OUTBermuda, along with another plaintiff, Maryellen Jackson, have submitted an Originating Summons to the Supreme Court of Bermuda for that court to issue an order declaring that Section 53 of the Domestic Partnership Act 2017 and all other provisions in the act that deal with and give effect to that provision or have the effect of revoking same-sex marriage or making same-sex marriages void, are in contravention of the Bermuda Constitution 1968.
Jackson and OUTBermuda are actively preparing evidence for submission this week and an application to join their case to the Ferguson v Attorney General case so both cases can be heard together. The trial in the related action is set to be heard by the Chief Justice in May.
“We believe in marriage equality and OUTBermuda is proud to take our cause to Bermuda’s courts. Bermudians are a proud, educated and opinionated people. We believe the revoking of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that’s why we’re asking everyone to stand with us as we fight for the visibility and equity, that we know all people deserve. We are encouraged to have so many allies in Bermuda, as well as around the world, as we lead these efforts,” says Zakiya Lord, director of OUTBermuda.
While marriage equality is just one issue facing the LGBTQ+ community, OUTBermuda believes it is well positioned to provide a legal voice on a topic that has recently been handled like a political football in Bermuda. Together, OUTBermuda and Ms. Jackson strongly oppose any measure to revoke the right to marry by the Bermuda Government and believe that the ruling originally handed down by the Supreme Court of Bermuda in May 2017 permitting same-sex marriage is good law.
OUTBermuda has gained strong support and allies, including Carnival Corporation, one of several cruise companies that sail to Bermuda. Among its many ongoing efforts, the Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise line brands have been recognized over several years by the Human Rights Campaign for being among the top companies to work for LGBTQ equality, including perfect scores in 2017 and 2016 in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates U.S. companies on their treatment of LGBTQ consumers, investors and employees.
As OUTBermuda continues to build its legal case, the organization says other allies are also ready to engage with support.
OUTBermuda is a non-profit organization, which promotes and supports the well-being, health, dignity, security, safety and protection of the LGBTQ community in Bermuda.
“As a proud lesbian and parent, I feel an obligation to advocate for full equality under the law for Bermuda and to join with OUTBermuda,” says Jackson. “To be clear, marriage equality is just one priority. We listen closely to our LGBTQ+ community, and they do not wish to accept ‘marriage light.’ We believe fundamentally in justice for all Bermudians.”