TV host tackles same-sex marriage row in Bermuda
Bermuda's on-off relationship with same-sex sex marriage was a talking point on a top American TV comedy show.
Trevor Noah, host of late-night The Daily Show, used a court reversal of a ban on gay marriage in a comic send-up that included a reference to the notorious Bermuda Triangle.
The South African-born comedian told the show's 1.5 million viewers that after legislation is passed on the island, it gets lost in the Bermuda Triangle then recovered by a deep-sea diver who returns it to the House of Assembly.
Although he got the process wrong — Mr Noah and his “correspondents” are branded “The World's Fakest News Team” — many saw the funny side although he was criticised by some disgruntled viewers.
Bermuda hit the airways as Mr Noah featured a segment on same-sex marriage rights around the world in Thursday's show on the Comedy Central channel.
He said: “Although many are worried about the future of LGBTQ rights, let's take a moment to celebrate how much progress has been made, and not just in America, but around the world.”
Clips showed stories about Taiwan, Australia and Germany as same-sex marriage was legalised.
But in footage about Bermuda, viewers heard how the country had “legalised same-sex marriage for a second time”.
Gay couples again won the right to marry this month when Chief Justice Ian Kawaley upheld a constitutional challenge against the Domestic Partnership Act, which replaced same-sex marriage with civil unions.
Mr Justice Kawaley ruled the sections of the Act that revoked marriage equality were invalid.
An earlier court judgment paved the way for same-sex marriage but was overturned by the Domestic Partnership legislation.
Mr Noah told his audience: “Yeah, that's right, Bermuda legalised same-sex marriage twice, yeah, and I know that seems weird but that's just how legislation works in Bermuda.
“You see what happens is, you pass it in Parliament and then it goes to the triangle, where it's lost, then a deep-sea diver finds it and takes it back to Parliament.”
The routine was accompanied by a graphic that included an image of Sessions House, with arrows pointing to a triangle then to a picture of a diver and back to the home of the House of Assembly.
The joke earned laughter from the studio audience but brought mixed reactions from Twitter users when it was later posted on the social networking site.
Tahj Smith commented: “This wasn't funny.
“It's funny how America is more in the Bermuda triangle than we are but for some reason Americans think Bermuda is actually in it. Please do some research.
“And on our Parliament, do some research on that too, thanks.”
But Joann Smith wrote: “I'm Bermudian and that was funny as hell.”
Carlos Suarez added: “You can see Trevor Noah was so proud of that joke.”
Mr Noah was named one of the 35 most powerful people in New York media by entertainment publication The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 and 2018.
Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2018,
Mr Noah, The Daily Show and Comedy Central were asked for comment, but they did not reply by press time.