After legalizing same-sex marriage less than a year ago, the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has approved a Domestic Partnership Act repealing the legislation (see video below). Bermuda territory’s governor, John Rankin signed in a law on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, which bans same-sex marriage and cruise ships registered in Bermuda from hosting them.
Instead, it gives non-marriage partnership rights. “The Domestic Partnership Act permits any couple (heterosexual or homosexual) to enter into a domestic partnership and gives same-sex couples rights equivalent to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples; rights that were not guaranteed before the passage of this Act.
The rights now guaranteed under the Domestic Partnership Act include: the right to inherit in the case of no will, the right to a partner’s pension(s), access to property rights, the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one’s partner and the right to live and work in Bermuda as the domestic partner of a Bermudian.
While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage – as evidenced by the referendum – it is the Government’s belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European Courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same sex couples are put in place.
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.”
Eight same-sex marriages that took place in Bermuda between May and now will remain recognized under the new law.
In 2011, Cunard Line made the decision to register their cruise ships in Bermuda, joining Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises. This was to take advantage of the fact that, unlike British law, the country recognizes a marriage ceremony performed at sea.
So the announcement in May 2017 that Bermuda was legalizing same-sex marriage effectively gave same-sex couples the freedom to get married anywhere in the world – provided they were aboard a Princess, P&O or Cunard cruise. Now, that has been reversed.
#BoycottBermuda has begun trending on Twitter.
There will be thirty cruise ships which will be affected by the new Bermuda same sex marriage law.
Those will include:
- Cunard Line – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
- P&O Cruises – Adonia, Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana, Oriana and Ventura.
- Phoenix Reisen – Artania
- Princess Cruises – Caribbean Princess, Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Dawn Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Majestic Princess, Ocean Princess, Pacific Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, Star Princess and Sun Princess.
Video: Bermuda becomes first to legalize gay marriage, then repeal it