Video: Walton Brown On Ending Discrimination

November 29, 2015

“If you’re serious about ending discrimination in the area of sexual orientation, then there needs to be full rights in that arena,” Opposition MP Walton Brown said.

When asked about the Hamilton Princess’ decision to decline the booking for the forums which feature a speaker opposed to same sex marriage, Mr Brown said he respects the Hamilton Princess’ right to make that decision.

Speaking outside the House of Assembly on Friday, Mr Brown told Bernews, “I think that every company, as every individual needs to, take a position regarding issues of great social importance, and the decisions you take reflect your ethos and it reflects your mindset.

“The Hamilton Princess Hotel made a decision that they would not accept a presentation along the lines of someone who is opposed to the issue of same sex marriage.

“I respect the Hamilton Princess’s right to make that decision. I think we all need to take stands based on what we believe in, so I think it’s entirely appropriate.”

When asked about the overall issue, Mr Brown said: “What I will say is that my public comments on the issue of sexual orientation and equality are a matter of public record.

“When we had the debate in Parliament in 2013 on the amendment to the Human Rights Act regarding sexual orientation, the argument I made then was that it is almost hypocritical to offer partial rights to a group.

“You cannot say that you believe that discrimination should come to an end with regard to sexual orientation, and then only pass onto them, legislatively, partial rights.

“My position is that if you’re serious about ending discrimination in the area of sexual orientation, then there needs to be full rights in that arena. My position was stated in 2013, and my position remains the same, today.

Asked how he thinks it would go if a Bill was brought to Parliament, Mr Brown said: ”I think that if such a Bill came to Parliament, it would most certainly be a conscience vote. Whether that’s good or bad, that’s up to the members of the public to decide.

“In such a Bill, I have no doubt that there would be the correct decision made to extend the principals of human rights and decency and equality to all segments of the community.”

A few hours after this video was filmed on Friday, the news broke that the Supreme Court of Bermuda had ruled that the non-Bermudian same-sex partners of Bermudians, who are in committed relationships, are entitled to live and work in Bermuda.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Terry says:

    Brown and Co.
    Getting near election time.

  2. Coffee says:

    Aye Walton ! Time for a reality check .

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Tip toeing through the tulips. Don’t want to upset those churches that heavily support the PLP you know.

    • Walk in their shoes says:

      You could say that about all the MPs who’ve declined comment when asked, everyone there is ‘tip-toeing’.

    • Robert says:

      Tip toeing?

      “My position is that if you’re serious about ending discrimination in the area of sexual orientation, then there needs to be full rights in that arena…”

      Seems pretty unambiguous to me.

      Way to go Mr. Brown.

  4. Natalie says:

    I think before we talk about sexual orientation rights/ discrimination, we should talk about foreigner discrimination/rights.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Such as?

      • Natalie says:

        The lack of tolerance of foreigners when they contribute just like everyone else. No one has campaigned against the unjust treatment and hatred towards foreigners.

        • Mike Hind says:

          But… they’re already protected.
          They’re already covered in the act. Sexual orientation only got covered recently.

          Aren’t they?
          Am I wrong in thinking that?

          • Natalie says:

            If Bermuda laws were fair, people who live their whole life in Bermuda and was born here are denied status because parents are foreign. We should eradicate that law and give rights to people born here its called birth rights, before we implement same-sex marriage laws. Just my personal opinion.

        • Onion says:

          Then you need to start that campaign.

  5. Zevon says:

    Amazing how he talks for several minutes and seems to say absolutely nothing.

  6. Tony Brannon says:

    Thank you Walton Brown.
    This is excellent news on your part – though I know your stance. But this is good for you to “Come Out” on the issue – no pun intended :)

  7. Common Sense says:

    Personally, I would like to thank Walton Brown for his frankness and honesty. I don’t know if he is related in any way to Dame Lois Browne-Evans (realizing that his surname is spelled differently), but I strongly believe that if our greatest champion in the struggle for equal human rights were with us today she would support equality in marriage just as she supported the Stubbs Bill back in the 1990′s despite very strong opposition from our churches.

  8. Ronnie Viera says:

    Well said Walton!

  9. Renee W says:

    Walton you have been consistence since our days at Queens University. We have never been afraid to stand up for human rights. Equality cannot be cherry picked like biblical texts often are. Good luck in educating PLP MPs and Party members. It has been a long journey.

  10. Silence Do Good says:

    “In such a Bill, I have no doubt that there would be the correct decision made to extend the principals of human rights and decency and equality to all segments of the community.”

    Wow I wonder how Mr. Brown feels about equality for PRC’s and their families who are born and bread in Bermuda or who have been here twenty plus years.

    Fourteen years to fix immigration and all the PLP did was create 2nd class citizens with no right for representation. Forced separation of families…I wonder how those human rights measure up in the PLP eyes.

  11. Sandgrownan says:

    Can’t believe I’m saying this…..but well said Walton, although there was a little bit of dancing around the subject….

  12. Pete says:

    I find this Interesting he didn’t move to have this matter dealt with back in the mid 2000s, he candidly mentioned 2013.
    So Member as a prominent parliamentarian why don`t on behalf of your party table a bill ?
    The same back peddling, foot shuffling, and wop,wop,wop from
    PLP members on
    Gaming,( the present Leader runs Gambling )( Why Not An Island LOTTERY)
    Weed rights
    The same Sex Orientation rights, ( Lotta Talk NO Action )

    They`ve done nothing but side step, and blame.

    So Member Brown when will YOU, step up to the wicket and BAT!!

  13. Mark True says:

    If we can look into our futures, we now have the opportunities to provide a positive and healthy environment for our children and our children’s children.

    Think about it! Would you want your child unable to collect inheritances? Get vital information from hospitals. See their significate other in medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes or as i have been, stopped at the door and refused to visit my partner of 20 years as he prepared to leave this world alone. Is that the sort of degrading, disrespectful and bigoted behavior you want for your very own children? No one being is less than anybody else because of who we have been led to love? Partial respect, partial rights, partial tolerance! No such thing.

    Churches will always be part of our lives. With or without their financial attributes and contributions. There is always differences in morals, opinions or just plain ol intolerances. A lived life harmoniously is a life well spent as well as shared. If it’s hurt churches experience then opportunity presents a new avenue to share Christianity through reaching out, taking a hand or sharing laughter or sorrows with others.

    You know in your heart of hearts whats the right thing to do. Never treat others as insignificant or less than because we are all created in the fathers image and believe me, there are no mistakes. Guided with his hand, every aspect of human being is devine and created by the Master and it is a equal design. When you are called to your reward, will you be able to say you treat others with love in your heart for them or will you be brasin enough to be proud of treating others less than a devine brotheren from the same father.

    Children of God, unite and rejoice! Live, love and show compassion for your fellow man. Pretty simple is’nt it? I hope this opens new avenues for us all to be considered created equal.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your love as well as allowing me to share my love for each and everyone of you.


  14. Actually I believe Hamilton Princess made and error in Judgement. All parties have the right to an open forum at their facilities. If it was the LGBT group having an open discussion on the opposing view subject matter would the Hamilton Princess Management object? Diversity is allowing all sides, not one that you are in favour of.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Not when they misrepresent themselves and are, in fact, promoting discrimination and the continued denial of rights to citizens of Bermuda.
      The hotel actually does have the right to refuse service.
      There isn’t equivalence between this group and an LGBT group as this group is actively promoting discrimination.

    • Natalie says:

      Totally agreed @TheOthersideofthecoin