Bermuda – same sex marriage u-turn likely

Bermuda may be the first country to ban same-sex marriage – six months after legalising it.

The ruling Progressive Labour Party’s bill to replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnership arrangements was passed in the House of Assembly last Friday.

The Domestic Partnership Act 2017 was passed with 24 MPs supporting the bill and 10 opposing it.

Senators then approved the Domestic Partnership Act by an 8-3 vote.

It must now be signed by the governor before it becomes law.

Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown, who introduced the bill, says the new law will provide same-sex couples with a raft of legal rights but prevent any further same-sex marriages on the island.

“We need to find a way in Bermuda to fully embrace greater rights for all members of the community,” he says.

Gay couples who have already married in Bermuda will not be affected if the law changes.

The question of same-sex marriage in Bermuda has been the subject of much debate this year.

In May, the Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

At the time, the Supreme Court said “the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.”

The new Domestic Partnership Act overturns the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Opponents of the legislation say it is unprecedented to strip the right to same-sex marriage after it was granted in a jurisdiction.

Theysay global reaction could hurt the tourism industry.

The opponents also claim the new legislation it is discriminatory because same-sex couples will only have the option of domestic partnerships while opposite-sex couples could choose between marriage or domestic partnerships.

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