Second Bermuda Pride given the go-ahead

The second gay pride event in Bermuda will go ahead tonight, but because of social-distancing it will be on a much smaller scale than the inaugural march last year that attracted thousands.

Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security, authorised a 30-minute Bermuda Pride 2020 event yesterday to be held in front of City Hall in Hamilton.

But the event, scheduled to start at 8.30pm, will be limited to 150 people because of coronavirus restrictions.

Barricades will be put up and security personnel will enforce the crowd limit.

A spokesman for the event said: “We understand the disappointment that the numbers are limited and the duration is short, but we must respect the limitations that the Minister of National Security has prescribed in conjunction with the Minister of Health.

“The media will be in attendance and so anyone who is unable to attend will be able to catch the event later online. However, City Hall will be specially lit for the occasion right up until midnight.

“As it will be dark by 8.30pm, we are asking people to bring candles and a candle holder to shed some light on the darkness of the pandemic.”

He said the event would be a time for a “moment of reflection”.

The spokesman added: “Last year, the theme of ‘We Belong’ spoke to the demand for acceptance for LGBTQI+ folk in our own home, and this year, as we face the many difficulties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘We Belong’ theme is even more relevant as we highlight the need for empowerment for LGBTQI+ people to act, both individually and collectively, to make things better in our home.”

Lisa Reed, the executive officer of the Human Rights Commission, Adrian Hartnett-Beasley, the chairman of gay rights charity OutBermuda, a sponsor of Bermuda Pride, and trade unionist and civil rights activist Linda Bogle-Meinzer, who will represent Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, will speak.

The spokesman said today was picked because it was the seventh anniversary of the addition of “sexual orientation” to the Human Rights Act — which outlawed discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

He added that attendance at the event would be on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

Those who attend must wear a face mask, stay at least six feet apart from people not part of the same household and use hand sanitiser before they pass through the cordon.

The organisers said that the event was the only one they had asked for permission to hold because of the pandemic.

The spokesman added: “To that end, please come and join us as we safely mark the occasion of Bermuda’s second Pride.”

The Department of Public Transportation said that bus routes 7 and 8 will be redirected through Hamilton to allow space for social-distancing at the event. The routes will turn right off Front Street on to Court Street, then on to the terminal.

A Bermuda Government spokeswoman said last night this event is not associated with an event being planned by well-known entertainer Mark Anderson at the Flagpole on Front Street.

She added: “Mr Anderson has not applied for an exemption to have more than 50 persons at his even; however, the Bermuda Police Service is aware of Mr Anderson’s planned gathering.”

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Published Aug 8, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 8, 2020 at 8:01 am)

Second Bermuda Pride given the go-ahead

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