Preserve Marriage On Latest SSM Court Decision

November 26, 2018

The Courts “continue to disregard the laws passed by the newly elected government, that upheld the views of the people of Bermuda, that the union of marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman,” Preserve Marriage said today.

Background

Their comments follow after Bermuda’s Court of Appeal handed down their ruling on Friday, with the Court dismissing the Government’s appeal, marking the latest court victory for same sex marriage.

The ruling was, in effect, the third court ruling in favour of it, as same sex marriage was initially legalised following a Court decision in May 2017, then the Court ruled in favour of it again in June 2018 when a challenge was brought to the Domestic Partnership Act, and on Friday the Court dismissed the Government’s appeal.

The ruling [PDF] mentioned Preserve Marriage saying, “Since 2015 opposition to same-sex marriage has been coordinated by Preserve Marriage Bermuda [PMB], a religious lobby created to oppose same-sex marriage.

“PMB has the right to believe but it does not have the right to impose its beliefs on anyone else.”

In making the ruling, the Court of Appeals said, “The revocation provisions in section 53 of the DPA were passed for a mainly religious purpose to meet the wishes of the PMB. They are therefore invalid and must be struck down. We dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of the Chief Justice but on that ground.”

Having been through the Supreme Court and Appeals Court, the final possible place of appeal is now the Privy Council in England, and the Government said they “will determine its next steps within the prescribed period of 21 days in which any application for leave to appeal must be made.”

Timeline of the court challenges/law changes for same sex marriage

Bermuda rainbow gavel timeline 600px Nov 23 2018

Preserve Marriage Comments

A spokesperson said, “Preserve Marriage & Family Bermuda continues to support the views, of what we believe to be, the large majority of Bermuda’s population and the government’s decision to affirm traditional marriage in Bermuda.

“Members of Preserve Marriage did attend the Appeals Court, and it is our opinion that the Courts continue to disregard the laws passed by the newly elected government, that upheld the views of the people of Bermuda, that the union of marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman. This was passed with bi-partisan support in both Parliament, and the Senate, which are the bodies of Government that represent the people of Bermuda to create the laws which govern our beloved country.

“Although we are not a legal organization, Preserve Marriage and Family Bermuda supports the fundamental principle that the legislature passes the laws of the country, and the courts interpret the intent of a given law.

“While the Government is deciding how to proceed after this ruling, Preserve Marriage and Family Bermuda will be expanding our role in the community. This will be done by focusing on supporting marriages and families through associations and partnerships with existing organizations, and by hosting various seminars and special programs, we hope to strengthen the families of Bermuda, which in turn help to strengthen the communities.

“Preserve Marriage & Family Bermuda will also continue to pursue our original mandate, by supporting our government in this important fight to preserve traditional marriage in Bermuda.”

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