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Three strikes and you’re out

Dwayne Robinson

The Government sustained another legal defeat as the courts rule in favour of same-sex marriage. We have heard both sides of this issue and everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs.

However, every citizen is owed all the rights and privileges afforded to them in the land they are born. How can marriage be only of the Church for a man and woman, when a legally binding contract is attached to it? You become bound to that person in the eyes of the state, not just in eyes of the Church.

This contract makes marriage fall in the jurisdiction of the state and no longer just a religious ceremony. Therefore, it should be made available to every member of society regardless of race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation. Our human rights laws are set up this way. Why wouldn’t that extend to marriage, a legally binding ceremony of the state.

If religion wishes to monopolise it for itself, the Government should strip it of all legal connotations and allow it to be just a Christian ceremony. We can all then bind ourselves legally in a different union that is equal across the board — not marriage for one segment and domestic partnerships for another. That’s discrimination, regardless of how it is explained or broken down.

This issue is polarising for the people of Bermuda and I am aware of how precious people’s beliefs can be. However, I wish to put forward a question: is this battle for same-sex marriage what Bermudians need?

I ask this because the Government has suffered three defeats on this matter, using the people’s resources. They are now considering jumping back into the fray again, which will run the people’s bill even higher. Is this a proper allocation of funds in a country with a dwindling bus fleet, rising cost of living, declining GDP, struggling trash-truck fleet and a youth development centre in need of renovation?

The amount paid to this British barrister was anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000. Is obstructing consenting adults from choosing who they wish to marry worth that massive price tag? People on both sides of this issue should agree we have much bigger issues that need public funds.

Three strikes and you’re out! I urge the Government: no more!

Let this be the end of this embarrassing crusade and let’s channel our money in the right direction.

I urge us to look past the things that divide us and towards the issues that unite us. We all want better for our children — a better education system, an efficient public transportation system, superior job opportunities, and a lower cost of living.

We must stand together against these problems as one community or our descendants will look upon us poorly for our petty squabbling. For these issues to be remedied, the Government must balance the budget and cease delegating much needed resources to a battle it has clearly lost.

I will wait keenly and hope the right decisions are made.

Dwayne Robinson, a co-host of the political satire podcast It’s That Type of Party, is an Opposition senator. The views expressed in this opinion are his and not endorsed by the One Bermuda Alliance