OBA’s Cannonier: ‘Put The Money To Better Use’

December 14, 2018

“Three times the courts have ruled in favour of same sex marriage” and “it is time this Government got the message and put the enormous amount of money needed to pursue this case to the Privy Council to better use,” OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said.

His comments follow after Government confirmed yesterday that they applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal to the Privy Council in the UK concerning the recent court judgment in the same sex marriage legal case.

Bermuda’s courts have already, in effect, ruled in favour of same sex marriage on three occasions; same sex marriage was initially legalised following a Court decision in May 2017, the Court ruled in favour of it again in June 2018 when a challenge was brought to the Domestic Partnership Act, and in November the Court of Appeal dismissed the Government’s appeal. The case now looks set to head to the Privy Council in England, which functions as the highest and final Court of Appeal for Bermuda.

Bermuda rainbow gavel timeline 600px Dec 13 2018

Mr Cannonier said, “Government’s decision to spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars appealing the same sex ruling is a kick in the teeth to Mrs and Mrs Bermuda whose shoulders are burdened by the weight of new taxes.

“And at a time when schools do not even have working fire alarms, how can Government possibly justify even further expenditure on this issue? People must start taking notice of – and question – Government’s priorities.

“Before the announcement of this appeal, there were messages doing the rounds about a possible march on Parliament today [Friday] in order to pressure them into taking further court action. Did Government cave in to the threat of the kind of marches they helped to orchestrate while in Opposition?

“The One Bermuda Alliance has stated that this was a matter for the courts and that it would abide by the court rulings. Three times the courts have ruled in favour of same sex marriage.

“It is time this Government got the message and put the enormous amount of money needed to pursue this case to the Privy Council to better use – starting with working school fire alarms.”

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Comments (82)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    If the PLP GOVERNMENT doesn’t care about our fellow LGBT Bermudians, I wonder who else they don’t care about??

    • Warwick says:

      Teacher, Students, Civil Servants, Anyone who isn’t a member of the party or aren’t friends or family (Except immediately before and during a general or by election, after the votes are counted they loss all importance). I think that list covers a majority of those they DO NOT care about.

    • red rose says:

      vulnerable young people appearing before the courts?

    • REAL TALK says:



      • Depressionbda says:

        Let’s be honest – the oba did not oppose the original court case, it was the plp that changed the law

      • Scientist says:

        Hahaha your so right the oba didn’t care for this love the same sex idea and now what they had a change of heart omg. Craig is full of it lololol.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “And at a time when schools do not even have working fire alarms, how can Government possibly justify even further expenditure on this issue? People must start taking notice of – and question – Government’s priorities.”

    Because it was an election promise (at least it was in Hamilton Parish) and Government is living up to its election promise.

    • dondererd says:

      Not sure whether your comment is sarcastic or not – either way, it is an appalling way for Government to behave over an issue of minorities. Government is there to protect minorities.

      • Good One says:

        not this bunch of mis fits all out for themselves. As for Hamilton Parish its a personnel agenda item

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Does it matter if my comment is sarcastic or not? The truth is that certain PLP MPs DID promise to wipe out same sex marriage as an election promise.

        As I have said many times before, change the word “gay” or “homosexual” for the word “black” and and change the words “same-sex marriage” for inter-racial marriage”. Now go back and read what government has to say and tell me what you think.

        An example would be ‘[Inter-racial] marriage was initially legalised following a Court decision in May 2017. Then in JMune 2018 the PLP Government sought to abolish [inter-racial] marriage by introducing the Domestic Partnership Act, making inter-racial relationships less than marriage. The Court then ruled in favour of equality of [inter-racial] relationships in June 2018, less than 1 week after the Government had sought to abolish them. That decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Government now wishes to apply to the Privy Council for a judgment outlawing [inter-racial] relationships in Bermuda.’

        Need I say more?

    • question says:

      It was not an “election promise”. There is nothing whatsoever in the PLP 2017 election manifesto that says anything at all about this issue. So let’s not pretend that is any reason for doing this.

      They did however promise to balance the budget by 2019, in their written election manifesto. Perhaps you could spend your energy holding them to that promise.

