Bermuda Is the First Country to Legalize and Repeal Same-Sex Marriage


Rights groups said the move was unprecedented on the world stage, and stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry, while politicians in Britain expressed profound disappointment, calling it a "backwards step" for human rights in Bermuda.

The Domestic Partnership Act 2017 - which ends marriage equality and instead allows only domestic partnerships for same-sex couples - has since been approved by Bermuda's Governor John Rankin, ending weeks of speculation over whether he would sign the legislation.

Meanwhile, same-sex couples who Wednesday in recent months will not have their marital status annulled.

"While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage - as evidenced by the referendum - it is the Government's belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European Courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same sex couples are put in place". LGBTQ Bermudans earned the right to marry in May 2017, when a judge ruled that Bermuda's Registrar General could not reject a gay couple's application to marry.

Couples in a registered domestic partnership will now have "equivalent" rights to those of married heterosexual couples, including the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one's partner, Rankin said. Despite the new law, marriages of those couples will still be recognised.

Brown said in his statement that the domestic partnership law attempted to "strike a fair balance" between same-sex marriage opponent and proponents on the island. Countries like Ireland, Greenland, Germany, Brazil and few others have legalized same-sex marriages in the recent years after a lot of struggle by the community.

"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. They argued that the new legislation contradicts Bermuda's constitution, which guarantees freedom from discrimination.

Bermuda has become the first country in the world to legalise and then repeal the same-sex marriage.

"This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardises Bermuda's global reputation and economy".

In a debate in the Commons last month, Bryant called the bill a "deeply unpleasant and very cynical piece of legislation". Same-sex marriage legislation came into force there in 2006. F*** Boris Johnson. F*** the United Kingdom for not doing something about it.

"I feel enormously disappointed", said 64-year-old married gay Bermudian Joe Gibbons.

She said: "When it comes to the rights of British citizens there should be no such thing as a balancing-act".

"It is a shame that the leadership required by the government to champion equality is still missing", Kenita Placide, the Caribbean adviser of LGBT charity OutRight International, told IBTimes UK.