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Ministry: Info Sessions On Same Sex Marriage

The Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports has announced that public information sessions regarding same sex marriage will be held on Monday, 28 September and Thursday, 1 October.

“The public information sessions follow as a response to the petition that was presented to Government in May 2015,” the Ministry said.

“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.”

Source: Bernews

Bus driver receives tourism award

A bus driver has been hailed “a tourism ambassador” for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Mark Anderson, better known to many as “Queen of Bermuda” Sybil Barrington, was recently awarded the Visitor Industry Partnership’s Sunshine Award for his tireless work to showcase Bermuda and make visitors feel welcome.

Bermuda isn’t another world

RG: In our opinion [Published in the Royal Gazette Jul 12, 2014]

Same-sex unions solemnised in other countries already impact on civil and human rights in Bermuda as well as spousal benefits and insurance, inheritance and residency issues.

Bermuda cannot simply resort to its default position of putting off until the day after tomorrow what it doesn’t care to deal with today when it comes to such complex and pressing matters.

Continue Reading…

The challenge of being gay in Bermuda

By Carla Zuill, for Bermuda Sun

The month of June signified Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month worldwide. It is observed every year in honour of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which took place in New York City.

On June 24, the Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with the Consulate General of the United States, hosted a panel discussion at the Bermuda College. The standing-room only crowd had the opportunity to talk about LGBT rights and tolerance on the island with the aim of having respectful, open and frank dialogue.

Recently, Carla Zuill spoke with three Bermudians who are openly gay. Each shares a bit of insight into their lives and how they have coped with being gay in Bermuda.

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Showing off a world of Pride

An estimated 12,000 people walked, danced and rode along the downtown parade route capping off 10 days of World Pride celebrations.

The “Queen of Bermuda” came ready to talk politics as well the importance of celebrating World Pride and, unsurprisingly, showed up dressed to kill.

“I’m from a country that at one time it was legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation,” said Sybil Barrington, one of an estimated 12,000 people who walked, danced and rode along the parade route that capped off 10 days of Pride celebrations.

Barrington, clad in tight iridescent pants, a sash and tiara, explained that a little over a year ago the government in Bermuda amended the human rights act to legally protect people against discrimination because of their sexual orientation when they are seeking employment or housing.

“So we are here celebrating that,” said Barrington, who was born in Bermuda and, after establishing a career as a drag queen in New York City, returned there to live.

Bermuda has become a more tolerant place, but as a country they still have a long way to go, said Barrington who walked with the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda.