Rainbow Alliance Respond To Bill Passing

December 14, 2017

“To reverse marriage equality — which the courts decided was a service under the Human Rights Act — is a gross miscarriage of justice,” the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda said, adding that “this fight has been long but we know that ultimately, love will win.”

Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda Dec 14 2017 TC

Domestic Partnership Act Passes In House & Senate

The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly on Friday night, and then passed in the Senate yesterday by a vote of 8 – 3, with the five Government and three Independent Senators voting for it.

Same sex marriage became legal in Bermuda following a Supreme Court decision in May 2017, when the court ruled that “common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.”

However this Bill will change the legal status, with the Domestic Partnerships Act [PDF] designed to replace same-sex marriages with a domestic partnership which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Having been approved in both the House [24-10] and Senate [8-3], the Bill now heads to Government House for assent. In their statement below, the Rainbow Alliance note, “There is still legally the possibility of the Governor of Bermuda refusing to sign the bill into assent, which would spark a constitutional crisis. The repercussions of that may be drastic and may inadvertently act against the LGBTQ community’s best interests.”

Rainbow Alliance Statement

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is disappointed but unsurprised at the passing of the Domestic Partnership Act by the House of Assembly and the Senate,” the group said.

“This legislation creates a ‘watered down’ version of rights, leading to a separate-but-equal status under the law. Ultimately, no separate-but-equal measure allows for equality or justice.

“Bermudian politicians on both sides of the aisle have failed to provide any kind of progressive, thoughtful, or justice-minded leadership on the issue of marriage equality.

“We cannot be surprised that this Act passed when many of the politicians today are the same people that sat silent in 2006 on the subject of Human Rights, and actively argued against the inclusion of Human Rights protection on the grounds of sexual orientation in 2013.

“There was a non-binding referendum on marriage equality and civil unions held in 2016, where the population of Bermuda failed to turn out in enough numbers to yield a definitive response.

“This was a colossal waste of taxpayer resources, and the rights of an oppressed minority should not be voted on by a majority that is not impacted by the outcome. The courts quickly filled this vacuum and affirmed in May 2017 that the love between two consenting adults is worth protecting with law, regardless of gender.

“The Domestic Partnership Act exists to reverse marriage equality and to placate conservative religious lobbyists, who are wholly unaffected by the expression of love through marriage by same-gender-loving couples.

“This has been presented as the “better” alternative to a private member’s bill that would provide no legal framework for marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnership for these couples. We concede that legally this legislation is the bare minimum the Government must provide in accordance with the European Court of Human Rights.

“Having said that, to reverse marriage equality- which the courts decided was a service under the Human Rights Act- is a gross miscarriage of justice. A dangerous precedent has been set in creating exemptions from the protections of the Human Rights Act. Separate-but-equal domestic partnerships create an unfair hierarchical class system of unions.

“There has been divisive and often-hurtful campaigning over the past few years, including homophobic and transphobic attacks on the humanity of LGBTQ people through intellectually dishonest and sometimes hateful propaganda.

“We are tired of having to prove our humanity, we are tired of accepting half-measures on equality, and we are tired of being used as a pawn in political discourse in efforts to garner votes by disingenuous elected officials with often-changing viewpoints.

“There is still legally the possibility of the Governor of Bermuda refusing to sign the bill into assent, which would spark a constitutional crisis. The repercussions of that may be drastic and may inadvertently act against the LGBTQ community’s best interests.

“We have heard many people say they are ashamed or embarrassed to be Bermudian. As a group of proud Bermudians, we want to affirm that we will never be ashamed of where we are from, only of the regrettable decisions of our elected officials.

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda believes in the principles of intersectionality and recognises that we must confront oppression in every iteration to find justice and equity for all. We hope that the Government will address issues that impact the entire Bermuda community with the same vigor that they pursued stripping away the rights of a minority group.

“We hope to still welcome LGBTQ visitors to our beautiful island, but understand that many will refuse to travel in a place where they are seen as second-class citizens.

“This fight has been long but we know that ultimately, love will win.”

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Comments (48)

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  1. Justin says:

    24-12, get over it. The PLP will do what they want.

    • Mike Hind says:

      You sure love dictatorships…

      • Politricks says:

        He doesn’t love dictatorships.

        He just realises that the PLP will do what they want, to whomever they want and they will scream 24-12 to justify it no matter how hurtful it is to people or to Bermuda as a whole.

        There’s nothing you, he or anyone else can do as of now.

        It is what it is Mike and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. Thus there is no point in stressing about things you can’t control.

      • Answer says:

        #1 you’re a TROLL for the SSM group. The oba/UBP that you voted and supported didn’t do squat for you and the SSM when they was GOV, but you still voted for them in July. Now who’s the bigger fool?

