Cruise Line ‘Awaiting Further Updates’ On Law

December 13, 2017 | 61 Comments

Cunard cruise line — which is registered in Bermuda and started offering same sex weddings onboard their ships — told Bernews they are “aware of the Bermuda Government’s plan to change the law on same sex marriage” and are “awaiting further updates regarding same sex marriages on our ships.”

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Bill Passes In House, Awaiting Senate Vote

The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly on Friday, December 8, with the Bill seeking to replace same-sex marriage with a domestic partnership arrangement which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

As the Bill has now passed in the House, it will head to the Upper House, where the Senators will vote on it; and the Senate is scheduled to be in session today.

Most the time the Senate tends to also approve Bills that have passed in the House, however they did vote down a related Bill last year, when the Human Rights Amendment 2016 — which aimed to define marriage as between a man and a woman — passed in the House, but was subsequently defeated in the Senate.

However, as stated, Bills that pass the House often pass in the Senate as well, and if the Bill does pass the Senate, it will then be sent to the Governor for assent.

Cunard Started Offering Same Sex Weddings

In August of this year, Cunard announced that it had “welcomed its first booking by a same-sex couple following a recent Supreme Court ruling enabling same-sex marriages in Bermuda, where Cunard’s fleet of ships is registered.”

“Cunard is proud to become among the first cruise lines to offer same-sex marriages at sea,” Cunard North America senior vice president said in August.

“Wedding ceremonies will be performed by the ship’s Captain and the marriage license will be issued by Bermuda,” Cunard said that that time, noting that “same-sex couples can now purchase a Cunard Wedding at Sea package.”

Cunard ‘Awaiting Further Updates Regarding Same Sex Marriages On Our Ships’

In response to queries from Bernews, a Cunard spokesperson said, “We are aware of the Bermuda Government’s plan to change the law on same sex marriage.

“We are in close contact with the Bermuda Government and are awaiting further updates regarding same sex marriages on our ships. Once we have confirmation on the final outcome, our priority will be to update those same sex couples who have booked marriages on a Cunard ship.”

Other Cruise Lines

Cunard is not the only cruise line registered in Bermuda, with Princess Cruises and P&O also reported to have announced they would offer same-sex weddings following the Bermuda Supreme Court ruling in May.

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  1. jeremy deacon says:

    This must really annoy the cruise lines – they have wedding parties planned which may well now be cancelled: at what cost to them? I wonder if this kind of thing was taken into consideration by MPs?

    • Family Man says:

      That was a rhetorical question right? These clowns never think beyond today.

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Never mind annoying the cruise lines, what about the financial impact on the economy? Bermuda has a large shipping registry which provides substantial income for the country. If this act goes through I imagine these shipping companies will register elsewhere. I would also assume that many prospective visitors to the island will now change their destination plans. Not just gay people, but the vast amount of the population who support human rights. I hope the PLP have a back up plan to cover this lost income, but I doubt that. Pass this act and we are doomed.

      • Portia says:

        Cunard isn’t going anywhere. The whole reason they registered their ships in Bermuda in 2011 was to be able to offer (traditional) marriages at sea to their customers, which can’t be performed if they were registered in the UK, and they have profited very nicely from that during the past several years. If there is no same-sex marriage in Bermuda, they will continue to do well, as will the other cruise lines.

        I see no reason to make anything sensationalist out of this story, Cunard is merely stating that they are aware that the law may change and if that happens they will advise same-sex couples of the change. It is highly unlikely that this will lead to huge financial losses, since there is no indication that hundreds of SSM couples have booked a package, which has only been available by Cunard since August anyway. There is no need to generate fear or try to manipulate the outcome of the Senate voting.

        • Kevin says:

          You live in your shoe , you need to get out ask some questions and get better informed. They don’t need to be registered here and by the way they don’t need to come to Bermuda. Just as they now by pass the islands to our south that got damaged they can and will go where the Cruisers want to go. Its demand that dictates where they go Simple economics But typical attitude of yours that believes because this is Bermuda they must come here

        • Family Man says:

          On the contrary. The roll back of rights puts Cunard, P&O and others at a distinct disadvantage now:

          From Wikipedia:
          Celebrity Cruises announced on October 11, 2017 that it will perform legal same-sex marriages on its ships while in international waters following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Malta, where most of the Celebrity fleet is registered.[27] The company already hosted same-sex marriages while docked in jurisdictions where they are legal, but the change in Maltese law allowed the company’s captains to perform legally-recognized marriages while in international waters.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Anothe unsurprisingly ill -informed and incorrect post from “Portia”.

          When will you start showing some integrity?

    • jeremy deacon says:

      I wonder what bookings local hotels had as well.

  2. Oh Boy says:

    Its only going to get worse. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reject this bill. Do it for the future of Bermuda. Forget about your Church, aint no body got time for that.

    • Morality over money.

      • CBA says:

        Equality over both.

      • Oh Boy says:

        Who’s Morals? Do other peoples morals not count?

