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People want to stay in ‘dark ages’

Bermuda has not evolved and people want to stay in the “dark ages”, activist Tony Brannon claimed last night as people overwhelmingly voted against same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Speaking to The Royal Gazette at midnight, with 11 regions having completed their first count, ten their second and four their third, the campaigner said he refused to give up until the final count was in. But he added: “Obviously it's a very disappointing result so far, very disappointing for equality. It saddens me that Bermuda has not evolved.

“The people want to stay in the dark ages, that's their choice, but it's very sad. What else is there to say?”

While noting that he is no lawyer, he said: “We're going to have to go to the courts. People are incapable of moving into the 21st century.

“Human rights need to be dealt with in the right way,” he added, pointing to the Supreme Court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage in the United States.

Yesterday morning, the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda acknowledged the outpouring of “love and support” for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community in advance of the referendum on marriage equality.

“The results of this referendum are non-binding and no matter how it turns out, we will be grateful for an end to the divisive and often hurtful campaigning that this exercise has inspired,” the group stated.

“Regardless of the results, the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda will remain committed to creating safer spaces and advocating for equity for the LGBTQ community.

“Our approach towards justice has always been one of intersectionality [tackling interlinked systems of oppression] and love.

“We hope that following this referendum, the significant amount of resources and energy that have been dedicated towards campaigning can be redeployed towards the many issues that are currently devastating our community.”

Speaking to this newspaper before the count began, activist Shari-Lynn Pringle stressed that the “work is never done” regardless of the referendum's outcome.

“There is still so much work to do in Bermuda: there is gender identity, gender expression, gender issues that were my intention to tackle before the marriage equality issue came up.

“There is still more work to do depending on what decision the Government makes because it will determine what level of work we have to do on marriage equality.”

And she added: “The Government is in a quandary and the courts are actually going to decide what is going to have to happen.

Pictured left to right- Hannah Collins, Justin Brangman, Arion Mapp, Shari-Lynn Pringle, Tony Brannon and Sylvia Hayward. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm)

People want to stay in ‘dark ages’

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