A LEADER of the LGBT community is calling on a Southampton-based cruise company to look at re-registering its ships after a change in law.

As reported last August Cunard, based at Harbour Parade, announced it would be offering same-sex weddings at sea after authorities in Bermuda, where three of its ships are registered, legalised same-sex marriage.

But now the British Overseas Territory has a new government and it has reversed the law, meaning that Cunard can no longer offer the service on board the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary II or Queen Victoria.

Now the company, which is lead sponsor for Southampton Pride for the second year running, says it is “exploring options” in the relation to the political U-turn.

CEO of trans charity Chrysalis Andi Maratos said: “Cunard is such ardent supporters of Southampton Pride but it’s down to it now to look at how it can support LGBT rights and that might mean re-registering in another country.”

She added: “I know there will be people boycotting the company.”

But organisers of Southampton Pride said they remain convinced that Cunard is “committed to equality”. Julianne Watling-McCarthy said: “Cunard and P&O continue to be Southampton Pride’s biggest supporters. It’s very disappointing and upsetting that Bermuda’s government has taken this decision, but this doesn’t reflect on the values of Carnival.”

A P&O spokesperson said: “Carnival believes that same-sex marriage should be legalised in Bermuda. We are currently working with local interest groups in Bermuda and elsewhere to explore options in relation to this.”

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