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Bermuda's top court reverses government’s ban on gay marriage

Bermuda's top court ruled legislation banning same-sex marriage violated the 1968 constitution which included protection on freedom of conscience. 

The Bermuda’s Domestic Partnership Act which prohibited same-sex marriage in favour of domestic partnerships was passed in June of this year. 

Lawyers contesting the ban have argued the government had only passed it to appease a religious lobby in their small island.

Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban said: 

“In considering whether to appeal this case, we must weigh the significant implications for the expectation of Bermudians that laws passed by their elected representatives and that reflect their democratically expressed views will be upheld.”

Rod Attride-Stirling, a lawyer arguing in defence of same-sex marriage told reporters:

“This case is revolutionary because every country that has a freedom of conscience provision, which is most now, has a fully new avenue of approach."

He notes that if the reversal is permitted it may signal a change in precedent making it more difficult for nations who continue to oppose gay marriage like Northern Ireland.