Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Bermuda Rescinds Same Sex Marriage; Let the Boycott Begin

Bermuda Parliament - home of hate, bigotry and the embrace of ignorance.
I have a love/hate feeling towards Bermuda.  Two very dear friends used to own a hotel in Bermuda - they were the only Americans to ever own have a 100% ownership without Bermudian co-ownership - and the husband and I traveled to Bermuda on a cruise out of Norfolk with these friends and a number of others a couple of years ago.  Bermuda is physical beautiful, but unfortunately, deep seated hate and bigotry is alive and well there as evidenced by the Parliamentary vote to repeal same sex marriage in the aftermath of a court ruling that found Bermuda's ban on same sex marriage violated the island nation's constitution.  With much of the local populace whipped into a frenzy by American Christofascists, in particular Alliance Defending Freedom, a certified hate group, members of the Bermuda Parliament showed their cowardice and passed a bill to rescind marriage equality and replace it with a separate but not equal domestic partnerships.  Sadly, Governor General John Rankin showed similar spinelessness and today gave his assent to the bigotry inspired bill.  Having traveled to Jamaica several times in my days a in-house counsel for an oil company, I have kept my vow to boycott the country until such time as gays have equal rights and are not criminalized.  Now Bermuda is added to the list of destinations to be avoided at all cost.  One can only hope that Bermuda's struggling tourism industry (which opposed the change in the law) takes a major financial hit and many of the bigoted locals who supported the homophobic bill find themselves unemployed.  Bermuda News looks at this triumph of hate and bigotry.  Here are excerpts:
The Governor has given assent to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, Government House has just confirmed, meaning the legislation can now take effect.
In a statement this afternoon [Feb 7], Governor John Rankin said, “After careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution, I have today given assent to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017.”
The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly, and then passed in the Senate and will replace same-sex marriages with a domestic partnership which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.
Once approved in both the House [24-10] and Senate [8-3], the Bill went to the UK-appointed Governor for assent, which is normal procedure and generally seen as a formality, however it was been a topic of speculation in this case since the Bill was passed in December 2017.
A my blogger friend Joe Jervis notes, the change will likely impact Bermuda flagged cruise vessels which had been performing same sex marriages:
It’s believed that the Bermuda-flagged cruise ships that have been offering at-sea same-sex marriages will now drop that service. When Bermuda’s Parliament voted to repeal last year, official tourism agencies for the island raised loud alarms.
The push to repeal same-sex marriage in Bermuda was aided, unsurprisingly, by US-based Christian hate groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The best approach going forward is to avoid all things Bermuda.  Do not visit Bermuda. boycott Bermuda flagged vessels, and boycott products such as Goslings Rum (we have several bottles which I will either give away or pour down the drain).  Make bigotry and discrimination carry a very, very high price.

A final note: It is ironic that a majority of Bermudians are black, yet the American Christofascists who aided in the repeal are anti-black racists.  Bermudians were played for fools - just like far to many black pastors in Virginia who fall for the propaganda of The Family Foundation which traces back to proponnents of the Jim Crow laws. 

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