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UK lawyer: Same-sex marriage likely to come to Bermuda one day

Human rights lawyer Nicola Barker
Human rights lawyer Nicola Barker

By Jonathan Bell

Same-sex marriage will likely make its way to Bermuda, but probably not any time soon, according to a UK law professor.

Human rights lawyer Nicola Barker, due to address Bermuda College graduates on the topic, told The Royal Gazette that gay marriage was becoming a world trend.

“That will probably be the case in Bermuda. I don’t know enough about Bermuda’s political situation to predict if it’s imminent. I would suspect it would take a lot of work by gay rights campaigners.”

The legalisation of gay marriage in Britain came as a surprise especially as it occurred under the watch of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, Dr Barker noted. The Prime Minister has said he expects other countries will follow the example of the UK’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

Asked if she saw a case for same-sex marriage promoting homosexuality, Dr Barker said: “I don’t think so. My own view is I don’t currently support it because I think marriage is too conservative.”

She added: “It’s a mistake to see the gay community as a monolithic organisation with one agenda. It’s the same as any other community.”

The senior lecturer at Kent Law School will present certificates to Bermuda College’s final graduating class of Kent Law students. This year marks the last in Bermuda College’s decade-long partnership with the school.

Her 2012 book ‘Not the Marrying Kind: A Feminist Critique of Same-Sex Marriage’ examines the issue in jurisdictions around the world.

The early gay liberation movement was sceptical of marriage, Dr Barker pointed out. She described her book as “a look at the conversation within the gay and lesbian community, whether we want marriage, whether it’s an institution to be celebrated”.

She said she’d been following reports on Bermuda’s same-sex marriage debate that attended recent human rights amendments, particularly comments by Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean. He called gay rights an attempt to “turn civilisation upside-down”.

Dr Barker’s August 15 lecture will examine the impact the UK’s same-sex law has had on religion.

 

Source: The Royal Gazette

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