Bermuda Bans Same-Sex Marriage Less Than 1 Year After Legalizing It

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Now, less than a year later, the island-nation's Governor John Rankin just signed a Bermuda gay marriage repeal replacing same-sex marriages with "domestic partnerships" which can be entered into by both different-sex and same-sex couples.

All of Bermuda's 60,000-strong population will be allowed to form domestic partnerships under the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, which its government says will offer equal rights.

'For @BorisJohnson to allow Bermuda's decision to repeal same sex marriage is a source of great shame, ' he said. Voters previously opposed it in a referendum, and, in December, Bermuda's Senate and House of Assembly approved the Domestic Partnership Act.

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.

But LGBTQ civil rights groups said the unprecedented decision gave same-sex couples second-class status.

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

Brown issued a statement indicating that the new domestic partnerships would have "equivalent" rights to married heterosexual couples, including the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one's partner.

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Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said a referendum had proven that most Bermudians don't want same-sex marriage, which briefly became the law in Bermuda through a Supreme Court ruling last May.

The government is refusing to overturn a decision by Bermuda to ban same-sex weddings which will also mean gay couples of all nationalities can not marry on many cruise liners.

"About a half-dozen" same-sex couples married during the window that it was legal, and those marriages will continue to be recognized under the new law, the wire service reports. The Supreme Court ruling on May 2017 made same-sex marriages legal in the British Overseas Territory despite the oppositions. 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.

He added: “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.”.

Openly-gay UK Labour lawmaker Chris Bryant called the bill a "deeply unpleasant and very cynical piece of legislation", during a January debate in the House of Commons.

Despite suggestions the UK Foreign Secretary would have a say over the repeal of the law, Boris Johnson appeared to have no involvement. When it was passed, he said it would severely undermine U.K.'s efforts to advance LGBT rights.

In the United Kingdom, opposition politician Chris Bryant said that British foreign secretary Boris Johnson had not opted to intervene in the Bermudian legislation being passed, something that he said "totally undermines" British efforts to advance LGBT rights. "This is not equality", 64-year-old married gay Bermudian Joe Gibbons also said.