Bermuda Hub

Bermuda Premier: Gay Marriage Not On The Legislative Agenda This Year

Craig CannonierAfter nearly a decade of setbacks, the tiny British territory of Bermuda finally approved legislation this summer prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But when asked last week by the Bermuda Sun about a potential push for legislation allowing same-sex marriages, Premier Craig Cannonier (pictured right) had the following to say:

"That was not on our agenda (for this legislative year) and for us, there has not been a lot of noise about moving in that direction.

"We certainly made our decisions when it came to the Human Rights Act (this summer). And I can certainly go back and say our previous administration (the previous Progressive Labour Party government) had been fumbling with this thing for six years-plus."

Despite the realization that marriage equality will not be coming to Bermuda this year, Mr. Cannonier remains proud of the progress his country has made regarding LGBT rights. 

"It's a highlight for us within our first legislative agenda, (that) we were able to get the Human Rights Act moved through.

"There can be no prejudice towards one another. That was a ridiculous stance this country had, and I know that the rest of the world was looking at us and saying, 'When are we going to move forward?'

"But same-sex marriage is not on our agenda. We will allow the interest groups to continue to lobby and look at it, but certainly it's not on our agenda."

Bermuda Official Apologizes for Grouping Gays with 'Freaks' and 'Dogs', Calling them 'Condemned'

Donal Smith, the Deputy Mayor of Hamilton, Bermuda, is apologizing from abroad for remarks he made on a television program about gay people last week.

Donal_smithThe Bermuda Sun reports:

In a TV interview for the Seventh Day Adventist Church programme ‘Issues’, the contents of which were subsequently reported by The Royal Gazette, Mr Smith had likened gays to “freaks” and their behaviour to that of “dogs” and suggested those who support gay marriage are condemned.

Now, Smith is apologizing after controversy over his remarks has brewed for five days, the Royal Gazette reports:

Speaking from Colombia, where he is attending an international conference of mayors, Mr Smith told ZBM News: “I am overseas on Corporation of Hamilton business and I haven’t been able to hear from those persons that were hurt by my comment as I would have heard from if I was at home, okay?

“However, I have heard directly from my family members and friends who have impressed upon me the level of anguish and pain that my comments caused. To all those persons who were affected in this way, I would like to offer my apologies, yeah? In addition, when I return I will speak to my constituents and hear their views of my comments.”

Mr Smith, who is expected to return to Bermuda by the end of the week, ducked questions about his resignation, saying that he would address that issue “at another time”.

Pastor Planning Gay-Friendly Church for Bermuda

Pastor Sylvia Hayward-Harris, who is straight, is in the Process of opening The Vision Church of Bermuda, "a radically inclusive Pentecostal church" which would be open to people of all sexual orientations.

Hayward-Harris tells the Bermuda Sun: Haywardharris"Often people who are ­authority at the church ­demand more of their flock than they do of themselves. I would like to have a place where people feel free to be themselves - to live in their truth, whatever that truth may be. It's very strange to me that in order to be a part of a traditional church you have to live a lie if you are gay or lesbian. That is not Christian to me. Excluding gay people has always been a problem on this island. I know one young man who won't come back ­because he was attacked by a gang of guys with ­helmets. To be fully Christian, we must fully welcome all of God's children to the table of the Lord - women, ­children, gays, lesbians, ­bisexuals, transgender, those with special needs, those of every race... all have full acceptance into the complete life of our ­fellowship...Our desire for Bermuda is to actualise God's power to transform our often ­divisive and unhealthy ­cultures of hate, self-hate and violence into a community of healing and reconciliation."

Pastor O. C. Allen III, who runs The Vision Church of Atlanta, where Hayward-Harris has lived since 2006, gave her permission to start the Bermudian branch. Hayward-Harris says the opening of the church has been a slow process because a proper venue has been difficult to find on the island.

News: Peter Cook, Bermuda, James Dobson, Iran, IBM, San Diego

road.jpg Truth Wins Out launches effort to block Focus on the Family founder James Dobson's induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Wayne Besen: "It is outrageous and insulting that James Dobson would be nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame. We believe that character counts and nominees should have careers based on honesty and integrity - not discrimination, distorting research and outright lying."

Missilesroad.jpg Iran state media Photoshops missile test image to make it seem more impressive.

road.jpg Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules benefits to gay couples following the 2004 marriage decision can't be applied retroactively.

road.jpg Spotlight on Jennifer Hudson's album cover.

road.jpg Following GLAAD's lead in April, Californians Against Hate launches boycott of San Diego's Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Petercookroad.jpg Divorce drama: beefcake GQ cover of Christie Brinkley's husband Peter Cook unearthed from 1981.

road.jpg California's Kern County rebuffs conservative group, refuses to ban same-sex marriages: " The Campaign for Children and Families hoped the passage of a gay marriage ban in Kern County would embolden other counties to follow suit. But supervisors declined to act on the measure after Bernard Barmann, the county's lawyer, said it would be illegal for the county to adopt its own same-sex marriage ban. The Kern County clerk's office stopped offering all marriage ceremonies on June 15, the day before gay marriage became legal."

road.jpg What's inside "Just for Men" hair color?