      • Onion says:

        It was a stealth election pledge. They couldn’t put it in the main platform because they’d be rightly labelled bigots. Instead it was spread in person and on WhatsApp and other media.

      • Curious says:

        Implementing domestic partnerships and NOT marriage was definitely part of the platform. Keep in mind that in July 2017, marriage equality was the law of the land and this administration had to pass legislation to try and remove it. If the DPA legislation was part of their platform, then fighting for it in the courts surely has to be part of what they promised.

        The issue of same sex marriage remains a matter of conscience for our members. We accept that same sex couples should have similar legal benefits as heterosexual couples, save for marriage, and will introduce legislation to achieve this aim. The issue of same sex marriages has been a divisive one due to the lack of leadership by the OBA. Their failure to lead is an example of why they are unfit to lead. Our position takes into account the divisive nature of the issue and strikes the right balance”

        • question says:

          They said “Public Education is our top priority.”
          They said they would “Balance Bermuda’s Budget by 2019.”
          They said they would “ensure that current and future laws or policies do not expand or encourage discrimination.”

          • pickle fork says:

            they say bit they lie with a strait face and some lemmings just believe its gospel

      • PBanks says:

        As Curious mentions, “save for marriage” was a prominent part of their manifesto. Hence them quickly putting together the DPA as an alternative to Furbert revising his Matrimonial Causes proposal.

        • Question says:

          Their manifesto does not say they would try to override to constitution.

          • PBanks says:

            Sorry for late response; I think the idea of the DPA was to allow them to have something in place that didn’t override the existing elements in the Constitution. I think they were hoping that LGBT groups and allies would be satisfied with the workaround.

  3. aceboy says:

    Don’t look at the Arbitrade debacle, don’t look at our crisis in the schools…LOOK OVER HERE! We are doing this for “real Bermudians” who marched when we told them to march!

  4. Unbelievable says:

    It makes no sense. Has the church lobby told them to do this or else suffer at the polls? It’s not like they will lose the next general election anyway.

    • PBanks says:

      The PLP was always going to win the 2017 election. The additional sweetening of the pot’ helped make it comprehensive.

  5. Dunn juice says:

    Airport done in OBA. This will hurt the PLP, get ready OBA..
    Need trash trucks.
    Need buses.
    Schools in a shamble.
    Burt travel expenses.
    1.2 mill to the doc.
    Guess the burt coin is paying off.

  6. DeOnion says:

    This, and the watering down of the children’s act in such a way that vulnerable children are not guaranteed representation in court, tells you everything you need to know about this Government. Appalling.

  7. Chris Nelson says:


  8. red rose says:

    It really is astonishing – the BUT lays out a laundry list of problems (including as CC states, a lack of working fire alarms) and here we have a Government using taxpayers money to fight a minority issue instead of investing where the money is actually needed.
    I really hope that the people who use the schools with no fire alarms and who voted for this Government are seriously questioning the priorities

  9. Real Deal says:

    Better use? it is your fault we haven to fight for our future and our children’s future. then to come on here and say put money to good use. this is the same thing Oba/ubp did with the airport selling us out.. we don’t want it that’s why we fight. don’t force things down our throats like your part did

    • Anbu says:

      Oh you mean like you party is doing with this issue? Dumb as a box of rocks you plp lot are. The airport was the best deal possible as proven multiple times. Even your premier admitted it but nope, you guys r just stuck on stupid. And it isnt “we” dont want it, its “you” dont want it. But i guess its cool considering “WHO” is wasting your money. Mark my words tho, you will suffer more in the end. As usual. But u still love them for it.

    • kevin says:

      Real deal you are really clueless……take responsibility for the mis management of Government and capital projects this my friend is soley on the plp they threw away millions and millions of $$$ when the OBA came the writing was on the wall for Job closures and Government that couldn’t pay its bills they had no option but to burrow more …if you think otherwise you live in a bubble. The airport was an absolute brilliant idea but you want to believe it was a huge profit center …makes sense you have believed everything else they spewed out…The plp will doom this country history will repeat itself

      • Wahoo says:

        Thank God we got the airport deal done before plp got in. Can you just imagine the alleged “cost overuns” and materials going “missing” and so on? It would be Port Royal x 1,000!

