Bermuda court rules marriage repeal law unconstitutional

Bermuda’s top court on Friday ruled a law that rescinded marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory is unconstitutional.

The Domestic Partnership Act — which allows same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships as opposed to get married — took effect on June 1.

Bermuda Supreme Court Chief Justice Ian R. C. Kawaley five days later ruled the law is unconstitutional. The British island territory’s government appealed Kawaley’s decision to the Bermuda Court of Appeal.

Supreme Court Justice Charles-Etta Simmons in May 2017 issued a ruling that paved the way for gays and lesbians to legally marry in Bermuda. Governor John Rankin in February signed the Domestic Partnership Act into law after the Bermuda Parliament approved it.

Bermuda is the first jurisdiction in the world outside the U.S. to rescind marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

Rankin’s decision to sign the Domestic Partnership Act sparked widespread criticism around the world. Linda Bogle-Mienzer, a long-time LGBTI activist in Bermuda who married their wife before the law took effect, and other advocates nevertheless rebuked calls to boycott the territory’s tourism industry. Read more via Washington Blade