Today, HRC celebrated a historic decision by the Bermuda Supreme Court overturning the ban on same-sex marriage. The court’s decision comes in response to legal challenges to newly enacted domestic partnership legislation that repealed marriage equality in Bermuda.
“The Bermuda Supreme Court has righted the injustice that occurred when Bermudian lawmakers made the islands the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC’s global department. “We congratulate the plaintiffs in this case on their historic victory ensuring that once again, Love Wins!”
The Supreme Court’s decision today invalidates sections of the recently enacted Domestic Partnership Act that removed full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Bermuda first achieved marriage equality through a Supreme Court ruling in May 2017 in a case brought by a couple who challenged the Registrar-General’s rejection of their application to marry. However, in response to the court’s decision, the Parliament of Bermuda enacted legislation repealing marriage equality and replacing it with domestic partnership benefits.
In a letter to lawmakers, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority warned of consequences for the tourism industry, citing economic fallout over anti-LGBTQ measures in the U.S. states of North Carolina and Indiana in 2016 and 2015. The letter stated, “Significantly, it’s not only LGBT travelers that care about equal rights based on sexual orientation. Our research indicates many companies, consumers and travelers, including the overwhelming majority of the younger visitors powering Bermuda’s growth, care about this issue. It’s why the fallout in North Carolina and Indiana has proven so detrimental.”