Rainbow: “Shocked At Contradictory Comments”

March 7, 2018

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda said they are “shocked at the contradictory comments made in the House of Assembly regarding attracting more LGBTQ tourism” adding that they advocate for an intersectional approach to equality and “both the Government and Opposition have failed in this regard.”

Their comments follow after discussion of LGBTQ tourists in Parliament, with OBA Deputy Leader Leah Scott saying that while she is “not a supporter of same sex marriage” the “LGBTQ community spend money, and they spend big money.”

Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons responded, saying that “when you compare Bermuda to many of the destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda is far in advance of many of our competitors” and “the message that we will continue to push is that Bermuda is welcome to all.”

The Rainbow Alliance said, “If the Government seeks to make Bermuda more hospitable for the LGBTQ community, it should start with its own citizens.

Audio extract of some of OBA Deputy Leader Leah Scott’s comments:

“With the recent passage of the Domestic Partnership Act [DPA], the Government of Bermuda has made it patently clear that it has little interest in the well-being of LGBTQ individuals,” the group said.

“Shrouding this legislation under the label of a ‘compromise’, it is evident that the Government of Bermuda caved to pressure by a local charity with political aims.

“Indeed, a right-wing anti-LGBTQ group based in the US, National Organization for Marriage [NOM], has publicly taken credit for their collusion with Bermudian anti-LGBTQ groups to achieve the DPA.

“NOM has also in the past sought to, ‘Drive a wedge between gays and blacks,’ as quoted by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, and it is evident that this strategy was employed in Bermuda, forgetting that there are many Bermudians that are both Black and gay.

“RAOB advocates for an intersectional approach to equity and equality in Bermuda, and both the Government and opposition have failed in this regard.

“The fact that the Bermuda Government has enshrined discrimination against same-gender loving couples into law cannot be softened or spun by a weak attempt of both the ruling administration and the opposition to discuss attracting ‘pink dollars’ to Bermuda.

“By removing the primacy of the Human Rights Act in relation to the DPA, the Government of Bermuda has shown its blatant disregard for the legal protections countless individuals and local organizations have spent years advocating for.

“This exchange in the House of Assembly was disingenuous at best and hypocritical posturing at worst, as an attempt to undo the damage created by the swift, damning, and harsh criticism of Bermuda from the international community.

“While the RAoB does not support the ‘Boycott Bermuda’ movement, we understand why LGBTQ people would choose not to spend their money in visiting a place where they are seen as separate but equal in the eyes of the law.

Audio extract of some of Minister Simmons comments:

“The DPA has created a stigma that Bermuda will likely never be able to completely rid itself of, no matter the amount of marketing dollars put into a spin campaign.

“In an industry in which word of mouth both makes and breaks success, the Bermuda Government has failed not only Bermuda’s LGTBQ community first and foremost, but the Bermuda hospitality industry as a whole.

“Marriage equality has no effect on opposite-gender loving couples. Perhaps the Home Affairs Minister should follow the logic supplied by the Minister for Works with regard to ATVs: If it doesn’t affect you directly, you don’t get a say.”

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Comments (33)

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  1. numb says:

    How could anyone be shocked at this lot?

    • mixitup says:

      Funny I said this about the last Gov’t…who were to cowardly to address this issue..

      • wahoo juice says:

        Well they let the court decide. How come you get married in church and divorced in court? You could have left it at that but no now the international attention is heating up and you are too stuck in trying to control other people that you could not care less about the ramifications to our industries.

    • Zevon says:

      I agree. The government are two-faced hypocrites, but we all knew that.
      Well, some of us knew.

  2. Banana says:

    The feeback that the government will receive from this will be interesting. Starting some international dialog will hopefully be helpful.

  3. Warlord2 says:

    Nothing shock’s me with those people running the show

  4. rumsoak says:

    What a bunch of numpties

  5. Mary says:

    It’s unfathomable thar a government is so regressive Did MLK not teach us anything

  6. BobTheBuilder says:

    Amazing people are still complaining about these lgbt rights like we didn’t have a referendum/vote that showed Bermudians are not interested in “same sex marriage anything”. So then being this is a democratic country yall needa lay back and ride the majority rules wave or go to a place where its allowed and accepted. Providence Town, San Francisco, or oh oh oh my personal favorite Hotlanta.

    If I was a religious smoker of pot why would I go to an Asian country that has strict laws and be upset they not changing them for me etc…(just saying, and no I don’t smoke pot it was just an example)

    • Earth watch police says:

      But builder why are they now encouraging them to come here.

    • JAOS says:

      It is not a democracy. And FYI the referendum results were declared invalid due to a lack of participation.

    • God'sTruth says:

      big up selector!! Well said

    • Mike Hind says:

      Do you really not get that the results of a non-binding, unanswered referendum are completely irrelevant and, by definition, cannot be used as an argument?

