Referendum: ‘Colossal Waste Of Taxpayer Funds’

June 25, 2016

Following the referendum, the Rainbow Alliance released a statement saying “the failure to get enough of a voter turn-out proved this exercise to be a colossal waste of taxpayer funds,” and also adding that they ”want to tell the young LGBTQ community that the island’s majority failing to speak for them does not mean that they are in any way unworthy.”

Rainbow-Alliance-of-Bermuda-TC 24 June as5g8y

Referendum Question Is “Unanswered”

44,367 people are registered to vote, and 20,804 people — or 46.89% — turned out to vote in the referendum, so the Parliamentary Registrar said the “referendum question shall be taken to be unanswered” as it did not achieve 50% turnout.

While the referendum is technically “unanswered”, looking at the votes that were cast shows 14,192 “No” votes for same-sex marriage [6,514 "Yes" votes] and 13,003 “No” votes for Civil Unions [7,626 "Yes" votes].

Rainbow Alliance Statement

The statement said, “The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love and support for the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer] community in response to the referendum on marriage equality.

“We have always maintained that a referendum is not the appropriate vehicle for this kind of human rights issue, and the failure to get enough of a voter turn-out proved this exercise to be a colossal waste of taxpayer funds.

“While many countries have deemed marriage a heterosexual-only institution, over 76 of them also include anti-LGBTQ legislation that endangers the lives of LGBTQ people. This is not an example to follow. Bermuda is a much smaller community than the 20+ countries that have already changed legislation to provide marriage equality.

“The referendum results show an opportunity for more education around LGBTQ issues and equity. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda now renews our call to urge the Government to show leadership on this issue.

“We will continue to advocate for marriage equality but we now expect the courts to quickly fill the vacuum left by the politicians’ cowardice.

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is grateful for an end to the divisive and often-hurtful campaigning that this exercise has inspired. The discourse has included homophobic and transphobic attacks on the humanity of LGBTQ people through intellectually dishonest and sometimes hateful propaganda.

“Particularly, we want to tell the young LGBTQ community that the island’s majority failing to speak for them does not mean that they are in any way unworthy. You are amazing and deserve love without constraints within a supportive society.

“We want to tell the LGBTQ Bermudians that could not vote on their rights because they have been forced to leave for more accepting communities: we miss you, we love you, and we want to make home a safer place. LGBTQ family, you matter, and love will ultimately win.

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will remain committed to creating safer spaces and advocating for equity for the LGBTQ community.”

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Comments (51)

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  1. Why says:

    But we knew this prior to referendum taking place. Why even make a statement?

  2. dick francis says:

    It is only a colossal waste of time and money with the benefit of hindsight – no-one from either side was saying that before the vote ….

    • sage says:

      I was.

    • jt says:

      Yes…lots of people were.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Actually, many did, in fact it was the LGBT community groups, the Human Right Commission, Center for Justice and more stood against this referendum.

    • Cranberry says:

      I was…

    • What?? says:

      You must be deaf or unable to read!

    • Onion Juice says:

      Us cultural people dont play dat S!@#.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Which ‘cultural people’ is that? Your implying you represent he only ‘cultural people’ on the island?? I know of many ‘cultural people’on this island, of many different cultures.

  3. I heart 441 says:

    Colossal waste after they lost! SMH at this group!
    If they had won, they would have said the complete opposite.

    • jt says:

      “They” will win. The courts will see to that. “They” knew that all along, as did both the OBA and PLP.

    • truth says:

      except they didn’t lose, so obviously you’ve understood very little

    • D says:

      It was a non binding referendum, so no one really would have ‘won’.

      Also the fact that less than half of the voting population took part in this non binding referendum means that no actual conclusion can be made on the general publics opinion on SSM.

      However… I do wish that ‘Preserve Marriage’ starts to focus on divorce, adultry, etc… only makes sense.

      • Ann says:

        Couldn’t agree more D, is it not in their Bible about having children with various men and not being married, when did that stop being a sin? A large portion of our social problems start with that, not gay marriage.

        • We the People (1st!!) says:

          This is really a stupid comment. It’s childish. It’s like saying, “Don’t focus on wrongdoing, focus on the wrongdoing of others.”

          I don’t understand this type of argument. For one, people are not saying it has stopped being a sin and people are not advocating for that to be accepted, tolerated, or legally recognized. Secondly, if you are not involved, how do you know that people are not tackling other issues? Such as, divorce, adultery, having kids ‘with various men,’ etc. There are many marriages that have been saved as a result of pastors, religious leaders, community leaders, counselors, and other professionals. COME ON!

