Lords suggests forcing Bermuda to accept SSM
Lords in the UK have suggested that Britain should force Bermuda to legalise same-sex marriage in the same way it forced the island to adopt public registers.
Baroness Elizabeth Barker, a Liberal Democrat, questioned the Minister for the Overseas Territories Lord Tariq Ahmad on the issue and asked him: “Why the double standards.”
Lord Ahmad said he believed there was no double standard and told the baroness that he had made a “vociferous defence” of the overseas territories to retain autonomy over the issue and domestic issues in general.
“The will of the other place was such that the actual will of Parliament was upheld by the Government. We would rather have not been in that position,” he said.
Labour Lord Ray Collins of Highbury spoke on the issue, declaring his interest as a half Bermudian.
He said: “Bermuda did pass SSM laws … and then we had that overturned. It was agreed to by this government which it shouldn’t have been. When I go out there with my husband will I be able to exercise the same rights? I hope the noble Lord, the minister will stand up for SSM in Bermuda.”
Lord Ahmed said that the Government of Bermuda was now appealing that particular decision and the issue would be determined later this year.
“We need to ensure that those local issues of justice are played out properly,” he said.