Report: Law Prevents Same-Sex Cruise Wedding

April 15, 2015

According to various international reports, two women hoping to get married on a cruise were told they were unable to as the company is registered in Bermuda, and Bermuda law prohibits them from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Pink News reports, “Because P&O is registered in Bermuda, where same-sex marriage is not allowed, the cruise company cannot perform same-sex marriages on board. Jaqui Chapman told DIVA she’d been on 40 P&O cruises, and had planned to marry her partner on board a P&O ship this September.

Ms Chapman said, “All the brochures advertised memorable and romantic marriages on a lovely cruise ship. Imagine our disappointment when, after making enquiries to book our dream wedding, we were refused. We are still going ahead with our marriage but not on a cruise.”

Michele Andjel from P&O said: “We welcome all passengers on board. Unfortunately, Bermuda law prohibits us from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, but we can certainly offer same-sex vow renewals on board carried out by the captain.”

The P&O website says “the P&O Cruises Weddings at Sea ceremony is a civil service conducted under Bermudian law”, and “Bermudian law says that the following requirements must be fulfilled by passengers wishing to be married at sea:

  • “The parties must not be within prohibited degrees of relationship [i.e. they must not be too closely related by birth or marriage]
  • “The parties must both be over 16 years of age
  • “If either party is under 18 years of age, the consent of a parent or guardian is required. The consent will have to be formalised by a notary public. Passengers should take independent advice in this respect and will be personally responsible for ensuring that a notarised consent is available in good time
  • “Neither party is suffering from a mental disorder as defined under the Mental Health Act 1968
  • “Neither party must knowingly and wilfully agree to the marriage without the required notice being given of the marriage or without the necessary licence
  • “Neither party may be married to another person at the time of the marriage ceremony
  • “The marriage must be contracted before a Marriage Officer [the Captain or Staff Captain]
  • “The parties must not be of the same sex.”

According to a poll conducted last year by Profiles of Bermuda, nearly 6 in 10 Bermuda voters [58.5%] oppose same-sex marriages, while 4 in 10 [38.4%] were in favour of such marriages and 3.2% were unsure.

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  1. umum says:

    “nearly 6 in 10 Bermuda voters [58.5%] oppose same-sex marriages,”

    Nearly 6 in 10 bermudians are selfish bigots

    • Bermudafirst says:

      Your statement irks me – - just leave then if we are “selfish bigots”.
      We live in a democratic society and , at this point, the majority opposes same sex marriage – get over it.

      • Billy Mays says:

        If you oppose same sex marriage, don’t marry someone of your own gender. Otherwise, mind your own business.

      • bob13 says:

        So if the majority of Bermudians wanted to say, get rid of all the white people on island then that would be fine in your books? I call BS. The wants of a majority don’t trump the rights of a minority when it comes to basic human rights. That is not democracy. Sorry.
        So tell me, how does it feel to be a bigot? Because that’s exactly what you (and apparently 58.5% of other Bermudians) are.

        • ya right says:

          Gay Marriage isn’t basic human rights though.

          • umum says:

            “Gay Marriage isn’t basic human rights though.”

            No marriage is a right….what’s your point?

      • umum says:

        Your statement irks me, why don’t you leave? or mind your own buisiness? what does it matter to you who someone else marries?

      • reefs says:

        At one time, the majority opposed racially integrated marriage, those people should have just left and gotten over it, the majority rules, right?

        learn something about democracy before revealing your stupidity next time.

      • Mr Sparkle says:

        I guess you will be leaving when SSM is legal in Bermuda – it will be legal in the entire US this year and we will not be far behind…. and yes, bigot is the correct term.

    • Pondering says:

      where did these figures come from??

    • Um Um Like says:

      “If you have a problem with gay marriage then don’t marry a gay person”

      -Whoopi Goldberg

    • mike says:

      9 in 10 of them are divorced. more the once for some.

    • Mockingjay says:


    • Shawn says:

      Most god fearing Bermudians, including the opposition leader Mark Beans agrees that homosexuality is a sin, as written in the bible (Leviticus 20:13).

