Bermuda Made Same-Sex Marriage Legal And Six Months Later May Ban It Again

A resort near Long Bay Beach in Somerset, Bermuda, June 22. The country could be the first ever to ban same-sex marriage twice. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Bermuda could become the first country to ever ban same-sex marriage twice—just six months after it was legalized.

Bermuda's government, which legalized same-sex marriage six months ago, is working on a bill that will replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnership arrangements.

In May, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, stating “the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.” But the anti-LGBT lawmakers in the government are still fighting to overturn that ruling.

A bill, launched by the Bermudan government and passed through their house, would reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling. The Domestic Partnership Bill would replace same-sex marriage with a domestic partnership arrangement.

At a press conference last month, Bermuda’s Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said that the majority of lawmakers wanted to make same-sex partnerships completely illegal, so this domestic partnership bill is actually a positive thing.

She said this bill “would have outlawed same-sex marriage and afforded no rights whatsoever to same-sex couples” and the “majority of MPs would have supported that bill.”

“This government took leadership on the issue and has decided to bring forward this bill, which will ensure that same-sex couples will have a raft of legal benefits—more so than they currently have under the existing legislation,” the minister said, according to Bernews, a local Bermuda news station.

But not all politicians in Bermuda think this is such a great idea. One member of parliament, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, called it a “flawed and very shameful bill.” Another member of parliament, Jeff Baron, said that 26 nations have made same-sex marriage legal—and none has ever “rebanned it.”

Gordon-Pamplin said she doesn’t “like to accept that it is OK for us to treat our sisters and brothers differently, whether fair or unfair, to treat them differently under similar circumstances.”

If the bill makes it way into law, same-sex couples who have already married will stay married, but new couples would have to enter into domestic partnerships.