OUTBermuda Preparing For ‘Ultimate Phase’

May 29, 2019

OUTBermuda said they are “strengthening preparations for the ultimate phase in their campaign for full marriage equality for all Bermudians,” as the Privy Council has given consent to the Bermuda Government to “allow them to proceed to a hearing.”

“Love ultimately must win,” declared OUTBermuda director Adrian Hartnett-Beasley, “While Bermuda’s same-sex couples have been able to celebrate their vows equally under our laws [again] for over six months, we cannot take this hard-won right for granted. This is also the time we prepare well for our final push and bring our case not only to the Privy Council but for the rest of the world to hear.”

Bermuda rainbow gavel timeline 600px Dec 13 2018

Mr Hartnett-Beasley said that “following the Bermuda Supreme Court decision on 17 May 2019 and the Court of Appeal’s decision on 23 November 2019, both of which upheld the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry, the Government of Bermuda is appealing OUTBermuda’s landmark victories to the United Kingdom’s Privy Council.

“The Privy Council is considered the last stop in appeals since marriage equality was first declared legal in May 2017 in Godwin and DeRoche. The Privy Council, in London, has not yet set a date for this hearing but did give its consent on May 27 to the Bermuda Government to allow them to proceed to a hearing [for which the date is not yet set or known.]”

Co-plaintiff Rod Ferguson, whose lawsuit spawned the original Supreme Court victory in this matter in 2017, said: “We always knew this road might take us all the way to the Privy Council. Our team is committed. The support for equal marriage for LGBTQ Bermudians is strong. Our faith in the fairness of the courts has been reaffirmed at every step along the way and we are optimistic about the outcome in London.”

OUTBermuda said

  • “OUTBermuda together with fellow Bermudian plaintiff Roderick Ferguson have successfully retained the representation of Lord David Pannick, Queen’s Counsel to take their case to the Privy Council. Lord Pannick is considered a pre-eminent human rights and constitutional advocate in the United Kingdom, with extensive global experience. See here
  • “The Government of Bermuda this week received their consent from the Court of Appeal in Bermuda to submit their formal Notice of Appeal to the Privy Council; that action will set into motion the rest of the steps and processes and the timing of the hearing in London.
  • “OUTBermuda is applying for their case to be expedited and heard in the Privy Council as soon as possible, to validate the will of Bermuda’s highest Court and to give absolute certainty to all Bermudian citizens and same-sex couples.
  • “OUTBermuda as well as Rod Ferguson and the other successful plaintiffs are proceeding to enforce the Court of Appeal’s Order against the Government for legal costs incurred. Once we are successful at the Privy Council, we estimate that the Bermuda Government will incur approximately $3 million in covering their own legal expenses as well as ours.
  • “To be perfectly clear, today in Bermuda, same-sex couples are fully permitted to secure marriage licenses and have their marriages recognized. This right was declared by the Bermuda Supreme Court in 2017, and upheld by two subsequent court decisions. The ongoing legal battle and final hearing in the Privy Council, however, is necessary to make this basic human right permanent and lasting for all Bermuda citizens.
  • “Human rights advocates and leaders across the British Commonwealth of nations are watching these developments closely. Some experts believe these decisions will set favourable legal precedent on the marriage rights for same-sex couples in many other jurisdictions.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. Kevin says:

    And the waste of more public funds continue …this group will go down in history as the laughing stock of all governments they are not only clueless and have nothing among the 25 voted in to be effective in any of the issues at hand
    25 – 11 actually means 25 blocks of wood will not produce
    New Jobs – new initiatives – a bus schedule that works – less government spending – a school system or fixing of a school building – lower healthcare ( maybe Brown will give back the $1.5 million)
    They need to RESIGN now

    • PBanks says:

      They’re not going to resign but yes this continued waste of time and money is ludicrous. But again, a case of politics winning out over pragmatism/common sense here.

  2. Equality says:

    A government lost in a dark age with no candles, because they don’t know how to make them.

  3. Jah says:

    Truth be told TN Tatem school could do with 3 million dollars

  4. Tony Brannon says:

    The homophobic and discriminatory moves of the PLP are as persistent as “a bad rash”. This is totally repugnant to #HumanRights and is a disgrace. The #LGBTG global community must condemn the Bermuda Government.

    Why would anyone deny rights they have to someone that does not? Certainly not a culture who came from having no rights. Right? Right?