      Although, I find it funny that they can quote that, but choose to ignore Leviticus 10:9 “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations”

      Also, i advise those same people who claim not to be homophobic, just religious, please, dust off your bibles and read Galatians 5:19 – 5:21 so they can see what good book views on, Adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage), sedition and hatred. I believe the phrase the bible uses for those commit those sins goes, “shall not inherit the kingdom of God”.

      • Mockingjay says:

        Learn to use scripture in context, Leviticus speaks to the vows of a Nazarite. And even though those acts are a sin they produce Gods best gift…. more humans.

        • Creamy says:

          I wonder whether the bible is ok with the idea of making money out of running a betting shop?

      • Mike Hind says:

        The bible has no bearing on this topic whatsoever. People can believe whatever they want to believe.
        What they can’t do is demand that other people should have to follow the rules of that belief.

  2. Ridiculous says:

    The ship should have informed the couple of their policy on conducting same sex marriages before they took the couple’s money and i’m sure they had friends and family present as well. Don’t blame Bermuda’s laws for the cruise ship’s screw up!!

    • JB says:

      Read the article:

      ‘Imagine our disappointment when, after making enquiries to book our dream wedding, we were refused’

    • Parallelogram Proctologist says:

      I’m sure they’ll investigate registering their ship somewhere else especially seeing that such ignorant bigots live in Bermuda.

    • Timothy Hickey says:

      WRONG!!! The PEOPLE should have advised the cruise line of their plans PRIOR to paying them for the cruise. Then they would have been told it couldn’t be done before they handed over the cruise fare. As I always say, “Bad planning on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part”!! What part didn’t you understand? The ship is REGISTERED in Bermuda thus must follow laws such as these instituted in Bermuda!

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Read the article. They never lost any money. They made enquiries about the cruise and went no further.

      • umum says:

        read? but the I can’t get on my high horse and spew venom at the same sex couple.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh puhleeeze Bermuda law, catch up with the 21st century.

    We are so far behind on so many simple issues. No need to spend years endlessly talking about reform.

  4. sandgrownan says:


  5. aceboy says:

    The hateraid flows freely in Bermy.

    All of the moral church goers who claim gay marriage is against God’s Law while having all sorts of affairs and children out of wedlock.

    Funny because the Ten Commandments do not mention gays, but certainly mentions coveting another’s wife.

    • Funny .... says:

      Funny but both the Catholic and Orthodox churches had same sex marriage liturgies on the books for centuries.

  6. corey says:

    It’s not selfish its there country their rules if you don’t like it go somewhere else to get married

    • reefs says:

      It’s also my country, if you don’t like it, you can leave.

    • SMH says:

      errr…what if those rules were racist rules instead? Would you feel the same way then? Wouldn’t you be fighting for your rights? How if this different

  7. Ameboa says:

    Uphold the law….”umum” you are an idiot.

    • umum says:

      good comeback, did your pastor teach you to spew that crap?

  8. Onion says:

    More bad press for Bermuda.

    Time for us to move into the 21st Century and allow equality for all.

  9. WhistleBlower says:

    Ridiculous pls re-read the story!!!

    Paragraph #3 clearly states the couple “enquired,” and were “informed.” Therefore no booking was ever made, no monies were exchanged from anyone family/friends!!!

    What story were you quoting your source from???

  10. John Males says:

    I simply can’t BELIEVE that lovely Bermuda – my favourite place on earth (or was) – prohibits gay marriage! Do you prohibit gay couples sharing hotel bedrooms, too? Apart from the questionable morality of such a stand, you are losing out on a huge chunk of international business. Is homosexuality legal in Bermuda?

    • PBanks says:

      They repealed the buggery laws several years ago, but there is still much to be done.

    • umum says:

      bermuda chased away a whole cruise ship full of gay passengers one year….bermuda doesn’t want gay money infecting their morally righteous island.

      • edwin says:

        Bermuda, also let a whole cruise ship of gays come here also.Sounds like selective memory.

