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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.

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

Campaigners welcome gay rights vote result

Gay rights campaigners in Bermuda have welcomed the British Parliament’s overwhelming vote in support of legalising gay marriage.

British MPs yesterday backed a draft law on the issue by 400 votes to 175. The legislation, which would come into effect next year, is still several stages away from becoming law.

“[We] are encouraged by the UK Parliament’s support of the legalisation of gay marriage,” The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda said last night. “We hasten to add, however, that this is not the end of the struggle for equality.”

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

‘Gays need more than a change in the law’

(Bermuda Sun) WEDNESDAY, NOV. 7: Government’s plans to rewrite human rights law to protect gay people from discrimination does not go far enough, campaigners said on Tuesday.

And the Rainbow Alliance — a pressure group set up to campaign for gay rights — said that if Government is to rip up the current human rights law and draft a new Equality Act, it should also use the time to work to cut anti-gay sentiment in Bermuda.

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Rainbow Alliance Responds To Throne Speech

(Bernews) The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda — a newly formed collective of people interested in helping make Bermuda a safer space for LGBTQ people — said they welcome any change to Bermuda legislation which will extend basic human rights and protections to people in Bermuda.

The group was responding to comments made during last week’s Throne Speech, in which the Governor said: “Your Government has made a determination. Justice is about fairness and equality of access for all. Bermuda does not have that standard and it is to our collective discredit as a democratic country in the 21st Century.”

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Gays to be covered in new human rights bill

FRIDAY, NOV. 2: Government will address sexual discrimination with a new bill that will offer protection for a range of characteristics including sexual orientation and age.

Governor George Fergusson made that announcement in this morning Speech from the Throne calling the current Act “outdated” for a 21st century democracy.

In the 2012 Throne Speech Government said it would look at “the feasibility of introducing an Equality Act to address the outstanding areas of discrimination, in particular, discrimination related to sexual orientation.”

Continue Reading: Bermuda Sun