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The tiny island territory of Bermuda became the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. 

Bermuda Gov. John Rankin signed a bill Feb. 7 reversing the practice while recognizing and ensuring protection for couples in civil partnerships. 

The bill sought to strike a balance between both sides of the gay marriage debate after a majority of voters favored overturning a Supreme Court ruling legalizing the practice in a 2016 referendum. 

 The bill restates “that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognizing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples,” said Bermuda’s Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown, according to The Guardian. 

Church leaders were among those who protested the May 2017 ruling that had initially legalized same-sex marriage in the British territory.