        The People that gathered on the grounds of the House of Assembly May 25 spoke LOUD AND CLEAR. NO! NO! NO!

      • Really Really BETTTY says:

        Stop this nonsense…. I did not see anyone stand up for Seniors that were Pepper Sprayed or Rights for black Bermudians…

        Move on….continue to live your lives…. Nothing changes….your still doing what you have always done..

        Gays have more rights under this law….well done PLP

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Perhaps you did not see anyone standing up for others because you are not here

        • Politricks says:

          What rights are not afforded to black Bermudians currently?

        • Justin says:

          Errrrrr, If no one stood up for seniors that were pepper sprayed then how do you explain the police investigation report and the PLP wanting to have another report done? Lots of PLP politicians demanded answers and are still doing so till this day. Your argument there is very weak.

          Yes, my personal life is unchanged by this proposed law but the country and people’s livelihoods have been affected. A weaker Bermuda affects all of us. But carry on PLP, 24-12, you can do what you want.

      • i heart 441 says:

        Mike Hind, are you Bermudian or non-Bermudian?

        • Whistling Frog says:

          Mike Hind is a barbarian. He won’t admit it but you can look him up.

          • facts of the rock says:

            Mike Hind is NOT a Barbarian you idiot and there is NO such thing as a Bermudian.

            • De Truth says:

              Last I checked no other people on the planet talk like us. Just because we are not independent does not mean we don’t have our own culture and history!!! Last I checked the flag and the people that walk in the Olympics are Bermudian. The sign says Bermuda!! Is there other people representing us!!!

      • Justin says:

        Mike, I’m starting to think you are a little thick. I’m not saying this bill is the right thing for the country. Instead I’m pointing out that with the huge PLP majority (24-12) they can and will do what they want.

        • facts of the rock says:

          NO they wont do what they want because people will and have stopped them.

      • Onion Juice says:

        Dictatorship, are you serious.
        Ya party created a law to squash contracts (Water Front Deal), told seniors money dont grow on trees and told workers take more furlough days or else then turn around a pull $70 Million out of their @$$ for a sailboat race for Billionaires and despite passionate protest from de masses not to give our Airport away for 30 years decided to use unneccesary force on peaceful protesters.

        • Politricks says:

          The Waterfront deal was a sham as outlined by the Ombudsman regarding the sham of a RFP. If you really want to see dictatorship look no further than the stripping off the cement silos from the original owner

          How is telling people that finances are tight (albeit in a non-PC way) a sign of dictatorship?

          How is setting up the Gaming Commission to be independent dictatorial, whilst the new Government who strips out the independence not dictator like?

          The OBA did not ‘decide to use unnecessary force’ on ‘peaceful protestors’ (which they were not).

          How is attracting an international sporting event dictatorial?

          Do you view the hospital P3 deal in which we pay $30mn a year for 30 years to a private firm dictator like? if not, why not?

          In the space of 6 months the PLP has ripped human rights out of our immigration legislation, reversed gay rights and stripped the casino gaming commission of their independence.

        • Justin says:

          Yes, all true about the OBA. The Water Front deal still smells of corruption and it was only right for that to be rescinded.

          The reason why furlough days were implemented and seniors didn’t get a raise is because the country could not afford it.

          The Americas Cup was an investment in our community and it has proven to be an excellent investment indeed.

          Unfortunately, if Bermuda wasn’t so in debt we could have given our seniors more money and people would not have to have taken furlough days. The reality is that furlough days and giving seniors more money gets Bermuda no return on investment. We needed to host the Americas Cup in order to gain more money to put back into our community and it was successful. I’m sure you are intelligent enough to understand this but you’d rather spread propaganda to the gullible. It worked though, congratulations, 24-12. You won and now can do as you want :-)

          When the island plummets then gather up every voter in the constituency that voted for Chris Famous instead of Bob Richards and looks to them for the answers!

        • wahoo says:

          It was about $50M and the return was over $300M that is a pretty good investment wouldn’t you say? That money is percolating throughout Bermuda and people who have the energy are getting some. I do not think you understand how our economy works do you have an older sibling that has an education? Perhaps they can explain to you that we are nothing without inflow of foreign currency.

          Protesters were not peaceful that is why there has been no further noise. Glad you muppets cannot touch the airport you would find a way to mess it up and the proof is in your history and the findings of the COI.

        • FYI says:

          Well Onion Juice, it’s funny they do not get those points you highlighted.

        • Jus' Wonderin' says:

          but u lot gave away our hospital, 300+ mil back from de sailboat race and the water front deal was a bad deal but carry on

        • bdaboy says:

          OJ, constantly repeating lies simply makes you a trump chump.

          Your hatred for people is disgusting, but you’re too cowardly to admit it in public…instead you hide in your mothers basement and post this s*** every day.
          you’re a sad little cretin.

