BBC Release Documentary On SSM In Bermuda

April 18, 2018

A BBC documentary titled “Bermuda’s Change of Heart” explores the island’s laws on same sex marriage, calling the repeal “a radical change of events.”

The documentary’s description says, “In a radical turn of events – Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage.

“In May 2017, Bermudian lawyer Mark Pettingill and his client Winston Godwin won a case in the Bermuda Supreme Court for marriage equality for all people in the LGBTQ+ community. However, less than a year later – a new government introduced the Domestic Partnership Act – taking away the rights of gay couples to marry, and given them instead the option of civil partnerships.

“Governor John Rankin explained that the decision was made to bring together and please the two irreconcilable groups on either side of the debate. The government says they are preserving marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but also protecting the rights of same-sex couples.

Tiffany Paynter with Roderick Ferguson Bermuda April 18 2018 2

“Bermudian native and spoken word artist Tiffany Paynter explores the toll this debate has taken on an island that remains divided. She investigates how this law was overturned so quickly, focussing on the experience of same-sex couples.

“Tiffany meets with Winston Godwin who initially won the Supreme Court case with his husband Greg De Roche. She also meets lawyer Mark Pettingill who fought their case and is now preparing another legal fight against the Bermudian government, with his client Roderick Ferguson. Tiffany also speaks with a same-sex couple who are now preparing to leave the island, Joe Gibbons and Christopher Vee.

“Bermuda is also an island where there are more churches per square mile than any other country in the world. As a result – there are strong, religious attitudes that feed into this debate around rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Tiffany meets with Adrian Hartnett-Beasley who is the leader of OUT Bermuda, the official charity for LGBTQ+ people on the island, and who is also a gay, married Christian with an adopted son.

“Finally, Tiffany speaks to Linda Mienzer about how a debate on same-sex rights has underlying racial divisions.”

You can listen here on BBC’s website.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Brady says:

    This is unfortunate but Bermuda will have to suffer the consequences of her actions. A lesson to be learned for sure.

    • Bermuda_Speaks says:

      ahhh no it wont. Your confusing lust for love. Children are the gift of love.

      • Double S says:

        Hahaha…you really think that all children are a result of love? Hahaha.

      • Mother Theresa says:

        A hahahahahahaha! You can’t be serious!!! That’s so funny it’s sad….

      • Mike Hind says:

        What do children have to do with this?

        We’re talking about marriage. Children aren’t a requirement for marriage and marriage isn’t a requirement for children.

        You are spreading lies. Please don’t do that. It’s bad for Bermuda.

        If your position is strong, why do you have to resort to dishonesty and lies to support it?

      • Brady says:

        Shame you are so ignorant.

  2. Mary Lodge says:

    Bravo Tiffany. Brave, eloquent, measured and proud. Do not give up hope.
    As a teacher in Bermuda for over 40 years I have witnessed the bullying, demeaning, repressive behaviour of your peers, families and society towards LGBTQ students and adults. Enough!

    Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Langston Hughes

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage.”

    And that is what we will be remembered for, even if the law changes again.

    • Bermuda_Speaks says:

      Nope travel more; Bermuda Triangle is what puts this place on the map.

  4. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    “Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage”


    • Mike Hind says:

      You’re proud of this?

      You think that removing people’s access to rights for absolutely no reason at all is “awesomel?

      Shame on you.

  5. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Why are these documentaries and opinion pieces carried by foreign media always so one-sided? Why not interview a cross section of people – pro and con?

    • Double S says:

      They tried to. But your side declined.

      • PBanks says:

        Nothing stopping PM or its supporters from lobbying overseas (or local, even) media that would be favourable to them, to produce a documentary that puts them into a positive light. Hey maybe that NOM group could do it and act as if they’re neutral.

    • Josh Correia says:

      This was addressed in the documentary if you actually listened to it. They can’t present what they don’t have. No one on the side opposing marriage equality agreed to chat with the team. They used a recording from a past press conference held by Preserve Marriage.

    • Vortex says:

      The church should hang its head in shame.

      ‘Good, Christian people’

    • Mike Hind says:

      The NOM… I mean Preserve Marriage… side couldn’t show up, because they don’t actually have a point.

      As per usual, when the time came for them to show the courage of their convictions, something that I recall you think is important, and some integrity by defending their position, they ran away. This is not something new. This is what they do.

      And then they complain that they weren’t represented. It’s dishonest and it’s bad for Bermuda.

