Senate Approves Domestic Partnership Bill

December 13, 2017

[Updated] The Domestic Partnerships Act has passed in the Senate, with the legislation to replace same-sex marriages with a domestic partnership being approved by an 8 – 3 margin.

The Domestic Partnerships Act passed in the House of Assembly late on Friday night, and headed to the 11-member Senate, where the five Government Senators, three Opposition Senators and three Independent Senators cast their votes.

The Bill was supported by the Government and Independent Senators, while the three Opposition Senators voted no. You can read some of the Senators comments made during the debate here in our live updates.

Update: Audio of the vote count is below

Same sex marriage became legal in Bermuda following a Supreme Court decision in May 2017, when the court ruled that “common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.”

However the Bill seeks to change the legal status, with the Domestic Partnerships Act [PDF] stating, “This Bill seeks to make provision for the formalisation and registration of a relationship between adult couples, to be known as a “domestic partnership”, to clarify the law relating to marriage, and to make connected and related provision.”

As some MPs noted during the debate in the House on Friday night, if passed into law Bermuda will become the first nation to reverse same sex marriage.

As of December 2017, most reports say 26 nations have recognized same sex marriage; even though Bermuda did legalize same sex marriage in May we were generally never included in most lists, however a comprehensive list on this website listed Bermuda as well as other territories.

Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown previously said that, “We are at this point legislatively because we have a rift in our community between two competing positions” one in support of same-sex marriage and one opposed.

Saying that there was a “high likelihood” that a Private Members Bill would have been tabled in Parliament which would have outlawed same-sex marriage and afforded no rights to same-sex couples,” the Minister said the Government “took leadership on the issue and has decided to bring forward this Bill, which will ensure that same-sex couples will have a raft of legal benefits.”

The Bill will now head to the Governor for assent.

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Comments (106)

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  1. liz says:

    well this should hit world news. Sad sad day for Bermuda

    • cpm says:

      How long before flip flop Simmons fires Dallas

    • Neil says:

      To the contrary, Bermuda is another world and has expressed itself.

      • bdaboy says:

        “To the contrary, Bermuda is another world and has expressed itself.”

        Roy Moore expressed himself.

        Trump expressed himself.

        My dog expresses himself on trees and fire hydrants.

        …and now Bermuda has expressed itself.

      • Wahoo juice says:

        To the contrary plp expressed themselves. Let’s have another election.

        • Mrs Brady says:

          Unfortunately it would likely have the same outcome. There are that many stupid people here in Bermuda.

  2. Toodle-oo says:

    I anxiously look forward to seeing a long time friend who is 100% PLP and was hoping to bring his lover here from Jamaica and get MARRIED soon.

    Wonder what he will have to say ?

    • Onion Juice says:

      Why dont they get married in Jamaica?

      • Farmer says:

        Ya your definitely a onion, layers upon layers of stupidity.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Why should a Bermudian have to get married elsewhere?

        • Yesitsme says:

          Same reason why others get married in countries that are not their native home. duh

          • Mike Hind says:

            What reason is that?

            Please note the key word in my question is “have”.

            This is not a matter of choice.

            So… care to expand on your post?

  3. Wahoo says:

    Bad world press coming our way soon. Thanks morons. BTA will have to work real hard to fix this one.

    • Justin says:

      Pfffft, Kevin Dallas should resign tomorrow. Not because he is bad at his job but because him and the gov’t are rowing in opposite directions. This is the PLP’s country now, so let them run it. However, when things go bad the PLP should look within their own ranks to fix the problems. Nobody should bail them out a second time if they run this country to the ground again.

      • Mike Hind says:

        “This is the PLP’s country now”??

        No, it’s OUR country. ALL Bermudians.
        This kind of thinking is the entire problem with party politics.

        • Justin says:

          24-12 Mike, get over it. Majority rules.

          • Mike Hind says:

            I love it when PLP folks say this, after all those years refusing to “Get Over” the OBA getting in.

            This is why I don’t support either of these crappy parties. They BOTH are supported by a bunch of hypocrites like you.

            The government serves the people, not the other way around.
            That’s what Democracy is.

