Bermuda repeals same-sex marriage

Bermuda repeals same-sex marriage

Bermuda repeals same-sex marriage

"Governor Rankin and the Bermuda Parliament have shamefully made Bermuda the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality", said Ty Cobb, director of the Human Rights Campaign Global.

Bermuda's Governor John Rankin has signed a controversial bill approving the repeal of same-sex marriage provisions, making Bermuda the first country to introduce and later abolish the right of gays and lesbians to marry their sexual partners.

The decision drew harsh criticism from human rights groups for its unprecedented move to legalize and then repeal the law that authorized same-sex marriage.

She said: “Clause 50 states that where the words specified in the table, which include marriage, spouse, husband, wife, widow and widower, are mentioned throughout Bermuda legislation, these are to be read in the case of a person in a domestic partnership as the corresponding word specified, that is domestic partnership, domestic partner or surviving domestic partner.

Walton Brown, the minister for home affairs, commented that the law would balance opposition to gay marriage while staying in line with European court rulings that protect and recognise same-sex couples on the island, Associated Press reported.

Same-sex couples previously married under Bermuda law will continue to be recognized as being married and overseas same-sex marriages taking place before and during the transitional period will be recognized as marriages in Bermuda, Rankin said.

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They further hold that the domestic partnerships amount to a second-class status and it is complete discrimination to take away the legal right to marry after it has been granted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman, James Slack, said Britain was "seriously disappointed" by the decision, which reverses a 2017 court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

P&O Cruises has been forced to scrap onboard same-sex weddings, after the abolition of equal marriage in Bermuda. "For it to happen in a British territory, for the legislation signed by a British governor and permitted by a British foreign secretary makes us complicit in something which this House has repeatedly voted against", she said.

"Bermuda will continue to live up to its well-earned reputation as a friendly and welcoming place, where all visitors, including LGBT visitors, will continue to enjoy our beauty, our warm hospitality and inclusive culture", Brown stated.

In a debate in the UK's House of Commons last month, Labour's Chris Bryant called the bill a "deeply unpleasant and very cynical piece of legislation". When it was passed, he said it would severely undermine U.K.'s efforts to advance LGBT rights. "This is not equality", 64-year-old married gay Bermudian Joe Gibbons also said.

Activists have also lobbied Boris Johnson, as foreign secretary, to intervene. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not allowed.

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