          • Mike Hind says:

            Yes, these folks have saved many, many relationships. They’ve involved themselves and really helped a lot of people.

            People who asked for them to be involved with their relationships.

            The problem is: Many of them have also involved themselves in a lot of relationships where they WEREN’T asked. They’ve caused severe harm in these relationships by preaching that the people in the relationships are less worthy of equal access to rights than the rest of us. Why? you ask? Why would they do this? Well, that’s the thing. They won’t actually say why they think they should be involved with the relationships of people who haven’t asked them to get involved.

            • We the People (1st!!) says:


              • Mike Hind says:

                your lack of understanding explains a lot about your position…

                • We the People (1st!!) says:

                  Haha. I understand what you said. However, what you said is utter RUBBISH!

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    What was rubbish about it?

                    Are you saying that there aren’t pastors that have pushed the anti-equality message? ‘Cuz there are. We’ve all seen them. It happened.

                    Are you denying that, by pushing an anti-equality message, they AREN’T involving themselves in other people’s relationships, without being asked? Because that is what’s happening. People’s relationships are being affected, and harmed, by this, by, as I said, preaching that certain people are less worthy of access to rights.

                    Are you denying that they HAVE said why they think they should be involved in the relationships of people that didn’t ask for it?
                    If so, where?

                    So… what part of what I said was rubbish? Hm?
                    Would you care to elaborate and address my points, or will this be yet another cowardly hit and run where you pretend I’m not right, but don’t actually show how, and then run away?

          • Ann says:

            So, instead of you making posters and spending huge amounts of money on stopping something that DOES NOT effect you, why dont you spend your over filled Coeffers on helping the children that aren’t getting breakfast, lunch and dinner, and educating the mothers on how to do so? You are tax exempt unlike the rest of us.

          • Common Sense says:

            It appears that “We the People(1st)” is simply not aware of the law in Bermuda. It is not an offence in any way shape or form to be gay in Bermuda – period! It is also against the law to discriminate against anyone in Bermuda because of their sexual orientation as laid down in our Human Rights Act.

            Whether “We the People” accepts it or not, gays are a fact of life in Bermuda, always have been and always will be.

            He or she refers to the argument that being gay is sinful, and would no doubt quote the bible, but that is probably the most hypocritical argument ever made on any subject for a very simple reason. The bible is replete with so-called sins and “abominations”, not the least of which is adultery (which is listed up there in the top ten – The Ten Commandments). I would challenge “We the People” to take action and campaign for any and all so-called sinful “abominations” in the bible to now be made illegal. Please name one – any one!

            Non-religious people here in Bermuda and elsewhere around the world can legally marry without setting foot in a church or any place of worship. Nor do they need to be able to procreate. I know of two 80 year olds who married here – chances of conception rather remote!

            It should be exactly the same for same sex couples. It is called equality.

      • Think about it says:

        What doesn’t make sense is why would a man place is private part in another man’s _ _ _! It’s no other way to say it.

        • Mike Hind says:

          What doesn’t make sense is why you think it’s any of your business…

        • Peter says:

          don’t knock it until u try it I have with many straight husbands they crave it now who by the way love the NO vote so they can carry on their shady doings ,you gotta love Bermuda

        • Peter says:

          Try it with your girl before someone else does

        • Common Sense says:

          It may make no sense to you, and it’s certainly not for me, but it is not against the law of the land and it’s really none of your business what consenting adults, including women, do in private. You really need to STOP thinking about it and move on with your life.

      • rightt says:

        Even if another 4% would have voted in favour.. The Majority would have still opposed same sex marriage if you count the numbers.

        The results say it all.

        • Mike Hind says:

          No. They actually don’t.

          This referendum should never have happened.
          Equal rights should never have been put to the vote. The minority must always be protected from the majority.

  4. Ouch says:

    Totally disagree that it was a waste of money.
    The public spoke, by voting or being no-shows, so it’s time for Gov’t to move on to tackle other issues. So much social media time appeared to be name calling, etc. that I was left with the feeling that many voters didn’t understand how the civil union issue would change from the status quo. Same as voters for Britexit and the polarization of Trump vs Clinton. Wish more time was spent on really learning what the ramifications of policy changes would be than carelessly following the herd, i.e., what family, co-workers or church recommends.