        • reefs says:

          when? cite your source…sounds like you’re simply making up stories, again.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      @ John Males: That is so true. Bermuda are/will continue to lose business due to bias “Laws” rules/regulations.
      Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? We have (without any doubt)have had and up to this very day still entertain same sex couples when visiting balmy Bermuda. As someone mentioned above, “if you don’t agree with same sex marriage then don’t marry someone of your same sex”. It’s that simple…If Bermuda need monies then we must “get hip/up to date” because there are many of our representative in the “House” who are or had been in the past “gay”/”lesbians”.

  11. Kayla says:

    in this situation it’s definitely the cruise’s fault, but that doesn’t stop Bermuda’s attitudes towards same sex love from being embarrassing and out-of-touch. They’ll thump on and on about gay marriages being unholy but no similar barking on about mixed fabrics clothing, ladies wearing pants, eating pork or shellfish, or those fun designs local boys like to buzz into the ‘corners or their heads’ – all similarity banned by the holy book. Bermudians attitudes towards gay people are more like those from some of the least democratic and backwards places on this planet…mortifying,

  12. campervan says:

    Get that archaic law off Bermuda’s books in double quick time.
    Bigotry aside, the sleeping giant Cuba is waking up and we will need every bit of business we can get just to keep our heads above water.

    • Unbelievable says:

      That’s right. Cuba is about to open up to the rest of the world real quick. The rest of the world meaning: The Americans.

      Come on, Bermuda….change your silo mentality or pay the cost.

  13. Unbelievable says:

    Time for Bermuda to allow same sex marriage. Let’s stop this silo mentality.

  14. 21st Century says:

    60% oppose same sex marriage yet seem to have no problem with the fact that 40% of births in Bermuda are to unmarried women*. Hypocritical much?
    *Bermuda Digest of Statistics

  15. James says:

    If Bermuda is so backwards on the issue of immigration, why would anyone expect us to be forward thinking on issues like these?

  16. Just One says:

    At least they could still renew their vows on the ship, if they wanted to that is…

  17. BermudianAbroad says:

    Stories like this only serve to remind me of our island’s incredibly archaic laws. I hope that one day soon Bermudians and visitors alike will be able to exercise their right to marry the person they love in Bermuda. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to be told that you can’t marry the person you love, and unfortunately this is a reality for many of my close friends. I was lucky enough to grow up in such a beautiful place and I look forward to the day when I can be truly proud to call myself a Bermudian.

  18. OUCH says:

    Its amazing the names you’re called when you don’t agree with the life style. I don’t agree with marriage of the same sex!! That’s my belief and my right to express it! I have no hatred towards gays, I have met some of the kindest people that are gay.It is my belief that part of Gods plan is for us to create life and that is biologically impossible with same sex couples. I have been married for 18 years and it is my opinion that gay unions shouldn’t hold the same value and meaning as marriage between man and woman.Like I said,this is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be judged come that day as well as others who believe that homosexuality is ok! Someone has to be wrong on this issue. I find it strange that there is a large following of rehabilitated homosexuals that believe that the lifestyle is wrong.

    • Mike Hind says:

      No one is stopping you from having or expressing your opinion… The problem comes when you try to use that personal opinion to deny equal rights to a group of your fellow citizens. Your personal opinion is just that: Your personal opinion. It shouldn’t affect anyone else in any way, shape or form. The problem is that folks like you seem to think it should.

      As for procreation being part of marriage? Come on. That would mean that impotent men and post- menopausal women should be banned from marriage. They aren’t.

      • Just Curious says:

        Don’t forget the women (and men) of child bearing age that can’t have children. I suppose they have to remain single for life, since their union won’t produce children. I guess people that don’t want children by choice shouldn’t get married either…

        • Mike Hind says:

          Not only shouldn’t, but, according to this person, shouldn’t be allowed to!

          (And I would have put all that in, but I was on the phone, in the barber chair! :D )

    • umum says:

      Ouch, it’s not a lifestyle any more than your life is a ‘style’.
      Traditional marriage is a transfer of property, does your wife of 18 years agree that she is nothing but a piece of property that you own?
      There is no god, please keep your beliefs to yourself and don’t expect others to live by them.
      Just as you have a right to express your opinion, the rest of us have the same right to our opinions.
      Why is it that so many so called christians get so upset when they hear an opinion that goes against their ‘lifestyle’ choice?

