Same-sex weddings banned in Bermuda

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Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay Beach
Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda. Photo Credit: Alexander Sviridov/Shutterstock

Gay weddings, on land or at sea, are no longer permitted in Bermuda because the island has implemented a law that disallows same-sex marriage.

The law, called the Domestic Partnership Act, reverses Bermuda's legalization of same-sex marriage last May.

Cruise lines won't be allowed to host same-sex wedding ceremonies on ships registered in Bermuda. P&O Cruises, Cunard Line and Princess are three lines that have ships registered in the British territory.

Cunard in a statement said, "Having been delighted and wholly supportive of the Bermuda government's change in law last May, which allowed us to conduct same-sex marriages on board our ships, we are disappointed with this outcome."

Bermuda will permit domestic partnerships and guarantee certain rights, such as the right to inherit in the case of no will and the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one's partner.

Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown calls the new law "a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda."

He noted the results of a nonbinding referendum last June that showed a majority of Bermudians opposing same-sex marriage. The referendum asked, "Are you in favor of same-sex marriage in Bermuda?" and 69% said no, 31% yes. Further, 63% percent said they were not in favor of same-sex civil unions.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation excoriated Bermuda.

"As the world faces a resurgence of anti-LGBTQ activism, Bermuda just earned the shameful recognition of becoming the first national territory to strip away marriage from loving and committed LGBTQ couples," said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.

Brown said that 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."

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