        If you think we should discriminate based on beliefs then why don’t we go back to discriminating on race/religion? Is discriminating on peoples beliefs any different than discriminating on race/religion? Com’on man…stop being a hater, who cares what people what to do with THEIR OWN LIVES. Stop trying to control other peoples lives based on your own agenda.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Here’s the thing…

        Your position goes against the morality you claim to have.

        The folks fighting for equality are fighting for what YOU believe in. You’re fighting against everything you claim to believe in, simply because you want to push down one group of people in order to fee better about yourself.
        You’re being used by the very people you claim to hate. You’re playing their game.

        Wake up.

    • i heart 441 says:

      Are you saying “Gay Marriage” is the future of Bermuda?

      • Mike Hind says:

        For many people, it’s a future.

        Why do so many people support taking away other people’s futures?

      • jt says:

        The future of Bermuda depends on many things. We should be open to all of them.

      • Oh Boy says:

        It is a future for some but what I meant is that if we want to continue attracting the mass tourism, int’l business and new ventures here we cannot look like a country that discriminates and does not respect human rights.

        Discrimination of people is completely wrong…look at all past and current discrimination cases of the world…is there ONE case that you can say was acceptable to discriminate? Race/Culture/Religion and more recently sexual orientation? Are any of them just?

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          “It is a future for some but what I meant is that if we want to continue attracting the mass tourism, int’l business and new ventures here …”

          Umm, this is 2017, not 1984. I have not seen mass tourism in Bermuda for many years.

          We lost over 5,000 jobs in international business nearly a decade ago by raising the cost of doing business here through taxation in an already harsh economic climate.

          Bermuda is no longer another world.

    • Second says:

      What future without the Church and its teachings?? Be for real!!

      • aceboy says:

        Marriages can be performed by a ship captain or at a Registrar. Marriage is not an institution of the church.

        Some don’t believe in your version of the Church and its teachings. Take their rights away too, until they “understand” and see the light? Afterall, it is in their best interests, according to you….

        That is the next step in your piety.

      • Mike Hind says:

        I’m doing pretty well without the Church, thank you very much. Many people are.

        Plus, your personal choice of religion is exactly that… personal. It should have absolutely no effect on someone else’s life.

      • jt says:

        Sarcasm?

      • Hypocits Rule says:

        The thing I find interesting is alot of Bermudian men I’ve spoken to always mention when talking about gay marriage that it isn’t right for 2 men to have sex. They never mention women. What this proves is that they only are offended by gay men. This is discriminatory hypocrisy. Then there are the older fanatical christians who if you talk to them it is like talking to a deaf mute. They will die with their beliefs and will never even listen to anyone else’s point of view. The younger generation are more knowledgeable, open minded. They are a generation which haven’t been brought up living through the hardcore discrimination of the past, and realise the realities and open to opinions. Discrimination is a power trip.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Cunard is proud to become among the first cruise lines to offer same-sex marriages at sea,” Cunard North America senior vice president said in August.

    I wonder how proud Cunard will be when it has to (equally publicly) announce that the Bermuda Government has rolled back the clock and banned same-sex marriage?

    But as a lesser alternative to marriage and depending on what the Government of Bermuda does in the future, Cunard might in the future be able to offer a same sex partnership under the Domestic Partnership Act if that Act is extended to ships in the way the Maritime Marriage Act extended “marriage” to ships. Of course, there is no promise of that.

    • Cow Polly says:

      which will only be legal and recognised in Bermuda. What other country has “Domestic Partnerships?”

      Not very appealing to a visiting couple wishing to get married is it?

    • Legalgal says:

      Pull the plug Cunard. Plenty of other places will register you.

  4. Hmmmm says:

    The world is watching senators. Stripping away human rights is seen in all spheres as wrong. Hope it is seen in your conscience as wrong too.

  5. J Starling says:

    In theory the Maritime Marriage Act 1999 could be amended to allow for marriage equality. That will allow for marriage equality on cruise ships – however it will also further confuse the situation as regards the Marriage Act 1944, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1974 and now the Domestic Partnerships Act 2017.

  6. Politricks says:

    Well done PLP.

  7. Raw Onion says:

    It would be easier for Cunard to scrape the Bermuda lettering off their ships (register elswhere) and cancel Bermuda cruises than to disappoint their passengers. Bermuda, please wake up. There will be fallout from if this law is enacted.

    • Jamie says:

      Good point. In an every increasingly globalized world the government must realize that it is straightforward for companies to re-domicile to other jurisdictions. I would agree that Cunard will find it easier to re-register the ships elsewhere and re-toute cruises than to cancel peoples weddings and vacations.

      There is zero upside to this bill other than to appease the AME Church.

  8. Cranberry says:

    Be sad for the Island is people start to pull business from Bermuda because they don’t want to be associated with the PLP bigotry and xenophobic stance… I wonder what the Govenor will say when asked to sign the laws into life…

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Too late. The cat is out of the bag. Damage is done. There are plenty of welcoming destinations which are only too happy to cater to & take the money, same money that everyone else uses, of the gay community.

