Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE: January 25, 2016
PUBLIC CONCERN GROWS OVER HOTEL’S TREATMENT OF LOCAL AND OVERSEAS CLIENTS
 
There is growing public concern about the new stipulations that Hamilton Princess is placing on those who support traditional marriage both locally and overseas. In November 2015 the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club accepted a booking under Preserve Marriage in which Dr. Ryan Anderson was due to speak on What is Marriage and Why It Matters?” The PhD graduate from University of Notre Dame speaks at major universities such as Yale, Harvard, and even the United States Supreme Court, but was quickly banned from speaking at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Resort by Allan Federer, the hotel’s General Manager. 
 
The General Manager stated the reason for the denial was because the Hamilton Princess upholds diversity. However, Medical Doctor, Dr. Henry Dowling, a Director on the Preserve Marriage Board stated, “It is our understanding that The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club celebrates diversity in all its many forms, unfortunately, the Hotel’s decision to refuse our booking, thereby refusing goods and services, appears to us to fly directly in the face of the true value of diversity. Diversity is defined as “the quality or state of having many different forms, types, and ideas.” I personally moderated the event with Dr. Ryan Anderson and can personally confirm along with others present that there was no form of hate speech or a promotion of a lack of diversity. It was a scholarly presentation.” 
 
Since the ban of Dr. Anderson, representatives of Preserve Marriage met with the General Manager of the Hamilton Princess to discuss moving forward. Due to Dr. Anderson’s speech was absent from any form of hate speech, Mr. Federer was asked if he would consider having Dr. Anderson at the Hamilton Princess in the future, to which he responded, “Absolutely not.” This was requested because Hamilton Princess is the one of the few venues within the 
city of Hamilton that can hold over 750 people. Once again this was denied. 
 
Mr. Allan and Mildred Hunt, founders of Heart to Heart, Bermuda’s the well established 20-year-old marriage ministry, have used the Hamilton Princess for their annual marriage events for the International Marriage Week. This is an annual event that is celebrated in 75 nations world-wide, in which Bermuda is one them. When Mr. Hunt who also serves as a Director on the Preserve Marriage Action Committee, saw the Banquet Event Order booking made in the name of Preserve Marriage and how the management of the Hamilton Princess later banned Dr. Anderson’s presentation that supported traditional marriage, he asked if he was fine to continue having his event at the hotel. He was appalled by the response. “I was promptly told by the hotel employee that I would need to write a letter giving details of what would be said and done at the event. I was most surprised of this and have never been asked of such a requirement in 20 years of hosting marriage events in Bermuda and overseas.” 
 
In addition, United for Change, a group representing over 70 pastors in the Island, was looking to have renown speaker and author, Dr. Tony Evans speak at Hamilton Princess on January 27 who arrives on the Island this week. Mr. Federer’s response was “Why can’t you have it at your church?” to which the representatives stated because we would like to have it at your Hotel. Mr. Federer was informed that he would be speaking on Kingdom Family and strengthening traditional marriages in Bermuda for the churches Island-wide. When asked if they would accept a booking for Dr. Evans, they were told by the General Manager that they would need to submit in writing exactly what he is speaking on in detail before a decision could be made. Bishop Stephen Jones, a Director on the United for Change Board stated, “I am amazed that a renown speaker, author and pastor such as Dr. Tony Evans would now have to provide a detailed outline of his message although he has spoken at the hotel several times in the past.

He is on over 1,000 radio outlets including Bermuda every day. His dynamic messages reach over 130 countries and he has served as former chaplain for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and for three decades as the 2011 NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks, the longest standing NBA chaplaincy on record. Overseas guests should not be treated like this. This is unprecedented for any hotel in Bermuda and I believe this is going to harm their reputation not only in the faithbased community, but the general local community who benefit from these programs and the international organizations that these well known and favored people represent. I can tell you there is a groundswell of many in faith-based community that are feeling unwelcomed by the Hamilton Princess.” The event will be held at the Heritage Hall Worship Center this Wednesday at 7 pm. 
 
These three issues are leading to a growing concern among members of the community in which more and more are deciding among themselves to discontinue their business with Hamilton Princess. This is due to the precedence they are setting to the faith-based community and their represented international organizations that have done business with the hotel for many years. 
 
