Governor John Rankin yesterday ended weeks of uncertainty by approving the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, which ends same-sex marriages on the island as well as on Bermuda-registered cruise ships at sea.

Rankin said in an announcement that he had given his royal assent “after careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the constitution”.

The legislation, aimed at replacing same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships, was tabled by Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown and passed by the House of Assembly and Senate in December. It is believed Bermuda is the first country in the world to reverse marriage equality.

The approval was welcomed by Brown, who said the British Overseas Territory would “continue to live up to its well-earned reputation as a friendly and welcoming place”.

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