Submission from Brenda Lana Smith, Bermuda
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
1. As an abused septuagenarian male-to-female
23-years' post-operative transsexual Bermudian I am actively interested
in amending the Bermuda Human Rights Act 1981 to afford full legal
recognition of a post-operative transsexual person's presented
gender, and criminalize discrimination against gender variant
persons, particularly on the grounds of their presented gender
2. While not precluding my right of individual
petition under the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR")
consistent with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights
with respect to the Convention rights of transsexual people under
Article 8 (right to respect for private life) and Article 12 (right
to marry) I respectfully draw to the House of Commons Foreign
Affairs Committee's attention the lack of human rights legislation
to protect transsexual persons on Bermuda.
3. The Bermuda Human Rights Act 1981 by
omission not only legitimizes discrimination against persons on
the grounds of their sexual orientation, but on one's presented
gender identity, too ... to wit:
4. Gleaned from a lengthy electronic exchange
with the British government concerning the lack of human rights
legislation to protect transsexual persons on Bermuda the United
Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Overseas Territory Department,
That the UK Gender Recognition Act
2004 does not extend to any British Overseas Territories.
That Bermuda has not enacted any
legislation to recognize transsexuals.
That it would appear that there is
no gender recognition system in place in Bermuda and Bermudian
courts or officials will not therefore recognize United Kingdom
gender recognition certificates.
That Bermuda is expected to comply
with obligations under human rights instruments which have been
extended to it. In particular. Bermuda is bound by the European
Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR") and, like persons
in the UK persons in Bermuda have the right of individual petition
under the ECHR.
5. Accordingly, the financial cost to the
Bermuda government of complying with its obligation under the
ECHR, by voluntarily rectifying the present lack of rights afforded
transsexual persons under its jurisdiction would be significantly
less than having to defend one of probably no more than a handful
of abused transsexual persons pursuing favorable justice that
they understand they will receiveby precedent (Goodwin
v The United Kingdom and I v The United Kingdom (2002) 35 EHRR
18.)before the European Court of Human Rights.
29 January 2008