Bermuda & Homosexuality

There is an interesting discussion going on over at the BIAW forum concerning the issue of including sexual orientation under the human rights act. While this issue, of which the group Two Words & A Comma are helping to raise awareness of, is not about giving homosexuality any special rights, or even necessarily about homosexuality itself, it is widely regarded as being about the issue of homosexuality and the discrimination faced by homosexuals in Bermuda. This issue is quite a divisive one, as it is throughout the greater Caribbean region.

From my own reading of the Bermuda Constitution and the existing Human Rights Act it is my belief that it is necessary to adapt the HR Act in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I want to make it clear that under the existing system one can be discriminated against equally on the basis of heterosexuality and homosexuality. Under our prevailing social power system though, in practical terms this works in favour of heterosexuals and against homosexuals.

Personally, I fully admit that I have trouble understanding homosexuality, in finding a member of the same sex attractive, let alone the physical expressions of these attractions. At most I can look at a guy and say, yeah, that’s a good looking guy, and I can see how women will find him attractive. But that’s about it. I recognise however that I no more need to understand homosexuality and same-sex attraction than homosexuals need to understand heterosexuality. It just is. They like what they like and I like what I like, and that is about it. Having said that, yes, I do have an issue with flamboyant and overly feminine or exaggerated homosexuality, in that they do really annoy me and I generally try to avoid them. Similarly, I have an issue with PDA, however I tend to be rather prudish on this issue in general, regardless of the sexuality. I find PDA, in the form of a goodbye or welcome back kiss and hug accetpable, especially at airports, but beyond that I dislike it. As for the irrational fear that some men have about being ‘hit on’ by homosexuals, my position is that if I’m hit on it is for the same reasons a women would hit on me, and has no bearing on my sexuality whatsoever; it only means I’m generally attractive.

Whenever this issue comes up it seems that it always involves a debate about whether or not homosexuality is a ‘choice’ or ‘biological’. While the question may be interesting, I am always wary about the consequences of the arguments and basically find it to be an irrelevant question. If it is found to be biological I am concerned about a new form of eugenics trying to eradicate the ‘gay genes’ from the population by any means necessary, from genetic engineering, forced sterilisations to death camps. If it is found to be a choice I am concerned about the horrors that therapy has unleashed, and question what the point would be.

Personally I am of the belief that it is primarily biological, with nurture having only a slight modifying effect. Again though, to me it is irrelevant whether or not it is a choice or a biological condition. The HR Act even as it is prevents discrimination on the basis of the biological conditions of race and sex (in the sense of male/female) as well as choice, such as political and religious beliefs. So the question has no bearing to me about whether or not sexual orientation should be included under the HR Act. At most I can see that some people may be concerned about their children being turned into homosexuals, should it be found to be a choice. Again, this has about the same level of concern to me as whether or not my children would be converted to this or that political or religious convention, and as far as I am concerned should it be a choice (which I do not think is the case) of the individual. I have always found the idea that it is a choice, especially in a strongly homophobic country like Bermuda, quite a ridiculous notion though. While I may choose the unpopular political and religious views of socialism and atheism in Bermuda, I am alot less likely to suffer negative consequences than someone choosing to be ‘gay’ would in Bermuda.

I have also found that alot of the more homophobic individuals in our society often equate homosexuality with pedophilia or bestiality. I’ve always found this quite ridiculous. I really don’t see how these three distinct issues are conflated into the one. The key thing with sexual orientation, be it heterosexual or homosexual, is the importance of consensuality. Non-consensual sex, be it homosexual or heterosexual, is wrong, period. By definition a non-human organisms (okay, should we meet sentient extra-terrestrials this will need changed… lol) and non-adult humans (in my opinion 18, but the law may say 16 in some legislations) cannot consent to sex. It is that key part of consensus that breaks the connection between homosexuality and pedophilia/bestiality.

Even should we adapt our legislation to include sexual orientation however, that will only be a very small part of the story. The greater issue in Bermuda is not so much the lack of legislation but the social power structure that discriminates against them.

45 thoughts on “Bermuda & Homosexuality

  1. You’ve been reading too many other blogs John.

    Try something new. Like from your own perspective.



  2. Real important news in Bermuda, “drunk man that collided his van into an innocent man and kills him gets his case thrown out of court. Yet a man that imported cannabis is going through a three week trial and probably will serve jail time. Come to Bermuda where importing cannabis is a greater crime than harming/killing someone while your drunk driving. Thought this was interesting news of the day and would share. So so sad.