    • Kayla says:

      Like you are entitled to an opinion means we are also free to judge you for it and Express our feelings to you and people like you.

      As for your so called rehabilitated gays – get a clue, it’s well known such stats fall apart in the long term and attempting to change your inherent sexuality is pretty much impossible. Exodus International, one of the first such organized institutions closed their doors in 2013 and issued a formal apology for all the damage they’ve done. Their president even said that “99.9% haven’t had a change in their orientation” despite them boasting years ago that he had seen hundreds of thousands ‘cured’.

      Gay conversion is again something that deserves to be left in the ignorance of the 60′s

    • Onion says:

      It’s biologically impossible for post-menopausal women to create life, should we ban them from getting married?

  19. tils says:

    This story has nothing to do with Ship, travel or Ceremony. It is just another attack by those in the gay agenda to use manipulation against Bermudians for holding fast to their principles. Seriously, am I going to write a letter to Iran because the women there were a head piece and when I visit, I don’t want to wear one? It is what it is. And despite what Scandal, Empire, and the rest of these shows call ‘Normal’, there are those who who love gays yet let tv stay on tv.

    • umum says:

      what a hate filled little person you are, tils. so sad.

    • Manipulation? says:

      `Holding fast to their principles`???

      By that logic we wouldn’t allow mixed race marriages – after all, in the day people firmly believed that was wrong. So why did we change that law? Ditto “whites only lunch counters” – that was a matter of principle as well. In fact that question ended up in the US Supreme Court as late as 1968 when the Court unanimously ruled that the “religious freedom” argument that true believers were using was patently frivolous.

    • brigadooner says:

      You’re defending Iran. The rest of your argument falls apart right there.

      • jt says:

        Iran..poster child for human rights. I’m still chuckling.

  20. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    While I understand that the majority, or so it’s reported, of Bermudians have, in my opinion, quite backwards views on this issue, the law is the law.

    I just really wish that we’d catch up with the times or perhaps follow the teachings of the Bible and learn to love our neighbours … all of them … and allow them all equal rights.

    At a time when we’ve been celebrating the historic steps towards racial equality, though work continues to need to be done, how can any of us condone any law which limits the freedoms of any minority?

  21. Just a matter of time says:

    Time for Bermuda to shed this type of foolish bigotry once and for all. This backward intolerance needs to stop. And no it doesn’t help our tourism. Speaking of tourism I was off the island recently and as always I promote and ask if people have heard of us and inevitably the Bda Triangle comes up. Here’s the kicker. They were always afraid to come to Bda because of the triangle story which is taught in their schools. Yes taught! Sorry for the slight subject change. We’ve got much work to do.

  22. alsys says:

    Equality aside, isn’t this a bit much? Yes, we should legalise gay marriage but it takes time to convince people to see this in a way that makes that possible. Several states in the US wouldn’t allow them to marry either. Are they equally upset about that?

    Why is this a story about Bermuda when they only made inquiries? How many other cruise lines (all of which are registered in various countries in the world) allow for same sex marriages?

    Again, I think equality is just basic sense but I’m not thinking bashing a place as if they are the only is very sporting. Especially when the issues close to home are equally as confused.

  23. Bermudian Momma says:

    So same sex marriage is not allowed according to Bermuda’s laws. Last time I checked this is still an issue within the United States of America – not all states recognize same sex marriages.
    The article does not provided the citizenship of the would-be brides but it would be interesting to find out if same sex marriage is allowed where they reside. The idea that this law directly impacts our tourism product is amusing at best as is the idea that the law needs to be addressed for the same reason. If this is considered an issue by the residents of Bermuda then they (the residents) of Bermuda are the ones who should seek to have this changed. As for the Cuba reference, Cuba has been open to everyone EXCEPT the Americans who have found ways to go there despite the embargo.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Why would where they are from and whether that place has marriage equality have ANY bearing on this? At all?

    • PBanks says:

      The first country within the Caribbean/Western Atlantic region that opens up to same sex marriage will have a major leg up in terms of the tourism market from the US.

