Kevin Symes's picture

Why has Bermuda Delayed The Repeal For Marriage Equality For Three More Months?

Walton Brown, Bermuda's home affairs minister, has confirmed that the Islands repeal for marriage equality will be delayed for a further three months, meaning that same-sex couples are still able to marry until the end of May, at least.

The British owned Island is replacing the equality act with domestic partnerships for both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

The decision to initially accept the same-sex marriage act was met with protests from social conservatives, who deemed it a bad idea.

The domestic partnership law will allow couples to enjoy the same rights as those who are already married, queer or otherwise, however, couples will no longer be allowed to apply for a marriage license after May 12th.

It is a strange move to delay the law change, but many believe it is due to budgeting, as there was a large budget drop in licensing fees for the current 2018-19 fiscal year, from 200,000 to 150,000. It is believed the same-sex marriage law was to blame for this, due to the backlash it received from some.

A petition was recently launched by Care2, in which it is asking for the travel website TripAdvisor to put a disclaimer on their site to warn people of the Anti-LGBTQ+ laws. It has been met with over 6,000 signatures so far.

If this becomes succesful, it may hurt the Islands businesses and economy, with the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Research and Business Intelligence team claiming:

"“In 2018, there is no excuse for discrimination, and companies like TripAdvisor have a responsibility to indicate to LGBTQ travelers about risks they may face at the hands of queerphobic governments,” Sarah Rose, the author of the Care2 petition and Care2’s Senior LGBTQ Issues Advocate, said in a statement. “Bermuda is no exception, and my Care2 petition is urging TripAdvisor to recognize that. … Travelers should know where they are welcome, not only for their safety but so they can support destinations that embrace them for who they are.”

GLAAD has previously spoke out about Bermuda revoking the equality law, saying

"The repeal of marriage equality in Bermuda is a demeaning and unnecessary strike against loving and committed LGBTQ couples in Bermuda as well as others around the world who would consider vacationing there,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “This small walk-back by the Bermudian government to accommodate previously-planned weddings shows that pressure from the tourism industry could have tremendous power if they collectively speak out for marriage equality.”

What are your thoughts? Does a domestic partnership law sound like a compromise for both same sex and heterosexual couples, or is equality on the Island the way forward?

 

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It will never be the same as a marriage with a license and state approval.

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"The domestic partnership law will allow couples to enjoy the same rights as those who are already married."

No, it won't. This is one of the biggest lies opponents of marriage equality toss about. If one is married in Bermuda, one is married in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and the rest of the world, but with rare exceptions. Marriage is covered by international law. If you are domestic partners in Bermuda, you are, well, domestic partners in Bermuda. You are not domestic partners anywhere else. Go visit Argentina as a couple and one of you as a medical emergency, better have some other legal paperwork, like a durable power of attorney for health care (something everyone has with them on vacation, of course) if you are only domestic partners. Married? No problem, spouses have rights that cover medical emergencies and a host of other problems abroad. 

Thus, the lie. Domestic partnerships are not marriage by another name, the generic version. They are something else entirely and decidedly second class. 

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