Bermuda has ruled to keep same-sex marriage legal

Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda

Equal marriage is officially legal in Bermuda.

Bermuda’s Court of Appeal has confirmed that same-sex marriage will stay legal in the country.

Their Supreme Court effectively legalised same-sex marriage in May 2017 with a landmark ruling, after it deemed a ban on such a union a discriminatory violation of human rights. However, in December 2017 the Bermuda Assembly voted to re-ban same-sex marriage just six months after it was legalised.

Lawmakers put forward a new bill where same-sex couples could enter into a domestic partnership instead.

It effectively offered the same rights as marriage between a man and a woman, but same-sex couples would not be able to perform it under the title of ‘marriage’.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, but a month later, the Bermudan government filed an appeal to reverse it.

Today, after months of intense debate, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Supreme’s Court initial overruling in June.

Maryellen Jackson and Roderick Ferguson, who fought the ruling, said in a joint statement: “Speaking for ourselves and on behalf of gay and lesbian Bermudians, we are grateful for the court’s decision, and its recognition of the significance of marriage in supporting and protecting our families.

“Equality under the law is every Bermudian’s birthright. Bermuda’s LGBTQ community is strong and proud. When our voices join together, we will be heard, and we will continue to make progress.”

Zakiya Johnson Lord, spokesperson for OutBermuda, said: “Today’s ruling makes history for Bermuda and our nation’s dedication to equality and fairness for all citizens, including our LGBTQ families. We believe there is nothing more fundamental than the right to marry the one we love.

“Ms Jackson and Mr Ferguson are Bermudians who personally took a brave public stand to fight for the right to marry for all gay and lesbian Bermudians and we are proud to work with them and the countless others who have made today a reality.”

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