Back when Preserve Marriage was denied good and services, lawyer Tim Marshall, of Marshall Diel & Myers, told The Royal Gazette on November 27 that he believed Hamilton Princess was in breach of the Human Rights Act 1981 for refusing to host the free public forums featuring Dr. Anderson. Mr. Marshall said: “In my opinion, any hotel in Bermuda that refuses to permit a booking because of a customer’s religious or political opinions would be in breach of section five of the Human Rights Act.” The legislation bans discrimination in the supply of any goods, facilities or services because of religion, belief or politics, among other things. Mr. Marshall said he believed the hotel made a mistake and should have allowed Dr. Anderson, a member of the conservative American think-tank the Heritage Foundation, to speak on the premises. “Because a hotel is a public place you shouldn’t prevent, as a hotel owner, the free expression of ideas for those people who wish to book a meeting room,” said Mr. Marshall. “Obviously, we are not going to let the white Aryan Nation make a discussion but if you are having a discussion on a topic relevant to the public at large, I don’t think it’s right for the hotel to make a decision and say ‘No, we are not going to allow that discussion to take place because we personally believe the position should be in favour of the broader perspective of marriage’.” Another lawyer with human rights expertise, who asked not to be named, agreed. “I do think the Princess has got a problem. What you ask yourself is whether opposing same-sex marriage is a political opinion. As far as I am concerned, any fool can see that [it is].” Since which, another law firm also agreed that this is a clear violation against the Act. 
 
It is now the request of Preserve Marriage, United for Change and Heart to Heart Ministries that the renown Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club will stop and reconsider their “new policy” and treatment of those who support traditional marriage. There are many that support traditional marriage which not only includes these entities, but local and overseas guest speakers and the international organizations they represent, along with the almost 8,000 people in the community that signed the petition to maintain traditional marriage, the over 70 pastors in the Island that are supporting Preserve Marriage and the now over 400 active Preserve Marriage Committee of volunteers that have going public with their stand.”

END



PRESS RELEASE: January 19, 2016

THERE WAS NO DECEPTION

In November 2015 the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club accepted a booking under Preserve Marriage in which Dr. Ryan Anderson was due to speak on “What is Marriage and Why It Matters?” Dr. Anderson presents an argument not on the basis of morality, theology nor tradition, but from a philosophical standpoint and documented sociological studies. The PhD graduate from Notre Dame speaks at major universities such as Yale, Harvard, and even the United States Supreme Court, but was banned from speaking at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Resort by Allan Federer, the hotel’s General Manager.

Preserve Marriage, now a registered company, is the movement that was started by a diverse representation of concerned citizens in Bermuda. Almost 7,800 persons have signed their petition on their website www.preservemarriage.bm and a Volunteer Committee of almost 400 are actively involved on action teams to preserve marriage. They believe that marriage in Bermuda should remain defined and upheld as a special union ordained by God between a man and a woman. This union celebrates the necessary natural differences between a male and a female to procreate, fosters moral integrity, strengthens the family unit and therefore our society. For these reasons they are opposed to same-sex marriage in Bermuda. They feel government should not redefine marriage, but uphold the current definition of marriage because children deserve the distinct and separate parenting gifts that moms and dads bring to their lives.

In November, the day after the hotel prepared the Banquet Event Order accepting the booking under Preserve Marriage, it was later cancelled before the BEO by Mr. Federer. Mr. Federer told the media, “We were not advised what the nature of the booking was,” and made the accusation that it was originally booked by an organisation with a different name. However, Preserve Marriage quickly responded stating this was not the case, conversely, at the time of booking the Hamilton Princess Catering and Conference Services Department was clearly informed that the booking was for Preserve Marriage.

In the meantime, Preserve Marriage met with Mr. Federer and asked him if he would make a retraction about his statement that the Hotel was misled by the booking of a different name to which he refused. “Maybe Mr. Federer did not know his department prepared the Banquet Event Order(BEO), however, the BEO speaks for itself.” stated Mark Hall, a Director of the Preserve Marriage Board.

Pastor Gary Simons, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone stated, “Another name” at the time of booking that Mr. Federer is referring to is Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, however, the facts show the event was never booked under Cornerstone. Cornerstone along with over 50 other churches and other non-faith organisations have been meeting and helping with the Preserve Marriage initiative. The simple fact is that a Preserve Marriage volunteer in our office was charged with securing the venue while other churches and organisations were charged with other matters of preparation for Dr. Anderson’s visit.

Here are the facts of the booking:
At the time of booking the email sent to the Director and Catering and Conference Services clearly stated the following which was in bold text and underlined in the email… “…book this please on the dates below and they would like to have 500 chairs set up for it. The contract, however, would not be Cornerstone, but with the group called “Preserve Marriage”. The Hotel offered the Harbourview Ballroom in response and confirmed pricing and some other logistics. The response given back to the Hotel in writing was, “Okay please go ahead and hold this booking for Preserve Marriage. The sign at the entrance should say the same thing. Please note, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship should not be on anything in reference to this. I will look out for the BEOs for
this…”

The Banquet Event Order was then sent in the name of Preserve Marriage from Hamilton Princess which the following caption clearly articulates:



END

For additional documentation click on the items below:

Hamilton Princess BEO

Hamilton Princess Email Correspondence


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