    • Mike Hind says:

      We kept trying to ask the anti-equality supporters what the ramifications would be and they never offered anything concrete! They just kept posting lies and misinformation that were swiftly shown to be false.
      We really want to hear what the problems would be if we were to have marriage equality and we never heard anything real.

      • Ouch says:

        Many people I spoke with shortly before the referendum were not aware of what rights hetero couples have that same sex couples are denied. Very basic information. Pestering the Preserve Marriage group supporters ad nauseum did not inform voters of the basic issues, next of kin, hospital visit access sort of things.

        • Mike Hind says:

          That information was put out there several times. By several groups. And on here. Many, many times. It was ignored.

    • Lualaba says:

      I disagree. The public did not speak… Less tha half of the public spoke, the rest either didn’t have an opinion or just couldn’t be bothered. Either way the whole thing was a waste of time.

      Besides that it was just a cop-out by the government (not 1 party or the other) because they didn’t have the guts to do what was right!!! If it wasn’t for goverments “doing the right thing” women would not be able to vote, and interracial marrage would never have happened!!

      Human rights issues should NEVER be desired by those doing the discriminating!!!

      • Keeping it real says:

        Question when OBA won did everyone vote??? No!!!!! But there was a victory.. It is what it is.. If you chose not to come out the voters that voted are all that count!!! A message has been sent!!! Next topic

        • Mike Hind says:

          And here we have a complete misunderstanding of the situation.

          The referendum was ALWAYS to be considered “not answered” if less than 50% voted.

          The election has nothing to do with this.

  5. dancing troll says:

    a referendum was done to a please the green party as they were the one who put this referenda crap forward ! and the carrot was placed in front of an easy target to take advantage of the situation to have a reason for future referendums. the people within the rainbow alliance should not have participated in something that violates every ones rights!
    imaging beany calling the milk man and asking boxers or briefs?

  6. takbir Sharrieff says:

    Wrong is Wrong, and Right is Right ,and Wrong is No mans Right. G-D rules. The voters voted with their feet, those who did not attend / .And their pens,,,,, those who did attend. Victory is mine , saith The Lord.

  7. Y says:

    Is suicide a human right or a moral right……please let me know your views

  8. Real says:

    Although less than 50% voted, to me the majority have still spoken. I say that because I would assume everyone that supports SSM would’ve made sure they voted on this. The fact that less than 50% voted and the yes votes were still significantly lower than the no votes makes me believe that had more than 50% voted the margin between the yes and no would’ve been larger.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Important word that…. Assume.

      Doesn’t make it true.

      • iabingi says:

        Or untrue

        • Mike Hind says:

          Correct. But it needs more than just an assumption before it can be presented as fact.

  9. Garry Marshall says:

    There’s no pleasing some people, If you didn’t have it you are damned so we had it and we are STILL damned LOL

  10. Keeping it real says:

    I just have to say this… The churches seemed very quiet on this issue!!! Unlike Gambling or Marijuana.. Now let’s have a vote to leagelize Marijuana use.. What harm does it really cost?? In the end it’s all about money

  11. Disbelief says:

    There is no such thing as gay marriage first of all.

    Just because there are a small group of people who want to ram their lifestyle down our collective throats in conjunction with a weak, misguided, morally bankrupt government who refused to declare their position this issue as a GROUP, mean very little to the majority of the voting public.

    All this has been done the further divide this country. This has become the norm for this government they have made decisions that has divided us racially, politically, culturally and now by our sexuality. Just on thing left to seal it before we go tongue polls. Men v women….just waiting to see what they put together for this one.

    Just a note. Get use to the 2:1 vote seem last week, because the next general election result MAY look similar.

    • Mike Hind says:

      You’re right. It’s all just marriage. The only reason there’s such a thing as what we refer to as “gay marriage” is because people are trying to stop a group of people from sharing in equal access of rights, based on their sexual orientation. Gay folks aren’t the ones that made the distinction.

      And no, the people trying to ram their lifestyle down throats are those religious folks who are trying to force all of us to continue to have to follow the rules of their personal choice of religions. Gay folks just want to be able to get on with their lives and start families together, like the rest of us. It’s the anti-equality people that are causing this problem by trying to stop that happening.

      The rest of your post is just a hyperbolic attempt at political points scoring…

  12. Common Sense says:

    “There is no such thng as gay marriage”

    That is totally and completely untrue. Gay marriage is perfectly legal in many countries around the world, and we have gay couple here in Bermuda who are legally married. “Disbelief” can choose to close his or her eyes but watch what happens in our courts as married gays seek to be treated equally. The times they are a’changing.

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