Travelers Call for Bermuda Boycott Over Same-sex Marriage Ban
The island has long been a popular spot for destination weddings.
Some tourists have called for a boycott of the island of Bermuda after legislators passed a law repealing same-sex marriage.
The repeal was a worldwide first, and it comes less than a year after marriage equality was legalized on the island, The Guardian reported.
LGBTQ activist groups have slammed the decision as a move in the wrong direction, and travelers have taken to Twitter to criticize the decision, with some even calling for a boycott of tourism to the island.
Bermuda legislators repealed the Supreme Court decision that had made same-sex marriage legal by passing the Domestic Partnership Act last week, which does away with same-sex marriage but maintains some civil protections for domestic partnerships. The Domestic Partnership Act comes after an overwhelming number of Bermudians voted against same-sex marriage in a referendum in 2016. The Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown cited pressure from a significant group of conservative residents.
"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 recognizing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples," Brown said, according to the Associated Press.
The decision has put some cruise ships in a precarious position, as couples of all orientations often choose to get married during a cruise. Cruise lines must abide by the laws of wherever a ship is registered, regardless of where the vessel travels, and both Princess and Carnival have ships registered to Bermuda that will no longer be able to perform same-sex marriages anywhere in the world, CNBC reported.
Tourism accounts for a significant portion of Bermuda's economy: The 693,000 tourists the island hosted in 2017 spent a combined $431 million, local news outlet the Royal Gazette reported. Cruise spending in particular rose by 7.6 percent last year.
"It's unfortunate, but I make my voice heard through my wallet whether at home or in my travels," Ryan Bennington, a married gay man who has visited Bermuda more than 30 times, told CNBC.