The Bermuda Government has introduced legislation that would not allow same-sex marriages any longer and would replace them with a domestic partnership arrangement.
The new Progressive Labour Party draft Bill comes six months after a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for same-sex couples to marry in Bermuda. Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé, Greg DeRoche (pictured above), embarked on their fight for equal rights after the Registrar-General rejected their application to marry.
The government statement added: “The Bill will essentially replace same-sex marriage with a domestic partnership arrangement which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.
“It should be noted that all same-sex couples who are already married will not have this designation taken away from them.”
Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, said he was seeking the public’s feedback on the draft Domestic Partnership Bill.
“This topic has been a prolonged matter of great division in our country,” Mr Brown said.
“The purpose of this public consultation period is to gain feedback from the public on the current draft Bill regarding domestic partnerships and answer any questions that anyone might have. Stakeholder groups have already been informed as we seek to move forward in a collaborative way. “It should be noted that all same-sex couples who are already married will not have this designation taken away from them.”
The draft Bill will be posted on the Government website gov.bm for the public to view as well as on the Government’s Facebook Page
Members of the public can send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a two week public consultation period, which began yesterday and will end on November 15th.
Homosexuality is legal in Bermuda, but the country has long held a reputation for being anti-gay. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in Bermuda, but not on the basis of gender identity.
Ironically, Bermuda has actually been the host of gay tourism for many years. The LGBT travel company Pied Piper, for example, has been organizing trips there since 1990.