LGBT+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s snapshot of the current state of affairs for LGBT+ people, through the lens of international business. The Business Climate Score score is out of ten possible points, and is based on ten independently verifiable indicators of the legal, cultural and business context for LGBT+ people.

7
  • 1
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  • 10
1.
Are consensual homosexual acts between adults legal?
1
Yes
2.
Are marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples available?
1
Yes
3.
Is being LGBT+ punishable by death?
1
No
4.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment prohibited?
1
Yes
5.
Can transgender people legally change their gender markers?
0
No legally recognized right
6.
Is sex reassignment surgery at birth for intersex children prohibited?
0
No
7.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the provision of goods and services prohibited?
1
Yes
8.
Is there a U.S. State Department warning against travel for LGBT+ individuals?
1
No
9.
Do companies sponsor Pride?
0
No
10.
Are there laws prohibiting freedom of assembly or speech for LGBT+ people (i.e. “anti-propaganda laws”, media gags, etc)?
1
No
Talking Points
  • Bermuda became the first nation to repeal already-legalized same-sex marriage in 2018. Though the Supreme Court quickly overturned the repeal, the government has tried to appeal the decision. It’s hard to justify asking LGBT+ staff to relocate to a nation where rights feel so tenuous.
  • International business drives nearly a third of Bermuda’s economy. My employees need to feel safe and welcome doing business there in order to continue investing here.
  • Based on conservative estimates that 4-6% of the population identify as LGBT+, there are up to 4,000 LGBT+ people in Bermuda, not including LGBT+ tourists. Ensuring marriage equality and transgender protections will help make sure they are contributing their labor and their money to society.
Talking Points
Impact of LGBT+ Discrimination on Business and Talent
  • 1
    NO RISK
  • 2
    LOW RISK
  • 3
    MODERATE RISK
  • 4
    NOTABLE RISK
  • 5
    HIGH RISK
BRAND RISK
  • 2
    LOW RISK
When the island nation repealed same-sex marriage rights in February 2018, there was a highly publicized movement to boycott Bermuda, ceasing travel there. But since the repeal was overturned four months later, there is little risk of brand harm in doing business or bringing talent to Bermuda.
CLIENT RISK
  • 2
    LOW RISK
During the backlash over the same-sex marriage repeal, companies doing business in Bermuda may have experienced some criticism from clients, but with the debate now resolved, the risk of losing clients is minimal.
TALENT RISK
  • 3
    MODERATE RISK
Consensual same-sex relations and same-sex marriage are currently legal in Bermuda. While spouses will be recognized and afforded marital benefits, same-sex couples may feel that they are discouraged from publicly showing affection.
MARKETING RISK
  • 1
    NO RISK
There are no prohibitions against marketing to LGBT+ consumers
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • — Bermuda is home to a number of notable organizations that work to raise awareness of issues affecting LGBT+ individuals, including OUTBermuda, the Rainbow Alliance Bermuda, and Two Words and a Comma.
  • — There does not appear to be a dedicated Pride parade in Bermuda, and Bermudians have taken to instead participating in Pride in London. In 2006, the government of Bermuda faced intense criticism when it tried to ban Sybil Barrington, a famous drag queen and LGBT+ advocate, from participating in the Bermuda Day parade. She participated nonetheless and, by 2010, had her own dedicated float.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • — Polls indicate that there is widespread support for protections for LGBT+ residents of Bermuda. One poll found that 93% of Bermudians believe that sexual orientation discrimination was wrong and another reported that, as of 2012, around 75% agreed that LGBT+ should be given legal protection from discrimination (ultimately passed in 2013); which was reported to demonstrate a marked increase over the last decade.
  • — Despite the apparent push for protections for LGBT+ members, groups such as “Preserve Marriage & Family Bermuda” have made it their mission to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage in Bermuda.
  • — While LGBT+ travelers are encouraged to visit Bermuda, a number of websites, including Lonely Planet, still warn that open displays of affection are not encouraged. Travel sites note that there are a number of hotels, venues, and lodgings that are particularly LGBT+ friendly. The US consulate has not received any reports of harassment of US citizens that identify as LGBT+ in the country.
  • —Despite the legal protections for LGBT+ individuals that have been enacted over the last few years, many Bermudians still report facing a great deal of homophobia in their day-to-day lives. LGBT+ Bermudians continue to report being attacked for their LGBT+ status. In order to deal with this climate of rejection, many LGBT+ Bermudians report the need to organize within support networks in secret.
  • — Bermuda’s gay marriage ban in early 2018 led to massive local and international backlash; many celebrities called for a boycott on Bermuda, while travel agencies and GLAAD also encouraged people to voice their disagreement with the repeal. (Seventy-four percent of Bermuda’s tourists arrive from the US.) Outside this controversy, the government of Bermuda has otherwise largely been praised for their commitment to ensuring rights and protections for LGBT+ individuals.
Local Leaders Advocating for LGBT+ Equality

There are many openly LGBT+ activists and experts in Bermuda. Out Leadership recommends:

  • Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • Linda Mienzer, police officer and member of the Bermuda Public Services Union executive
  • Andrew Simons, former Senator, marriage equality advocate