THE Bermuda government’s decision to ban same-sex marriages in this British Overseas Territory nine months after the Supreme Court gave them the green light is to be tested next month (May) according to a Jamaica Observer report.
Chief Justice Ian Kawaley will hear the civil case brought by gay Bermudian Rod Ferguson, a 38-year-old singer and stand-up comedian who lives in the US, against Attorney-General Kathy Simmons on May 21 and 22.
Ferguson’s lawsuit, filed on February 15, claims that the new Domestic Partnership Act – piloted through the House of Assembly last year by Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown – is unconstitutional and will subject gay people to “inhumane or degrading treatment” by denying them the right to wed.
He is seeking to have the legislation declared void by the court, on the basis that it is inconsistent with his fundamental rights as set out in the Bermuda constitution.
The Domestic Partnership Act was passed in parliament in December – first by the House and then the Senate – and given royal assent by Governor John Rankin on February 7, but has yet to come into effect.