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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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Videos: Rainbow Alliance Hosts Open Forum

[Updated with videos] The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will be hosting an open forum for discussion and support at Queen Elizabeth Park today [Aug 17] from 12pm to 2pm.

A spokesperson explained that the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is a collective of people supportive of the rights and struggles of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and queer community of Bermuda.

The open forum will give people an opportunity to express themselves and their stories through whichever form they choose, including spoken word and music, the organisation said.

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Bermudian and lesbian

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.

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Island’s ‘in dire need of a gay and lesbian centre’

Professional drag queen Mark Anderson this week gave homophobic Bermudians a dressing down for being intolerant and hypocritical about gays.

He told the Bermuda Sun that Bermuda is in dire need of a gay and lesbian centre where homosexuals could go for counselling and sex education.

He said the need is greatest for teenagers who are struggling with their identity — but often have nowhere to turn.