Michael Cashman introduces bill to legalise same-sex marriage in British Overseas Territories

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7/8/22

A bill has been introduced in the House of Lords to legalise same-sex marriages in British Overseas Territories where they’re currently banned. Gay rights pioneer Lord Michael Cashman put the private members’ bill (a bill introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers) forward on Wednesday (6 July). The proposed bill extends to six Overseas Territories; Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. It will seek to introduce equal civil marriage for same-sex and different-sex couples. “Currently, same-sex couples can marry in the UK but are prohibited from marrying in six British Overseas Territories. This is wrong, and the UK parliament can and should act to end this obvious inequity. “I believe this bill has wide support among all those who favour equality over discrimination and are committed to upholding fundamental human rights,” Cashman said. The bill will empower “the governor of each Territory to make changes to the law in the Territory to recognise the lawfulness of same sex marriage”. The introduction of the bill comes after the UK Privy Council denied marriage equality to both the Cayman Islands and Bermuda in March 2022. Colours Caribbean, an LGBTQ+ organisation based in the Caymann Islands, said the decision “revealed a discriminatory system of constitutional segregation”, as per BVI News.

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