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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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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”.

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