Nearly half a year after approving same-sex marriage, Bermuda will no longer allow couples to marry.
The island country’s house approved a move to replace marriages with domestic partnerships, according to PinkNews. The bill was passed with 24 yes votes and 10 no votes.
The bill will not revoke any marriages that have already happened. Some who supported the bill, including Progressive Labour Party Backbencher (a member of Parliament who does not hold office in the government) Lawrence Scott said that the bill will only change the definition of marriage and give those couples benefits.
“As it stands now, they can have the name marriage but without the benefits,” Scott said. “But after this Bill passes, they have the benefits and just not the name marriage. The benefits are what they really want.”
Others in the country voiced their opposition to the bill making the change.
“The fact that no country in the world has ever done this should give us pause,” lawyer Rod Attride-Stirling said. “We will look foolish and oppressive, at a time when we can ill-afford this, in the light of everything going on and the spotlight shining on us for other reasons.”
Same-sex marriage in the country was passed in May after Bermudian Winston Godwin and Canadian Greg DeRoche won their right to marry in the county’s Supreme Court, according to PinkNews. Bermuda had previously decriminalized consensual same-sex relationships in 1994.
According to the Washington Blade, 60 percent of Bermudian voters were against any type of partnership for same sex couples in a non-binding referendum held in 2016. Notably, less than 50 percent of the country’s voters participated in that vote.