holshouser [OBA] said it is not about “special rights” it is about “rights for all.” She said this “legislation is much needed in our society.” Wayne Furbert [PLP] did not express support the bill, saying he wants to know where they stand on same sex marriage. His motion was voted down.

Pat Gordon Pamplin [OBA] spoke in support of the amendment, and said we must make sure discrimination is not allowed, while Walter Roban [PLP] also said he supports the amendment. “We have at times been an intolerant society,” said Mr Roban. “It’s been a good day for the principles of freedom and democracy.”

Cole Simons [OBA] said, “I unequivocally support this”, while Zane DeSilva [PLP] said, “I am fully against any discrimination whatsoever. I have friends that are gay. I have employees that are gay.”

Mark Pettingill [OBA] also supported the amendment, and said part of the phobia comes from “religious doctrine.” He said the Bible is full of “great stuff” and “great teachings”, but said it is also full of “crazy stuff.” Saying the legislation is years overdue, Mr Pettingill said, “For those that are homophobic they can get up and go somewhere else.”

Dennis Lister [PLP], who has long been on record as being against the amendment citing religious reasons, said he stands the same today. “I cannot support this matter.”

Bob Richards [OBA], who left the House before the vote to head to the meeting in the UK said, “We are all God’s children, and we must love one another. When you put those two together, you must come to the conclusion to support this legislation.”

Additional videos from yesterday, click to enlarge & play:

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Derrick Burgess [PLP] expressed concern about same sex marriage, and spoke in strong support of banning discrimination based on age. Saying the “God I serve says we are to love one another,” Sylvan Richards [OBA] spoke in support of the amendment.

David Burt [PLP] said it is not a gay rights bill, it is about discrimination in general. Mr Burt said, “I will vote in favour of this amendment,” while Susan Jackson [OBA] said she “wholeheartedly supports the amendment”

Calling it a “historic day,” Dr Grant Gibbons [OBA] said he supports the amendment which he said was a “basic human rights issue.” One of the last to speak was Marc Bean [PLP] who noted it was “clear this bill will pass,” while Michael Dunkley [OBA] also spoke in favour of the amendment.

There was no roll call vote, so the way the MPs voted individually is not available, however the vast majority expressed support. The Bill will now head to the Senate.

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  1. Premier Cannonier: No Same Sex Marriage | | June 19, 2013
  1. SoMuchMore says:

    Change. I am happy to see this pass. Now all people can be treated equally. Thank you to all those who voted in favor from both parties. See when we work together regardless of party good change can take place.

    • My gay friends think about this says:

      This bill was a waste of time nothing has change unless someone verbally tells you “I don’t hire gays” nothing has change. This will be hard to take a person to court on. No same sex wedding are not happening and the oba governement has stated this in their speech.

      This is what you all want and it’s a natural part of the evolution for you to marry. Sorry but any political party that lets same sex wedding takes place in Bermuda will be out of office. That’s what their not telling you. If this wasn’t the case they would have given you full rights just as a man and woman enjoy. So think about it.

      This bill was a load of horse ……. and all you people fell for it. Next time you see your MP that voted yes, ask them why didn’t you grant me the right to marry my gay partner with this bill why stop here. All you gay people got played and it’s about time you woke up because no wedding bells are ringing in Bermy tonight.

  2. Lebron says:

    Great news. Shame on you Lister and Burgess. Leave your religious bigotry in another, less progressive age.

    • Black Soil says:

      For “religious reasons” I cannot vote for Terry Lister. I’m sure he perfectly understands and will sing the praises with me at Church tomorrow.

  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    This bill will not change anything when it comes to discrimination. ‘They’ jus’ want to be able to marry ;-)
    It’s funny that ‘they’ want to marry as it is a union of man and woman. Let everyone do as they please and see what happens.

  4. Scott you done as you felt compelled to do and the results are in the favor of those that stood in a gathering of less then the majority, while we live under this democratic rule and make decisions based on conscious belief. It does not mean that the decisions made were the correct one, every human being has rights and will always have rights.

