Corporation believes our employees, guests and the public at large deserve equal
dignity and respect. Our ongoing efforts have been recognized over several
years by various organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, as one of
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 such, we believe that marriage equality should be lawful in Bermuda.
We applauded the May 2017 ruling in Bermuda's
Supreme Court allowing and recognizing same-sex marriages on the island. Longstanding
law and custom allowed ships registered in Bermuda to conduct opposite-sex wedding
ceremonies at sea, and the 2017 court decision enabled cruise companies to also
begin offering same-sex wedding packages. Beginning in summer 2017, we began
booking onboard wedding packages for same-sex couples looking for the unique experience
of being wed at sea, with the same equal legal recognition as opposite-sex couples.
As a company committed to equality, inclusion and diversity, we were
disheartened by Bermuda's subsequent reversal of the May 2017 ruling. We support
marriage equality and we have been actively engaged in supporting efforts by
OUTBermuda – a registered charity that promotes
and supports the wellbeing, health, dignity, security, safety and protection of
the LGBTQ community in Bermuda -- to legally challenge the action to
again allow same-sex marriages on the island.
In fact, Carnival Corporation is actively supporting OUTBermuda, along with another plaintiff, Maryellen
Jackson, who have jointly 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
Our engagement includes providing OUTBermuda with
financial, civic and public relations support, as well as involvement by our
company. In addition, we will be filing an affidavit supporting the legal
action submitted by OUTBermuda and Ms. Jackson.
We are sensitive as to why some travelers may consider
avoiding Bermuda while this ban is in place. While we always abide by the laws
of the countries we sail to and from, we believe travel and tourism brings
people and cultures together in powerful ways. As a result, we believe it is important
to stand by the LGBTQ community in Bermuda and its many allies to oppose any
actions that restrict travel and tourism.
In addition, we have had ongoing meetings with LGBTQ
community organizations based in Bermuda and they have shared their own
concerns that both the existing law and any potential reduction of travel to
Bermuda will have a negative impact on the local economy and locals who depend
on tourism for their livelihood. At their urging, we believe it is best to align
our actions with the LGBTQ community and others who live and work in Bermuda
and depend on tourism for their living.
For those reasons, we believe we can have the most significant
impact through direct action. This is why we are working closely with local
groups in Bermuda to support their efforts to use the legal process to challenge
the decision. As part of this effort, we are actively seeking out and supporting
local community organizations working for positive change.