Gay couples will again be able to wed in Bermuda after the
Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a constitutional challenge to the Domestic
Partnership Act, which in February made Bermuda the only nation in the world to
reverse legalized same-sex marriage.
Bermuda's Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said that revoking the
right to same-sex marriage was inconsistent with Bermuda's constitution,
according to Bermuda's Royal Gazette newspaper.
The report also said that the ruling will not go into effect
for six weeks, allowing the government time to decide on whether or not to
Carnival Corp. had supported efforts by OUTBermuda, the
island's gay rights organization and plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the
Domestic Partnership Act, with financial, civic and public relations support,
and filed an affidavit supporting the lawsuit. The law meant that Carnival
Corp.'s Bermuda-flagged cruise ships in its Cunard, Princess and P&O fleets
were unable to perform same-sex marriages at sea.
"All of us at Carnival Corp. applaud the
leadership of OUTBermuda and Bermuda's LGBTQ families for successfully making
their case before the Supreme Court of Bermuda to restore the right to marry
for all. As a company committed to equality, inclusion and diversity, we
believe everyone deserves equal dignity and respect, and we are proud to have
provided our support to OUTBermuda's efforts to champion equality under the
law," Carnival Corp. said in a statement.
In a statement praising the decision, OUTBermuda thanked
Carnival Corp. for its help.
The repeal had drawn criticism from gay rights organizations
around the world, and had some celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres and
Patricia Arquette, calling for a boycott of Bermuda.