by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bermuda becomes the first territory in the world to abolish gay marriage.

01 Feb, 2019

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Talk about going backwards! Bermuda, a small island located up in the North of the Atlantic Ocean, is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.

The Government of the Caribbean island (which is almost independent from the United Kingdom), eliminated the union between people of the same sex, which was legalized in May 2017, by a ruling of the Supreme Court.

The life of gay marriage in Bermuda has been short. Needless to say, those who form the LGBTi community feel very mistreated and misrepresented on the island.

The Atlantic island became the first territory in the world to abolish the union between people of the same sex after it was legalized by a Supreme Court ruling last May. And all of this happened last year, in 2018. When most countries are fighting for the rights of all individuals regardless of their chosen gender or sex, they have completely disregarded this and wanted to go back to how everything was before this law passed: in other words, they want the rights of the LGBTis’ community to be illegal.

The new law that denies this right, approved by the governor of Bermuda after obtaining broad support in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and although it will not nullify the marital status of the dozen homosexual couples who had been married to date, those who would like to get married will now have to do it abroad (in the UK for example).

Organizations that defend the rights of the LGTBI community in this British overseas territory assure that the new legislation discriminates the rights of homosexual people.
The ruling of the Supreme Court that had legalized same-sex marriage was celebrated by the gay community, but also outraged thousands of people who gathered in front of the island's Parliament in protest. In 2016, the non-approval of homosexual marriage was supported by more than 60% of citizens in a referendum that was declared non-binding as the minimum required participation was not achieved.

Winston Godwin, a lawyer from Bermuda settled in Canada who fights for marriage equality on the island, says it is "a sad day for human rights." Godwin, who encouraged Julia Saltus and Judith Aidoo to become the first women to marry on the island last June, believes that changes in society do not happen overnight and that the road to equal rights must keep going.

For the Rainbow Alliance, the decision causes "second-class marriages" and represents an involution in the rights of the LGTBI community, while Ty Cobb, director of the Human Rights Campaign group, has declared to the US network NBC that the decision "hijacks Bermuda's international reputation as well as its economy."

In 2017, Australia, Germany, Malta and Taiwan joined the list of more than 22 countries that allow gay weddings. In addition, the Austrian Constitutional Court ordered last December the authorization of this type of alliance as of March 2019.

It almost seems like a cynical thing to do, that is, to hand in some rights and then to take them away, why would a government behave like that towards the people that have elected them? Moreover, why do people still choose them? They are representatives of them, and surely if the law passed in the first place, it was because the majority of people wanted it!