Bermuda bans same-sex marriage, allows domestic partnerships instead


The new law gives domestic partners in the British island territory similar rights as married couples - but without the legal title.

"After careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution, I have today given assent to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017", Rankin announced, according to The Royal Gazette.

In December, the majority of Bermudan legislators voted in favor of the bill, which effectively swaps same-sex marriage for domestic partnership.

Walton Brown, the minister of home affairs, said the legislation would offer balance on the socially conservative island while complying with European court rulings that ensure recognition and protection for same-sex couples.

Mr Brown said that same-sex couples already married under Bermuda law will continue to be recognised as married.

Bermuda's governor, John Rankin, signed the measure into law after last year's Bermuda Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Bermuda's official status is as a British overseas territory, meaning it is self-governing but the United Kingdom has responsibility for foreign policy and defence.

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Bermuda bans same-sex marriage, allows domestic partnerships instead

"It's a sad day for Bermuda, it's a sad day for human rights", Goodwin and DeRoche said.

Ty Cobb's added, "This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda's worldwide reputation and economy".

Bermuda has become the first country in the world to legalise and then repeal legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The twitter reaction, however, was even more polarized with some voicing their approval of the government's decision, while others expressed support to the homosexual couples. He continued, "This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda's worldwide reputation and economy".

The junior minister went on to claim that the Act was actually a positive step because it provides gay couples some limited rights by a form of partnerships segregated from marriage.

"This is not equality", Joe Gibbons, a gay Bermudian who is married to his partner, told the Guardian.

Harriet Baldwin, the junior foreign office minister sent to deal with the question, said the government was "obviously disappointed" with the repeal of the law but felt it had no choice.

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The Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in May 2017 that same-sex couples could legally marry.

Gay couples will now have the option only of a registered domestic partnership.

LGBT activists said the domestic partnership amounted to a second-class status for same-sex couples.

She said that after "full and careful consideration" of Bermuda's constitutional and worldwide obligations, Johnson had decided that it would "not be appropriate" to block the legislation, something she said only took place in exceptional circumstances.

He also tweeted: "So Boris Johnson has granted permission to Bermuda to abolish same sex marriage".

After legalising same-sex marriage past year, Bermuda's governor signed a bill into law on Wednesday revoking the change.

The UK regrets that Bermuda has chosen this course, but we also respect and believe in their right to self-government.

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