    • Thats It says:

      thats only for now Justin and you obviously know jack s*** about dictatorship

  2. Hijacked says:

    Can we just call this law what it is, Segregation….

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    I’m not at all surprised (as the RA should be ) that the PLP and OBA senators voted as they did . After all , how many times have we really seen the senators stray from party loyalty ? But in this instance I’m very disappointed at the independents .

    The big question now is how is the Governor going to handle this ? Especially considering that he now knows a large overseas group has not only been watching but has addressed this with him directly .

  4. Unbelievable says:

    Two Bermuda’s

  5. Boy Coat BDA says:

    Lookup #boycottbermuda online and if you are not alarmed then I guess you really don’t care. The whole world is talking about us but in a very negative way. SMH

  6. hypocrisy says:

    Truly sad.

    This is a shocking embarrassment for the PLP and Bermuda in front of the whole world. We’ve made headlines across the globe, for all the wrong reasons. Millions of people will see what a narrow minded, uneducated step backwards we just made.

    This is undoing lots of hard work done by many people over a long time. Bigoted, self-centered, homophobia fuelled by fear, misinformation and religious ignorance is something that ironically has multiple parallells to many other gender & race struggles and painful memories of other kinds of segregation.

    All those thankful that they got their well deserved rights back in the past, but who decided to go out of their way now to remove rights from others, should be ashamed of themselves. We couldn’t even rely on the senators to do the right thing.

  7. Mark True says:

    It is ubfortunate that those who oppose equality are in all reality shooting their own foot. No one knows the future. No one knows what the sexual orientation of their future offsprings may bring. I find it dispicable for those that believe that sexual identity will not be knocking on their doors. They care nothing about protecting the rights of the descendents of their futures. This world is cruel enough without having to strike out at the rights of existing Bermudians as well as future Bermudians. You are dispicable and without a doubt a coroaded lot if you supported this injustic in any manner. And stop hiding behind the love of God. He will not judge in your favor at judgement. Prepare yourselves for the etermal heat you are choosing right now. At least ut was your choice. Sexual identity has none!

    • islandgal says:

      And how do you know how JAH will judge? Who died & left you in charge?

  8. facts of the rock says:

    The British Governor will have NO option but to refuse to sign off on this or face immediate recall in disgrace and an interim Governor will take over.
    No Governor would risk being recalled like that.

    This stupid exercise by the plp will fail!
    as the younger generation are fond of saying…Epic Fail.

    The World Media and it’s people and Leaders are watching this very carefully as it unfolds,not to forget business leaders are taking a very clear interest too.

    • rene says:

      I would really like to know how you came to that conclusion about the governor. Please advise.

      • facts of the rock says:

        it’s simple,he has no option but to refuse or be recalled in disgrace and publically ridiculed after being sacked,he’s a BRITISH Governor and therein lies your answer.

        If you think for one second any British Governor is going to risk his career and go against the British Laws you are sadly deluded.

        Quite frankly I wouldnt be surprised if he has been told already what has to be done.

  9. voltage says:

    Thank you Rainbow Alliance – you are a steady reminder of what is important in our humanity as we attempt to mature and develop respect and support for all aspects of Diversity and Inclusion.

    We have a long way to go on this issue and all other aspects of Diversity and Inclusion.

    It appears our politicians have ranked Diversity and Inclusion and people will continue to suffer as a result – they have created more second class citizens in Bermuda.

    May this unfair ranking end soon.

  10. d says:

    you should give up mike

  11. Khris G says:

    I wonder why we debate rights that are already enshrined in the Constitution. The change in no way affects human rights in my opinion.

  12. Coffee says:

    Keep up the fight Mike to marry the person of your choice , if you wish to marry a dude , don’t let we Bermudians deter you .Standards set by thousands of years of human civilization ONLY recognize a man and woman together as a couple mustn’t be destroyed by political modern day correctness .

    Rainbow Alliance , Mike , Tony , Bermuda has spoken , the court isn’t there to justify morality , only law . Listen to the people who overwhelmingly want to keep it simple in Bermuda …

    A loving husband and wife must mean what it says … Husband , male ….. Wife , female …. All Good

    • bdaboy says:

      “Standards set by thousands of years of human civilization ONLY recognize a man and woman together as a couple ”

      Wrong, again.

  13. rene says:

    The BIU is the peoples party unless you’re one of the LGTB community.

  14. Tide watcher says:

    You want to talk Biblical, Adultery is a sin, but how many of you are speaking out of both sides of your mouths? Bunch of Hypocrites.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Adultery may be a sin to a Christian, but not all of us are Christian and not all of us are married.

      Please stop calling me hypocrite without knowing (a) whether I am a Christian and (b) whether I am married.