      Similar discussions have begun in the countries to our south, who will take the first step?

  24. Educated says:

    If they’re bringing money to the island, who cares about their sexual orientation??? You won’t dare ban a cruise with mentally challenged people. It’s the same thing!

    • Mike Hind says:

      While the message comes from a good place, I’m not sure comparing being gay to being mentally challenged is the way to go…

    • N says:

      It’s illegal to marry gay; its not illegal to be mental.
      Not sure if this really had to be spelled out…
      They can come; they cannot perform the act of same sex marriage.

      • Mike Hind says:


      • umum says:

        It was illegal to marry someone who was not the same race as you. Do you think it should still be this way?

  25. NOK says:

    I am not mad it is a sin.

    • Mike Hind says:

      It’s a sin according to your religion. Why does anyone else have to follow the rules of your religion? Would you think it’s fair if someone else forced their religious rules onto you?

    • umum says:

      What is a sin? children out of wedlock? mixing fabrics? swearing at your parents? eating shellfish? what…or are you one of those ignorant people who pick and chose and use the bible as an excuse to hate?

    • Onion says:

      There is no prohibition on lesbian relationships in the New Testament (one passage is misinterpreted but actually refers to improper male/female relationships).

      To find condemnation of female same sex relationships you need to go back to the Old Testament where it also condemns tattoos, eating shellfish, and trimming your beard.

  26. Micro says:

    Time to correct the law then. We’re missing out on millions of visitor’s and tax dollars.

  27. Equality says:

    There was a developer in Canada who only hired gays to do the electrical,plumbing,carpentry and other building tasks on their housing development. The developer then sold to only gay buyers. Was that right?
    All people should have equal opportunity regardless of their sexual preference.

    • umum says:

      Where and when was this? Equality? Can you cite a source?

    • BDA Friend says:

      Please cite a source for this preposterous story.

    • Creamy says:

      There are certainly straight people who would not rent to gay people. Ask LaVerne.

  28. ann says:

    Change the Law, Move forward Bermuda, So many people would come with many guests to be married in our beautiful Island! Hello we need visitors! What is the big deal????

  29. liberalarts says:

    These are real people with real lives and real feelings. It is in no one’s power to tell two individuals what they can or can’t feel and whether those feelings towards each other are morally acceptable. With the economic incentives aside, would anyone on the island even notice a difference if same sex marriages were legal? The only people that are affected by these laws are the homosexual couples that are banned from marriage. If religion is the argument, then what makes you think that gay people would voluntarily enter into a church or religious community where they are clearly not accepted? This is a question of self-preservation and equal rights, not one of moral accuracy. Also, I think it is important to think of laws not as what the community or country currently believes, but as something to strive towards – we should want to be the best, most accepting versions of ourselves, not stagnate our culture with archaic laws and homophobic agendas.

  30. Angie says:

    A few things:

    - Marriage predates Abrahamic religions like Christianity, so that whole “God created marriage for a man and a woman” thing falls flat. Early Christianity didn’t have a particularly positive view of marriage; staying single and celibate was heavily promoted.

    - Can someone tell me what the Gay Agenda is? I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve never had gays show up at my door asking for my money, attempting to give us pamphlets we’ll never read, and trying to convert my family members into club going homosexuals.

    - I asked God why there was so much hate towards gays from Her followers. She told me that it got lost in translation and She actually said She hated figs.

    - Can you imagine all the atrocities that would take place if gay marriage was legalised in Bermuda? No? Me neither.

  31. O'Brien says:

    It always amazes me, with all the adultery and ‘outside children’ running around the place, that Bermudians see fit to pass judgment on the sexual mores and predilections of others.

    Forget the devils. This is the Isle of the Hypocrites.

  32. Me says:

    God, Yahweh, Jah, Budhah, The Universe….A person should be able to marry who they wish to marry & celebrate with whom they wish to celebrate with. Discrimination is not of love. It is of hatred and emptiness.

  33. Mike Hind says:

    It’s always amazing to me that these folks that are so anti- marriage equality never actually stand up for their beliefs and defend the things they say. Almost without exception, they disappear when anyone asks even the simplest of questions.
    So much for courage of convictions…

    • Queen says:

      Is your OBA in charge now? Then get the clowns to change the law!

