Court Rules: Advance Poll Moved From Church

June 10, 2016

A decision was handed down in the Supreme Court which saw the referendum on same sex relationships still set to proceed, with the advanced poll to be changed from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Hall to the Bermuda College.

Bermudian voters are set to head to the polls to answer two questions: “are you in favour of same sex marriage in Bermuda?” and “are you in favour of same sex civil unions in Bermuda?”

The main polling date is June 23, and the advanced polling for travelers and incapacitated voters is on June 14, 15, and 16.

The application aiming to say the referendum was “unconstitutional and/or unlawful” was refused by the Chief Justice, saying for “reasons which I shall give more fully later.”

Parliamentary Registry Notice

The Parliamentary Registry Office issued an advisory saying, “Notice is hereby given that, by Order dated 10 June 2016, the Hon. Chief Justice Ian R. C. Kawaley quashed the designation of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Hall, King Street, Hamilton as the polling room for the advanced poll to be held pursuant to the Referendum [Same Sex Relationships] Act 2016;

“And take further notice that Bermuda College, Student Hall, is hereby designated as the polling room for the advanced polls on 14, 15 and 16 June 2016.

“Therefore, the Notices made under sections 16 and 17 of the Referendum Act 2012 and published in the Official Gazette on 9 June 2016 [Nos. 456, 458 and 459] are hereby amended by deleting ‘Seventh-Day Adventist Church Hall in King Street in Hamilton’, wherever it appears, and substituting ‘Bermuda College, Student Hall’.

Centre’s Reaction

In reaction to the decision, the Centre of Justice — who requested the Judicial Review of the matter — said, “We are relieved that the Chief Justice has acknowledged that the polling should take place at a neutral site.However, since we don’t have the full reasons yet, we are not able to comment any further.”

Court Ruling

“I am bound to find that the decision to designate the churches in question as polling rooms was unreasonable and/or irrational in the recognised public law sense,” Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said in today’s Court ruling.

“Bearing in mind the breaches of good referendum practice which have occurred, I exercise my discretion in favour of granting the relief sought mindful of the fact that the Advance Poll may be affected by this decision.”

The ruling also notes “the principle that referendums ought not to be used to obtain mandates for human rights issues is not a legally enforceable principle..”

The Court ruling follows below [PDF here]:

click here same sex marriage

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Comments (23)

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  1. Hydrogen2oxygen says:

    I is not my right to determine right or wrong in another’s personal desire in relation to their right to marry or the rights that are associative tuit.
    I feel that people must recognise human rights.
    This is clearly a human right.Maritime is the base law…two people can be married on international waters…and must be recognised as married.
    Basic human right.
    How can a human right …be wrong?

  2. Two wrongs don’t make a right….

    Two rights don’t make a wrong….

    If loving someone is wrong…I don’t want to be right.

    Love is a human right baahdammit!

    • HW says:

      Nobody is stopping people from loving who they want to love.

      • blankman says:

        But they are stopping them from marrying who they want.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Nope. Just stopping them from equal access to rights and privileges that the rest of us share.

        For absolutely no reason at all.

        Unless you’d like to finally offer one that you’d be willing to defend?

        Or will this be par for the course and you’ll run away as usual?

  3. Hate is wrong and love is right…

  4. Joe says:

    All you need is Love

  5. Pride says:

    Vote yes yes.

    There’s enough hate in the world. If two people love each other we should celebrate.

    Yes yes

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Vote NO and NO

  7. NO MORE WAR says:

    SMDH. This court is going to damn far. What next

  8. SameRights!sameRace! says:

    Every person entitled to same ,Right?
    What makes one person special and another not…
    If its religious that’s your business not thiers …

  9. Zevon says:

    So no more using taxpayer money to rent church halls. I’m fine with that.

    When are they going to start paying tax like every other business?

    • Akeil says:

      Ya got it wrong don. Give until Caesar what is Caesar’s, give unto the Lord, what is the Lord’s.

      The church ain’t Caesars, and the land ain’t either.

      People come on here and advocate a lot of nonsense I see.

      Ya got children comin on this site too you!

      Don’t come on this site and lead God’s children astray.

      Go make it.

      They need to do extensive screenin before one can post on here.

      Babylonia haffi gwey.

  10. Akeil says:

    I can’t believe they even had the audacity, to try and entertain that bogus reform at an Adventist Church in the first place.

    Its a lot of lost children of Israel out there, that need to find a guiding light in the bible.

    Don’t fall for Satan’s cunning and treachery!!!

    • Zevon says:

      So pay tax like everyone else.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Annnnnd… another religious argument.

      Not that you’ll answer, but it has to be asked:

      Do you think that everyone should have to follow the rules and observe the taboos of your personal choice of religions as a matter of this island’s laws?

      Would you be ok with having to follow the rules and observe the taboos of someone else’s personal choice of religions as part of this island’s laws?

      If you answered no to these, then can you give us a reason that we shouldn’t have marriage equality?
      One that you’d be willing to defend?

  11. Char says:

    Good Ruling!!!

  12. Keeny Weiny says:

    Love wins ( inserts rainbows )

  13. John says:

    If dunkley wants to be on the right side of history then he shld lead the way and make us the first place to give blacks reparations for the profits the whites benefited from. Oh wait that means he wld have to break bread and we kno he ain’t gonna do that. At least legalize cannabis for medical purposes. So F off with that be on the right side of history sh!*