Video: Premier On Domestic Partnership Act

December 15, 2017

“I expect that the Governor will ratify the will of the Parliament,” Premier David Burt said when asked about speculation on whether the Governor will give assent to the Domestic Partnership Act, with the Premier saying the Bill was a compromise, and it gives same-sex couples more legal benefits than they previously had.

Premier Burt sat down with Bernews for a 45-minute live interview today on a wide range of topics, with the Domestic Partnerships Act one of the matters discussed.

The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly and then passed in the Senate, 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 heads to the UK-appointed Governor for assent, which is normal procedure and generally seen as a formality, however it has been a topic of speculation, and the U.S. based Human Rights Campaign urged the Governor to “veto” the legislation.

When asked about the topic, Premier Burt told Bernews, “This a Government that will make difficult decisions and will lead when is necessary and required,” saying that the “former Government dithered on this issue on numerous occasions.”

Saying “it is something that has been missed,” the Premier said that same-sex couples, after the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act, will “enjoy more legal benefits than they previously had.”

Premier Burt said, “What happened previously before is that, for instance, same-sex couples did not have rights to pensions, did not have rights to survivorship benefits, hospital visitation, health insurance rights, prior to the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act. They now have those benefits, which they did not previously have.

“We believe that that is an improvement in the position of where we have, and we recognize that this is a compromise that both sides do not like, but that’s what happens sometimes when you compromise.”

Premier Burt said, “We can understand  that different people may have different opinions on this, but the fact is, under the laws of which Bermuda is ascribed to, same-sex marriage is not a human right under the European Convention of Human Rights. That is the fact.

“So people can have their own opinions, people can say what they like to say. We like to deal in the place of reality, and the place of reality is that, after the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act, same-sex couples have more legal benefits than they previously enjoyed.

“The fact is what we had, and I think that it’s important to understand, though the judge said that same-sex couples were entitled to marry, the judge cannot give same-sex couples legal benefits. That is something that has to be done by Parliament.

“I think it should be clear, from what we saw in Parliament, is that there is no appetite in Parliament for that. So what we have to do, is that we have to figure out what it is that we can get a consensus to pass into law, and to move forward on that.”

Asked about the speculation on whether the Governor will give assent, Premier Burt said, “I expect that the Governor will ratify the will of the Parliament.”

Asked if it was compromise bill, Premier Burt replied “absolutely”, saying that they “got consensus and moved this matter forward.”

“So now that this matter has been dealt with, we can now focus on other issues such as educational reform, reduce the costs of living and in growing our economy and creating more jobs for Bermudians,” he added.


The video above was extracted from the full interview, in which Premier Burt discussed a wide range of topics including the island’s finances, the Government’s plans for economic growth, the cost of living, Brexit, the recent EU list, the U.S. tax plan, the Paradise Papers, and more. You can watch the full video here, and we will post additional excerpts/transcripts as able; the next one will be on the EU list.

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Comments (45)

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  1. ughhh says:

    While equal right was legal it wasn’t even the talk of the town…no one even knew it was going on or at least publicly made an outcry. Not one person woke up and was like “my day is ruined”…NOT ONE. Now…. because the PLP had it on their agenda they decided to follow through….NOW look what happened…Such a sad sad sad day. Never have I ever been embarrassed and ashamed of my country.

    -Straight Woman

    PS. All them men out there voting against gay rights are the same men who search for “lesbians” on P*rnhub….#facts (women, check your mans internet history!)

  2. dang says:

    The governor would be a fool to let this bill pass. His name would forever be connected to this. But that’s what the PLP wants.

    The governor doesn’t sign, and independence talks start like we’re some oppressed country ruled by barbaric colonial laws. Then the buses strike etc etc and then we got someone drinking smoothies up on the hill proclaiming a hunger strike for this travesty bestowed amongst bermudians.

    • Starting Point says:

      Perhaps this is what the PLP wants. However, the thing that most people seem to forget or maybe the PLP has not told them is that independence isn’t free. Its just like buying a house, you have to buy it. You don’t get to say to Britain, “thanks we got it from here!” and walk away with the keys to Bda! We don’t have the military to win a war with England andtake it over either!

      So, our only option is, we must pay for it! We are broke and already owe money that we can’t pay for now. Would you give MORE money to the SAME government (new face, same puppeteers)that took a booming economy and put it Billions in debt? Once you are independent you have to pay for lots more.

