Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda Statement to the OBA, the PLP’s Marc Bean, and the Press
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like to congratulate the One Bermuda Alliance on their victory in the recent election and praise the Progressive Labour party for being gracious in their defeat. We hope that both parties will be able to work together to address the issues facing Bermudians. The Rainbow Alliance is committed to seeking social acceptance, legislative protection, and equality for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer) community and their allies. Both parties expressed willingness to amend the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation during their pre-election campaigning. LGBTQ people are disadvantaged under the current status quo, and this must be addressed. We now implore the current government to follow-through with these promises and create legislative change.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would also like to publicly address the new leader of the PLP, Marc Bean. Mr. Bean has previously gone on record with his derogatory personal opinions of the LGBTQ community, stating: “tolerance does not equate of acceptance of behavior.” He also stated that as a home-owner, he does not believe he should have to rent to a homosexual if he disapproves of their lifestyle and that they should instead buy their own homes: “In other words, gay people can go and buy a mansion, and they could have the biggest rainbow circle of gay parties and ‘bashments’ on their property.” These words contain the insensitivity and latent homophobia that the Rainbow Alliance was created to combat on the island. To have them come from the leader of the opposition party threatens to legitimize his views in the eyes of the public, and undo any progress Bermuda has made towards joining the rest of the modern world’s tolerance and respect for the LGTBQ community.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like Marc Bean and the opposition PLP to clarify their position on the amendment to the Human Rights Act, or the bringing forth of a new legislation to protect all the people of Bermuda, regardless of their sexual orientation. As opposition party leader, Mr. Bean’s personal opinions may hold great sway over the PLP’s position on this and other LGBTQ equality issues going forward. He holds the responsibility for helping move Bermuda forward, and we hope that he will help stem the unacceptable negative public opinion of the LGBTQ community. We look forward to a response from Mr. Bean and the PLP, and hope to gain them as allies going forward. We would also like to encourage Mr. Bean and any other unsure politicians or members of the public to reach out to groups like ours and familiarize themselves with the very real social injustices perpetrated against the LGBTQ community in Bermuda.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda can be contacted at RainbowAllianceBDA@gmail.com, or online at our website www.RainbowBermuda.org and our Facebook page Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda: http://www.facebook.com/RainbowAllianceBermuda.