Bermuda swaps same-sex marriage for domestic partnerships

HAMILTON, Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — A bill that would replace same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships in Bermuda has been signed into law by the governor of the British island territory.

Gov. John Rankin says he sought to balance opposition to same-sex marriage on the island while complying with European court rulings that ensure legal protections for same-sex couples.

The governor says the domestic partnership law grants same-sex couples rights that are “equivalent” to those of heterosexual couples. Opponents say it’s unprecedented to strip away the right.

A handful of same-sex marriages that took place during the months they were legal in Bermuda will be recognized.

In December, the bill passed both houses of the legislature by wide margins despite concerns it could hurt the tourism industry. Ranking signed the measure Wednesday.

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