      Or is it that you DO get it and just don’t care about having an honest discussion?

  7. Me says:

    Where is David Cryptocurrency ? On vacay chasing the golden goose again?

    • Spanner breath says:

      Or still sitting out that new bus,with the invisible transport minister.unless theirs a photo op.

  8. Community First says:

    This appears to be a very weak effort to reduce the damage done to Bermuda by Preserve Marriage, Foreign Influence/Funding, Local Politicians and our current Government.

    Nothing should shock us more than the separation and segregation of our community based upon sexual orientation and their pursuit of marriage equality – which was achieved.

    Taking away rights recently granted to our community members is one for all history books and we will never know the actual damage done to our brand and tourism product. Most people will just quietly move away or not come to Bermuda.

    Minister- you can undo this damage by retracting the legislation, allowing the court ruling to stand and encouraging our community to embrace diversity and inclusion so we can welcome each other and all to our shores.

    If not, you have earned the resulting fallout for it is how you treat others that tells us more about your true nature than your words.

    We have shown ourselves to be a community of exclusion on this matter.

    • Legalgal says:

      It’s not damage control but damaging. It’s a hipocritical, unprincipled money grab. After his bullying veiled threat aimed at BTA’s Dallas how can he shame himself with this. Put your money where your mouth is and vote for equal rights. What did he vote?

  9. Kevin says:

    Lets be Real
    We don’t have Leader’s because Leaders encourage , Leaders encourage complete buy in and Leaders care
    What we have are a bunch of politicians who are doing this for personal gain
    Sad isn’t it

  10. Ric says:

    it sounds like the old story, we appreciate your patronage just don’t sit at the counter. #boycottbernuda.

    • Reality check says:

      What’s sad is the fact that they honestly don’t see how absurd they sound ! They successfully alienated the LGBTQ community both here and abroad . At least be smart enough to shut up and not make it worse !

    • Legalgal says:

      Will they have to sit at the back of the tour bus?

    • Deflection says:

      Sad, isn’t it? No difference in saying “you’re black, you can’t sit there”. This Government is sick, interested in nothing but themselves. I hope those that voted them in recognise that when they struggle to feed their children in a few short years time.

  11. Cow polly says:

    How much more patronizing are these speeches going to be from the HOA? Please just sit down and be quiet until you learn to respect diversity in all its forms

  12. hmmm says:

    Totally agree with RAoB and minister Burch in regards to this matter. If you are not part of the LGBTQ community, you do not get a say as it does not affect you! We live in a society where equal rights should be granted to all people and if a certain segment of our society feels they are not getting those rights then they should speak up (as they have) and in-turn be given the same rights as everyone else. But clearly the PLP government does not have a unified approach to its style of governance. A handful of minister will do one thing and they other handful of minister will do another thing that blatantly contradicts the actions and decision making process of the other ministers. And clearly the PLP MPs need a lesson on ethics. Would you be against a white person and a black person getting married in 2018? Of course not! So why is this any different. Rid yourself of your religious bias and have some empathy for them. Religion and state should never mix.

  13. LMAO says:

    Can’t WAIT to get off of this hypocrytical island who is so FAKE and f***.
    Thanks to all the church goers who are still getting drunk, sniffing your coke & having extra marital affairs – you teach your children well!
    Cannot wait to watch your economy ** your whole island!
    WELL DONE!!!

    • Rasta says:

      Sound like you have more hate than anyone. You might need to worry about your Country instead of BDA flower child.

  14. John Eddy says:

    Reality check
    March 8,2018
    Jamahl Simmons is now an expert on marriage and gambling ( ulterior motives most
    people believe ) now thinks he can attract same sex partners to
    the island ( for their money )
    Dream on Jamahl. Hundreds of millions of people are reading all
    the negative comments about Bermuda. GOOD LUCK trying to undo all
    the harm done

  15. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    Can someone please tell me what visitor rights are being violated when they arrive in Bermuda..? How are they being discriminated against..? Are they being asked to stand in designated lines..?are they asked to leave certain premises..? Are they being denied access to our retail outlets..? Are they not being welcomed to our church services..? Please enlighten me as to where they are being discriminated against..?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Can someone please explain what a straw man argument is?

    • Bob Greenpoint says:

      You’ve told their entire community that they are not worthy of the same marriage rights as yours. You don’t think that’s discrimination? You don’t think that would make them decide not to visit Bermuda?

    • Anbu says:

      Why would they go to a church service where the pastor will call them an abomination and are going to hell? Cornerstone ring a bell?

  16. Bob Greenpoint says:

    Unbelievable. I cannot wait to see some LGBT-oriented ads appear in New York or San Francisco and get defaced and shared on social media. I will personally do so if I come across them.