Dr. John Stubbs was the driving force behind the landmark 1994 law that decriminalised gay sex. His achievement capped a political career that began in 1965 when he helped to get the fledgling United Bermuda Party off the ground.
Stubbs, a former Rhodes Scholar, was respected by politicians of all stripes for his intellect, his energy and his vision for racial harmony, and for the role he played in helping to shape modern Bermuda.
His interest in medical matters extended beyond the operating room and brought him to the attention of leaders outside of Bermuda, among them U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy. Stubbs is also credited with introducing laparoscopy surgery to the island.
In December 1993, he was inspired to lead a campaign to change the island’s homosexuality laws after listening to a gay-bashing sermon at a funeral.
By May the following year, he had marshalled his forces and brought a Private Member’s Bill to the House.
On May 13, 1994, despite strong opposition from religious groups, Parliament approved the bill by a vote of 22 to 17. A month after that victory, Stubbs lost his battle with prostate cancer.
Source: The Renaissance Man—The Life and Times of Dr. John Stubbs Compiled by Robin Stubbs, Andrew Bermingham and Barbara Fullerton.