  3. sparxx

    “how does someone turn a child into a homosexual”?

    One view held (which I don’t share) is that homosexuality is a choice we are free to make.

    It follows, I suspect, that you can condition a young mind to accept that homosexuality is the right choice for them.

    Doesn’t stack for me – but I suspect that is the logic.

  4. Sara

    In the final analysis, this is Jonathan’s blog and can treat your entries as he wishes.

    Just wanted you to know though, that your attempts to derail are close on pathetic. You have your own blog – go over there and write what you want.

    I don’t welcome your bias or your views.

  5. @ Mike,

    I don’t have my own blog and not trying to derail anything. Just wanted to bring something important to everyone’s attention. I don’t welcome your biased views either.

  6. Sara,

    This thread is about homosexuality – not the failure or otherwise of the BDA justice system.

    Why not email Jonathan on Bermuda Jewel, and see if he will post your views?

    If you can’t see that you are derailing, then what can I say.

  7. Hi Sara, I’ll just say that in future could you put your suggestions for topics on maybe the About page, as that will prevent any confusion. I also welcome open mic articles, and my email address is available on the moderation policy page.

    I had decided not to write on the court case you referred to until I had a chance to read more about the case in todays RG. From what I can gather the case was dismissed on a technicality only, although the blood work on the deceased should also be considered.

    Mike, I think you may have confused Sara with someone else, but I could be mistaken.

  8. Sorry guys, I was just trying to get out some important info. My goal is not to derail the convo on homosexuality. If you notice I only posted one thing about it and Mike jumps down my throat because he doesn’t like my views.
    For the record, I don’t have a blog and this is the only Bermuda blog I have ever posted on.

  9. LOL – It’s okay, much ado about nothing I think. Due to the controversial and highly emotional issues surrounding this issue it is understandable that some may take your original comment as an attempted sabotage. It’s all good.

  10. I have never understood why people cannot expect – indeed require – justice for all, particularly in a society where discrimination has historically been so much a part of life.

    Even though I don’t accept that homosexuality is a matter of choice, should it matter whether it is or is not when it comes to treating people correctly?

  11. Hey Mike, why don’t you answer Sparxx question. Really. I’d love to hear your own views and thoughts instead of avoidence.

  12. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bahamas: Homosexual Rights

  13. Sparxx, children are turned teh gay by interaction with gays. They don’t have the strength of character or moral compass necessary to fight off the evvvil and bam, suddenly they’re just “teh gay”

    Or so I’ve been told.

    I’ve also heard that in some examples the force of teh gay is so strong that just walking past the person on the street is enough to immediately turn the weak into a techno-loving flamer in short shorts.

  14. I’m not sure children can be conditioned in such ways. Have you ever met a pre-teen who is a homosexual? People talk about knowing such things at an early age, but it is impossible to prove… or it should be.

    anyone that explores sexuality in children should find another topic to study.

  15. Starling,your party elite is dominated and controlled by homosexuals ,yet you exclude them from the human rights you gave to Guantanamo terrorists!

  16. I think you should couch that statement with ‘alleged’; as far as I am aware the individuals you refer to have not seen the need to disclose their sexuality – nor should they have to. Nonetheless, I think the issue speaks more about political opportunism winning out over personal ethics.

  17. I have never really understood the political risk about including homosexuals in the HR Act. Even more so, given the current debate about casinos and gambling and the view of the Churches on that.

    Doesn’t this subject also need to be considered in an ‘adult’ way?

    At one time it used to be said that members of the various Church’s would not vote PLP if the act was changed.

    Is there any evidence of that – or is it just talk?

  18. I wonder when we will “get over” labeling people? Black, white, brown, muslim, jew, christian, homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual…

    there are good and bad in all aspects of humanity, it’s when we begin denying people basic human rights based on their own personna that we get screwed up.

    Freedom is a right of every person in a democratic nation. No church, political organization or other faction should deny a person their own personal freedoms, and if they do, they should be prosecuted.

    You can not legislate morality, nor should you try. We need to remove the labels and start accepting people on the basis of whether or not they can be outstanding citizens.

  19. sparxx…

    Totally agree with that. Spot on.

    I always remember Eva Hodgson saying that one of the ways that we will know that racism is finally dying, is when we stop newspaper articles that say….”Mr X – who is black – won the race”.

