In May 2017, the Supreme Court of Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage. But now a homophobic member of parliament named Wayne Furbert has introduced a bill that could ban marriage equality in the island nation.
If it passes, Bermuda could become the first country in the world to ban marriage equality after previously legalizing it.
How Bermuda gay marriage was first legalized
The Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage involved Bermuda resident Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé Greg DeRoche.
The country’s Registrar-General denied the couple the right to marry, and in court, the couple’s lawyers argued that the denial violated Bermuda’s Human Rights Act, constituting an act of discrimination.
The Supreme Court justice agreed and ruled that all same-sex couples on the island could now be wed.
At the time of her ruling, the local Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, said, “This ruling is not only a victory for a brave young couple willing to fight for their love. … This ruling is a victory for all same-gender loving people in Bermuda. … The courts have affirmed that the love between two consenting adults is worth protecting with law. … This outcome preserves the notion that love is the greatest force of all.”
Why Bermuda might soon dissolve marriage equality
Despite its legalization of marriage equality, a majority of Bermudians voted against marriage equality in a non-binding June 2016 referendum.
Regarding Furbert’s bill to dissolve Bermuda gay marriage, Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, said, “[The Progressive Labor Party] position is that same-sex couples should have all the legal rights of heterosexual couples, save for marriage.”
Furbert’s bill would allow married same-sex couples to have all the federal rights bestowed by marriage but would call the unions something else.
The island may find itself in a bureaucratic jam if local hospitals, police and other officials are unfamiliar with the name given to same-sex unions, or its legal standing.
The nation’s Parliament could take up the issue soon after it reconvenes next Friday, Sept. 8. The website gaytimes.co.uk says that the bill could find support amongst the parliament’s anti-LGBTQ members.
Featured image via Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda