Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gay Concerns Rise Over Bahamas Wedding Competition Rules

Gay concerns with the Bahamas wedding promotion, Bahamas 16 Islands Invitation has led to the withdrawal of one of the judges, and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism having to clarify competition rules.

The concern resulted from the fact that in the Bahamas,  Gays are not allowed to enter into civil union while in the U.K, heterosexual couples are not allowed to enter into civil partnerships.

However, the Bahamas wedding promotion is open to “residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 and over, who are legally entitled to enter into marital/civil partnership in the UK and in The Bahamas”.  

Prompting Stephen Gray of Pink News, Europe’s largest Gay news service to say that in this case “no one would be eligible.”

The confusion has led to one of the judges and Marketing Director for Goldsmiths Jewelers, one of the promotion sponsors’ withdrawing from the competition. As the company is indicating that it did not want “to be seen to endorse an event which excluded the gay community.”

The Bahamas Tourist Office has since accepted responsibility for the error and has provided clarification that the clause had been intended to refer to a “ non-religious marriage ceremony, not a civil partnership” as stated in the rules.

A clause in the terms and conditions also stated that “it is not Bahamas Government policy to provide marriage licenses for same sex couples and therefore
same sex marriages cannot be performed.”

The Bahamas 16 Islands Invitation promotion will give 16 brides the opportunity to marry in 16 theme weddings on 16 different islands on May 16, 2012.


Glenn S. Ferguson is Resident Wedding Officiant & Bahamas Wedding Planner at Bahamas Destination Wedding a company specializing in wedding services in the Bahamas.

Email any question your questions about wedding in the Bahamas to or Tel: 1-242-327-2453 or 1-501-588-4621   

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