      EVERYONE, and I do mean EVERYONE shown watch the documentary called Life & Debt. A documentary on Jamaica. independence and the world bank.

    • Stafford says:

      How can this possibly be passed in Bermuda? An absolute disgrace. As a gay man who lives and works in Bermuda my rights have been taken away. Who is to dictate whether I marry my Bermudian lover? This is simply wrong every other country in the world is passing gay rights and marriage and the PLP is reversing it! I am seriously considering handing back my visa and leaving this island.

      • Have a nice day says:

        Then go! So sorry your feelings were hurt but you need to go back to wherever you came from with your lover! Just because others have decided to side with God does not give you the right to question them

        • Het says:

          Please stop using your opinions and views you interpret from your religion that you chose to take away someone else’s human rights.

    • Onion Juice says:

      I dont think he will support it, just like the Tuckers Town Land Grab fiasco even though it wasnt him but its the same Colonial ideology, going against the will of the PEOPLE.

      • therock says:

        “going against the will of the PEOPLE.”

        LOL…it’s almost like you actually believe this. LMFAO

  3. Not Exactly says:

    Prem Burt: “it gives same-sex couples more legal benefits than they previously had”. What BS! It gives people more rights than they had 2 years ago, but less than they had 2 weeks ago.

    • Hey says:

      Burt is telling pure stories… the rights of same sex couples are reduced because of this bill. Why cannot Burt tell the truth.

    • Um.... says:

      What less benefits? I’m honestly asking. Because what the Premier is saying about right to marry (after the court’s decision) but no other rights is correct to my understanding. If I’m wrong then I welcome being corrected.

    • Hope says:

      Exactly!!! What a BS statement. Plus, how can you “compromise” with human rights?! How would people feel if we banned marriage for those from different ethnicities, different social backgrounds, those that are less physically abled….this is just shameful.

      • Full Stop says:

        Exactly, everyone should have the right to be married and miserable at least once

    • facts of the rock says:

      as usual,Burt is lying.

    • Mad dog says:

      You do not know what you are talking about

  4. aboogiewitdahoodie says:

    got consensis from who

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Apparently nobody but his own inner circle. Certainly not from those who are affected by the legislation. Their views don’t matter.

  5. no love says:

    Lies, lies and more lies. Welcome to the PLP!

  6. facts of the rock says:

    The BRITISH Governor will NOT sign off on this and risk being recalled back to the UK in Disgrace.(SSM is Legal in the UK).

    If the plp and the biu decide to act up,the Governor will simply disband Parliament and Direct Rule will take over

    It happened not too long ago elsewhere,so do not think it could not happen in Bermuda,it could so easily kick off,you all would be stupid to think it could not.

    • facts of the rock says:

      wow,as usual,the truth is just too much for Bermuda!

  7. Blackjack says:

    I trust His Excellency will see fit to… this whole inept episode.

  8. Keepin it Real says:

    The vote was 24 to 10 so go complain to your Parliamentarians on both sides cause clearly OBA supported it to!

    They just didn’t have the guts to deal with it when the people spoke on it (referendum) and left the mess for the PLP to clean up!

    So complain to your OBA!

    It’s nothing but a distraction from the real issues anyway and it’s getting us all hoodwinked!

    • therock says:

      “They just didn’t have the guts to deal with it when the people spoke on it (referendum) and left the mess for the PLP to clean up!”

      Once again for those too stupid to comprehend the TRUTH.

      The referendum was non binding…not enough bermudians cared enough to get off their fat a$$es and vote.

      This “mess” is much smaller than the multi billion dollar MESS the PLP LEFT FOR THE OBA TO CLEAN UP!

      Your dishonesty and ignorance is astounding.

  9. Kevin says:

    Its a shame when you have to play spin doctor all day every day ….we all know you are only a puppet and EBrown is still in charge….you can only fool those who want to be fooled but for the rest of us it doesn’t fly. They do not have the same rights as they had a few weeks ago
    Stick to the Facts
    The world is watching and we will be judged accordingly

  10. Cow polly says:

    Premier Burt it would have shown true courageous leadership if your Government had educated the public on the fact that during the period of same sex marriage all their fears had not come to fruition and it was time to put their big girl pants on and move forward.

