After it was announced this summer that P&O Cruises were to become the first British cruise line to offer same-sex marriages, the decision has now been revoked due to Bermuda’s disappointing anti-gay laws.
Earlier this year, Bermuda legalised same-sex marriage following a landmark Supreme Court ruling, and then re-voted to ban it just six months after, with lawmakers proposing a new bill where same-sex couples can enter into a domestic partnership instead.
Most of P&O’s ships are registered in Bermuda, leaving the company with no option but to cancel their upcoming same-sex weddings – which were due to start in 2018.
A spokesperson for P&O said: “Although we are awaiting further information from Bermuda, it is unfortunately likely to be the case that Bermudian law will not permit a same sex wedding ceremony on board our ships after January 2018.
“We are very unhappy about this decision and we do not underestimate the disappointment this will cause those guests who have planned their weddings. We would still love to welcome them on board though as planned.
“Whilst we are unable to hold the legal ceremony we can still offer a Commitment Ceremony to celebrate their partnership or a renewal of vows ceremony, both of which will be officiated by the captain or a senior officer.”
The House and Senate in Bermudian Parliament passed the same-sex ban, but the country is still awaiting formal approval from its Governor, who is a representative of the British Monarch due to the country being a British Overseas Terrority.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Government House said: “In considering this matter, the Governor will continue to act in accordance with his responsibilities under the Constitution.”