Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage, less than one year after it was legalised.
Bermuda’s governor has signed into law a bill reversing the right of same-sex couples to marry, after a supreme court ruling in May 2017 legalised equal marriage.
The bill, brought through by the island’s house and senate, replaces same-sex marriage in the British territory with domestic partnerships.
Bermuda governor John Rankin said that the civil partnerships act grants same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, however it does not permit same-sex couples to legally marry.
Minister of Home Affairs in Bermuda, Walton Brown, said in a statement: “The Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently 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.”
In an Instagram post, Winston Godwin said: “To the LGBT community, this is not a defeat. While Greg and I were the face of this case, we represented every single one of you, and helped to give a voice to those that didn’t have one. Because of you, we were able to make a difference in the lives of 8 couples, and that’s something that shouldn’t be understated or forgotten…
“As we all know, equality doesn’t happen overnight.”
People on Twitter were quick to react, with many expressing support for same-sex marriage, including residents of the island itself.
One user pointed out that the law was repealed during LGBT+ History Month.
Some users have even called for a tourist boycott of the country due to the reversal of the law.
One person pointed out that the fact the law passed in the first place was a good thing.
Same-sex couples already married in Bermuda before the law was reversed will continue to be recognised as legally married. This will affect around eight couples.
During a debate in Parliament, Foreign Office minister Harriet Baldwin said: “We are obviously disappointed about the removal of same-sex marriage in Bermuda.”
She added it would “not be appropriate” for the UK government to overrule the decision.