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Bermuda Parliament says no to same-sex marriage

PICTURED: Minister Walton Brown introduced the bill

ONLY MONTHS after gay couples in Bermuda were allowed to marry under a Supreme Court ruling, the ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP), in power for almost five months, has reimposed a ban on same-sex marriages in the Caribbean country.

Legislation to replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships was passed in the House of Assembly on Friday (Dec 8) after a five-hour debate.

The Domestic Partnership Act 2017 was passed with 24 MPs supporting the bill and 10 opposing it.

Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown, who introduced the bill, said it would provide same-sex couples with a raft of legal rights but prevent any further same-sex marriages on the island.

“We need to find a way in Bermuda to fully embrace greater rights for all members of the community,” Brown said.

According to Pink News, Bermuda became the first country to re-ban gay marriage.

Shadow Economic Development Minister Grant Gibbons, who voted against the bill, said it marked a step backwards for Bermuda.

"This is a human rights issue. We are taking away marriage equality rights from the LGBTQ community," Gibbons said, according to the Jamaican Observer.

Since the ruling, couples have spoken out against the move to ban gay marriages.

The Royal Gazette reports the first Bermudian to marry her gay partner on island has spoken out against steps to repeal same-sex marriage, declaring: “One day all will know that love is love.”

Julia and Judith Aidoo-Saltus, who were married on May 31, spoke as senators prepare today to debate legislation to introduce domestic partnerships.

Yesterday, the couple told The Royal Gazette in a joint statement: “Love is love. Our marriage remains lawful under the laws of Bermuda and is sacred before our friends, our families and our God.”

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