In the Supreme Court of Bermuda --- filed on February 16, 2018IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION UNDER SECTION 15 OF THE BERMUDA CONSTITUTION 1968
AND IN THE MATTER OF THE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP ACT 2018
RODERICK FERGUSON (Applicant)
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Respondent)
>> Read full Originating Summons
The lawsuit challenging the Domestic Partnerships will be heard in the Supreme Court on May 21 and 22 by Supreme Court Justice Ian Kawaley
Lawyer Mark Pettingill of Chancery Legal has filed a motion on Thursday February 16, 2018 on behalf of a client challenging the Constitutional issues of the Domestic Partnership Act. Governor John Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership Act into law on February 7, which replaced the Supreme Court decision by Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons allowing for same-sex marriages in Bermuda. In December, The Domestic Partnership Act passed in the House of Assembly and was then approved in the Senate. This law replaced same-sex marriages with a domestic partnership which can be entered into by both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Roderick Ferguson, a Bermudian man living in the United States, was one of many people who had approached Chancery Legal about challenging the new law. Mr Pettingill also represented Greg DeRoche and Winston Godwin, the gay couple who successfully challenged Bermuda’s laws when their wedding banns were not published by the Registrar-General. Mr Ferguson has filed this lawsuit because “the right to have a same-sex marriage has been taken away.” In a statement he said: "I strongly believe that this is a fundamental human rights issue, that everyone is entitled to the same protection of law which includes the service of a contractual marriage in Bermuda. When the rest of the right-thinking world has accepted the position that marriage should be available to same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike, it is very disappointing that my own country has effectively moved backwards." "I am grateful for what so many others have done to contribute to Bermuda’s movement toward marriage equality, and I’m privileged to be in a position, with the support of family, friends, and the LGBT community, where I can now stand up and do my part. I have taken the decision to make this legal application to protect my rights along with the rights of so many of my fellow Bermudians."
There are some significant cancellations coming into Bermuda as a result of the Government legislation. There is a #BoycottBermuda campaign going on, and the LGBT twitterverse is on fire calling for people to cancel vacations at hotels and/or cruises on Bermuda registered ships.
"Please support Bermuda whilst we fight for this important human rights issue in the courts. Boycotting will only hurt the Bermudians and the Bermudian LGBT family. The best way to support equality and justice is to visit Bermuda and also donate towards the legal costs."
>> Read "Legal Challenge Filed: Same Sex Marriage" on Bernews
>> Read "Lawsuit launched over same-sex marriage " on The Royal Gazette
>> #DONTBOYCOTTBERMUDA -- Read statement by OutRight Action International