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Lecturer to speak on gay rights in the UK

Visiting human rights lawyer Nicola Barker will speak tonight [Aug 15] at the Bermuda College, in a public talk on the implications of gay rights in the UK.

The Kent Law School lecturer’s talk coincides with the graduation of the college’s last law students to pass through the partnership arrangement between Kent and the Bermuda College.

Dr Barker is due to speak from 6pm to 8pm at the college’s North Hall theatre on how gay civil union laws in the UK could affect religious practices there.

Source: The Royal Gazette

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

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.”

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Rainbow Alliance praises church stance

By Owain Johnston-Barnes

The Rainbow Alliance have disputed a claim by Opposition Leader Marc Bean that gay marriage would lead to moral disruption.

However, the group agreed with Mr Bean’s assertion that same sex marriage is inevitable — something the Opposition Leader described as “unfortunate”.

The statement also praised the “respectful manner” in which both Grant Gibbons and the Seventh-day Adventist Church spoke on the issue, saying: “They offered open arms to all individuals, which is in line with the Rainbow Alliance’s focus on providing safe spaces for the LGBTQ community.”

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Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda’s Response to ISSUES Program

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like to acknowledge the respectful manner in which Dr Gibbons and the Seventh Day Adventist Church spoke on the topic of homosexuality during the ISSUES program. They offered open arms to all individuals, which is in-line with the Rainbow Alliance’s focus on providing safe spaces for the LGBTQ community.

We agree with Marc Bean’s assessment that same sex marriage is inevitable in Bermuda, but reject all heterosexist assertions that such an event will cause moral disruption. The PLP has not yet arrived at a party position. The official position of the current government was clarified a few weeks ago by Premier Craig Cannonier, who has stated that marriage equality will not be pursued while he is in power. Premier Cannonier’s leadership is not permanent, and Bermuda will continue to take steps towards equity for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.

Bermuda has a long way to go in addressing the heterosexist and sometimes homophobic attitudes displayed in reaction to the recent Human Rights Act amendment, which will remain a cause that the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will campaign for through education and outreach. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will continue its focus to provide safe spaces for the LGBTQ community members and allies.

See also: Bernews Article, Royal Gazette Article

Human Rights Act Amendment Passed by Parliament: Our Statement to the Press

Bermuda, 18 June 2013 - The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, would like to applaud the government’s decision on Friday, June 14th, to pass the amendment to the Human Rights Act to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We are proud of all the brave voices who spoke in favour of the amendment and of protecting the fundamental human rights of the LGB community.

This legislation would not be possible without years of campaigning by countless activists and groups, particularly Dr. John Stubbs, Two Words and a Comma, Centre for Justice, the Allen Vincent Smith Foundation, the Human Rights Commission, and Amnesty International Bermuda. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda sincerely thanks all of these allies.

Based on the emotional, confused, and sometimes offensive tenor of the debates that took place surrounding the amendment, it is evident that there is still work for us to do in the Bermudian community to combat homophobia, improve understanding, and address misconceptions. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will continue this important work, while continuing to provide safe spaces for the LGBTQ community members and allies. The LGBTQ community will not be shamed, silenced, or condemned and we hope to work together to create equity for all of Bermuda’s citizens.

Human rights – a human obligation

By Jeremy Deacon
It has been a long time coming, but at last sexual orientation has been added to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Now the Island has, in this regard at least, moved into the 21st century. It is a mature decision and the MPs need to be congratulated…

As a country, it is time to follow our elected leaders and preach — and practice — greater tolerance, not just to those of a different sexual orientation, but to everyone.
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Browne Evans would have been disappointed with PLP’s ambivalence on Human Rights Act, says her daughter

By Jonathan Bell
Human rights champion Lois Browne Evans would have been disappointed by the Progressive Labour Party’s ambivalent stance on the Human Rights Act, according to her daughter Tina Evans Caines.

An amendment outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation goes before today’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

Speaking just days before National Heroes Day, Ms Evans Caines recalls her mother — Bermuda’s first National Hero — staunchly backing legislation, such as 1994’s Stubbs Bill, that had profound implications for gay rights.
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