Atlanta gay couple to challenge Bermuda marriage law
AbsoluteCARE will now serve Atlanta’s gay community and others living with HIV. The medical center is stepping in to absorb Pride Medical, which recently closed after serving Atlanta’s gay community for over 20 years.
The team at AbsoluteCARE believes only the name will be missed, as they’re committed to a seamless transition that will include providing the best service to former Pride Medical clients.
Pride Medical’s Amy Swartz, a physician, and Terry Hackworth, an advanced practice registered nurse, along with about six fulltime staff members, will join the AbsoluteCARE team led by Medical Director Joel Rosenstock, who founded the full-service Medical Center and Pharmacy in 2000 to care for a struggling and underserved HIV population in Atlanta.
“I’ve been working in Atlanta serving this population for 26 years, and I think the combination of Pride Medical with AbsoluteCARE is the most exciting thing to happen in a long time,” says Rosenstock in a statement. “Both medical centers have provided compassionate and innovative care for many years, but together they will be able to accomplish much more. The AbsoluteCARE of the future will test more clients, identify and engage many more people in care, assist with behavioral health, impact social determinants of disease, and improve the health of Atlantans for years to come.”
An Atlanta-area gay couple is poised to make history if their effort to overturn an ambiguous Bermuda marriage law restricting access to same-sex couples is successful. Ijumo Hayward, 46, a native Bermudian, and his partner Clarence Williams III, 40, have begun the legal process to obtain a Bermudian marriage license.
On Nov. 30, lawyer and former Bermuda Attorney General Mark Pettingill, who is representing Hayward and Williams, filed a notice of their intent to marry with the registrar of Bermuda. Bermuda does not have a law on the books that explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage, and Pettingill believes that the island’s 2013 amendment to the 1981 Human Rights Act, which he authored, outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and paves the way for Hayward and Williams to have their union legally recognized.
A dual citizien, Hayward tells Georgia Voice that it’s important for him to be married in the place where he grew up and calls home.
“Most of my family is there. I want it to be enforceable in Bermuda,” says Hayward. “I want my marriage to be recognized as a legitimate marriage just like any other heterosexual marriage. Even if I were to be married in the U.S. and my partner decided to move to Bermuda, he would have to come back after 21 days.”
If successful, the couple is eying an early 2016 wedding to be officiated by Hayward’s mother, Sylvia Hayward-Harris, a minister of The Vision Church of Bermuda, which is a sister ministry to Bishop O.C. Allen’s The Vision Church of Atlanta.