Bermuda churches boycott ‘anti-gay’ service

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Churches in Bermuda are planning to boycott a multi denominational service on human rights because they fear it may unfairly target homosexuality.

A third of churches believe the service, organised by United By Faith, will preach that the Human Rights Act should not protect sexual orientation.

The meeting, involving around 70 per cent of the island’s churches, next Saturday will discuss gang violence, human rights and the role of the church,

It comes after government backbencher Renee Webb tried have sexual orientation added to the anti-discrimination clause in the Human Rights Act, the move was defeated in Parliament and was opposed by the church.

Ms Webb expressed delight that the meeting was being boycotted, she the Royal Gazette: “I am pleased to note that there are religious leaders who understand the importance of promoting equality in our society and that to target the homosexual is not only unconscionable, it is tragic, particularly when it would appear that the homosexual is being targeted while liars, cheaters and adulterers, all of whom attend churches up and down this country are being ignored.”

Organiser of the event, Andre Curtis, told the Royal Gazette: “We believe the Human Rights Act sufficiently covers all humans and does not need to be amended.

“Churches have been divided far too long. We need to get together to see what we can do to improve the quality of life for all Bermudians.”

All of the churches on the British territory were invited, but the Anglican Church declined the invitation saying it was inappropriate.

The Bishop of Bermuda, Reverend Ewan Ratteray wrote in a letter, “Part of the agenda for this service seems to be to target particular members of our society, homosexuals, in a way that is deemed to be inappropriate

He highlighted a conflicted of interest for Mr Curtis as he is also chairman of the Tourism Board, but Mr Curtis insists this service is not connected.