Bermuda’s top court has overturned legislation which repealed marriage equality in the country.
The country became the first in the world to repeal marriage equality for same-sex couples in February, after their Supreme Court ruled in 2017 the reform must be allowed.
Lawmakers countered by passing a law in December that mandated that same-sex couples could only have domestic partnerships, arguing it gave the couples the same rights.
The ban took effect on June 1, but a week later the same court ruled the repeal unconstitutional on human rights grounds, upholding the right of same-sex couples’ marriages to be legally recognised.
Zakiya Johnson Lord and Adrian Hartnett-Beasley of local group OUTBermuda said in a statement that “love had won again”.
“Our hearts and hopes are full, thanks to this historic decision by our Supreme Court and its recognition that all Bermuda families matter,” they said.
“Equality under the law is our birthright, and we begin by making every marriage equal.
“We all came to the court with one purpose. That was to overturn the unfair provisions of the Domestic Partnership Act that tried to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
“Revoking same-sex marriage is not merely unjust, but regressive and unconstitutional; the Court has now agreed that our belief in same-sex marriage as an institution is deserving of legal protection and that belief was treated by the Act in a discriminatory way under Bermuda’s Constitution.
“We continue to support domestic partnership rights for all Bermudians to choose, but not at the expense of denying marriage to some.”
Same-sex marriage was originally achieved in Bermuda in May, after Winston Godwin and his fiancé Greg DeRoche (pictured) challenged the rejection of their marriage application in the Supreme Court.