            • Enough says:

              Mike you voted ubp and oba stop the lies.

              • Mike Hind says:

                There’s a difference between a vote and support.

                Do you really not know how this works?

            • jt says:

              And here I thought the phrase ‘get over it’ was out of bounds. So it’s ok now?

          • bdaboy says:

            “24-12 Mike, get over it. Majority rules.”

            Only a moron who wishes for a dictatorship, because they don’t understand democracy, would say that.

            • Justin says:

              You and Mike are idealists and probably still believe in Santa. With a huge majority the PLP can do what they please, almost like a dictatorship. We do have a Senate but the independents go with the wind it seems. Pressure on the governor now…

              Anyone who disagrees with the PLP needs to like it or lump it because there’s nothing that can be done.

              • Mike Hind says:

                No, we just believe in fighting for the beliefs that we all believe in… it’s just that you guys want to be able to discriminate against folks, so you’ve given up on your beliefs.

                And if you think there’s nothing to be done, you don’t know anything about history.

                • Justin says:

                  You are fighting a losing battle, my friend. The PLP will do what it wants and person or group is going to stop them. Don’t waste your energy.

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    It is amazing that you are defending dictatorship like it’s a good thing! You’re happy about this!

                    This is insanity. How can you be like this?

                    • Politricks says:

                      I don’t think he is defending it at all. He has just come to the realisation that there is nothing we can do about it at this point in time.

                      The PLP will do what they want to whomever they want. They will scream 24-12 to justify it.

                      It is what it is. No point in stressing about something you can’t control.

                    • Justin says:

                      I am not defending a dictatorship. Instead I’m just being realistic that nothing is going to stop the PLP from doing what they want to do. No doubt they are steering this island in the wrong direction but nobody can change their minds. So much for consultation…

            • JCS says:

              Flip flop Simmons is heading toward a dictatorship.

          • therock says:

            ““24-12 Mike, get over it. Majority rules.””

            If the majority wanted to bring back slavery, you’d be ok with that?

      • Marley says:

        Him and Dunch are GONE. Time to get OUR people in there.

        • Politricks says:

          Well at least one person is truthful about the real drivers behind recent decisions.


        • Mike Hind says:

          So… you want politically aligned people in there, rather than independents?

          That doesn’t seem like the best idea to me… if either party did it…

        • Wahoo juice says:

          You are too underqualified to comment or even be alowed to have an opinion but do and you are. We in a lot of trouble.

        • Family Man says:

          Define OUR people? or do I need to ask?

        • Kevin says:

          and the inevitable will happen as in all PLP endeavours
          FAILURE …..but it will cost more cause we gotta take care of the chosen few
          the rest of you will figure it out at some time that the pie will not be spread around. The 14 years of licks that you took wasn’t enough

        • nerema says:

          Your turn at the trough, right?

  4. Marlyn says:

    A great Merry Christmas to humanity . not Well now they have sorted this out ASAP I hope they persue the next platform promise with fitness equipment in all public parks

  5. Legalgal says:

    Shame on them. Evolving backwards. Lets hope the cruise liners pull out.

    • carobbermuda says:

      they will. Disgusting what they’ve done. Makes us all look like hillbilly hicks.

      • steve says:

        we are

      • VJ says:

        Wishful thinking, but the cruise liners aren’t pulling out. There’s money to be made in Bermuda, and money makes the world go round.

        • nerema says:

          As a matter of fact, gay couples have a huge amount of spending power. Cruise lines know this.

          • PBanks says:

            Look for Guadeloupe and Martinique to see a bump in cruise ship activity sometime soon.

          • VJ says:

            I say wishful thinking because the major cruise lines will not pull out due to local politics. Some of their booking may drop, but the cruise lines aren’t going to back out of their contracts. $$$$$

  6. Spanner breath says:

    Well done voters.

  7. Infidelguy says:

    What a pathetic bunch of politicians!

  8. Sorry says:


  9. Eugene says:

    GREAT DAY IN BERMUDA. A government that heard the peoples voices in the referendum and responded accordingly. Precisely why the OBA is not in power today. Bermuda will not suffer as a result of this vote. If any thing we will benefit from this in many ways.

