Bermuda’s Government Appeals Pro-Marriage Ruling

OUTBermuda urged the government not to appeal rulings that declared the territory’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
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The government of Bermuda has appealed to a British territories appellate court in an effort to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage after rulings by two courts struck down the ban as unconstitutional.

It is not yet clear whether the appeal will even be considered. London’s Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has not determined whether to give permission for the appeal, according to Reuters.

OutBermuda, an organization that promotes LGBTQ rights in Bermuda, slammed the government in a statement posted on Twitter last Thursday.

“Enough is enough. It is past time to end costly and futile appeals, and for all Bermudians to come together,” the statement said. “Marriage equality has come to our shores and it is time to move forward as a nation.”

Bermuda previously legalized marriage equality in 2017, but Governor John Rankin responded by signing a ban on same-sex marriage last December. In February, Rankin signed a domestic partnership law, which gave some benefits to same-sex couples but prevented full marriage rights.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the ban was unconstitutional and the Court of Appeals agreed in a ruling last month, ushering marriage equality back to the island, which is formally a British Overseas Territory.

The ruling by the Court of Appeals was made on the basis of freedom of conscience, which could make a difference in how other nations decide to proceed with legal cases for same-sex marriage.

Most other nations that have achieved marriage equality through the courts have done so on the basis of sexual orientation discrimination claims.

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