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Same-sex marriage case to use crowdfunding

A legal challenge to Bermuda's decision to ditch gay marriage will attempt to raise money through crowdfunding.

Tony Brannon, who organised the fundraising effort, said that the legal challenge was an important one for human rights.

Mr Brannon, a musician and activist, added: “We know that the LGBTQ community are very interested in this, and I know that we can get a lot of support from them globally.

“I think there's a lot of support out there that can help this.”

Rod Ferguson, 38, filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against the Attorney-General last week.

Mr Ferguson, who lives in the United States, claims the Domestic Partnership Act, which replaced gay marriage with civil unions, is unconstitutional.

The Act was approved in Parliament in December and given Royal Assent by the Governor, John Rankin, this month.

Mark Pettingill, a former attorney-general, is representing Mr Ferguson.

Mr Pettingill, of Chancery Legal, also represented gay couple Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche whose Supreme Court victory last May paved the way for same-sex marriage.

Mr Pettingill told The Royal Gazette this month that Mr Ferguson's lawsuit could end up in Europe's highest courts.

Mr Brannon said the cost of the legal challenge could be significant “depending on how far up the chain this goes”.

He added that Mr Ferguson's lawsuit was a fight that was bigger than Bermuda.

Mr Brannon explained that other groups around the world had taken the island's reversal of same-sex marriage as a sign of encouragement.

He added that some thought “Bermuda's done it; we can do it, too. We can overturn these rights”.

Mr Brannon also said that misinformation had been circulated in connection with the non-binding referendum held on same-sex marriage in 2016.

He said that the idea that 68 per cent of Bermudians had voted against same-sex marriage was a “complete lie”.

Mr Brannon explained: “The fact of the matter is of the 44,000 registered voters, only 14,000 voted no.

“So 14,000 against 44,000 is 32 per cent — less than a third.”

About 6,500 voters expressed support for same-sex marriage.

Mr Brannon added: “Fifty-four per cent didn't show up to vote.”

He said that he expected the crowdfunding website to launch this week.

Rod Ferguson

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Published February 20, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 20, 2018 at 6:48 am)

Same-sex marriage case to use crowdfunding

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