Bermuda to reverse same-sex marriage ruling after being first country to take it away

Bermuda is poised to again permit same-sex marriages after a high court reversed a ban on the unions.

Earlier this year, the British territory made the unprecedented decision to repeal the right of gay couples to marry – making it the first nation to extend and then revoke that right.

Governor John Rankin signed a measure banning same-sex marriage after a referendum found a majority of Bermudans opposed them, seeking to override a Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex unions.

“One side of the freedom of conscience coin is that as a general rule no one can be compelled to participate in activities which contravene their beliefs”, Mr Kawaley wrote. “The other side of the same coin is that the State cannot use the legislative process to pass laws of general application which favour some beliefs at the expense of others”.Gay Bermudians sued, saying Parliament lacked the power to reverse the high court. Chief Justice Ian Kawaley sided with them, writing in his decision that “Parliament cannot impose the religious preferences of any one group on the society as a whole”.

The ruling does not take effect immediately. Bermuda’s government has a six-week window in which two decide whether to appeal.

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