The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is disappointed but unsurprised at the passing of the Domestic Partnership Act by the House of Assembly and the Senate. This legislation creates a ‘watered down’ version of rights, leading to a separate-but-equal status under the law. Ultimately, no separate-but-equal measure allows for equality or justice.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love and support for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community in response to the referendum on marriage equality. We have always maintained that a referendum is not the appropriate vehicle for this kind of human rights issue, and the failure to get enough of a voter turn-out proved this exercise to be a colossal waste of taxpayer funds.
While many countries have deemed marriage a heterosexual-only institution, over 76 of them also include anti-LGBTQ legislation that endangers the lives of LGBTQ people. This is not an example to follow. Bermuda is a much smaller community than the 20+ countries that have already changed legislation to provide marriage equality. The referendum results show an opportunity for more education around LGBTQ issues and equity. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda now renews our call to urge the Government to show leadership on this issue. We will continue to advocate for marriage equality but we now expect the courts to quickly fill the vacuum left by the politicians’ cowardice.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is grateful for an end to the divisive and often-hurtful campaigning that this exercise has inspired. The discourse has included homophobic and transphobic attacks on the humanity of LGBTQ people through intellectually dishonest and sometimes hateful propaganda.
Particularly, we want to tell the young LGBTQ community that the island’s majority failing to speak for them does not mean that they are in any way unworthy. You are amazing and deserve love without constraints within a supportive society. We want to tell the LGBTQ Bermudians that could not vote on their rights because they have been forced to leave for more accepting communities: we miss you, we love you, and we want to make home a safer place. LGBTQ family, you matter, and love will ultimately win.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will remain committed to creating safer spaces and advocating for equity for the LGBTQ community.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is made up of a diverse group of young Bermudians that are involved in many areas of other social justice advocacy and community work. There are no official spokespeople and all statements are written collaboratively. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is not a charity and does not seek funding. For more information visit www.rainbowbermuda.org
It’s the Wednesday before Valentine’s Day… Come out, meet and greet, LOVE who you are, and BE YOURSELF! ♥
Rumba°r Lounge & Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda present Rumba°r Rainbow Wednesdays: a fun, LGBTQ-friendly, wider community welcoming social event (bring your friends)!
DJ Lady Blazian will be back again providing you with groovy house, pop, r&b and reggae beats. Rumba°r will supply the drinks and eats, and Rainbow Alliance will have some very special WORLDPRIDE giveaways! See you at Victoria Grill/Rumba°r Lounge, February 11 2015, from 6-10 PM.
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.
By Owain Johnston-Barnes, for The Royal Gazette
A same-sex couple was turned away from several rental apartments and treated with hostility by Bermuda Immigration, it has been alleged.
The past month has surely been exciting for Bermuda’s LGBTQ community! Bermuda’s Government finally made the decision to amend the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation as protected grounds from discrimination in terms of employment, goods and services and housing.
Here’s a timeline of some of the events that have led up to this point:
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”.
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:
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
February 6, 2013
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.
Source: The Royal Gazette
My goal in writing this letter is to demystify the notion that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are some sort of “other”, less deserving of protection because of our sexual orientation. This notion that we do not deserve protection from discrimination like the rest of the inhabitants of our little island is not only harmful, but dangerous. Harmful because we must walk through life in Bermuda knowing that some of our people wished that we (LGBT people) did not exist. Dangerous because we have no recourse when blatant injustice is perpetrated against us.