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Today’s Throne Speech; Sexual Orientation: Our Statement to the Press

As a collective of people supportive of the inclusion and recognition of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community in Bermuda, the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda are encouraged by the OBA’s pledge to amend the Human Rights Act (HRA) to include sexual orientation and age as grounds for protection from discrimination. The expansion of the HRA to acknowledge and prevent discrimination faced by people based on their sexual orientation is a crucial step towards making Bermuda a more inclusive and accepting community and it has our full support.

The amendment of the HRA has been consistently promised since 2004 and has yet to come to fruition. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda urges the government to follow-through with this legislative change as quickly as possible. Combating discrimination requires more than just a change in the law, it requires an adjustment of attitudes which we hope to see modeled by the leaders of our country and community. The time has come where homophobia should not and will not be tolerated from anyone, particularly from our role models.

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will continue to campaign for further policies to combat homophobia and transphobia. The Bermudian LGBTQ community experience discrimination based not only on their sexuality, but also their gender identity and The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will continue to advocate for increased legislative inclusiveness. We hope that Bermuda’s law-makers will eventually join other nations in extending further equal rights to the LGBTQ community.

This legislation would not be possible without years of campaigning by countless activists and groups, especially Dr. John Stubbs, Two Words and a Comma, the Allan Vincent Smith Foundation, the Human Rights Commission, and Amnesty International Bermuda. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is proud to be counted among these groups, and would like to also thank Centre for Justice and The Chewstick Foundation for their unwavering support.

Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda Statement to the OBA, the PLP’s Marc Bean, and the Press

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like to congratulate the One Bermuda Alliance on their victory in the recent election and praise the Progressive Labour party for being gracious in their defeat. We hope that both parties will be able to work together to address the issues facing Bermudians. The Rainbow Alliance is committed to seeking social acceptance, legislative protection, and equality for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer) community and their allies. Both parties expressed willingness to amend the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation during their pre-election campaigning. LGBTQ people are disadvantaged under the current status quo, and this must be addressed. We now implore the current government to follow-through with these promises and create legislative change.

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would also like to publicly address the new leader of the PLP, Marc Bean.

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Right and Left

When I was asked if I wanted to contribute any words to this event, I struggled with the idea of what I wanted to say. Somehow, I wanted to offer more than just the idea that ‘gay people are people too’. The notion, in and of itself, seems so blindingly obvious that to restate it in a public forum seemed almost trite and platitudinous. Of course gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and all of us who falls anywhere on the sexual spectrum are people. We are conferred as people the minute we arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into the world. We bring with us all the rights that we, as human beings, have earned by our very existence.

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