Bermuda Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage - Again
They say strange things can happen in the “Bermuda Triangle,” and this story may be even more proof of that.
In June of 2016, the citizens of Bermuda rejected the idea of legalized marriage equality by a vote of 69% against.
Then, in May of 2017, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
And then, in December, the Bermuda Assembly voted to halt same-sex marriages by passing the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) making domestic partnerships the legal recognition offered to same-sex couples. These would offer the same rights as opposite-sex marriage, but without the title of ‘marriage’.
Now, the island nation’s Supreme Court just ruled in favor of same-sex marriage again, making marriage equality the law of the land - again.
#LoveWinsAgain for @OUTBermuda and all Bermudians. Thank you to Maryellen Jackson and @RodFerguson for joining us in our firm belief that all Bermuda residents deserve the #FreedomToMarry. pic.twitter.com/1EEk01DrfH
— OUTBermuda (@OUTBermuda) June 6, 2018
The Bermudan Supreme Court ruled against the section of the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) which banned marriage equality.
Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said the sections of the Act which repealed the right to same-sex marriage were invalid because they were not in line with Constitutional provisions which give the right to "freedom of conscience and creed."
Johnson Lord and Hartnett-Beasley, Directors of OUTBermuda, helped turn the marriage equality issue in Bermuda around.
In a statement, the duo said:
“We all came to the court with one purpose. That was to overturn the unfair provisions of the Domestic Partnership Act that tried to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Revoking same-sex marriage is not merely unjust, but regressive and unconstitutional; the Court has now agreed that our belief in same-sex marriage as an institution is deserving of legal protection and that belief was treated by the Act in a discriminatory way under Bermuda’s Constitution. We continue to support domestic partnership rights for all Bermudians to choose, but not at the expense of denying marriage to some.”
LGBT advocacy groups applauded the result as well.
From the Human Rights Campaign’s Ty Cobb: “The Bermuda Supreme Court has righted the injustice that occurred when Bermudian lawmakers made the islands the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality. We congratulate the plaintiffs in this case on their historic victory ensuring that once again. Love Wins!”
And from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD said: “Today the Bermuda Supreme Court affirmed what we already know – that love can never be rolled back and that all loving and committed couples deserve the protections that only marriage affords.”
Watch reactions to the ruling below.