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Bermuda first country ever to repeal same-sex marriage
09 February 2018, 02:03 | Darnell Patrick
Bermuda first country ever to repeal same-sex marriage
Bermuda has become the first country in the world to legalise and then repeal legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Bermuda's Governor John Rankin has signed a controversial bill approving the repeal of same-sex marriage provisions, making Bermuda the first country to introduce and later abolish the right of gays and lesbians to marry their sexual partners.
Worldwide human rights groups such as the LGBT-focused Human Rights Campaign had condemned the move, which it said "unconscionably ripped away the right of loving same-sex couples in Bermuda to marry".
"While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage - as evidenced by the referendum - it is the government's belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same sex couples are put in place", Brown said.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Act gives rights and benefits to domestic partnerships that were almost exactly the same as the rights and benefits of marriage.
Rankin said, while gay couples can now only be registered as domestic partners, they will have all the rights bestowed to heterosexual couples including the right to make medical decisions on your partner's behest.
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He added: "Same-sex couples already married under Bermuda law before the commencement date of this Act will continue to be recognised as being married".
P&O Cruises has been forced to scrap onboard same-sex weddings, after the abolition of equal marriage in Bermuda.
"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", Brown stated.
The repeal provoked a strong reaction from the small homosexual community in Bermuda and a number of human rights activists. A month ago, he referred to the bill as a "deeply unpleasant and very cynical piece of legislation". When it was passed, he said it would severely undermine U.K.'s efforts to advance LGBT rights.
"This is not equality", Joe Gibbons, a gay Bermudian who is married to his partner, told The Guardian.
The UK's lack of intervention has also been met with disappointment.
The junior foreign office minister, Harriet Baldwin, noted that the United Kingdom government was "obviously disappointed" with the reversal but insisted the Bermuda government passed the law through legal means: British territories, including Bermuda, are "separate, self-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically elected representatives that have the right to self-government".
Once approved in both the House [24-10] and Senate [8-3], the Bill went to the UK-appointed Governor for assent, which is normal procedure and generally seen as a formality, however it was been a topic of speculation in this case since the Bill was passed in December 2017.
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