Bermuda abolishes same-sex marriage just six months after legalising it

Human Rights Groups have condemned the move


Bermuda is set to become the first country to abolish same-sex marriage.

The North Atlantic British island territory legalised same-sex marriage just six months ago, but the Bermuda Assembly introduced a new bill over the weekend that replaces same-sex marriages with partnerships.

The bill, named the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, was approved with 24 votes for and 10 against in the Bermuda House. The partnerships introduced with the bill offer the same rights as opposite-sex marriage, just without the title.

Previously, same-sex marriage gave gay couples a right to marry, but failed to grant them the same rights as heterosexual couples. It's believed that the bill will not roll back same-sex marriages that had taken place during the six months it was legal.

Progressive Labour Party MP Lawrence Scott was one of the many to speak in favour of the bill.

He said: "As it stands now, they [The LGBT community] can have the name marriage but without the benefits. But after this bill passes, they have the benefits and just not the name marriage. The benefits are what they really want."

The move has been condemned by the Human Rights Commission and the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda who called it a "removal of rights" for LGBT couples.

Same-sex marriage passed in Bermuda in May after Bermudian native Winston Godwin and Canadian fiance Greg DeRoche fought several court battles.

The bill still needs to be passed by the 11 members of the Bermuda Senate and then signed into law by the island's governor. However, this process could take several months and if Senate members disagree with the ruling, they can send it back to the Assembly.