The number and diversity of people adding their voice in support for LGBTQ people in past weeks is unprecedented in our community, and we celebrate their affirmation and pubic commitment to equality for Lesbian and Gay families. While the number of people voting ‘Yes’ to Civil Unions and ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality may not have reached the level we had hoped for, such an outcome is not without precedent in recent history. We recognize that before there was Marriage Equality across the United States there was Proposition 8 in California, which had been supported by the majority of voters there. Proposition 8 did not create a permanent barrier to LGBTQ equality, but instead galvanized support for it. The outcome of yesterday’s referendum will equally not create a permanent barrier to LGBTQ equality in Bermuda.
We do not view yesterday’s outcome as a defeat, and are resolute in our commitment to raising awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ people, which includes continuing to advocate for Marriage Equality. We are thankful for the people who sought to engage openly to better understand what it means to legally recognize the Lesbian and Gay families living on our Island.
OUTBermuda also recognizes that the decision of less than 51% to vote in the referendum demonstrates the majority of Bermudians do not believe they are personally affected by issues affecting Lesbian and Gay families. Instead, it underscores that the majority of Bermudians have more pressing concerns which are not at present being addressed. OUTBermuda rejects the suggestion that Bermudians lack the will and sophistication to address the multitude of issues affecting our community in a unified way. Equally, we do not believe that by supporting LGBTQ equality the community will neglect to address issues such as violence and anti-social activity, unemployment, and economic inequalities, to name a few. We recognize and celebrate the work which is already being carried out by LGBTQ people to address these issues. Moving forward as a unified country requires moving forward together with all of us, LGBTQ people included. OUTBermuda’s work continues.