    It’s strange that we can’t just see the +ve’s that people bring to the table.

  20. “Have you ever met a pre-teen who is a homosexual?” As a matter of fact I have… and it was obvious from a very young age that he was gay.

  21. wow starman… not that I don’t think it’s possible, I am truly horrified that a child would know that, and even understand it.

    It is truly a sign of our times that a child would reflect such a complex set of sexual characteristics. I can not justify it though. Children should not be interested in sexual preference, nor should they be conditioned in such ways.

    You say it was obvious… do you think it was obvious to him?

  22. The history of the politics of homosexuality is the point not some arrogant personal opinion based on limited Bermuda history.
    Many homosexuals fled the UK for jobs in Bermuda’s civil services under the Torie rule under Iron lady’s Conservative rule.
    They got jobs in the civil service and established a reputation of discrimanating against blacks who did not support them.
    As a matter of fact Kamaragafego was asked to perform a homosexual act to get a job from one of these immigrants.
    Many blacks took the deal and became high ranking politicans spreading bisexuality throughout the authorites and the adminstrative sector.
    This is the hate behind the issue that has nothing to do with religion.
    Many young black men have became angry at the rise of gays to the point of violence.
    Homosexuality is viewed by many to be worse than racism.
    But the arrogant minority continue to lack undestanding

  23. What you say is true, but the black Plp elite is dominated and controlled by homosexuals not “these immigrants.” as you call them

  24. I always wondered why Roosavelt was always smiling and had so much “Karma”…….

    Now I know. Good thing he did’nt get blown off course. Good on him. Did he ever complain or seek a prosecution.?

    I need a rum……………….

  25. The pink party has revealed to be pro gay the red party is anti gay. The PLP have been warned to face a brutal war over this issue. But the gays are too weak to attack the government so they will get nothin!

  26. I’m almost afraid to ask this, but who, or what, are you calling the ‘pink party’? And what exactly are you opposed to concerning the HRA amendment? What are you worried about?

  27. Jonathan,

    There are some posts here that I believe that you should have deleted, including Sal’s post, Rummy’s posts, and Red party’s posts.

    Unless Sal has had a homsexual relationship with anyone in the PLP, he’s just gossping.

  28. I seriously considered (and continue to) deleting the post, or, at least editing them. My approach so far has been to treat the statements as rumour mongering and I trust that readers will do the same. It does not sully the name of Pauluu, rather it says something about the individuals who would peddle such rumours.

  29. Also, I didn’t see anything wrong with Sals comments; so what if our Party has homosexuals in it? I didn’t realise that was a bad thing.

  30. Jonathan,

    It’s one thing to say that there are homosexuals in the PLP, but it’s an entirely different matter to say that “the black Plp elite is dominated and controlled by homosexuals”.

  31. LaVerne, I hear you, but the vast majority of people are not going to take red party seriously on that. And to me it is a mistake to focus on that particular bit. What we should instead be discussing is even if homosexuals were indeed in high-ranking Party positions, so what? What is the problem with that? Why would that be a bad thing? It’s the anti-homosexual prejudice that to me is the worrying thing, the thing that we need to combat. Focusing on the truth of a ridiculous assertion instead runs away from the more serious issue of prejudice.

  32. “Focusing on the truth of a ridiculous assertion instead runs away from the more serious issue of prejudice.”

    Why, oh why can’t people apply that reasoning more often? And not just for homosexuality claims.

  33. Jonathan,

    I was referring to Sal’s remarks. Read them again. They are offensive.

    What you say is true, but the black Plp elite is dominated and controlled by homosexuals not “these immigrants.” as you call them

    You are right, on the one people are crying out for the HR Act to be changed and on the other hand you have people making insulting remarks like those above.

  34. My PLP mp says he will vote for gays. Lets get it on time to break rank and start an antigay party. No debate.
    Government needs to put children first give their parents jobs and housing to raise them.

  35. Laverne Furbert is afraid of the something? Censorship is why the Governor got shot with a 38 revovler or was it a magnum. It is best to hear freedom of speech than to feel it. Back to OPC for me.

  36. Erm, red party, I’m not sure exactly who you are threatening there with the reference to the assasination, but please refrain from making such threats in the future. Thank you.

    I am still waiting to hear why you are so violently opposed to anything relating to homosexuality. What is your particular problem with it?

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