HRC calls on CIG to legalise gay unions

| 27/07/2015 | 210 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission has said government needs to legalise same sex unions before the country finds itself in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and its own constitution. The HRC has pointed out that, while the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, it doesn’t prevent laws to provide for same-sex couples to access similar rights and obligations that married couples enjoy in civil partnerships.

The issue is bound to stir up considerable controversy in the vocal conservative Christian community, however the international landscape regarding the rights of same-sex unions is changing rapidly and Cayman is in danger of facing lawsuits that it will not be able to defend unless it paves the way for such lawful partnerships.

The human rights experts said in a release Monday that a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights delivered last Tuesday (21 July), which requires Italy to provide a legal framework allowing same-sex couples to have their relationships recognised and protected under domestic law, increases the need for Cayman to also provide a legal framework for same-sex couples to have their relationships similarly protected.

“The judgment has very important civil rights implications for same-sex couples within the jurisdiction of the Court — which includes Cayman — indeed Cayman’s own Constitution mirrors the protections provided by Article 8 of the Convention in Article 9 of our Bill of Rights,” the HRC stated in an official release.

With more than half of the European Union’s member states having already passed legislation to protect civil unions and the rising tide around the world recognizing the right of same sex couples to enjoy a private family life, Tuesday’s ruling is also in line with the recent findings of the United States Supreme Court.

As attitudes and understanding regarding same-sex unions change, Cayman will not only be on the wrong side of history if it resists the advances in human rights for LGBT members of society who wish to have loving relationships legitimized and protected in law but also on the wrong side of the courts.

The HRC has warned that, given the ECHR ruling, the domestic constitution and the global trend and attitudes of the courts, the Cayman Islands Government is now increasingly vulnerable to costly legal battles and findings against it unless it creates a framework to accommodate same sex unions.

“The Human Rights Commission agrees that all couples in stable relationships should be entitled to equal dignity in the eyes of the law, regardless of their sexual orientation. The Cayman Islands should take this opportunity to amend its laws,” the HRC stated.

The changing environment over the rights of same-sex couples finally recognizes the desire for couples to formalize their partnerships. The European court echoed the sentiments of the recent US ruling when it spoke about the wishes of same-sex couples. It said, “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

However, regardless of the legal implications and the need for the local government to act, it is unlikely to rush towards the necessary legislation. The pressure from local churches and their influence over voters is likely to stall the need for a legal framework and may see the public purse stretched to fight legal battles that it cannot win in order to placate the conservative Christian position.

During the battle to negotiate a modern constitution for the Cayman Islands with the UK, the issue of same-sex marriage dominated the church’s involvement in the talks. What was often seen by the Human Rights Committee (the precursor to the commission) as obsessive preoccupation with same-sex relationships led to what many view as a weakened constitution that lacks teeth when it comes to discrimination, not just against same-sex couples but the disabled and other vulnerable groups as well.

In recent weeks a local campaign has begun in Cayman for the recognition of rights for the LGBT community. The launch follows an interesting series of three seminars earlier this year organized by the Truman Bodden Law School, in which the legal issues and implications for Cayman were examined by an expert on the subject from Kings College, London, the governor and one of the law school’s own lecturers.

CNS was contacted by some members of the student body who said the law school faculty had not fully supported the series, which drew considerable audiences. They also implied that the departure of Dr Leonardo Raznovich, the professor who helped organise the series and delivered the final lecture, was because of his sexual orientation.

The law school has, however, categorically denied the allegations and its director, Mitchell Davies, said the faculty was very supportive of the seminars and assisted with the production and fundraising.

“For reasons of privacy, I am unable to disclose the reasons behind the decision not to offer Dr Raznovich a new contract of employment, but I would reassert, in the strongest of terms, that those reasons have nothing to do either with the aforementioned lecture series or with Dr Raznovich’s sexuality, and suggestions to the contrary are a manifest distortion of the truth,” he said.

HRC’s Statement on the European Court of Human Rights Ruling in Favour of Same-Sex Unions, July 2015

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Comments (210)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If your theology is more valuable than the lives of teens who commit suicide or get murdered/bullied/assaulted due to being homosexual, rethink your values.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps we should tell the teens about salvation for their souls through Jesus?
      Where are the pastors on this? Too busy taking up collections and looking pretty.