    Those of you who think tourism will go down , Mr Dallas you are absolutely wrong. Quite the opposite will happen. Just watch. Well you should watch from the sidelines, you disqualified yourself . Great day to be a Bermudian.

    • Marlyn says:

      Not if your a gay Bermudian but glad your Majority over a minority group makes you fell privileged

    • Mike Hind says:

      the referendum was unanswered and non-binding, thus, irrelevant.

      • legalgal says:

        Only about 10,000 bothered to vote for SSM/against same sex. Out of about 60K. And that result was more democratic than these party political decisions. The majority of Bermudians have evolved enough to accept the inevitable. And recognize human rights.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Unanswered and non-binding.

          Thus, irrelevant.

          Why is this hard to grasp?

        • just wondering says:

          I wasn’t aware that human rights were a popularity contest!!

    • Mark says:

      You disgust me. You are not bermudian. Get out of my country troll.

    • Onion says:

      The referendum was against civil unions too.

    • PBanks says:

      Eugene can you expound on this? As Onion points out, the results were against civil unions as well, but govt kept that in place.

      What ways will Bermuda benefit from this decision, as you suggest? There are already suggested negatives, from both LGBT couples that can no longer marry, to potential losses in tourism and possible reluctance from IB to set up shop here. What are the positives? Do you suggest that for example, tourism will go on an upswing?

  10. Thats It says:

    i truly hope someone takes this to the highest court in the world and makes these idiots look the fools they really are. we truly are 6th world world entity

  11. Disappointed says:

    Such a short-sighted decision made by apparent decision makers. The role of government is not to only go with the majority. Government is there not just for majority but also for the minority. To make decisions for all and not just some. This is shameful and the legacy of those who have put this forward will stain their names as anti-change. When history looks back they will see these ‘enlightened people’ as backward, insular and not living in a world of acceptance of all.

    Differences define us as a society.


  12. George says:

    How do these PLP politicians sleep at night? Do they not realize that history will judge them as evil human beings.

    • Wahoo juice says:

      They do not care or perhaps even think about how they will be conceived in the future yet (ironically) they talk of “history” and beg your vote today based on it. Poor planning on their part they are as bad as anyone before them from any camp. I hope they give generously when they pass the plate this Sunday.

      • Wahoo juice says:

        *perceived – funny mistake though given the subject.

  13. Patrick says:

    We truly are in a dictatorship with the plp
    The show and the sheepies-the regular 7 who call the show dictate our lives ,very sad

    • legalgal says:

      The term for this is a “tyranny of the majority” when the majority can override minority and individual rights with impunity.

  14. voltage says:

    A major setback for Diversity and Inclusion in Bermuda as we are now the first country ever to reverse marriage equality.

    We have just created another pool of second class citizens and a very exclusive group of same sex couples who are considered married under Bermuda law with no additional club memberships available.

    Taking away of marriage equality rights will potentially dampen many of the recent positive initiatives that attract global employers, wealthy tourists and generate local LGBT friendly hosting business opportunities.

    Our BTA CEO signaled yesterday what is coming as a result of the Senate’s support of the Domestic Partnership Act today and the expected political push back this afternoon from our Minister won’t be able to stop the damage done to our reputation.

  15. Whistling Frog says:

    My parents always said, “If you unhappy with this rules of the house, then leave.”

    • Politricks says:

      So now down or leave your own country is how it is now? Bermuda is becoming a scary place these days.

      But the PLP said they would govern for the whole of Bermuda?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Or, in this case, change the rules to get your own way, even if it hurts people…

    • fork says:

      Well lets hope your children have better grammar.

    • Wahoo juice says:

      You should have told them that their grammar sucked. How old were you when you left?

    • Ouch says:

      So it’s your way or the highway? No room in your life for fellow Bermudians who don’t think like you? Where do you suggest such people move? Argus Banks? North Rock? Gibbet’s Island? Somerset? St. George’s?

