Age discrimination could soon be outlawed, Government said on Friday. Amendments to the Human Rights Act are due to be tabled in the House of Assembly to ban discrimination on the grounds of age. And a new Equality Act could be used to make discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation illegal.
Delivering the Throne Speech at Cabinet Office, Governor Sir Richard Gozney said: “In keeping with its track record of dealing with sometimes controversial social issues, your Government will also be tackling discrimination.
“While the Government is aware of the sensitivities in the community surrounding sexual orientation, it does not condone discrimination in employment and accommodation based on a person’s lifestyle choices. “Accordingly, the Government will assess whether it is feasible to introduce an Equality Act.” Afterwards, Premier Paula Cox added: “People know they are not buying a pig in a poke — we’re not being secretive about dealing with discrimination.”
Submission from Brenda Lana Smith, Bermuda - 29 January 2008 to the UK parliament
- — That the UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 does not extend to any British Overseas Territories.
- — That Bermuda has not enacted any legislation to recognize transsexuals.
- — That it would appear that there is no gender recognition system in place in Bermuda and Bermudian courts or officials will not therefore recognize United Kingdom gender recognition certificates.
- — That Bermuda is expected to comply with obligations under human rights instruments which have been extended to it. In particular. Bermuda is bound by the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR") and, like persons in the UK persons in Bermuda have the right of individual petition under the ECHR.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is legal; despite repeated recommendations by Bermuda's Human Rights Commission that the government change this. In late 2004, the Government of Bermuda promised to amend the Human Rights Act to cover sexual orientation,—but by late 2005 the matter appeared to have been quietly dropped, until the following year. In 2006, an amendment to the Human Rights Act was proposed in the House of Assembly of Bermuda, but the Parliament of Bermuda refused to even discuss the issue. In April 2007 an activist group called "Two Words and a Comma" was formed to pressure the government of Bermuda into amending the act. Following his sudden resignation from Cabinet in 2009, former Culture Minister Dale Butler raised the issue of the amendment, saying that he had intended to table an amended Human Rights Bill in Fall 2009, but that it was now the responsibility of new Culture Minister Neletha Butterfield to re-table to do so; Butterfield responded that she was still being apprised of the workings of the Ministry and so could not comment on future plans.
In November of that year, following a mention in the annual speech from the throne that the Human Rights Act was to be amended, a rumour circulated that this would include protection for gays. Premier Brown's press secretary appeared to confirm the rumour, but it was refuted by both the Human Rights Commission and Minister Butterfield, who commented that a sexual orientation clause was still under investigation. Bermudians have tried to appeal to the Parliament of the United Kingdom regarding LGBT discrimination,prompting the Foreign Affairs Committee to recommend that the British government should take steps to extend human rights in the British overseas territories (BOT), for which the UK is ultimately responsible. Bermuda's human rights in general do not have a favourable reputation; In mid-2008, Bermuda was the only BOT to refuse to join a four-year human rights initiative organised by the Commonwealth Foundation Ironically,
Bermuda has actually been the host of gay tourism for many years. The LGBT travel company Pied Piper, for example, has been organising trips — albeit on a smaller and much quieter scale — to the country since 1990, without incident.
in 2006 hundreds demonstrated outside the parliament building to protest - MPs' gay rights 'silence'
Peace and tolerance