    So while you are in the gathering of the so called elite in this country and you have gained a temporary mile stone, lets move on to more effective human rights issues, such as the affordability to live in your own country. take on the like’s of your counter parts who have deeper pockets then you and through the hatred of their forefathers stole much from the black race in this country, lets see them apply themselves now and help level the playing field by given back in ways that would create equal opportunity.

    So in short we still have a racial divide in this country and that should be high on your agenda,don’t try and polish it off with we are equal, when clearly we are not, I am not afforded the majority of rights as a black man in this country as the white man. foolish as it may sound, we are still being exploited as a people and that is why the O.B.A will continue in the vain of previous administrations, to bring in outside help that don’t require a high school education but let their own be subject to a hand out through financial assistance.

    Take this and put it on the order paper for debate and lets talk about retribution in this country, for the many elderly who still are alive today and have live through the times of the past, were there families were denied access to a process and also stolen from greatly, we are not talking about an american dream or dreamer. we are talking about our very own and the proof is right in front of us and thus you have the elite of this country living extensively in a lifestyle that many blacks will never acquire.

    Look out Shaw Park in Pembroke, Fairylands,Riddles Bay, Tuckers Town and all the private owned Islands around Bermuda. I make no apologies for stupidity of those that are satisfied with the present situations.
    Bermuda did not just go into a recession because of the rest of the world,but mostly we are in this position because of our own greed. the recession has somewhat to do with our current economic climate but the depth of were we are is because of our own greed and exploitation of our own people.

    So Mr. Minister I don’t need to write to you office because you do read Bernews, so I challenge you to put this on the order paper of the house of Assembly

    • Black Soil says:

      Reading this brother, you remind me that some of us are not equal.

    • whatever says:

      “I am not afforded the majority of rights as a black man in this country as the white man”

      Really? Name one right that you do not have as a black man in this country that a white man has.

  5. Suspicious says:

    Mr santucci I am not black and I will never be able to live in fairy lands or private islands or even own property so where does that leave me and my non black family.

    • Neglected by your white counter parts that might have rejected you because of your love for us.

      • In all seriousness I do believe your question warrants and answer,many times out of pure frustration we say things in a blanket statement that is inclusive of all that we are referring to, but I can assure you that I mean no disrespect to any white person or any other culture that fins it hard to survive.

        My father and his father and grandfather all come from the white race and I am proud of my Italian roots.(somewhat the Mafia side of it),because some people think twice before messing with my intellect because my fuses can sometimes burn out.

        I would say that I make no apologies for those who have raped the land and it’s people and did what they did to our ancestors.shame to say that we have a few blacks in this country that learned from their parents,what the master did to theirs, thus we have those same rich blacks that exploited their own also, so I am not going to make it out like just whites are guilty, but they do hold the largest part of the economic wealth in this country,yet blacks in number are the majority and the less privileged.

        • Familiar says:

          “so I am not going to make it out like just whites are guilty, but they do hold the largest part of the economic wealth in this country,yet blacks in number are the majority and the less privileged.”

          I can not deny that those who hold the largest part of the economic wealth in this country are white. I would be foolish to do so. But what seems to be missed by many is that they are a tiny minority among whites.

          Blanket statements are dangerous things. To hold all white Bermudians accountable for the actions of a very few elite because the elite are primarily white, would be the same as holding all black Bermudians accountable for the actions of a very few gang members because the gangs are primarily black.

          Both assumptions would be unfair, unkind and the response in both cases would be justifiable anger and frustration.

          It would never occur to me to consider any black person I encounter as a gang member, but too many times in my life has it been assumed that I am rich and one of the elite, or a foreigner, because I am perceived as white. I say ‘perceived’ because the reality is that I am of mixed heritage not so different from your own

  6. hollywood says:

    It dont change rhe point that your still ******* lol freedom of speach if that still exist

  7. Bermuda Boy says:

    Well done OBA + Live and let live!!

  8. In Defence of... says:

    Can we get Mark Pettingill’s full remarks. It is reported that the AG insulted the church.

  9. pilot011 says:

    Watch the documentary “Hidden Colors” and you will see just how much they robbed us!