“The conversation on whether or not men should have the legal right to marry men or whether women should have the legal right to marry women has NOTHING to do with my Christian beliefs.”
We received this heartfelt letter of support from Justin D Brangman, a Bermudian who attended the Ministry of Community, Culture & Sports’ Information Session on Same Sex Marriage on Monday September 28. Thank you Justin.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda strongly condemns the hate speech promoted by Ayo Kimathi at the “African History & Culture Come Alive” event hosted at Liberty Theatre, as reported in the Royal Gazette.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been cited as a human rights abuser by Amnesty International, amongst other human rights organisations. Allegedly playing a video of this man suggesting that members of the LGBTQ community should be subject to the death penalty is equivalent to inciting violence within Bermuda’s community. President Jammeh is not an example of the kind of leadership Bermuda needs, and his model of violent homophobia does not deserve applause.
Mr. Kimathi’s suggestions that homosexuality is a “white sex” crime introduced to Africa by European colonizers is historically inaccurate. There is documentation of normalized homosexuality in Congo, Madagasgar, Ethiopia, Pangwe (present-day Cameroon and Gabon), Ghana, Sudan, South Africa, Egypt, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, amongst other countries. What the European colonizers did import to Africa is homophobia and hateful attitudes towards natural sexual orientations.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda has gathered a variety of information on the topic of homosexuality in pre-colonial Africa and will list articles and books for further reading for anyone interested on their website.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda remains committed to promoting safer spaces in Bermuda for the LGBTQ community. We look forward to the series of discussions on marriage equality on Monday, September 28 and Thursday, October 1.
“These sessions will focus on experiences in other jurisdictions and the current local situation as well as provide an opportunity for questions and answers.”
Video of the petition being presented in May 2015:
Community, Culture and Sports Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said, “When I received the petition from Mr. Tony Brannon and supporters, I assured them that Government would take into consideration the proposed request allowing same sex marriage in Bermuda.
“The Department of Human Affairs has presented to Cabinet research regarding what other countries have enacted in legislation and what steps can be taken. At the public information sessions we plan on sharing what we’ve learned as well as give our citizens an opportunity to respond.”
Minister Gordon-Pamplin added, “We want to encourage community engagement and dialogue around the subject. It is important after reviewing the research about what other countries have done that we, in Bermuda, have frank and honest dialogue about same sex marriage.”
The information sessions will be held on Monday, 28 September at the Berkeley Institute and Thursday, 1 October at Bermuda College North Hall. The sessions begin at 6 p.m.
In response, Tony Brannon — who started the petition — said, “It’s a start. Everyday we don’t make this happen is a day lost for human rights and tourism.”