HAMILTON - Bermuda's governor on Wednesday approved a bill reversing the right of gay couples to marry in the British overseas territory, despite a Supreme Court ruling authorizing same-sex marriage last year.
The decision by Governor John Rankin in the wealthy Atlantic island of 60,000 people represents a rare reversal of a trend among Western countries of legalizing same-sex marriage.
Under the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, already passed by Bermuda's House of Assembly and Senate, any Bermudian will be allowed to form domestic partnerships which the government says will offer equal rights.
Same-sex couples who wed in recent months will not have their marital status annulled.
Still, the new act has been criticized by international human rights groups who have lobbied Rankin and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to deviate from standard practice in self-governing UK territories and withhold assent.
They say the new legislation contradicts Bermuda's constitution, which guarantees freedom from discrimination.