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Bermudians urged to sign new petition

Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche marry (Callie Nicole Photography)

Preserve Marriage has urged its supporters to sign a petition against the landmark ruling which legalised gay marriage in Bermuda.

The organisation, which lost its charitable status in the wake of that judgment, placed the petition at three different venues on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, telling followers on social media: “All of Bermuda, including those who voted against same-sex marriage, come out to sign … in any one of three locations.”

The venues were Calvary Gospel Chapel in Southampton, Heritage Worship Centre in Hamilton and St George’s Youth Centre.

The online flyer said: “Calling Bermuda to sign the community appeal against Justice Simmons’s single ruling of same-sex marriage. One will not decide for our children. Preserve Marriage has fought for Bermuda. Now it’s time for Bermuda to fight to preserve marriage.”

It stated: “Government won’t appeal, so we the people will.”

The group was due to hold a meeting on Monday (June 12) for those in support of appealing the decision, with members told in an e-mail that Preserve Marriage’s lawyer Delroy Duncan would “give an update on next steps”.

The e-mail said American preacher Tony Evans, a Christian pastor who believes same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue, would be present to “encourage all”.

The message also revealed that Preserve Marriage’s potential liability for costs in the same-sex marriage Supreme Court case would be on the agenda.

The Preserve Marriage e-mail to its members said going after the group for legal fees would “silence your voice”.

“Lawyer [Mark] Pettingill, representing Godwin and DeRoche — who ended up getting married in Canada — after bringing same-sex marriage to Bermuda, is now trying to claim their legal fees from Preserve Marriage Bermuda and its supporters to attempt to cripple us financially.”

Preserve Marriage has not responded to an e-mail request for comment.