Bermuda becomes first nation to repeal same-sex marriage

  • 09/02/2018

The Caribbean atoll of Bermuda has made history by becoming the first nation in the world to revoke its legalisation of same-sex marriage.

The British territory, which only legalised gay marriage in May 2017 thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, has seen six same-sex weddings in the eight months leading to now.

The marriages between those couples will still be recognised, it has been revealed, but from now on gay marriage will be replaced with domestic partnerships. The partnership carries equal rights to that of marriage, but without the title.

The change to the legislation came after a referendum in the country of 60,000, which found that the majority of Bermudians were opposed to same-sex marriage.

Despite Bermuda's status as an 'dependent' British territory, which allows the UK to block any of its proposed law changes, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said such an action would not be appropriate.

"That Bill has been democratically passed by the Parliament of Bermuda, and our relationship with the overseas territories is based on partnership and respect for their right to democratic self-government," she said.

She did add, however, that she had been left "seriously disappointed" by their decision.

Bermudian Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown says the move has "protected the rights of same-sex couples" whilst "restating that marriage must be between a male and a female".

Cruise ships registered in Bermuda will no longer be able to host gay weddings, but affected companies Cunard and P&O Cruises says they will still offer 'commitment ceremonies'.