Pastor Sylvia Hayward-Harris yesterday criticised those who use religious arguments to deny human rights.
Speaking at a public forum on the issue of Human Rights and Sexual Orientation, she said: “There’s something seriously wrong when we discriminate against someone who is another human being.
“I’m here as a believer in Jesus and what he had to say about love and justice. He spoke a lot about what is right for us and he didn’t say anything about homosexuality.
“The people who are the most vocal are people who have been discriminated against, and that really disturbs me.”
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Our first event, held August 17, 2012, was a total success! We had over 100 people turn up throughout the two-hour open forum, with dozens of people taking the microphone to speak or sing. We heard members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community tell their stories and express themselves, as well as many supportive, straight allies who demonstrated the importance of changing the mindset of the community towards this marginalized group.
Check out the gallery!
Bermuda was told in no uncertain terms yesterday afternoon that the human rights of people who are gay, transgender or bisexual are non-negotiable. About 80 people turned up at Par-la-Ville park for the first open forum of the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, a new organisation.
When I was asked if I wanted to contribute any words to this event, I struggled with the idea of what I wanted to say. Somehow, I wanted to offer more than just the idea that ‘gay people are people too’. The notion, in and of itself, seems so blindingly obvious that to restate it in a public forum seemed almost trite and platitudinous. Of course gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and all of us who falls anywhere on the sexual spectrum are people. We are conferred as people the minute we arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into the world. We bring with us all the rights that we, as human beings, have earned by our very existence.
[Updated with videos] The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will be hosting an open forum for discussion and support at Queen Elizabeth Park today [Aug 17] from 12pm to 2pm.
A spokesperson explained that the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is a collective of people supportive of the rights and struggles of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and queer community of Bermuda.
The open forum will give people an opportunity to express themselves and their stories through whichever form they choose, including spoken word and music, the organisation said.
My goal in writing this letter is to demystify the notion that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are some sort of “other”, less deserving of protection because of our sexual orientation. This notion that we do not deserve protection from discrimination like the rest of the inhabitants of our little island is not only harmful, but dangerous. Harmful because we must walk through life in Bermuda knowing that some of our people wished that we (LGBT people) did not exist. Dangerous because we have no recourse when blatant injustice is perpetrated against us.
On Friday, August 17th from 12 – 2pm the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will be hosting an open forum for discussion and support at Queen Elizabeth Park.
A spokesperson said: “The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is a collective of people supportive of the rights and struggles of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and queer community of Bermuda, with the common goal of providing spaces for positive, grassroots dialogue.