Published On: Wed, May 31st, 2017

Bermuda divided on same-sex marriage

A group called preserve marriage is pressuring the government to appeal a Supreme Court decision that legalizes same-sex marriage.

bermuda-same-sex-marriage-3HAMILTON – Loud chants of “one woman, one man, we need to take stand” rang out in the Bermuda capital yesterday as thousands joined the group, Preserve Marriage, to pressure Government to appeal a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that legalizes same-sex marriage.

And equally defiant that “Love wins”, members of the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda came out to state their case.

On May 6, in her ruling in a case brought by gay couple Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche, Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said same-sex couples in Bermuda had the right to marry. She said the common law definition of marriage discriminates against same-sex couples based on their sexual orientation, and contended that was inconsistent with the Human Rights Act.

The Government has announced that it will not be contesting the ruling. But several speakers on the Preserve Marriage platform said the administration had a duty to press for a review of the court’s decision.

“We are not to be bullied into silence, and we want to encourage Bermuda to stand for marriage,” one speaker told the crowd.

The group got support from Opposition Progressive Labour Party MP Wayne Furbert, who is set to table a private members’ Bill aimed at making a case for marriage to be defined as being between a man and woman.

He warned the Government to listen to the voice of the majority: “This year is an election year — you better listen to us!”

Rainbow Alliance member Josh Correira told the Royal Gazette newspaper that the large protest staged by Preserve Marriage unfortunately mirrored public sentiment in Bermuda, and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender-Queer plus community were hoping that, over time, attitudes would change.

“It’s certainly not going to happen overnight, and it’s definitely something we at the Rainbow Alliance will be working to help facilitate in the years to come, ” he said.

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