        • Toodle-oo says:

          I firmly believe that the OBA knew that if they lost the next election they had to do everything in their power to protect the ‘people’s finances’ and get any new airport redevelopment permanently out of the hands of the PLP. It was after all the final, and ultimately greatest , chance to pull another Berkeley stunt. I don’t know much about materials ‘going missing’ with the Port Royal project but the stories about Berkeley are legend . How did that go in the end , 60% over budget and the only explanation was that ‘we made some changes’ ?
          Now with the first qualified budget report in 4-5 years it looks like the platinum period is back again .

  10. watching says:

    Cannonier could have legalized SSM when he was the Premier. And he didn’t. He and the OBA had the opportunity to sort it out when they were in power. And they didn’t. He has no room to talk.

    • David says:

      …..but they did….

    • dondererd says:

      they did not appeal – May 2017 the courts ruled against the Government. The OBA did NOT appeal ….. sorry to put those pesky facts in the way

    • red rose says:

      It was the PLP that reversed the courts ruling by introducing the Domestic Partnership Act. The OBA accepted the ruling of the court in may 2017.

    • Question says:

      They didn’t have to. It is already in the Bermuda constitution. You’re the ones arguing against the constitution.

  11. Dockyard Lackey says:

    You can make an addition to the list of notable dates published. 2019 – Bermuda becomes the laughing stock of the Civilised World.

    • Anbu says:

      We already are thanks to these muppets

    • red rose says:

      …. again

    • Real Deal says:

      thats what you see it as but i see it as Bermuda fighting the cia initiative. Bermudan can wait for you sheep to figure out whats going on thats why we fight now.

      • Kevin says:

        Real Deal that’s pretty thought provoking …Bermuda fighting CIA that is just brilliant the only organization that is dooming Bermuda is the plp it will become more apparent over the next 18 months you and I and all of Bermuda must hope is that there is a group of Bermudians who can start to work towards a positive growth….who they are I don’t care but the plp just cant do it

  12. Bigotry thrives in Bermuda says:

    When the narrtative can be used for ones own cause then its rolled out to that causes benefit.

    If not–well we are seeing the result.

    Equality for all is not a concept that is embraced in Bermuda at present.

    We can stick our head’s in our beautiful pink sand–but the rest of the world is seeing us for what we are…

  13. Carlton says:

    As Laverne said ya got what ya voted for

  14. Mark says:

    The sheep will follow them all the way to fourth world status! Stock up on Pedigree.

    • Ok says:

      All you bloggers must be low income people because the rest of us are doing just fine under PLP reign. All the way PLP! PLP all the way!

      • Anbu says:

        Sure you are lmao. And very typical to make fun of the “low income people” as u so put it. Considering how the plp were SUPPOSED to take care of the “low” income people but they arent, im guessing you must be one of their high earning friends or family. Go plp all the way to the bleddy poorhouse.

      • Ok says:

        You are not the original Ok…and I don’t approve this message.

      • PBanks says:

        You do your ‘side’ zero favours by insulting people in that manner.

      • red rose says:

        do you not stand with low income people as well or it that too low brow?

      • steve says:

        PLP supporters all suffering from Stockholm syndrome

  15. newperspective. says:

    This is unfinished business as far as the majority is concerned! The majority of the voters who participated in the non-binding referendum were against same sex marriage. Both houses’ of the legislature voted and the majority were also against same sex marriage.

    Does minority rule, or majority rule in a given society with a democratic process? Only way to find out is to take this to the final court of appeal. Not that it is going to make any difference, but the people of Bermuda need to know whether their vote really was of any value against external interest.

    • Anbu says:

      Seems the minority rules in this instance or are u just blind. Oh wait……

    • Chris Nelson says:

      Ever heard of the concept of ‘Tyranny of the majority’? One of the most important responsibilities of a democratically elected Government is protection of minorities.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      If “majority rule” were to apply without question then the Ontario Human Right Code (on which our Human Rights Act is based) would never have been enacted and the European Convention on Human Rights (on which our Constitution is based) would never have been enacted.

