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Sunday, 3 July 2011

LGBT refugees from Bermuda join London Pride march

By Paul Canning

A small group of Bermudians marched behind the banner 'LGBT refugees: Bermuda: No better time for full human rights and equality' at London Pride yesterday.

They were joined by a renowned Bermudian personality, the drag queen Mark Anderson – aka 'Sybil Barrington'.

Anderson told BerNews before leaving:
“My reason to do this, is because I’m fighting for every Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender person who was born yesterday, today and will be tomorrow here in Bermuda, that they will not grow up with the hateful prejudices, which I experienced most of my life. I am also fighting for those who live a clandestine gay lifestyle in our country.”
In 2006, the government attempted to ban Anderson from participating in a parade, stating that he contradicted local mores and sensitivities.

The group's organisers said that they were marching:
"In solidarity with those of us who are still on the island and still fighting for our inclusion in the Bermuda Human Rights Act."
25 May scores of LGBT supporters turned out to a human rights rally outside Parliament to oppose discrimination.

Homosexuality is legal in Bermuda, but the country has long held a reputation for being anti-gay and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity is legal. The Bermuda's Human Rights Commission has repeatedly recommended that this be changed.

Bermudians have tried to appeal to the British Parliament 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.


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