Deputy Mayor Donal Smith. *File photo
Deputy Mayor Donal Smith. *File photo

The Rainbow Alliance today hit out after the Deputy Mayor of Hamilton launched a blistering attack on gay people.

A spokesman for the Alliance said: “The comments Deputy Mayor of Hamilton Donal Smith made on the ‘Issues’ programme regarding homosexuality were riddled with offensive and derogatory language towards members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and their allies.

“Moreover, these comments showed a marked ignorance of LGBTQ issues and an overarching tone of homophobia.

“Comments labeling a group of humans as ‘freaks’ display a strong antipathy towards those he summarily dismisses as unworthy of the protection of the law and are founded on ignorance – this is homophobia.”

The Rainbow Alliance, set up to protect gay people from discrimination, spoke out after Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy condemned Mr Smith’s remarks on Seventh Day Adventist TV.

Mr Fahy said: “It is shocking that an elected official could attack homosexuals in this manner.”

And he called on Mr Smith to apologise – and called on Mayor Graeme Outerbridge to “consider other steps that could be taken in respect of Mr Smith.”

Mr  Outerbridge also moved to distance himself from Mr Smith and stressed his views “in no way reflect the thinking and sentiments of the Council of the City of Hamilton.”

He added that the comments were made in a private capacity and said the City respected the right to free speech.

Mr Fahy added that he would raise his concerns on Monday at a previously scheduled meeting with Mr Outerbridge and elected members of the island’s two municipalities.

The Rainbow Alliance spokesman said: “The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda remain proponents of an individual’s right to free speech.

“You can have strongly-held religious or moral viewpoints without resorting to offensive and hurtful attacks on an entire community.

“This is an inappropriate way for an elected official to speak about anyone and we await Mr Smith’s apology.”