      The concept of “majority rule” without limits is a recipe for tyranny and terror of a minority. Imagine how black people in America would fare if your concept of “majority rule” was embraced. Imagine how the indigenous people of Australia or New Zealand or Canada would fare if your concept of “majority rule” were embraced.

      Sometimes the majority must stand up for the minority if we are to have “human” rights. Or are you suggesting that gay people are not human?

    • red rose says:

      Nothing tops the constitution – and this is a constitutional issue where the constitution of bermuda rules. Unless – or until – the constitution changes, the privy council will go the way of the other three courts.

    • LaV says:

      Why are some “true” bermudians against equality?

  16. george says:

    Its quite simple. The Government will take it to the Privy Council (the highest court available) they will lose and then they can turn to their electorate and say, “It is not our fault. We tried our best to do what you asked us to do but we were denied by the courts. There is nothing else we can do at this time.”

    • question says:

      Not really denied by the courts. Denied because nobody, including the government, is above the law. The law applies to everyone equally. Thankfully.

    • Seriously??? says:

      Then they will seek to make Bermuda independent under the guise that it is the only way to ensure that we have the legislation from the ‘duly elected government’. SMH.

    • newperspective says:

      The government-of-the-day was elected to carryout the will of people. The OBA did not recognize this(didn’t listen, just like the UBP) and failed in its bid for a second term. THE WORST BEFEAT IN THE HISTORY OF PARTY POLITICS!!

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Obviously too young to remember .
        1985 UBP 31 Plp 7 IND 2

        THAT was the worst defeat .

      • Double S says:

        So if the ‘will of the people’ is to discriminate against others then it must happen?

        Actually the 1980s election which left the PLP with only 7 seats was the worst election defeat in the history of local party politics. Know your history.

        Can you cite one area of improvement beore your so called ‘landslide electoral victory?’

        GDP is contracting again, employment income is down, business confidence is rock bottom, 6 consecutive months of declining retails ales, teachers are striking, buses don’t work, trash pick-up cut down to one day a week, a return of qualified audits on the consolidated fund, real estate market worse than flat, no balanced budget as promised this year (meaning more debt) etc.

        Tell me again why you are so overjoyed at the PLP’s majority? Rhetorical question as anyone with a brain knows the real reason why you guys remain overjoyed despite all the aforementioned negative indicators.

        • newperspective says:

          The only reason the UBP held power for 30 years is because they needed dual-seat constituencies to pull-off its first win in 1968 and to hold on to power. Finally,1998 the PLP won the government-of-the-day. And every election thereafter has been under single-seat constituencies.

          My records show a downhill trend loss of seats for the UBP from 1972 to 1998.The only exception is the 1985 snap-election when the UBP won 31 seats, PLP 7 and NLP 2.In my opinion, this result was only because of internal leadership differences in the PLP camp which resulted in 2 key members being expelled.

          The UBP’s 5 seat pick-up from 1983 election was short-lived.1989 results, UBP 23, PLP 15, NLP 1 and IND 1, and then it was downhill again until 1998.

          The only remaining political life the UBP old guard has is its participation and support for the UBP/OBA.

          For the record, I’m not a political party supporter. I believe party politics is doing more harm than good for our island home.


          • Toodle-oo says:

            While I agree with your point about the damaging effects of party politics , particularly in a small place like ours a win is still a win and a loss is still a loss.
            Hopefully (in time) people will learn that 24-12 was NOT the worst loss or biggest landslide in history and will quit repeating it . Lies will always be lies.

            • newperspective says:

              Seats held by the PLP are now 25, and OBA 11. The downhill trend continues!! The UBP/OBA needs a new hymn book. Their playbook strategies and best track record of managing Bermuda’s economy (and I agree!) is not working.

              Like I said before, the trend line of seat loss has been consistent, except for the blip in 1985.

              • Double S says:

                Are you really stating that the OBA and the UBP don’t have good records on managing BDA’s economy and that somehow the PLP does?

