Furbert cancels coffee with married gay man
Government backbencher Wayne Furbert has backed out of a meeting with a young Bermudian who won the right for gay people to marry on the island.
Mr Furbert was to meet with Winston Godwin-DeRoche and others from the LGBT community after the 27-year-old wrote an open letter to him on Facebook, challenging him on his parliamentary bid to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Mr Furbert replied online that he would be “more than happy” to sit down for coffee.
A get-together was arranged for yesterday morning, as reported in The Royal Gazette last week, but Mr Godwin-DeRoche told this newspaper the Progressive Labour Party politician cancelled over the weekend via e-mail.
“No real reason [was given], unfortunately,” he said. “He mentioned the article. I assume he doesn't want the attention from it. I sent him a message asking him to strongly reconsider and that I believe meeting is something we can all benefit from and he has yet to respond.”
Mr Furbert declined to comment when contacted by this newspaper yesterday. “That's my decision,” he said.
He also refused to discuss the Private Member's Bill he is expected to bring to the House of Assembly when it resumes on Friday, which will seek to reverse the landmark May 5 Supreme Court ruling which legalised gay marriage in Bermuda.
Home affairs minister Walton Brown has said legislation will be tabled to protect the legal rights of same-sex couples if Mr Furbert's Bill passes and becomes law.
Mr Brown said it would contain elements similar to the draft Civil Union Bill 2016, which was circulated for “consultation only” by the last government, but “obviously would not be called that”.