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Bermuda’s government is appealing Supreme Court’s same-sex ruling

Bermuda’s government is appealing Supreme Court’s same-sex ruling

Bermuda couple Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche

The government in Bermuda has lodged an appeal to the country’s Supreme Court ruling which overturned a ban on same-sex marriage.

Bermuda – a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean – became the first country to revoke same-sex marriage laws in the world.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay couple Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé.

Justice Charles-Etta Simmons ruled that ‘same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act.’

But in February Governor John Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership Act 2017 into law. The Act downgraded same-sex marriages to ‘domestic partnerships’.

Then only last month the Supreme Court overturned that February decision in case brought by plaintiffs, Rod Ferguson and Maryellen Jackson.

‘We’re challenging it’

The Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed on Thursday (5 July) it has started proceedings against the 6 June ruling.

‘We have filed an appeal in this matter. We look forward to having this matter heard by the Court of Appeal,’
said Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown.

Bermuda’s leading LGBTI organization, OUTBermuda, said it would fight the appeal. The organization will appear alongside Jackson and Ferguson as plaintiffs in the appeal.

‘We have strength not only in justice, but in our numbers – including our respected faith leaders,’ said Adrian Hartnett-Beasley, a OUTBermuda director.

‘We’ve made outstanding progress with our business advocates, led by Carnival Corporation, and many encouraging Bermudian-owned/based businesses and employers.’

Ferguson said the community would rally to make sure equality won.

‘Just one month ago, LGBTQ Bermudans inched closer to our goal of restoring marriage equality,’ he said.

‘We regret this ill-advised and costly decision to appeal the Supreme Court’s finding, and we will summon our voices and resources again as a united community to prevail.’