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Bermuda revokes same-sex marriage
2018-02-08

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Less than a year after Bermuda legally approved same-sex marriages, the governor of the British island territory signed a bill into law on Feb. 7 that replaced it with domestic partnerships.

Gov. John Rankin said the new law gives gay and lesbian couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. However, the Bermuda government will continue to recognize same-sex couples who wed before legal reversal as married couples.

Chris Bryant, an openly gay member of Parliament, tweeted that Bermuda's decision to ban same-sex marriages "totally undermines the [United Kingdom's] effort to advance LGBT rights," according to The Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post item is at www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bermuda-reverses-same-sex-marriage-law_us_5a7bbe19e4b0c6726e0f315 4.

From a news release:

Bermuda Governor Signs Bill Repealing Marriage Equality

Bermuda Governor Signs Bill Repealing Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) issued the following statement after Bermuda's Governor John Rankin signed into law legislation repealing marriage equality. Under the guise of passing domestic partnership benefits, the new law strips loving same-sex Bermudan couples of the right to marry.

"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 HRC Global. "This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda's international reputation and economy. Despite this deplorable action, the fight for marriage equality in Bermuda will continue until the day when every Bermudian is afforded the right to marry the person they love."

In a letter to lawmakers, the Bermuda Tourism Authority had warned of consequences for the tourism industry if the measure became law, citing economic fallout over anti-LGBTQ measures in the U.S. states of North Carolina and Indiana in 2016 and 2015. The letter states, "Significantly, it's not only LGBT travelers that care about equal rights based on sexual orientation. Our research indicates many companies, consumers and travelers, including the overwhelming majority of the younger visitors powering Bermuda's growth, care about this issue. It's why the fallout in North Carolina and Indiana has proven so detrimental."

Bermuda achieved marriage equality through a Supreme Court ruling in May 2017 in a case brought by Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian husband Greg DeRoche, who challenged the Registrar-General's rejection of their initial application to marry.


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