    • Anbu says:

      Lmao laverne. A plp member moaning abt something being one sided. Hahahahahahahaha thanks for the laugh. Do us all a favor………retire.

    • Alan says:

      Thank you Mrs. Furbert. I am totally on the same page.

      • Politricks says:

        That’s because you’re ability to listen is nonexistent. They stated they reached out the anti-SSM organisations and the Government for comment and they declined to provide one.

      • Mike Hind says:

        You’re on the same page, even after it was explained that NOM…. I mean Preserve Marriage refused to respond when asked?

        Or did you miss that? Or do you just want to keep the blinders on and baselessly discriminate ‘cuz it makes you feel like a big shot?

        You are trying to protect an unearned privilege simply because it, in your mind, puts you above someone else. This makes you just as bad as all the other folks who fight to keep their privilege.

        Shame on you.

  6. Curious says:

    This is an excellent overview of some of the complexity around marriage equality, diversity and inclusion in Bermuda.

    It is wonderful to hear so many Bermudian voices speak on the subject in this documentary and notable that the proponents of this recent legislation, our Preserve Marriage group and our politicians who voted to repeal same sex marriage refused to be in this documentary.

    Congratulations to Ms. Paynter and all who were willing to speak to her. Your stories are captured for all the world to hear.

    People are listening to our evolving story Bermuda. We collectively own all the publicity our actions generate- the good, the bad and the ugly.

  7. Real Deal says:

    Want me to accept something that was force on my forefathers as slaves? get cracking.

    • Reuben says:

      You don’t have to accept it, we just want the same legal rights as every one else. After all we had marriage equality for how many months and what happened to you??

    • PBanks says:

      Are you referring to Christianity? Because nobody ever forced ‘gay marriage’ on our forefathers…

    • Mike Hind says:

      That’s EXACTLY what NOM and Preserve Marriage are doing… forcing something that was forced on your forefathers as slaves.

      And that thing is religion! They’re trying to force their religion on the rest of our society, even though they would oppose it if it were done to them.

      They do need to get crackin’! Good for you! Stand up for what’s right! Equality for all!

  8. Ken C says:

    Bermuda first ruled for marriage equality but so many were in the closet and did not want to come out, so they canceled it. Why have equality for unknowns?

  9. Andy says:

    There are 196 recognised countries by the UN in the world of which Bermuda is one of them. out of all the countries listed only approx. 19 recognise and support SSM. Bermuda is not setting a precedent instead is fulfilling a moral obligation. No to SSM.

    • Reuben says:

      It is setting precedent when we had marriage equality and then it was taken away. And what moral obligation cause there are a ton of verses in that book so called christians wave around that quite happily ignore.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Dear Andy.
      Instead of looking at the situation as 19 out of 196 why not look at how many had SSM 30 years ago ?

      When you do that you’ll see that the list has been (heaven forbid) GROWING !

      And none of those other places have taken it away . The list will continue to get longer if you haven’t figured it out yet .

    • Mike Hind says:

      This is incorrect. Bermuda IS setting a precedent by repealing Marriage Equality for absolutely no reason.

      Not once has a reason been given to repeal it.

      Your moral obligation is to stand up for what you believe in. And if what you believe in is baseless discrimination that you aren’t willing to defend, then you need to check your morals.

      • northrock says:

        “Not once has a reason been given to repeal it.”

        the reason is “it’s icky” and ‘I’ don’t like it, so everyone else must live by my morals, but don’t you dare try to tell me to live by yours.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Fair enough.

          I’ll amend…

          Not once has a valid, defendable reason been given to repeal it.

    • Mike Hind says:

      In addition, an ad populum argument is a logical fallacy.

      “Yeah, but EVERYONE’S doin’ it…” isn’t a valid argument when you’re 7, let alone when talking about equal rights.

  10. Alan says:

    It packs about as much heat as their so called expose on Appleby. Anybody remember that? In one ear and out the other.

  11. Coffee says:

    When will BBC do a piece on the SSM of any member of any Royal family in the world ?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Here we go again with yet another nonsensical post from “Coffee”.

      What does any of that have to do with what we’re talking about?

  12. northrock says:

    ” Bermuda is not setting a precedent instead is fulfilling a moral obligation.”

    Good to know.
    So, Bermudians are morally obligated to discriminate.

    Still not something you’d want to advertise, but…you don’t care :)

  13. Mike Hind says:

    The same tired arguments. The same cowardly pot shots.

    Why are we supposed to pretend that NOM and PM and their supporters actually have a valid argument again?