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Preserve marriage petition hits 7,000 names

More than 7,000 signatures have now been collected on a petition for marriage to remain defined and upheld as a special union between a man and a woman in Bermuda.

The online initiative opposing same-sex marriage, spearheaded by Concerned Citizens of Bermuda, is claimed by organisers to represent a wide cross-section of the community including “business managers, educators, hospitality workers, pastors and homemakers”.

Members of the Concerned Citizens group presented 6,500 signatures from Bermuda residents to the Bermuda Government in October.

Spokesman Melvyn Bassett said in a statement: “People have falsely accused those who support this petition as being hateful or homophobic — both are far from the truth.

“While we have received a barrage of derogatory comments by some who are in favour of same-sex marriage, we stand united and strong on this issue and we’re very encouraged by the overwhelming support we have received from the general public.

“Because of the rapid growth of the signatures, we were accused of having a discreditable website as more than one person can sign the petition from the same computer.

“This feature was intentional to allow the seniors and other sectors of society who may not have internet service the opportunity to sign the online petition.

“Interestingly, we did identify duplicate entries from those who tried to sabotage our website by entering false names such as ‘Bob Marley’ or ‘Jesus F Christ’ as coming from the same IP address from which the derogatory comments were made. We take the integrity of our data seriously and remain diligent to remove any duplications and all false information.”

The petition states: “We agree that marriage in Bermuda should remain defined and upheld as a special union endorsed by God between a man and a woman. This union recognises and celebrates the natural distinction between a male and female to procreate, to foster moral integrity and to strengthen the family unit and our society. Therefore, we are opposed to same sex marriage in Bermuda.”

The petition can be found at www.preservemarriage.bm