In a world first, the Parliament of Bermuda has passed a law repealing same-sex marriage, after legalizing it months earlier.
John Rankin, Governor of Bermuda, the British island, passed a law Wednesday revoking rights to same-sex marriage on the territory. In its place, the Bermuda Parliament passed a bill legalizing domestic partnerships that still allow protections for same-sex couples.
According to Governor Rankin, the new bill replacing same-sex marriage grants the same rights and obligations to couples, even calling the domestic partnership “equivalent” to the marriage of a heterosexual couple.
A court ruling in May 2017 granted marriage rights to all same-sex couples on the island. The new bill to revoke the right originated in December of 2017 and passed both houses of the legislature with wide margins, despite concerns of the decision hurting the tourism industry.
“Governor Rankin and the Bermuda Parliament have shamefully made Bermuda the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality,” said Ty Cobb, global director of the Human Rights Campaign, according to CNN News.
“This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda’s international reputation and economy. Despite this deplorable action, the fight for marriage equality in Bermuda will continue until the day when every Bermudian is afforded the right to marry the person they love,” Cobb continued.
The few marriages that had been legalized during the few short months same-sex marriage was legalized in Bermuda will still be recognized going forward. However, even British officials are shocked at the decision.
James Slack, the spokesperson for the British Prime Minister Theresa May, said the Prime Minister is “seriously disappointed” by the decision to revoke a law such as this one. But despite many pressuring the British government to intervene and stop the measure, May said it is not Britain’s place to interfere with Bermuda’s legal system.
According to spokesperson Slack, May said the bill “has been democratically passed by the Parliament of Bermuda, and our relationship with the overseas territories is based on partnership and respect for their right to democratic self-government.”
- More from NBC News
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