                Yeah, you’re not a partisan hack. Of course you aren’t…

                • newperspective says:

                  If you read my comments of who’s best to manage Bermuda’s economy is suggesting the PLP does a better job, then you’re incorrect. The OBA or UBP/OBA, whatever suits you, do have a better track record.

                  Under Farmer Brown’s leadership ( who once said time to sow new seedlings of prosperity), Bermuda racked-up $1.4 billion in debt, OBA $1 billion.

                  Now the PLP back in power with, yet another qualified audit under their belt, we’ll wait and see the results for 2018/2019. Based on current economic indicators, most likely, the debt will increase.

                  Personal, I don’t think either party really cares about Bermuda’s debt, just as long as they can get back into power and milk the proverbial cash cow!

      • red rose says:

        as I noted earlier this is a constitutional issue not a Government one. In this case, the constitution reigns supreme.

      • LaV says:

        “The government-of-the-day was elected to carryout the will of people. ”

        in other words, the people of bermuda are bigots, and want to remain that way. The people of bermuda do not want any foreign money on the island. Foreigners are ‘dirty’ and steel jobs. Bermudians are self sufficient and have plenty of money to buy big TVs and cars.

        some Bermudians do not understand basic economics.
        some bermudians are racist, homophobic and xenophobic.

        bermudians don’t realize that the internet is worldwide, and their secrets are not secret :)

    • red rose says:

      and waste how many millions in the process?

  17. Stevie says:

    So govt want to go to the top? Hang on how many people in govt in a same sex relationship…quite a few. So wasted money isn’t it? Education, buses, trash trucks & more all on the plp sometime we get to it list. Wake up people. Plp doing same stuff as last time in power. Nothing.

  18. As Predicted says:

    Of course the plp is appealing. The only way to placate their core is to fight this losing cause to the very end. This time, however the cost will not only be money. It’s sending a message to the wider LGBTQ community. Take note.

    • Real Deal says:

      The Message is the Voice of our culture and values. The message is ( Solid Like The Rock.We Will Fight!)

      • Politricks says:

        Maybe it is your culture and values to hate on people that differ from you, but don’t think for one minute that your bigotry, intolerance and hatred are shared by all Bermudians.

        • Scientist says:

          Sorry aint no hate but 2 grown a$z hairy men in a bed is just……. find yourself a woman….. please

          • LaV says:

            Scientist, you spend a lot of time thinking about hairy a*** on men, and what they do in bed.
            Hate to break it to you publicly like this, but, you’re gay.

          • Double S says:

            Find yourself an education first…

            And why are you fantasizing about two hairy men in a bed?

          • Mike Hind says:

            No, that’s absolutely hate. 100%

      • Nonsense says:

        This is a politically driven action designed to pander to the PLP base.

        If values were so important–how about all the kids born out of wedlock, why aren’t the church’s screaming at the top of their lungs about this–and where is the Beloved Preserve Marriagge–why not encourage people to first get married, that will at leat get them one step closer to being able to preserve it!!!!

        This action does not represent Bermuda’s culture.

        Lets stop the bigotry in Bemruda–on all fronts–not just the one that supports the narrative of some.

        Equality for all Bernudians!

        • PBanks says:

          If Preserve Marriage was anything more than just a political pressure group to thwart the ‘gay agenda’, they’d have long ago publicly promoted couple’s workshops and or family counselling.

          They remain with their singular mission that has nothing to do with preserving or encouraging existing or new marriages.

      • LaV says:

        “The Message is the Voice of our culture and values.”

        Yes indeed.
        The message to the world is: bermudians are Homophobic, racist and xenophobic!
        Bermudas culture is one of greed.

      • As Predicted says:

        Your descendants will spend the rest of their lives apologizing for you.

  19. Connected Community says:

    This is a powerful way to fracture our community into more tribes. Us versus them.

    In Bermuda politics, we appear to ignore issues of Diversity and Inclusion and simply proceed until arrested or only halt when we are ruled by the Court.

    Thank goodness our Constitution continues to serve us well as it helps manage the personal desires of our politicians who appear more motivated to stay in power and serve themselves rather than to take the high road and serve others in Bermuda.

    Power to all our people and our Constitution!