Ellen DeGeneres, the openly lesbian talk show host is urging people to boycott the popular tourist destination of Burmuda following the territories reversal of its same-sex marriage laws.
“Bermuda just banned marriage equality. I guess I’m cancelling my trip. Anybody else?” Ellen Tweeted.
DeGeneres, who married her wife Portia de Rossi in August 2008, included a link to a crowdfunding campaign that is supporting a lawsuit brought by a gay Bermudian, Rod Ferguson, against the island’s Attorney General.
Bermuda initially legalised same-sex marriage in May 2017 following a vote by the Supreme Court, however, in February 2018, less than a year later, Bermuda enacted a controversial bill replacing same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships, leading to a number of these cruise ship weddings being cancelled.
With tourism accounting for an estimated 28% he Bermuda’s GDP, 85% of which is from North America, the Bermuda Tourism Authority warned that the reversal of marriage equality risked becoming “an unnecessary threat to the success of our tourism industry.”
DeGeneres’ call for a tourism boycott, however, is not supported by some LGBTI rights activists, who believe that it could do more harm than good.
“It could increase discrimination against local LGBTIQ people, who may very well be used as scapegoats for any negative impact on tourism and the economy,” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International says.
“Not to mention the consequences for LGBTIQ people who themselves work in the tourism industry,” Stern added.
Ferguson’s legal challenge to reinstate same-sex marriage is set to be heard in the Bermuda Supreme Court on 21 and 22 May.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 7, 2018