A proclamation in support of marriage on the grounds of the Cabinet Office was met by 20 demonstrators backing the right to wed for same-sex couples.
Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, joined Allan and Mildred Hunt, the founders of Heart-To-Heart Marriage Mentoring Ministries, to mark the start of International Marriage Week.
Mr Hunt said he and his wife had been asked by Richard Kane, the founder of International Marriage Week UK, to launch International Marriage Week in 2012.
He added: “We encourage Bermudians, during the week of February 7 to 14, to celebrate the institution of marriage, be it a date, marriage class, a special dinner with friends, discussion on marriage, renewal of vows ceremony — plus a host of ideas from the toolkit online at
The Hunts will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in July.
Mr Roban said at the event that marriage created “new family, binds men and women together in a network of affection, mutual aid and mutual obligation, commits fathers and mothers to their children and connects children to a wider network of welcome kin”.
Mr Hunt added that Gary Chapman, an American author, Baptist pastor and speaker on marriage, would hold his first Bermuda seminar on “how to build and sustain a loving relationship” on March 13 at the Fairmont Southampton.
The counter-demonstration was organised online on the Facebook page Bermuda Pride Supporters.
The Hunts have campaigned in the past against same-sex marriage as members of the group Preserve Marriage.
Mr Hunt said: “I welcomed them here and said hello — I don’t have a problem with them. If they want to protest, that’s their right.
“It was not adversarial. I do not get involved on that level — we operate with the love of God.”
One of the demonstrators explained: “I am very much in support of marriage equality — I do not call it same-sex marriage.”
She added: “This is about equal rights for the whole of Bermuda.
“I feel there is something hypocritical about stating all the benefits of marriage that would accrue to anyone married, and denying a considerable portion of the island the right to be married.”