Govt planning vote on outlawing sexual orientation discrimination
MPs are to vote on whether to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
According to a Government status report marking the first 100 days of Premier Paula Cox’s administration, changes to the Human Rights legislation will be tabled this parliamentary session.
The report, ‘Resetting the Dial’, outlines the progress made by Government since November 1 as well as future initiatives.
It states Government will be: “Developing policy changes which will see amendments on the Human Rights legislation including introduction of unreasonable hardship rules and provisions to enable the Minister to make regulations regarding discrimination on the basis of age or sexual orientation will be tabled in the Parliament during the second term.”
MPs were last asked to vote on the issue in 2006 when former PLP MP Renee Webb tabled a private member’s bill it failed after MPs gave it the silent treatment.
There was a pledge in the 2009 Throne Speech to change the Act “to ensure that no person is discriminated against in Bermuda” but an amendment has not been tabled since then.
Government outlined a further 12 initiatives:
l The continuation of the rent-geared-to-income housing scheme for Bermuda Housing Corporation tenants.
l The Ministry of Education will partner with the Reading Clinic to offer a course for public school teachers. It will begin with lower primary teachers to ensure students with learning difficulties get help sooner.
l Bermuda Hospitals Board will look to control health care costs by establishing agreed limits for hospital costs.
l The Traffic Offences Procedure Amendment Act will be finalised, thereby addressing problems associated with the prompt payment of parking tickets.
l The National Office for Seniors and Physically Challenged will produce a National Strategic Plan.
l The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service will introduce new fire safety legislation to significantly improve the safety requirements of all buildings.
l A Youth Council will help to get insight from teenagers on how to implement the Mincy Report on young black men and other youth-focused programmes.
l The Department of Child and Family Services will finalise policy changes to Bermuda’s adoption laws.
l The Ministry of Health will launch a campaign to promote healthy work environments.
l The Registrar of Companies will continue to put its records online, allowing clients to submit electronic applications and use the search facility 24/7.
l Legislation to ensure the safety of bus drivers will be completed.
l The Bermuda Archives will develop new reading room guidelines for the handling of sensitive documents.
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Separate but equal
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