    QC Lord David Pannick will represent at the UK

  5. Jevon says:

    This government was voted into power by a landslide victory. The OBA’s non binding referendum was a water of money knowing that the majority doesn’t want it, and yet Pettingail told to the members of parliament saying that his bill WOULD NOT be used to bring in same sex marriage and he did exactly that. The government is in power to do the will of the people, the government than make laws that the courts shall in force. Not the other way around.

    • What? says:

      The Government can not make laws that contravene the Constitution and our basic rights. Would you be okay with a law outlawing churches or a law that takes away the vote from women, if it was the will of the people?

    • lav says:

      ” The government is in power to do the will of the people, the government than make laws that the courts shall in force. Not the other way around.”

      The ‘people’ did not want interracial marriage. We should reverse that ruling, don’t you agree?

      The ‘people’ did not want to abolish slavery. We should reverse that ruling, don’t you agree?

    • While I don’t agree with the ‘waste’ of money, this is what the Government promised the voting public and this is, ostensibly, what the voting public wants (although I don’t think they truly considered the price tag associated with it). Personally I think it’s important that the Government follow through with its election promise and exhaust all remedies through the courts; this way when the Privy Council passes down its decision, that can be the end of it and I hope at that time the Government respects, accepts and supports the decision. Plus, a Privy Council decision in favour of marriage equality will have far-reaching impact on other territories and countries that use commonwealth decisions to help with their own cases.

      As an aside, it is naive (and irresponsible) to believe that the courts exist only to pass judgment on the statutory law that the Government approves. There are hundreds of cases, with many lists online, but some good examples are:

      Miranda v. Arizona, 1966
      Miranda v. Arizona was an important and landmark Supreme Court case that established the requirement that police advise people in custody of their rights before questioning them. This important Supreme Court case has had a significant impact on how American law enforcement operates. What is now known as Miranda rights are an essential part of police procedure in every state and city/town. This was a very controversial Supreme Court case at the time, as the court was split (5-4).

      Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
      -Brown v. Board of Education is easily one of the most famous cases in our nation’s history. In it, the Supreme Court held that “separate but equal” had no place in public education. The Court effectively ended segregation in public schools saying that separate educational institutions provided inherently unequal educations for white and black students to the detriment of black students. To the Court, those black students were deprived of equal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

      Loving v. Virginia invalidated laws forbidding interracial marriage. The case was brought by Mildred Loving (a black woman) and Richard Loving (a white man) who were sentenced to one year in prison for marrying each other, which was against the law in Virginia. The state of Virginia had a “Racial Integrity” law that prohibited marriages between whites and blacks. This famous Supreme Court case found these “anti-miscegenation” laws to be unconstitutional.

  6. Sense says:

    Our island was founded by Christians and has been run by Christian values for 400 years. This is not about to change. Only a few nations on earth have paved a golden road for homosexual relationships and meeting their demands, and these nations have all descended into pure chaos. Free speech, freedom to express opinion. Facts. Stop trying to force your minority extreme view on everyone else. Go live in another country where you can do it. Marriage by definition and design and functionality is between man and woman. Only in the last ten years has mankind tried to corrupt that. We stand for Christian values and the majority do not want to allow things which are offensive to our beliefs.

  7. Tony Brannon says:

    The courts are there to protect minorities from the abuses of government. The Constitution reigns supreme. The Bermuda Government violated its own constitution with legislation of discrimination “DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS”.
    You cannot “cherry pick” #equality. That is what the PLP has done. They will lose at the Privy Council.
    Same Sex Marriage is here to stay in spite of the politicians pandering for votes from their “CHURCH” base.
    How “UnChristian” it is to discriminate against anyone.
    As the Court of Appeal ruled, no one creed can dominate or intimidate another. That a millennial Premier and his PLP party would discriminate against any minority is shameful. To be fair, there are some in the OBA who are just as shameful. They threw the rights of the #LGBTQ community under the bus, indeed they sent them to the back of the bus. ROSA PARKS must be rolling over in her grave along with MLK, Nelson Mandela and many others.
    The Bermuda government lost TWO Supreme Court cases and indeed case # 3 at the Court of Appeal affirmed Chief Justice Ian Kawaley’s ruling that the government violated the constitution. The Privy Council will see off the Bermuda Government, meanwhile the Bermuda taxpayers will be $ 3million dollars in the hole.
    Get ready for round # 4 of global shame as the media and celebrities condemn this Bermuda government.
    The courts protect minorities – SAME SEX MARRIAGE will prevail.