  11. Theresa says:

    Good day Mr Premier you talked at first about all parties, unions Etc getting together and working for Our country……
    I did not hear once from any body about the issue of black or white it was about human rights. No one says to forget anybody’s past but please make it a history lesson not a dividing lesson. This will not help business that want to come and pour there money into this country it will just keep casing them away. White or black we all have to live here and try and improve Our country.

    • Truth Teller says:

      You are hewing real close to Marisa Baron territory with your passive aggressive style racist rant.

      It is people like you that divided this country and your condescending talk about “not a dividing lesson” is insulting.

      Hey here it free tip: go to the CURB workshops on race since you and Marisa seem to have missed the ones that the Big Conversation conducted a few years back.

      • therock says:

        “It is people like you…”

        Actually, it’s people like you who do nothing but divide and discriminate. But you’re far too ignorant to understand that.

        “People like you” are pathetic.

  12. Theresa says:

    Other then that it was a very good and interesting interview I have all the faith that he will do a good job in moving us forward keep up the good work Sir.

    We all have to make our country a great place for all

  13. Aware says:

    What no one is talking about is that it also gives legal rights to non-married heterosexual couples which they did not have before. If the court ruling had never taken place this would have been a landmark ruling from where Bermuda needs to be. Let’s do as the Premier suggests and compromise, move on and focus on other important things for now. SSM will happen in due course.

    • therock says:

      ” Let’s do as the Premier suggests and compromise,”

      Sure, no problem…hope you don’t mind sitting at the back of the bus…and be sure to use the designated water fountains.

    • What?? says:

      The process to obtain those rights for a heterosexual couple (to become a recognized Domestic Partnership) is exactly the same as the process to get married. How many heterosexual couples didn’t get married ONLY because they objected to the term marriage?

  14. Mark says:

    Why does he keep saying they have more rights than before when that is simply not true?!? Bald faced lying but the zealots dont care about morals and values. They blindly follow off the cliff. 2 bills taking away humam rights and one granting them free reign. Gee, i wonder where ive seen this before?

  15. What?? says:

    “Premier Burt said, “What happened previously before is that, for instance, same-sex couples did not have rights to pensions, did not have rights to survivorship benefits, hospital visitation, health insurance rights, prior to the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act. They now have those benefits, which they did not previously have.”

    That is a complete lie. Currently married same-sex couples have all the same benefits as any other married couple. This Act removes some and complicates others.

  16. puzzled says:

    Welcome back PLP.

  17. lalaland says:

    one thing about burty he NEVER answer a question! ask him how the plp never looked at our accounts for 7 years in which half the time he was junior finance minister. the sad part is he actually is our finance minister now! Lord!

  18. Anbu says:

    “This is a government that will make difficult decisions and lead when is necessary and required.” Um………. why is the civil service still so huge then?!

    • Full Stop says:

      Simple answer is that the PLP intentionally over hired into the Civil Service during their last reign in order to hide their true unemployment figure. they hired 1000+ people during the same period that the economy and unemployment numbers were going down.

  19. Marlyn says:

    The shocking part of all this is how they don’t think it will effect Bermuda … stay tuned

  20. Joe Bloggs says:

    “What happened previously before is that, for instance, same-sex couples did not have rights to pensions, did not have rights to survivorship benefits, hospital visitation, health insurance rights, prior to the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act. They now have those benefits, which they did not previously have.”

    Rubbish. Today married couples enjoy all of those rights, whether gay or heterosexual. Once the Governor assents to the Domestic Partnership Act and marriage is taken away from gay couples many of the rights gay couples could have from marriage will be taken away.

    Please do not piss on me and tell me it is raining.

  21. sandgrownan says:

    He’s just supported a legal framework for two Bermuda’s – and the dimwitted will miss the hypocrisy.

  22. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    I’ve never thought that the Governor should ever interfere with what happens here. We have a Government, he’s a figurehead.

    But for the first time, I really want him to refuse to ratify this.

    It would be different if same-sex marriage wasn’t already legal. But it is.

    Equal rights should never be repealed.
    How would people feel if you could legally refuse to hire blacks.
    Or women could no longer vote.

    Sadder still about this, is how many gays within the PLP supported this. Or were given no choice but to support this. I won’t bother naming them, we all know who they are.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *Or were given no choice but to support this. I won’t bother naming them, we all know who they are.*

      Well , one’s already spoken his part so we know who he is.

      PARTY FIRST , do the right thing 2nd !

  23. Roger Lambert says:

    Simple fix, have no same sex marriage nor domestic partnerships.