TORONTO, Canada, Tuesday May 23, 2017 – Weeks after winning a legal fight that has paved the way for same-sex marriage in Bermuda, Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian partner Greg DeRoche ditched the paradise and tied the knot in Canada.
They said their vows at a small ceremony in Toronto in the presence of 20 people, including family and friends, on Saturday.
“When it came to our marriage we wanted to keep it small, subdued and informal. And, even more importantly, we wanted to feel like we had control of how it happened and who was there,” Godwin told the Royal Gazette newspaper.
He explained they opted to go ahead with their nuptials after enduring further delays in publishing their marriage bans in Hamilton.
The newly-wed couple urged Bermudians to respect their choice.
“We do hope that people can understand why we made our choice. It would have been great to include many of the supporters that started this journey of the case with us but, ultimately, due to a variety of factors, including time, we wanted to ensure that we did it our way and on our terms,” he said.
“We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts that stuck by our side and supported us along the way.”
Godwin is, however, celebrating the fact that other same-sex couples have been making full use of the ruling.
“It was the most rewarding thing for us,” he said.
He stressed that the court case was bigger than his and DeRoche’s union and was more about moving Bermuda to make a critical change that was long overdue.
“The court case was never really about us as individuals. The outcome and its ramifications are what were really important,” he said.
Godwin and DeRoche had gone to court to challenge the Registrar-General’s decision to reject their application to marry in Bermuda.
On May 5, Supreme Court judge, Justice Charles-Etta Simmons ruled that the two had been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. She said they were entitled to an Order of Mandamus compelling the Registrar to act in accordance with the requirements of the Marriage Act and a declaration that same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act.