      • Mike Hind says:

        Um… MY OBA?
        Why on earth would you call it that?
        And what does that have to do with what I said?
        Why this distraction from the point?

      • Mike Hind says:

        Thanks for proving my point, though!

  34. Get married somewhere else says:

    I do not oppose people from living however they want, its not my business. But getting married under God’s name in a forbidden sin!BERMUDA IS TURING INTO ONE SMALL GAY ISLAND…SMH

    • umum says:

      Get married somewhere else,
      No, I will get married anywhere I want to, do you realise how ignorant your statement is?
      You have no idea what marriage is, it has nothing to do with your ‘god’.
      Your beliefs, no matter how ill informed they may be, have no bearing on my life, why can’t you understand that?
      How dare you expect me to live by your ignorant beliefs.

    • PBanks says:

      You’re assuming that every gay person wants to get married under “God’s name”. Heck, many straight people that get married don’t do it under “God’s name” as well.

    • Mike Hind says:

      A. It’s a sin according to your personal beliefs, which are just that. You’re. No one else has to follow the rules of your belief.
      B. No. It’s not becoming a small gay island, and allowing marriage equality won’t make that happen, either. But it might make it a little nicer place to live is more people were a little more tolerant and less prone to forcing their religion’s rules onto anyone else.

  35. nok says:

    Not everyone and everywhere has to except this stuff.

    • Mike Hind says:

      No one is asking you to “except this stuff”.
      Marriage equality will affect you in no way at all.
      Well, in no way that is any of your business…

    • reefs says:

      “except this stuff”
      …speaks volumes. lol

  36. bagheera says:

    God himself provided us with love…it is an insurmountable affliction…what man has the right to deny it?…please revise this law….i would rather union through an act of love than a mans contrite tuit….can we not observe an act of love?

  37. bagheera says:

    truly…do we prevent a happiness from being….if so…who and what …”are we?”…let us define ourselves and our hearts.

  38. just saying says:

    And so it continues..Bermuda is in the midst of it’s worst economic crisis and we put up all the barriers of welcome based on someone’s sexuality…As a Christian I feel I am no judge of man and therefore pray that people live together in harmony regardless of sexuality, race, religion,culture etc
    What I do see is a hypocritical community who condones sex outside marriage, folk who engage in extra marital relationships and have multiple children by multiple partners(no outcry here I see).But Biblical teachings have something to say about all of this…check your pews on Sunday and make a mental note. London evidently banned the group of “cured gays” ….good….”let those who cast the first stone be of no sin”

  39. bagheera says:

    just one more thing please…girls…why settle for lesser achievement…if you can….marry in international waters…let the captain marry you…in international waters….all law derives from maritime law…it must recocnise your unoon worldwide in all countries pertinent to it…please research this and be the first.

  40. Coffee says:

    I say marraige as we were once taught it ought to be in the previous century is now pretty much a dead institution . Let the gays have it !

  41. student says:

    catch up with the 21st century. pretty sure half the people in government have gay family members, knows somebody on the low, or hey maybe even doing it them selves. people are going to fight for there rights sooner or later.

  42. Oh,I see now says:

    I see satan is surely working overtime using the laws of men to bring about mankinds destruction.Don’t be fooled and taken in the direction of human rights violations talk it’s all a smokescreen to a bigger end.

    Believe me.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Not that I think you’ll answer, but:
      How will marriage equality “bring about mankinds [sic] destruction”?
      I’m dying to know.
      And what is the “bigger end”?

      You tell us to believe you, but give no evidence or qualifications or… well… anything.

      Care to elaborate, or will you just continue to spew hate from behind the hood of anonymity?

    • umum says:

      Oh,I see now,
      why should anyone believe you? you’re ignorant, you believe in fictional characters, you should be locked up in a mental institution.

    • PBanks says:

      I think mankind’s destruction is going along very well as it is without the input of gay folk.

  43. C James says:

    Religion proves yet again that it is just a licence to hate and judge others.