Gay marriage has been legalised in Bermuda after a landmark Supreme court ruling.

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A couple have won the right to marry on the island of Bermuda after a Supreme court challenge found that not allowing gay couples to wed would be discrimination. The couple used the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda’s Human Rights Act to argue their case. They said that not allowing them to marry constituted as discrimination on the basis of their sexuality, something that the act expressly forbids.

The couple, Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé Greg DeRoche brought the legal challenge after being denied by the island’s Registrar-General.


Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons concluded,

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“On the facts of this case the applicants were discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation when the Registrar refused to process their notice of intended marriage.

“The applicants are entitled to an Order of Mandamus compelling the Registrar to act in accordance with the requirements of the Marriage Act and a Declaration that same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act 1944.”

A referendum on gay marriage was held last June. a majority, 69% – 31% voted against allowing same-sex nuptials to take place. However there was a turn out rate of 47%. Fifty percent is required for the referendum to be considered answered.

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