Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry. A Supreme Court ruling last May had made same-sex marriages legal in the British Overseas Territory despite opposition. But a new law has now been put into force establishing domestic partnerships, and banning same-sex marriage. Critics called the move an unprecedented rollback of civil rights on the socially conservative island. Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said the legislation signed by Governor John Rankin seeks to balance opposition to same-sex marriage while complying with European court rulings that ensure recognition and protection for same-sex couples in the territory. Bermuda’s Senate and House of Assembly passed the legislation by wide margins in December and a majority of voters opposed same-sex marriage in a referendum. “The act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples,” Mr Brown said. LGBTQ civil rights groups said that domestic partnerships amount to a second-class status and that it is unprecedented for a jurisdiction to take away the legal… Read full this story
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