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MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE

OUTBermuda: Renewed Effort to Fight Government’s Marriage Equality Appeal

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The Bermudan government has decided to appeal the historic June 6 verdict by the Supreme Court of Bermuda that overturned their decision to ban same-sex marriages.

“Just one month ago, LGBTQ Bermudians inched closer to our goal of restoring marriage equality,” said Roderick Ferguson, the original litigant. “We regret this ill-advised and costly decision to appeal the Supreme Court’s finding, and we will summon our voices and resources again as a united community to prevail.”

Non-profit OUTBermuda, which served as a co-litigant in the original lawsuit, will again join with Ferguson, Maryellen Jackson and other allies in seeking to defeat the appeal.

“We have strength not only in justice, but in our numbers – including our respected faith leaders, like Sylvia Hayward-Harris, along with citizen-activists including Julia and Judith Aidoo-Saltus, Chai T, Wesley Methodist Church, and Douglas NeJaime,” said Adrian Hartnett-Beasley, one of OUTBermuda’s directors. “We’ve made outstanding progress with our business advocates, led by Carnival Corporation, and many encouraging Bermudian-owned/based businesses and employers.”

OUTBermuda issued their own battle cry for justice following the contested announcement.

“We will never surrender equality for all Bermudians, and especially the LGBTQ families and couples who deserve it,” their statement said.

Legal counsel will again be provided by Rod S. Attride-Stirling at ASW Law Limited and Mark Pettingill with Chancery Legal.

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MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE

British Lesbian Wins Right to Spousal Visa in Hong Kong

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Rainbow pride flag at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro at night, San Francisco (2013). Photo: TorboKHopper/Flickr
In an unprecedented move for the city, Hong Kong’s high court Wednesday granted a British lesbian woman a spousal visa, making it possible for future same-sex couples to pursue additional legal rights in the future.
“Today’s ruling is a very small step for us, but it’s one giant step for equality in Hong Kong,” said judicial review applicant QT. “It is my hope that this case will pave the way for greater recognition of same-sex unions in Hong Kong.”
Greater recognition that could potentially include inheritance rights, public housing and other spousal benefits as permitted under local law.
QT and her wife SS entered into a civil partnership in the United Kingdom in 2011. They were together for more than seven years at the time of their union. When SS was offered a job in Hong Kong, the couple decided to make the move together. Unfortunately, QT was denied a spousal visa that would have granted her the right to work and live in the city with her partner.
“By upholding the rights of all people in Hong Kong, regardless of sexual orientation, to obtain dependent visas for their spouses to live and work in this city, this ruling strengthens Hong Kong’s ability to attract global talent and its competitiveness as Asia’s preeminent global centre for commerce,” a statement read from law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Wednesday’s court order only applies to expatriate same-sex couples at this time.
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MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE

Bermuda’s Supreme Court Rules Law Repealing Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

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The first country in the world to revoke the marriage rights of same-sex couples across the country will have to restore those rights. The Bermuda Supreme Court has just ruled the law rescinding those rights is unconstitutional.

Bermuda Supreme Court Chief Justice Ian R. C. Kawaley ” issued his ruling five days after the Domestic Partnership Act took effect, The Washington Blade’s Michael Lavers reports.

The Bermuda Chief Justice delivered “his judgment before a packed courtroom,” The Royal Gazette adds.  The justice “said the sections of the Act which revoked the right to same-sex marriage were invalid because they were inconsistent with provisions in the Constitution which give the right to freedom of conscience and creed.”

Couples reportedly can begin marrying again.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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