Bermuda’s highest court has yet again affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry in the British island territory.
Last May, judges ruled that banning same-sex couples from wedding in Bermuda was unconstitutional. However, the ruling was challenged merely eight months later when Bermudan Gov. John Rankin signed a law rescinding equal marriage and replacing it with domestic partnerships.
Bermuda became the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality, but LGBTQ rights campaigners refused to let the landmark victory succumb to bigotry. This June, judges determined that the gubernatorial ban was indeed unconstitutional…and the decision was yet again challenged.
Finally, after months of back-and-forth, the Bermudan Court of Appeals ruled against government officials and in favor of marriage equality advocates, according to The Royal Gazette. An application on behalf of the government to delay the ruling was also denied, meaning officials would have to apply for the case to be heard by the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in order to formally pursue a suspension.
LGBTQ advocacy groups, including HRC and local organization OUTBermuda, which spearheaded the efforts to shoot down the repeal, are celebrating the historic victory on Twitter.
#LoveWins for #Bermuda as we celebrate #justice and #equality for all today with the Court of Appeals’ historic decision. Our deepest gratitude for lead plaintiffs @rodferguson @maryellenjackson and all friends of #OUTBermuda. pic.twitter.com/Lx9lgPTQ58
— OUTBermuda (@OUTBermuda) November 23, 2018
#LoveWins! Huge victory for equality in Bermuda!
Court affirms right of same sex couples to marry in spite of governments efforts to stop it. @HRC congratulates plaintiffs and advocates, including @OUTBermuda, and all those who have fought hard for this win. ️ https://t.co/aE2qWACxuo
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) November 23, 2018
In a statement to The Royal Gazette, plaintiffs Maryellen Jackson and Roderick Ferguson said they were “grateful for the court’s decision, and its recognition of the significance of marriage in supporting and protecting our families.”