Bermuda has just repealed its same-sex marriage law.
The governer has signed a bill into law that abolishes the rights of gay couples to marry, which in turn reverses a supreme court ruling made in 2017.
The country's minister of home affairs defended the move, arguing that the legislation would appease residents on the socially conservative island, who widely opposed same-sex marriage in a recent referendum, while still allowing for "domestic partnerships".
“The act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples,” said Brown, whose party proposed the repeal.
"The British government recognises that this is a local government decision," Brown said, adding that the act struck a compromise by "restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples."
Gay rights groups have condemned the move and claimed that it suggests Bermuda's LGBT+ community are nothing more than "second class citizens".
“Governor Rankin and the Bermuda parliament have shamefully made Bermuda the first national territory in the world to repeal marriage equality,” said the director of Human Rights Campaign Global, reports The Gaurdian.
Labour's Chris Bryant also took to social media to slam the Conservative party for "granting permission" for the repeal.
So @BorisJohnson has granted permission to Bermuda to abolish same sex marriage. This totally undermines UK effort to advance LGBT rights.— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) February 7, 2018
The governor refused to comment on the outrage, but said in a statement: "After careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution, I have today given assent to the Domestic Partnership Act 2017."