Bermuda becomes first country to repeal same-sex marriage

Marriage-Alliance-Australia-Bermuda-Repeal-SSM.jpgThis month saw a victory for traditional marriage, with Bermuda repealing their law that allowed same sex couples to marry. The law is being replaced with one allowing for civil partnerships only.

The eight couples that married during the time it was legal will not have their marriages annulled.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Bermuda in May of 2017, when a same-sex couple sued for the right to marry. The couple ended up getting married in Canada, but the case went to the Supreme Court, where the judge ruled in their favour. However, a few months later the legislature passed a bill reversing that decision, which was signed into law on 7 February.

There had been previous efforts to ban same-sex marriage in the country, including a referendum in June 2016. The majority of votes supported traditional one man, one woman marriage, but there was less than 50% voter turnout, which meant the referendum was not legally binding.

Many have attacked Britain’s Foreign Office and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for not preventing the repeal of the law. However, he has made it clear that Britain will not be interfering.

Walton Brown, Bermuda’s minister of home affairs, said of the decision:

The Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female, while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples.

We applaud the Bermuda legislature for taking a stand against same-sex marriage, and hope that their government can continue to stand strong as they face the barrage of negative backlash.

It should also give heart to those of us in Australia who voted ‘no,’ because nothing is irreversible.

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