page contents

Victory for love and tourism: Bermuda Supreme Court overturns same-sex marriage ban

Victory for love and tourism: Bermuda Supreme Court overturns same-sex marriage ban

Today, the Supreme Court of Bermuda agreed to overturn the nation’s same-sex marriage ban and decided in favor of OUTBermuda and its co-litigants. Speaking for the successful Applicants, Zakiya Johnson Lord and Adrian Hartnett-Beasley of OUTBermuda said, “Love wins again! Our hearts and hopes are full, thanks to this historic decision by our Supreme Court and its recognition that all Bermuda families matter. Equality under the law is our birthright, and we begin by making every marriage equal.”

Johnson Lord and Hartnett-Beasley are Directors of OUTBermuda, one of the successful litigants in joint lawsuits brought by Roderick Ferguson and Maryellen Jackson with an aim to revoke sections of the recently enacted Domestic Partnership Act that removed marriage rights for same-sex couples. They were joined in their statement by Sylvia Hayward Harris and Dr. Gordon Campbell.

Ferguson and Jackson offered a joint statement: “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.”

The Applicants expressed deep thanks to their attorneys Rod S. Attride-Stirling (ASW Law Limited) and Mark Pettingill (Chancery Legal), for their outstanding and expert work in the Court. They also expressed gratitude to Carnival Corporation for its leadership supporting their cause and for the affidavits in support of the litigation provided by Julia and Judith Aidoo-Saltus, Chai T, Wesley Methodist Church, Sylvia Hayward-Harris, Douglas NeJaime and by Carnival Corporation executive Roger Frizzell.

OUTBermuda promotes and supports the wellbeing, health, dignity, security, safety and protection of the LGBTQ community in Bermuda by providing educational resources on issues of diversity, inclusiveness, awareness and acceptance regarding LGBTQ people. They seek generally to advance human rights, and the promotion of equality and diversity relating to the LGBTQ community in Bermuda.