Cooperroad.jpg Bermuda man who attacked gay man with a machete gets seven years in prison: "Cooper, 26 – older brother of the murdered Cooper twins – had a history of violent crime and homophobia before he launched the attack on Shawn Nusum, 25, in the early hours of November 15 last year. His Supreme Court trial heard how he had taunted Mr. Nusum, of St. David's on previous occasions over his sexuality, calling him a 'faggot' and similar names. On the night in question, the pair got into a dispute in Club Ovation, Water Street, St. George's, when Cooper taunted Mr. Nusum once again. He later lay in wait for Mr. Nusum, and as he left the premises he hit him about the face with a machete. The victim suffered a fractured nose, jaw and cheekbone. A cut to his left eyebrow has left him unable to raise it, and he will be permanently scarred."

Poochesroad.jpg T.R. Knight and Mark Cornelsen take the kids out for a ride.

road.jpg Michael Jackson arrives in Vegas wearing pyjamas, a dreadlocked wig, a surgeon’s mask, a baseball cap and sunglasses.

road.jpg A Guide to the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival which kicks off tonight.

road.jpg Michelle Williams planning Heath Ledger film: "The actress - who was left devastated when her former fiance was found dead in his apartment after an accidental drug overdose in January - wants the actor's friends and co-stars to share their stories on him so little Matilda can see her father through their eyes."

road.jpg Former gay porn model "Lamar" killed in head-on collision following Chicago's black gay pride celebration.

road.jpg Lesbian adopted by lover into IBM family fights for share of fortune: "Patricia Spado was adopted by Olive Watson, the daughter of Thomas Watson Jr, in 1991 when the pair were both in their 40s and at a time when gay couples were not allowed civil partnerships. They lived together for 14 years but, a year after the adoption, their relationship ended. Miss Spado, now 60, claims the purpose of the adoption was to allow her to qualify as an heir to Miss Watson's inheritance."

Rosie O'Donnell's Gay Family Cruise to Bypass Bermuda

Despite the fact that Rosie O'Donnell's R Family Cruise had the backing of Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown after protests against it from religious groups there, the charter cruise will not have the wealthy British island territory on its itinerary.

BermudaR Family Vacations is run by Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli O'Donnell, Rosie's partner. In a statement, the company, which caters to gay and lesbian families, said, "[We are] not 100% confident that some protestors would not meet us upon our arrival. While those groups may be the minority voice, we feel that our cruise would be more enjoyable with an alternate itinerary to ports where we know we are welcome by everyone. Please note that we feel that Bermuda is welcoming to gay and lesbian tourists. However, there is a minority of vocal churches who do not welcome us. Most residents of Bermuda and the government have been extremely respectful to our group, and we do not want our change of plans to be interpreted, as anything, but a response to a few local (but vocal) church groups."

News: Obama Fundraising, Bermuda, John Barrowman, J Lo

road.jpg Barack Obama has raised at least $25 million so far in 2007, an amount nearly equal to Hillary Clinton's $26 million. Obama spokesperson: "This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems." John Edwards reported raising $14 million in the first three months of the year.

Bermudaroad.jpg Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown dismisses calls for Rosie O'Donnell's "R Family" cruise to be blocked from visiting the country. Brown: "If we discriminate against a cruise ship, then we would have to send a homosexual detection unit to the airport."

road.jpg John Travolta makes emergency landing in Ireland while piloting his Boeing 707.

road.jpg I made an update to yesterday's post about Out magazine's "Power 50" but here's a link to the full article in the same issue, by Michael Musto, about public figures who choose not to talk about their sexuality.

Barrowman_2road.jpg John Barrowman's BBC series Torchwood coming to America.

road.jpg Law don't cost a thing: J Lo on jury duty.

road.jpg Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully on the British series Coronation Street, has revealed his Eminem fantasies: "He's gorgeous. I dream about him often and always kiss him goodbye in the dream and say 'I'll call you later'."

road.jpg Lawmakers in Massachusetts plan to propose legislation that would repeal the 1913 law used to stop same-sex couples from out-of-state from marrying there: "The old law, which says marriage licenses cannot be issued to couples whose weddings would be illegal in the states where they lived, was originally passed when interracial marriage was legal in Massachusetts but most other parts of the country. When the US Supreme Court overturned state bans on interracial marriage the the Massachusetts law fell into disuse."


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