Daily Mail: Johnson “Under Pressure” On Bill

December 18, 2017

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is “under pressure to veto a ban on same-sex marriage on the British overseas territory of Bermuda,” the UK’s Mail on Sunday is reporting.

“For the law to take effect, it requires the signature of British Governor John Rankin, which is normally a formality. Before the Governor can ‘withhold consent’, however, he must seek approval from the Foreign Secretary,” the Mail reports.

“The Mail understands Mr Rankin is taking advice on requesting Mr Johnson’s authorisation to veto the bill,” their report states, adding that Mr Johnson’s “position is fraught with difficulties. Any veto would spark uproar in self-governing Bermuda, with accusations of ‘neo-colonialism.”

The Mail quotes the British Foreign Office as saying, “The UK Government is a proud supporter of LGBT rights and continues to support same sex marriage.

“While the UK Government is disappointed with the implications of bill, this is a matter for the Bermuda Government acting within the terms of the Bermuda constitution and in accordance with international law.”

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The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly and then passed in the Senate, with the Domestic Partnerships Act [PDF] designed to replace same-sex marriages with a domestic partnership which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Having been approved in both the House [24-10] and Senate [8-3], the Bill heads to the UK-appointed Governor for assent, which is normal procedure and generally seen as a formality, however it has been a topic of speculation, and the U.S. based Human Rights Campaign has urged the Governor to “veto” the legislation.

Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown told ZBM that he “expects the Governor will sign it,” while Premier David Burt told Bernews, “I expect that the Governor will ratify the Bill of the Parliament.”

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Comments (21)

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  1. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Thanks PLP…but this is what u lot wanted all along…

  2. Warlord2 says:

    Here we go ,falling right into kthe hands of the PLP independence rhetoric and anti colonialism.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “While … this is a matter for the Bermuda Government acting within the terms of the Bermuda constitution and in accordance with international law.”

    Yes, the Governor must be clear that this Bill would not be contrary to our Constitution. It would be quite embarrassing if he were to approve a Bill which is unconstitutional

    Either way, this is likely to lead to renewed calls for independence so that Britain is not interfering with Bermuda law and ensuring that we comply with our own laws.

  4. puzzled says:

    Dr. Evil hands at work.

  5. Truth is killin' me... says:

    If the UK is smart they will leave Bermuda alone and let the Governor sign the bill. This is the Government that the majority voted for so let them get kicked out onto the curb the next time around when the Bermudian public has a chance to vote with their conscience at the NEXT GENERAL ELECTION.

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    So the voters of Bermuda are happy with the Government they elected not being in accordance with international law. They would be quite happy to be associated with countries like North Korea & a host of other oppressive third world countries.

    Is that what they want?

    Bye bye IB. Bye bye tourism. Bye bye a standard of living that is the envy of the world. Spare just a little thought for the well being of future generations.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Worse yet, potentially acting contrary to our constitution according to Mark Pettingill.

    • Rhonda says:

      The vast majority of Bermudian live pay check to paycheck..20% are deemed to be livinging in object poverty..
      Of course poverty is subjective..

      Many Bermudian children go to bed hungry..

      I love Bermuda, but are we reallt the envy of world.. the oba was afraid to do a quality of life assessment.. as long as it’s not in written form, we can keep pretending we are living in paradise..

      Born Bermudian are fleeing Bermuda..

      Bermuda… Paradise for whom?

      • Politricks says:

        I always find that 20% poverty claim interesting. Especially after reading that 99% of Bermuda’s households retain an internet connection.

        There’s a disconnect between those two stats.

  7. facts of the rock says:

    Told ya’ll many times on this and other media,
    The Governor is NOT going to sign this bill.

    and…should the plp/biu act up and we have problems ,Direct rule would be the next step with the British Army/Military.

  8. clearasmud says:

    I am not so sure that Britain can do anything about this bill because the EU Human Rights Court left it to countries to decide for themselves whether to grant SSM. They also stated that if countries decided against granting SSM then they should provide comparable protections in law for same sex unions. Britain was in the EU at the time and went on to grant SSM for themselves. It is up to the legislature to produce laws not the court. It is their job to interpret the laws. It seems disingenuous of any OBA member former or present to now be criticizing the new law when they actively and consciously avoided settling this matter when they had the chance too. At this point it appears that we are actually fighting over the word “marriage” and I doubt that Britain will get involved.

    • Clarity says:

      We are an overseas territory, not a country. We are UK citizens, and the UK has a duty to not let the PLP take away our rights.

      • nerema says:

        If they use it as a lever to move towards independence, the PLP will be totally free to take away all our rights.

      • clearasmud says:

        I don’t know how you define a country but we are self governed and we have our own constitution which is different from theirs. Yes we are UK citizens but we don’t get to vote in UK elections. Laws in the UK dont automatically apply to us cause if it did you would be paying UK taxes.

  9. Uh... says:

    If UK stands up for those in Bermuda that they themselves stand up for in the UK. You can bet on it that many will call for independence and essentially be cutting of the nose to spite the face. Not looking forward to us throwing our toys out of the pram. Self governing is one thing, self ruling will have us going up the creek without a paddle. I don’t like the image of us Bermudians being ridged and non progressive. Many Bermudians have a good heart. The stance that our government is taking is breaking mine.

  10. Baygrapes says:

    As the PLP go about appeasing a small, rigid group of voters I hope they remember the rest of us who are for democracy and equal rights for all. Amazing how this group of individuals seem to have forgotten the awful history of slavery – where a certain segment of the world had NO rights. Ironic.

  11. Let the people speak says:

    Everyone on the DM article actually agrees with the PLP and said let the people decide. I don’t know what you snowflakes are talking about. Bad press? Where?

  12. Ashley says:

    I do not support the PLPs decision however it shouldnt be the UKs decision on what laws we have in our country. I cant recall a time of them ever enforcing theyre opinions on our island. Maybe we do need to go independent. We shouldnt be tied to a country that wants to impose itself on us.