Bermuda says no to same-sex marriages

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A top minister in Bermuda says the government has ruled out allowing same-sex marriage.

Community Development Minister Wayne Scott said: “I can tell you that same-sex marriage is not on the agenda, it is not being discussed.”

Earlier this month, equal rights campaigners were given a glimmer of hope when the Bermuda Government proposed an amendment to the countries’ Human Rights Act by adding sexual orientation to a list of prohibited categories of discrimination in the provision of goods, services and accommodation.

However, Mr Scott has confirmed that the changes to the Human Rights Act will not happen and that same-sex marriage is not on the government’s agenda.

An overhaul of human rights legislation that would have seen the repeal of the Human Rights Act and replaced with a more comprehensive Equalities Act was proposed by the former administration, however this will no longer go ahead.

“We are not going down the path of an Equalities Act; we are updating the Human Rights Act,” Mr Scott said, adding “goods, services and accommodation are protected categories under the Human Rights Act.”

Equal rights campaigners in Bermuda welcomed news of British MPs voting in favour of legislation that would legalise same-sex marriage earlier this month.

However, Mr Scott maintains that the UK decision has had no influence on Bermuda.

“That is not something we are doing, we are not looking at amending the Marriage Act…This is an updating of the Human Rights Act.