While noting the 5 May Supreme Court ruling in sister Overseas Territory Bermuda to allow same sex marriage, Junior Minister of Tourism Hon. Archibald Christian brought the topic up here during the 12 May House of Assembly.
Hon. Christian told Legislators that the court ruling in Bermuda prompts the question of the BVI’s position on the subject of same sex marriage: “We heard a few days ago in Bermuda that a court ruled that same sex marriage is constitutional. That same legislation back in the United kingdom a few years ago was passed.”
The Junior Minister for Tourism suggested that the BVI position was made clear when the law was passed and remains the same: “If my memory serves me right it was passed in the UK, but they indicated that it was left to each Overseas Territory to determine if they wanted to go down the same road. I can recall that several of us indicated what our position was gonna be,” Hon. Christian stated.
In making the landmark decision the Supreme Court noted that the Bermuda Human Rights Act supersedes the Matrimonial Causes Act which made same sex marriage illegal in the Territory. As such Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche (a Bermudan and Canadian) the couple that made the case were allowed to marry.
In 2013 the United Kingdom Parliament made same-sex marriages legal in England and Wales. The British Virgin Islands has not yet taken a stance on same sex marriage; human rights activists suggest that the Territory prove that it has entered the 21st century. Meanwhile, even Cuba has issued a stamp against homophobia and transgender discrimination. The writing is on the wall: BVI, history is watching you!!!