  10. BobtheBuilder says:

    Majority of Bermudians don’t want same sex marriage in Bermuda. Its a shame decisions are made by the few to affect the majority. Bermuda was another world…Now it just lines up with the “Global Agenda” like a good little colony.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Ok, so you are in favour of discriminating against gay people.

      Where do you stand on taking rights away from (1) white people, (2) black people, (3) physically disabled or challenged people, (4) Christians, (5) Muslims, (6) agnostics or atheists, (7) married people, (8) unmarried peole, (9) people born out of wedlock?

      • BobtheBuilder says:

        Just talking about the democratic process. Calm down and drink some tea. Don’t try and figure what side of the fence I’m on.
        This is still majority rules…right???

    • One Who Escaped says:

      Where do you get your statistics? Id like to see the numbers.

    • Mike Hind says:

      The duty of government is to protect the minority from the bullying and oppression of the majority. Always has been always will be. I thought you anti-equality folks were all about traditional stuff…

    • PBanks says:

      I wonder back in ’94 if the majority of locals were against the Stubbs Bill. In any event, the world didn’t end when it passed.

  11. Real Deal says:

    Stand strong Bermuda , PLP please slap these guys for six runs. they think they can bully Bermuda they are jokers.. six run to the boundary

    • Politricks says:

      Pretty arrogant to think the PLP can simply slap around massive cruise firms that provide our island with necessary tourism revenue.

      But pride always comes before the fall. And people like you deserve any fallout you and receive. It will be karma and well-deserved.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Making a decision not to do business with a jurisdiction whose government doesn’t believe in equal rights for its citizens isn’t bullying, its ethical.

    • Salty Sea Dog says:

      Absolutely, who do these fools think they are if they think they can just come here and bring thousands upon thousands of paying customers every year, pumping money into the Bermudian economy?

    • PBanks says:

      Slapping a cruise ship line for six is going to get you run out next ball and end your innings early.

    • Anbu says:

      Ok real, ya thats right. Slap em for six. They can go elsewhere right? Pretty sure it womt hurt them to donso, meanwhile you will still be at the bottom. Muppet

  12. jt says:

    Hopefully the senators will vote against this for the right reasons, but if they need another to save face they certainly have it.

  13. Truthertz says:

    PLP strips human rights from our immigration legislation.

    PLP reverses gay rights.

    PLP eliminates the Gaming Commission’s independence.

    What exactly has the PLP done that has resulted in boost to our reputation as a place to do business and what economic boosts have been experienced since July 2017?

    • Athena says:

      You forgot to mention “the slippery slope of Fascism is appearing.”

      Dread to think what else is in the legislative pipeline. Funny how the racketeering case is gathering dust, so to speak!

  14. Spanner breath says:

    Cant wait to see the balanced budget! Also can the PLP report how many jobs have been created for BERMUDIANS, up to now! As the preached pre election. Probably more trips by the premier alone taken then jobs created!

  15. Family Man says:

    Or they could just change their ships’ registry to Malta which allows same sex marriage services at sea.

    Malta will send the Bermuda government a big christmas card as thank you for this windfall.

  16. Big says:

    It seems to me that all PLP is doing is exactly what Trump is doing, Changing everything that Obama had decently in place. FFS clowns, why? just why? are you all this crazy? Jeesh, and to think I voted you in…… omg, bring on the next election please… embarrassing, just bad.

  17. facts of the rock says:

    The plp have sunk SS Bermuda and now grounded her,despite attempts to refloat her she is slowly sinking into The Deep.

    • Salty Sea Dog says:

      If she was grounded, it would be difficult to sink into the deep. I take your point, but your metaphor is about as useful as a PLP Minister in an ethics class.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      That is about it. The OBA had control, changed the course of the ship away from the rocks, patched some of the holes & manned the pumps.

      Some thanks they got for it.

  18. FPLP says:

    slowly?? with these lot in charge its full steam to the bottom. the are blind arrogant egotistical and homophobic to boot.

  19. Love BDA says:

    I apologize sincerely if I have offended anyone, I really believe that love is for everyone. I am only saying how is it love if it is confusing or causing persons to be persecuted? I am only saying that love is an action word, you love by your actions. People do many things for love, ie throwing themselves in front of a car or bullet to save someone. If there was love then we as a human race need to stand together against abortion, child trafficking, starvation, terrorism and the such that is going on in the world. That is why I ask where is the love in all of this. Love is patient and love is kind. Please accept my apologies if I have offended anyone, it was not my intent to. We need to come together not be quick to judge or punish persons with different views or stances.

  20. James says:

    We don’t get many Cunard cruise ships here so we?

    • Family Man says:

      No, but the government gets a few million dollars from having them registered in Bermuda. Re-registering your ships in a more accommodating jurisdiction doesn’t take much effort.

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