British legislators have expressed disappointment that the Bermuda government is backtracking on marriage equality and has urged the British Overseas Territory to withdraw legislation banning same-sex marriage.
United Kingdom disappointed
Britain’s Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan said the United Kingdom was “disappointed” by the Bermuda parliament’s decision. Opposition Labor parliamentarian Chris Bryant called on Bermuda’s Premier David Burt and Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown to withdraw the legislation banning same-sex marriages.
A decision by Britain to overrule Bermuda’s attempt to ditch same-sex marriage would be “an exceptional step”, the House of Commons heard on Monday night.
Sir Alan said a number of UK Overseas Territories had moved to introduce same-sex marriage, but that Britain had no plans to impose it on its Overseas Territories.
Sir Alan was speaking during a House of Commons adjournment debate on Bermuda’s 2017 Domestic Partnership Act, which was passed by the House of Assembly and Senate last month. The controversial legislation is designed to replace same-sex marriage with watered-down civil partnerships.
Bermuda Governor John Rankin has yet to give his royal assent to the bill.
Same-sex marriages have taken place in Bermuda since the Supreme Court ruled in May last year that it was discriminatory to deny gay couples the right to wed.