by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 13, 2018
Bermuda Gov. John Rankin's signing of the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, which reverses the country's same-sex marriage law that was passed last May, is drawing criticism from tourism officials and LGBT advocacy groups. Among the effects of the measure is that cruise ships registered in the British Overseas Territory won't be allowed to host same-sex wedding ceremonies. Three major lines -- Cunard, P&O Cruises and Princess -- have ships registered in the British territory. 
 
Cunard reacted to the news with the following statement: "Having been delighted and wholly supportive of the Bermuda government's change in law last May, which allowed us to conduct same-sex marriages on board our ships, we are disappointed with this outcome."
 
The Bermuda Tourism Authority, which lobbied against the act when it was introduced back in December 2017, has posted a statement on its Facebook page, which says, "Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share feedback and voice their opinions about the Domestic Partnership Act 2017. We are collecting your sentiments and sharing them with the Government of Bermuda. All of us at Bermuda Tourism, our industry partners and many members of our community are committed to inclusiveness and will continue to treat all visitors to Bermuda with respect. At the BTA, we believe in the transformative power of travel, the exchange of ideas and the understanding it inspires. We encourage all travelers to Bermuda, including LGBT visitors, to continue participating in this important exchange with us."
 
Public comments posted to the BTA Facebook site are highly critical of the new law: "Your archaic rolling back of marriage equality just cost you. A group of four have just canceled a two-week trip. We refuse to support a BIGOTED government and populous. Too bad for you...it's gonna cost ya big," said one.
 
Another commenter wrote, "Domestic partnerships are NOT the same as legal marriages. Bermuda has made marriage between two adults of the same sex illegal. Until they reverse this bigoted decision, I will not spend one more dime in that country. I hope its tourism dries up completely."
 
GLAAD, the LGBTQ media-advocacy organization, reacted as would be expected. In a statement, president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "As the world faces a resurgence of anti-LGBTQ activism, Bermuda just earned the shameful recognition of becoming the first national territory to strip away marriage from loving and committed LGBTQ couples. LGBTQ couples and their children in Bermuda should know that the global community of LGBTQ people and allies will stand with them in rectifying this unjust and hurtful news. Love can never be rolled back."