    • old owl says:

      Cayman is unique and will not be bullied by liberals that have lost their way and determine to corript the whole world with their filthy lifestyle. ld rather see Cayman succeed. independent from a weak pushover UK than comply with this one world. rulercrusade that is engineered by led by the son of perdition antichrist end time homosexuals on their way to hell! cant wait for Jesus to come bsck and rule with a rod of iron as the holy bible has promised.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well God is no respecters of persons. What He has done for others, He will do for you.
    Sodom & Gomorrah anyone? Or has God seen the light and bowed down to our superior intellect? Haters gonna hate.
    By the way, where are our pastors in all of this? Kissing HRC booty by the sound of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not surprised … people who really love our islands, way of life and are truly Caymanian would have been pushing to fight unfair discriminatory practices against Caymanians and Caymanian children instead they focus on issues (human rights??) that are contrary to our culture.

    I only hear of two issues being advocated by this HRC group.

    1. Rights of families working here and their children but not about their fellow Caymanian children, what about their rights? Foreign workers made the choice to leave their families bUT we must put their needs over our own?

    2. The rights of homosexuals, transgender persons and right to marry.

    TWO ISSUES but I bet they never started looking into any possible breach of human rights or conflict of interest into the hundreds of foreclosed properties??

    Well, now is the time to look at this HRC and if there are females there, know from now you can’t vote for them or their endorsements. Stay awake Cayman and look at the decisions these groups are making

  4. THE TRUTH says:

    Here is the truth as told by a “minority”. Let the truth set you free.

    EU, UK, USA = All the same #selfishness

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMB76zxAhu8

    Deal with it. #truth

    #NO MORE PROPAGANDA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU0MR0vxmsA

  5. Jg says:

    Remember what the creator did to sodom and gommorah the whole world is gona get it this time around. Make sure you make it to heaven. And whose the biggest fruit than the devil! Make sure your not chillin with him.

    • Anonymous says:

      wtf is wrong with you people? With all the hate spit out by you Christians, I’ll be more than happy to go to your Hell, but guess what? Your religion is no more real than Alice in Wonderland. You suffer from a mental illness.

      Now go ahead and condemn me to your Hell one more time with your Christian love.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous says:

        28/07/2015 at 3:24 pm

        starts a sentence off with “wtf” and then accuses others of “hate” and “mental illness”

        you just cannot make this stuff up

        • Anonymous says:

          Moron, wtf is rhetorical. Funny you don’t mention that it was in response to a poster stating that their god will burn the entire world as “he did” with sodom and gommorah. Keep your mental illness inside your church, don’t bring it out here to the real world.

      • Anonymous says:

        You condemn yourself. God wants all of us sinners to be saved. Are you better than the rest of us. Don’t you need salvation?

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you translate a warning into hate? You must be so warped. God will judge all things righteously, be ready. I do not know you nor hate you, in fact I hope you see the light and repent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah so the corruption, thieving, rape etc is ok here? Our good lord will save Cayman as long as we don’t have gays? Wow. Cayman is really special if the 10 commandments don’t apply. Ring ring- planet earth calling cayman… But…no-one home

    • Anonymous says:

      In all seriousness, what is your heaven? Can you describe it to me please.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The hypocrisy of those commenting against gay marriage is astounding. There is no outrage by them against the epidemic of unwed mothers, deadbeat dads, philandering married men, corrupt government officials, and more. But by cherry-picking amongst their religious beliefs they feel compelled to condemn this one segment of the population in direct contradiction to every other civilized nation whose laws are rightly moving in the opposite direction to that of this antiquated, unjust and ill-advised view.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think that Adam and Steve should be allowed to marry and be just as broke and miserable as the rest of us!

  8. Anonymous says:

    If these so called Caymanians are such christians why are all of them running to the UK where they have NO choice but to same sex couples in their faces. Annnnnd all of these christians that you see in church on saturday or sunday are the same one I personally see in same sex acts on a low profile (especially the men) so wives beware!!!

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