Last edited: November 05, 2004

Bermuda to Ban Homophobia, November 2, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Hamilton, Bermuda—The Bermuda government has announced legislation to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Community Affairs Minister Dale Butler said the bill will be presented to the House of Assembly during its summer term.

“The changes will take us out of the dark ages and create an awareness about living openly rather than hiding these things in the closet,” said Butler.

The announcement came as a surprise to Bermuda Rainbow Alliance the gay rights organization on the island colony. There was no mention of the legislation in last week’s speech from the throne.

“It should have been there,” Butler said. “There was a line that was left out.”

“Just being included in that way under the human rights act adds value to people’s lives as well as having the power to change how gay people in this community live,” said Nicky Bowers a spokesperson for the Alliance.

The announcement was generally well received except by religious conservatives who waged a public fight against legislation which decriminalized homosexuality in 1994.

The human rights act also will be amended to broaden the definition of disability to include obesity, learning disabilities and mental illness.

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