Bermuda: Our Rights can be lost as well as won

After less than a year, Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal its same-sex marriage law.

While the same thing has happened in several US states over the last 20 years as the battle over same-sex marriage was fought state by state there, it has never happened somewhere country-wide until now.

The reversal is a populist measure from the government, overturning a court ruling that had brought forward same-sex marriage last year.

A ‘middle ground’ position is to be taken of offering same-sex couples civil partnership recognition and mixed-sex couples marriage; the few existing same-sex marriages will remain valid rather than being annulled or, as used to happen in the UK when one partner legally changed gender, converted.

But separate and slyly different is not the same as equal, regardless how the government of Bermuda tries to spin things, and two parallel systems fails people who don’t neatly fit in binary genders.

A sharp reminder as the UK heads toward Brexit and the prospect of withdrawal from international agreements on human rights that what minorities have won can be seized back through hatred or apathy on the part of the majority.