Attride-Stirling: ‘Human Rights For All Humans’

May 10, 2017

“Human Rights means human rights for all humans,” lawyer Rod Attride-Stirling said, adding that “same sex couples who want to marry can now do so,” and “Bermuda owes a huge debt of gratitude to the two brave young men who brought this action, Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche.”

Mr Attride-Stirling served as counsel to the Human Rights Commission during the recent legal challenge by a gay couple, and he said “it was a privilege for me to appear and argue the case for marriage equality.”

The HRC was an ‘intervener’ in the case, which the couple brought following their marriage application being declined by Bermuda’s Registrar-General.

The court made a landmark ruling [PDF] in their favour paving the way for same sex couples to be married in Bermuda, with the Court’s conclusion stating that “common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage and more broadly speaking the institution of marriage.”

Rod Attride Stirling Bermuda May 9 2017

Mr Stirling said, “As counsel to the Human Rights Commission, it was a privilege for me to appear and argue the case for marriage equality. I believe the HRC will want to make its own public statement and I will leave that to them.

“But speaking for myself as counsel in the case, I can say that whilst the case involved complicated issues, the decision reached by the judge was inevitable, in the face of the now developed jurisprudence in the surrounding area of human rights law. It is a matter of great shame that the legislature did not act in this matter to put the issue beyond doubt.

“It is also a matter of great shame that the AG fought the case in the manner in which it was fought, ignoring the Bermudian cases on the proper interpretation of the Human Rights Act. This should not have been so.

“The AG should have advised the Registrar General that he was legally obligated to give the Applicants in this case, a marriage license. He did not and forced the expenditure of a great deal of money and resources for us to get to this point. We hope that this issue is now put to rest.

“I am glad see that the Bermuda court has followed the courts, first of South Africa, which decided this issue in 2005 and then the United States, which followed suit in 2015.

Mr Attride-Stirling said he is proud to see that we have followed the approach of Nelson Mandela and rejected the approach of Donald Trump and “the people behind Preserve Marriage Ltd.”

“The message of hate and exclusion has been rejected. Human Rights means human rights for all humans. Equally. No one is excluded. Same sex couples who want to marry can now do so.

“Bermuda owes a huge debt of gratitude to the two brave young men who brought this action, Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche. They will always be remembered as heroes of the human rights movement.

“I and my firm, ASW Law Limited, were happy to be associated with this case,” he concluded.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Cow Polly says:

    Thank you Mr Attride-Stirling for sticking up for the little guy.

    • Daylily says:

      European courts clearly say the same-sex marriage is not a human right, if it were then all countries in the European Convention would have SSM. Disappointing that the government weren’t upfront with their intentions.

      • Mike Hind says:

        You keep trying to push this narrative, even though it’s been shown to be false over and over. Why is this?

  2. But says:

    Except for PRCs

  3. Lol says:


  4. We Need it Now says:

    Thank you Mr. Attride-Sterling. Bermuda is a much better place because of you.

  5. Waffle Robot says:

    So we joined the scant couple of nations on earth who have legalized gay marriage. Such as America, land of anything goes. Those who supported it make it sound like the whole world is pro gay marriage and they make it seem like Bermuda is behind the times and prejudice. When the reality is quite the opposite. You can accept gays like anyone else and be fine with their choices but the fact at the end of the day is, marriage between man and woman PREVENTS people from doing scam marriages and scams in general. Any two men can get married now, whether they love each other or are gay or not, and the two men can get any of the legal benefits or perks that REAL married couples would get. I am sure this could lead to economic issues. And if you allow divorce also, then this adds to the problem, because anyone can do it over and over again, legally. Whats the difference if it were man and woman? Well, any man can tell you and any woman can tell you. IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to get a woman to date, like, fall in love, marry, etc. That is one of the most challenging things for a man in his life. They are opposite sex and the pheromones and hormones by nature cause responses in our minds and bodies. But two men who are buddies in crime or schemes can go get married and get houses, status, etc. etc. Well done for not thinking it out fully. And thanks for slipping it in behind our backs. Everyone voted NO and then you go pull this fast one.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nothing in this is true or even rational and it CERTAINLY isn’t a reason to deny people access to rights!

  6. De Truth says:

    Human Rights is for everyone I totally agree so now LEGALIZE GANJA!!!!! Its my basic Human Right!!!! U can’t pick and choose what are rights and what are not!!!!!

  7. Daylily says:

    What is not mentioned is that Nelson Mandela was speaking because of his own personal circumstances as a father.