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Gay rights campaigner Paul Bennett, 44, of London stands outside Parliament on the day of the Commons vote on gay marriage.
Gay rights campaigner Paul Bennett, 44, of London stands outside Parliament on the day of the Commons vote on gay marriage.

Yesterday this newspaper published two stories about the British Parliament’s overwhelming vote in support of legalising gay marriage.

Locally the LGBTQ community welcomed the news, saying “legalising marriage validates a person’s existence and relationship more than people can understand”.

But is Bermuda a tolerant enough society? Could it, emotionally, deal with an issue as contentious as legalised same sex marriages?

Judging by the fuss over a gay cruise coming to the Island, the apparent slow progress in extending equality legislation to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well a sense that the churches have a stranglehold over politicians on the issue, the answer is probably no.

Leaving aside the issue of a long-term gay partner not having the same rights as a married couple in the event of the partnership breaking up, or even the value of the pink pound or dollar, if Bermuda is to be able to call itself a go-ahead society, it must demonstrate real tolerance of issues like this.

Some will call it a sin, others will call it an act of love, either way we should respect each other’s choices. Being gay and in a same-sex marriage does no one any physical harm after all, so there is no real effect on society, no extra costs.

The opposite is probably true. It is difficult to imagine a public relations backlash over the taking of such a mature decision.

This newspaper is running a poll on its website, www.royalgazette.com about whether same sex marriages should be legalised. Although not scientific it will be interesting to see the result.

What do you think? E-mail acting Editor Jeremy Deacon — jdeacon@royalgazette.bm

Source: The Royal Gazette

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