U.S. LGBTIQ Group: ‘Don’t Boycott Bermuda’

February 18, 2018

The US-based LGBTIQ rights group OutRight Action International said a “misguided reaction is unfolding” to Bermuda’s recent legislation, and have called for people to not boycott Bermuda, saying the “campaign stands to hurt rather than help” and have called for people to “instead learn how to empower local organizations and the movement there.”

OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern said, “Bermuda became first in the world to legalize and then revoke same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples no longer have equal rights to marry and are only able to access a civil union. This ruling is a step backwards for equality.

“However in response to this decision a misguided reaction is unfolding — a call to #BoycottBermuda. The online campaign is spearheaded mainly by people in the US and Europe, who believe that a tourism boycott will show the Bermudian government that repealing same-sex marriage was a mistake.

Graphic created and posted by the group

Dont Boycott Bermuda Hashtag Feb 2018

“To be clear, the demand for this boycott is not coming from grass-roots organizations in Bermuda. In fact, LGBTIQ Bermudians are coming out against the boycott.

“This campaign stands to hurt rather than help the LGBTIQ community in Bermuda. This boycott, in line with almost all boycotts that do not start locally, is uninformed and ill-advised.

“It could increase discrimination against local LGBTIQ people, who may very well be used as scapegoats for any negative impact on tourism and the economy. Not to mention the consequences for LGBTIQ people who themselves work in the tourism industry.

“People, and the media, in the US and Europe ought not to push their own agendas and instead listen to the priority of LGBTIQ groups on the ground.

“This simple but important rule is central to the way that OutRight functions and engages in enabling social justice. We consult, listen to, and are guided by local leaders who are best placed to inform strategy and programs to bring about change.

“Without listening to voices from the ground we all stand to do more harm than good. I ask that you #DontBoycottBermuda and instead learn how to empower local organizations and the movement there.”

According to their website, “OutRight seeks to advance human rights and opportunities for LGBTIQ people around the world by developing critical partnerships at global, regional, and national levels to build capacity, document violations, advocate for inclusion and equality, and hold leaders accountable for protecting the rights of all LGBTIQ people.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. Real Deal says:

    no please do your boycott stay far away very far away

    • Still Laughing says:

      Typical idiotic, homophobic, xenophobic response I expect from someone who only lives to hate what they don’t understand.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        You just proceeded to call him a list of names yet you’re saying he’s the one full of hate? I don’t agree with Real Deal but I do find your response to him a little ironic though, especially since you assume to know what he/she does or doesn’t understand.

        • northR says:

          Nothing to add? sit down and shut up.

          • Enchanted, I'm Sure says:

            Actually, Time Shall Tell spoke the truth in that comment. Can’t argue with logic… then tell ‘em to shut up. Censorship.

  2. Rocky5 says:

    Totally agree.

  3. Loquats says:

    Thank you for this news piece. Thank you OutRight Action. The Bermudian LGBTIQ community needs support and a boycott is not the way to support the grass roots folks for SSM. If people really want to change to have SSM legal, there are other ways to advocate for it.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      eh no on really cares…

      • Mike Hind says:

        That’s a very privileged position to be able to take. Lucky you,

        Not sure why you are ok with us, as a society, actually harming people… or why you don’t care, but… shame on you.

  4. Watchman says:

    I marvel….I’ve seen so much attention, organization, lobbying, etc being exercised on behalf of SSRs, but never seen the same effort being raised against modern day slavery, racism, prejudice (all other forms). Seems some can put more emphasis on sexual orientation then the color of a man’s skin. Crazy huh?
    How about repatriations for all the wrongs done after it has been proven that certain races and families benefited from slavery, even in Bermuda.
    Even a sex-based agenda gets more fight from people the Economic Equality.


    • Anbu says:

      There we go. Reparations again. So in other words you want something for nothing. Nope. It wont happen. Do what every other person on this planet has to do and work for what you want. Considering bermuda is such a conservative religious place, reparations arent owed in any way shape or form. Your god said slavery was ok. They owe them nothing.

      • PBanks says:

        I disagree with the crux of Anbu’s point because when reparations was made to families of Holocaust victims, nobody dared to suggest that they got something for nothing.

        Regarding reparations for the descendants of slaves in the Americas, well it doesn’t get off the ground as no European country (nor the US) is willing to dive into the discussion. It’s up to the lobbying groups from the Americas region to try and continue to convey their message, to the powers that be.

    • PBanks says:

      Watchman, nothing’s stopping you from joining or leading the charge to get the discussion on reparations as a front-burner issue. If the original inhabitants of Australia could, why can’t the descendants of African slaves?

      No reason why both can’t co-exist. There’s no need to try and deflect and downplay from the marriage equality argument.

    • Real Deal says:

      Because the whole agenda is to weaken the black family unit. Blacks have been on the rise after the crippling affects savory had on the black family unit. This agenda is out here to mask the problems we as a people are still trying to fix and undo the progress the black family has made. The Black Community needs STRONG families that produce Strong Children. I appose anything that seeks to weaken our movement forward.

      • Mike Hind says:


        Giving people the right to marry will do absolutely nothing to the “family unit”.

        Please stop spreading lies.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Most of us fight against those things, too. We’re the ones trying to make things better, unlike Preserve Marriage and their ilk, who are trying to hurt people for absolutely no reason.

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    Oh, what great advertising we are getting!

    • Not Bermused says:

      Yes, isn’t it charming. No one really cares? I bet Auntie and Uncle, who work in our tourism sector, will when hotel occupancies dip below the prescribed Collective Bargaining Agreement levels during the high season.

      • Cranberry says:

        Um – this year… The PLP couldn’t organise a p-ss-up in the proverbial…

  6. me says:

    this sounds like a funded fake group paid for by preserve marriage

  7. Cranberry says:

    I believe that they should actually flood Bermuda with visits – maybe those nervous locals will eventually realize that there is nothing to be afraid of here, and actually some good people to meet and some good money to be made!

  8. Greggers says:

    This is Astroturfing.

    In what world would a rights advocacy organization change its mission to encourage tourism to a destination that actively works against that organization’s mission? Will they be putting out a pro-Malaysia tourism logo soon too?

    • Real Deal says:

      i am waiting for the pro-MiddelEast tourism logo soon. They dont have to guts but want to come and bully Bermuda

  9. Tomas says:

    Just my opinion: The BTA using social media for their SSM campaign only feeds the boycott types. As individuals BTA staff hopefully are free to voice their own opinion on SSM but as an an organization that is funded by taxpayers BTA should keep their campaign off social media. BTA should not be soliciting SSM opinions on Facebook to pass on to the Government, let local organizations that are not funded by taxpayers do the work.