Same-sex marriage: the legal position in Bermuda

Bermuda residents who have entered into same-sex marriages or civil unions/partnerships in foreign jurisdictions where these are permitted should be aware that such unions will not be recognised in Bermuda.

Neither our Constitution nor our Human Rights Act presently provides for protection under the law in respect of one’s sexual orientation or changes in gender. The present Government stated last month that its proposed amendment to the Human Rights Act will be restricted to only prevent discrimination in the areas of provision of goods, services and accommodation. This proposed amendment will not have any impact on the recognition of same-sex marriage or transsexuals in Bermuda.

Bermuda law provides that a marriage is void if the parties were not, respectively, male and female. Consequently, same-sex couples in Bermuda will not share in the success of petitioners in Europe and North America who based their court applications on non-discriminatory provisions in their country’s constitutions, human rights acts and applicable international conventions…

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