  16. Politricks says:

    *bow down

  17. Proud Bermudian says:

    Look Now LGTBQP can will property to their loved ones. It is the right thing to do. All that was done was the wording was changed. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Gay community has been ” persecuted” by the “church” for years and this was their way of getting back at them and anybody who ” discriminated” againist them. Now you can still get the same result LGTBQP just can’t call it a a marriage and they can’t force anybody to marry them. Excellent Job PLP!! Don’t be fooled by them hype.

    • Disgusted Human says:

      ……’re pathetic…..enjoy less tourism……stuff it and your buybull where the sun don’t shine….

    • Mike Hind says:

      They were never going to be forcing any church to marry them. They never have, anywhere. This is a lie you are spreading. You don’t get to lie like this, then try to claim the moral high ground.

  18. John Ferguson says:

    My first visit to Bermuda was in 1957, my most recent this year, 2017 and about 30 visits in between. Your decision to ‘substitute’ domestic partnership for gay marriage is sad and out of step with evolving society. But more than being a specific ‘cop out’ it indicates a mind set that is unable or unwilling to recognize social progress. There are many lovely places in the world where I will feel more comfortable and those are the ones I will visit in the future.

  19. Jus' Askin' says:

    So Far, So Good!!!!! :-D

    • Wahoo juice says:

      You would think that a government who can can take away rights, hopes and dreams could manage to keep a few busses working.

  20. Just a Question says:

    Wonder why the gay community wasnt up on the hill in masses voicing their concerns or where they ?

    • White Cedar says:

      My point exactly. They have more closet bloggers on here than what appeared on the hill. Bunch of cowards for not standing for what they believe in. If they have a protest it will be from people that are not even Bermudian.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Do you think that’s the only way to get the government to do what you want?

      This explains a lot…

    • ian says:

      My guess is they have jobs they will lose

  21. Eugene Young says:

    John ferguson don’t be immature. Your not going to visit Bermuda because of a decision that seeks to help both sides of the divide.

    I Have gay friends, gay work colleagues, gay relatives, and I love them and get along with ALL of them, and they ALL are comfortable and welcomed around me. But NO I DONT AGREE WITH THEM ON CERTAIN ISSUES. So tell me should they all now never want to come around me or have anything to do with me because of that. Of course not because they are MATURE enough to know that inspite of our difference of certain issues we can still LOVE each other as a person. Your attitude shows a lack of maturity.

    • Mike Hind says:

      This isn’t about agreeing or disagreeing, it’s about treating certain Bermudians as second class citizens and taking away legal rights from them.

    • Mother Theresa says:

      Umm, no his attitude shows he is boycotting this bigoted country. I get it and so should you. We will be seen as backward thinking hillbillies to the rest of the world. A community with vicious religious control……oh, but the “Christian’s” are allowed to to have inappropriate relationships with “thy neighbors wife” and let us not forget about the Perserve Marriage pastor who had to step down because he was called out for having a gay relationship. And this will impact tourism. Would you like to see the headline “Bermuda first country in the world to reverse same sex marriage’ on the front page of the NY Post or how about The NY Times Sunday edition? I HOPE this becomes world news. It should! There is NOTHING progressive about these clowns. Disgusting, hateful, and hypocritical. Let’s take away women’s right to vote next.

    • C says:

      Why don’t you go have a look at world news or the comments of people who aren’t Bermudian. No one cares what you agree with. People are already cancelling trips and that is a fact whether you believe it or not.

  22. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    There is no excuse for the revocation of any group’s rights.

    Using the rationale of ‘the majority spoke’ is desperate cover for bias based on religious and/or personal beliefs which we should not have our laws based upon.

    It has to be equal rights for all, you can’t have equal rights for some, because then there is no ‘equal’.

  23. Whistling Frog says:

    Right is right and immoral behaviour is bad for any community. The government has done the right thing for the moral of the country. May God continue to bless this country for the benefit of the people.

    • Mike Hind says:

      You’re right. Immoral behaviour is bad for our community.
      That’s why we fight so hard against the immorality Of baseless discrimination. It’s disgusting and bad for our country.

      Or were you talking about something else?
      Because being gay has been legal and accepted in our country for a lon time and it hasn’t been bad for our country in any way.

