Updated: October 31, 2022 07:40 AM
Government says it will continue hearings on costs in same-sex marriage case (Image credit)
Funds paid by campaigners who have lost a legal battle to preserve the right for same-sex couples to marry should be upheld, a government spokesman said.
He added that the investigation is “not yet complete”.
The Privy Council’s decision in March found that a clause in the Domestic Partnership Act, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, was not a violation in the law.
An order to the parties later stated that the respondents – Roderick Ferguson and others – “must be liable” to the appellant – the Attorney General for Bermuda – for costs before the Supreme Court of Appeal of the island.
Each party was told that it was responsible for its own costs in the “courts below”, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
The Privy Council of the United Kingdom (Image credit)
Figures released earlier this year showed that federal legal fees related to the case totaled $413,362.50 in payments to outside attorneys and law firms. But it is not possible to show the full breakdown of the money allocated to each court.
It was not known last week whether the respondents will pay all the fees to the Government.
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said this month: “The investigation is not over yet.
“Because of this, all prices have not changed and there is no further information to provide.”
He added later: “The amount of compensation that will be paid by the respondents is still pending. So it is not yet finalized.”
This legal aspect of the battle for same-sex couples to get married began in February 2018 after the Domestic Partnership Act received the approval of the Governor.
Mr Ferguson launched a legal action against the clause that says marriage is between a man and a woman.
The case went through the lower courts before reaching the Privy Council, where the panel split four to one, with the majority finding the law unconstitutional.
Mr Ferguson declined to comment for this article and OutBermuda, an LGBTQ charity and second defendant in the case, said it had “no comment at this time”.