Log In

Reset Password

Group criticises domestic partnerships plan

A gay rights group has backed a human rights watchdog's view of the controversial Domestic Partnership Act as a backward step.

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda said it agreed with the Human Rights Commission that the proposed legislation created a “watered-down” version of rights for gay couples.

The alliance added: “Ultimately, no separate but equal measure allows for equality or justice.”

The group spoke out after Walton Brown, Minister of Home Affairs, tabled the Domestic Partnership Act, designed to recognise gay unions — but stop far short of equal rights to marriage.

The HRC said on Monday that the proposed Bill was “a de facto removal of rights from same-sex couples”.

And the watchdog warned the Act could mean that Bermudian domestic partnerships would not be recognised abroad.

The HRC also made recommendations for amendments to the proposed legislation and said that “controversial issues” should be given a consultation period longer than two weeks.

The Rainbow Alliance added it was “disappointed” that the Government had “taken the approach to remove marriage equality from the law”.

The group said members of the island's LGBTQ+ community were entitled to the same rights as everyone else on the island “including having their loving, committed relationships recognised both locally and internationally”.

It added: “It is unfortunate the Government sees fit for Bermuda to become the first jurisdiction globally to have marriage equality rescinded.

“This is not the international reputation that our country should strive for.”

The organisation said it was committed to providing safe and inclusive spaces in Bermuda.

The alliance added: “Proposing legislation that allows for further division between the LGBTQ+ community and the Bermuda community at large does nothing to help move Bermuda forward to become a more just and equal society.”

Preserve Marriage — which launched a well-funded campaign against same-sex marriage — kept its head down over the controversy.

Repeated calls and e-mails to representatives of the organisation were not responded to.

Mr Brown unveiled the proposed legislation earlier this month.

The draft Bill came six months after a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for same-sex couples to marry in Bermuda.

Mr Brown described the Act as a “compromise piece of legislation” at a public meeting this month.

There have been six same-sex marriages in Bermuda so far.

A total of seven banns have been posted, and a maritime same-sex marriage is pending.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 23, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 23, 2017 at 12:54 am)

Group criticises domestic partnerships plan

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon