Island Voted To Legalize Gay Marriage … And Then Changed Its Mind

Grace Carr | Reporter

Bermuda lawmakers voted Wednesday to reverse a six-month-old decision to legalize gay marriage.

Bermuda — an island that is a British territory — voted to repeal the law allowing gay couples to marry and to replace it with a measure that will allow gay partners to enter into domestic partnerships instead, according to Newsweek.

Bermuda senators voted 8-3 on Wednesday to pass the Domestic Partnership Bill. The pill had passed the House of Assembly 24-10 on Friday.

The law will not strip gay married couples of a legally recognized union, however, the change will prevent any future homosexual couples from marrying. Bermuda’s Supreme Court determined prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional in May, but Wednesday’s vote overrules this decision.

“As human beings we should have the ability to enter into a marriage between two people who love each other and this relationship should be recognized by the state,” said senator Andrew Simons, who voted against the bill. “If we accept this Bill in this House, then we are taking rights away from people.”

“A legal marriage offers equality under the law. Equality is what this is all about. Please don’t patronize the LGBT community by offering domestic partnership agreements,” gay Bermudian Bruce Whayman told The Royal Gazette. “Our last hope is that equality and common sense prevail, and the bill will not receive the requisite signature from the Governor of Bermuda.”

The new law “will ensure that same-sex couples will have a raft of legal benefits—more so than they currently have under the existing legislation,” Bermuda’s Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said in November.

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