Ellen Is Telling People to Boycott Bermuda Despite the Harm That Will Cause Its Queer Citizens
If you’re wondering about whether or not you should boycott Bermuda, Ellen DeGeneres has just weighed in. The comedian tweeted a link to the Crowd Justice fundraiser for Same Love Bermuda. But does the Ellen Bermuda tweet raise a good point?
Marriage equality came to Bermuda in May 2017, when their Supreme Court ruled denying same-sex marriage violated the Human Rights Act. However, back in February, the governor of Bermuda approved the Domestic Partnership Act 2017. Despite the friendly name, the act actually re-banned marriage equality. With that, the governor gave Bermuda the dubious distinction as the first country to repeal marriage equality.
Bermuda just banned marriage equality. I guess I’m canceling my trip. Anybody else? https://t.co/c5bwUbyjZt pic.twitter.com/VpT5QQAFsq
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 7, 2018
The move was widely criticized throughout the world. The recent Ellen Bermuda call-out is far from the only instance on social media. Celebrities like Tegan and Sara, Patricia Arquette and Suze Orman have all called for a boycott.
Strangely, the Bermuda Tourism Board doesn’t seem to understand why LGBTQ people might be put off on visiting the island. Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism said, “Bermuda has to be a place that welcomes all. It has to be a place where all can feel included and a part of a great experience.” He added that they will be rolling out some initiatives “over the next couple of months.”
Some commentators say a Bermuda boycott could cause more harm than good, however. OutRight Action International warned a boycott could cause Bermudans to scapegoat the local queer community. The Bermuda newspaper The Royal Gazette also published an op-ed accusing Ellen of “abusing [her] power” by calling for a boycott. The paper says her tweet was disingenuous, as she didn’t speak out during the lead-up to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017.