Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Human Rights Act amendment will lead to a fairer, more inclusive Bermuda

By Premier Craig Cannonier
There come times in the life of a country when its people have the opportunity to decide what kind of future they want; to build toward something better, to expand freedom, to better protect one another, to leave behind what was not working; to correct a historic wrong or make good an oversight.

The legislation before the House today is one of those opportunities.

The Human Rights Amendment Act contains provisions that will, in effect, prohibit discrimination against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Continue Reading…

New bill is ‘a step in the right direction’

By Owain Johnston-Barnes
Government has formally tabled legislation to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The Human Rights Act currently prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion and criminal record, but the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2013 adds sexual orientation to that list.

…Outside the House of Assembly, dozens of supporters gathered yesterday for a “picnic lunch” organised by the Sexual Orientation Working Group.

The event was held to not only celebrate the tabling of the bill, but to mark the UN International Day Against Homophobia, which was yesterday.

Several members of the crowd wore purple, the colour adopted for the Day Against Homophobia, while others wore purple ribbons and held purple balloons.

A number of attendees also brought placards adorned with phrases including “Feel the Love Bermuda”, “Welcome to the 21st Century Bermuda” and “All Humans have Rights”.

Continue Reading…

Videos: International Day Against Homophobia

Dozens of people have gathered outside the House of Assembly this afternoon [May 17] to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

The day is celebrated around the world and was chosen as on 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders, which the international body said served to end more than a century of medical homophobia.

The event is hosted by Amnesty International, Centre for Justice, Rainbow Alliance, Two Words and a Comma and the Vision Ministry.

Continue Reading…

BIFF presents: Laurence Anyways, in partnership with Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda

We’re excited to announce our partnership with the Bermuda International Film Festival (BIFF) on the screening of Xavier Dolan’s film Laurence Anyways – The story of an impossible love between Fred, a woman, and Laurence, a man who reveals his inner desire to become his true self: a woman.

Check out BIFF’s film guide online for more information!

The film will be shown at 9:15 PM on Sat, Apr 13 at the Liberty Theatre Bermuda.

Buy Tickets

Facebook Event

Bermuda Sun Article

Bermuda Sun Review

Bermuda Sun BIFF 2013 Film Guide

Laurence Anyways in the Bermuda Sun <a href="http://bermudasun.bm/Content/LIFESTYLE/BIFF-2013/Article/BIFF-2013-Film-Guide/9/1303/65315" target="_blank">BIFF 2013 Film Guide </a>
Laurence Anyways in the Bermuda Sun BIFF 2013 Film Guide

BNG & CURB COLLABORATION: Two Words & a Comma

Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda in collaboration with Bermuda National Gallery present a series of weekly, social justice lunchtime lectures during the BNG’s Art & Social Change Exhibition entitled “Eyes on the World”.  We look forward to welcoming you to these enriching learning opportunities.

Please join us for the next in the series of Bermuda National Gallery‘s free lecture series this Wednesday at 12:30:

TIME TO INCLUDE: PERSONAL STORIES, PUBLIC ADVOCACY

Ordinary people have long driven the advancement of human rights around the globe, and Bermuda is no exception. Come and hear about the importance of Bermudian stories and individual experiences in the Two Words and a Comma campaign to include protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in Bermuda’s Human Rights Act.

CURB & BNG 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Location: Bermuda National Gallery (BNG), City Hall, 2nd Floor, Church St, Hamilton, Bermuda
Date: Wednesday, 10th April
Presenter: Suzanne Mayall, Two Words & A Comma

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.

Are we ready?

Yesterday this newspaper [The Royal Gazette] published two stories about the British Parliament’s overwhelming vote in support of legalising gay marriage.

Locally the LGBTQ community welcomed the news, saying “legalising marriage validates a person’s existence and relationship more than people can understand”.

But is Bermuda a tolerant enough society? Could it, emotionally, deal with an issue as contentious as legalised same sex marriages?

Continue Reading…

The right thing to do

February 6, 2013

Dear Sir,

Let’s talk about gay marriage. US President Barack Obama used his inaugural address to show his support on the issue. The UK Parliament, led by Conservative leader David Cameron, has just voted to allow it. Where does Bermuda stand on this? If Bermuda were to allow gay marriage, it would be uniquely placed to benefit from the pending changes to the law in the UK and USA. Bermuda’s tourism industry is suffering, but it is well set up to cater for wedding parties. With our pink beaches, pink cottages and pink shorts, we are already perfectly colour-coordinated to market to the pink pound or the pink dollar. Weddings, whether gay or straight, are generally fairly formal celebrations, in keeping with Bermuda’s reputation as a conservative destination. There are hundreds of thousands of gay couples in the US and UK, many of whom have been together for decades and who are waiting for the law to change. If Bermuda is too slow, we will miss the opportunity to cater to them, as they will get married at home instead. Is this going to be another case where Bermuda is too slow to take the initiative, or are we going to seize the opportunity, do the right thing, and give our economy a much-needed boost at the same time?

Allowing gay marriage is also the right thing to do for gay Bermudians. Straight spouses of Bermudians are entitled to Bermudian status after ten years. Gay life partners have no protected right to even live and work in Bermuda, never mind other rights such as owning property. It’s no wonder that many gay Bermudians live in self-imposed exile overseas rather than have to subject their loved ones to life as a second-class citizen in Bermuda. Marriage is a conservative institution that promotes commitment and social stability. As a straight married man, I feel that my marriage will be unaffected by allowing gay couples to enjoy the benefits that marriage provides. Allowing gay couples to take part in it will make Bermuda a better place to live.

JPS

Smith’s

Source: The Royal Gazette