      Oh, wait. You won’t be answering this, will you. Your kind doesn’t have the courage or integrity to actually back up what they say, do they?

      Shame on you. The only immoral one in this is you bigots.

  24. Yaboy SoNSo says:

    I feel very much offended and I’m coming out.
    The human rights movement was won by Black’s and whites years ago for all men an women to be accepted into a normal society. Hatred against any person is wrong. I remember in the 80s and 90s when I watched tv shows there had been segments that show women groups protesting for equal opportunities. That fight was won. Part of recruitment to the cause,women had been selected, abused women, jobless women, single mothers. These women had been selected not just because of the unfairness towards them. This fight for rights became a fight against men. And although women have over 60% of jobs in Bermuda. The images used in today’s fight are images used from other countries to bring you to unite. This woman’s liberal movement has grown, and recruited gay men, cross genders, and transgender. Who is left? Who is left to join this fight for equality. Seems to me that there is one group not yet equal. A man can leave jail and get a job because he is a convict. A woman can get a job because she is a woman. Gay because they are gay. The fight to be seen as normal, equal, and human has pushed one group of people to the side. To the back.

    I’m a black man. I live a normal life. Im not a gang bamger. I read the bible. I Dont listed to rideric. Im not gay. I haven’t been jail. I try my best to do the right thing. Around this island I see men like me are the ones who die. May even be targeted. Is it that maybe someone congered up a plan? No it can’t be. The truth is this, its just a coincidence that the only way a black man can be equal is if he is gay or a convict. Its coincidental that in the fight of others I the black and normal God fearing man has been left to stand alone

  25. De Truth says:

    76 countries don’t have gay rights and same sex marriage. Have no Fear Bermuda we are not alone in this world. Stop the scare tactics and saying we have gone backwards. Majority of Bermudians don’t agree with the Lifestyle choice!!! Yes I said choice!!! Its not a Right its a choice!!! Plus as we move to Legalization of Cannabis we will overshadow the supposed losses of LGBT tourism!!! Ganja and Sports Tourism is what will help this island gain financial strength again!!!

    • Disgrace says:

      This is human rights

    • Mike Hind says:

      so… should things that are choices not be protected by the Human Rights Act? Should we all be allowed to discriminate against things that are choices? Is that your position?
      Because your religion is a choice. Shall we start baselessly discriminating against Muslims because they’re against your religion, too?

      Every single one of your points you’ve EVER posted about this has bred exposed as false or irrelevant or hypocritical and going against your own beliefs, yet you still post this hate.

      Shame on you.

  26. The Kid says:

    What wimps the independent senators are…. we truly believed they would come out on the side of right

  27. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Morality , just got a kick in the back side !

  28. Disgrace says:

    1 step forward, 2 steps back. What is progressive about the PLP? The need to change their party name. This is a Power Trip, that’s all it is. But it’s ok now, I can get high now with no chance of persecution.

  29. Hmm says:

    Whoever supports this needs to have their head examined because clearly they lack large amounts of brain cells

  30. Wha.. says:

    Well done PLP!

  31. bdaboy says:

    “Your attitude shows a lack of maturity.”

    “Gays are icky”…that’s your position. You’re a mental munchkin.

    Don’t whine when they take your rights away.

  32. Disgusted Human says:

    well they can say GOOD BYE to any of My tourism money…….too bad for the BIgots and haters…they Know where they can go………..Our family spends 1000′s on vacation….it WON’T be in Bermuda…EVER!

  33. Pinklady says:

    Visitors have been coming to Bermuda regardless of there being the “so called right” of gay people to marry. And they will continue to come!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Just like International Business will always come here because Bermuda is so pretty compared to where they come from. And our beaches are just so spectacular , and the water is so blue and the golf course are so nice. And mostly because Bermudians are so nice and polite to them compared to everywhere else in the world ? Right ?

      Back in the 60′s certain people , who should now know better , thought that we could turn the tap of tourism on and off at will . Today the grandchildren of those people think the same way and for them it applies to IB as well .

  34. Overboardhope says:

    The sheep win. So sad!