MLAs call for gay rights referendum

| 06/06/2016 | 149 Comments
Cayman News Service

MLA Anthony Eden

(CNS): Once again, some of Cayman’s longest serving politicians have attacked the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. During the budget debate in the Legislative Assembly last week, both Anthony Eden and Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush took aim at plans for a conference on issues impacting the group and criticised Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick for offering her support for the cause. They also called for a referendum on the issue of same-sex unions.

Kilpatrick’s daughter, a student at the Truman Bodden Law School, and Leonardo Raznovich, a former professor at the school, are the lead organisers of the seventh Queering Paradigms conference, which is taking place this year here in Cayman (see Local and regional LGBT prejudices top bill at conference)

During Anthony Eden’s comparatively short contribution to the debate, which he noted could be his last, he drew attention to the conference, scheduled for this weekend, and, as he has done previously in the Legislative Assembly, exposed his disturbing antipathy towards members of the LGBT community. He spoke about a “moral compass” that was disappearing in the US and Europe and said that “they want to bring it here”.

Eden defended the discriminatory position he took against the LGBT community last year before he resigned from the PPM because of the premier’s announcement that he would be amending immigration regulations to accommodate same-sex dependents in legal unions. He claimed he had never received so much support for an issue before.

Eden said he had “taken licks” about the issue and it was time to have a referendum to decide the matter. However, describing it as his ‘favourite subject”, he derided the conference and comments made by the governor’s daughter, saying he was stunned to learn that “now, flying in the face of the debate that went on and I was chastised by some of these foreigners … they are bringing this conference here”.

The political veteran said all of the members on the opposition benches had met with the Cayman Ministers Association because of their concerns about the idea that gay people should have rights. He continued to blame “foreign elements” who wanted Cayman to change the marriage law, but he said the religious groups, who have between six and seven thousand parishioners, had given their commitment to fight against rights for the LGBT community. He said he believed the vast majority of Caymanians were behind him.

During his contribution Eden also called for the return of corporal punishment for sex offenders, as he appeared to reminisce fondly over public whippings, as he again blamed foreigners for attempting to change Cayman’s traditional ways.

Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush also spoke about rights for members of the LGBT community and the question of same-sex unions. He said that his party supported human rights but he was not willing to change the local culture and fly in the face of existing laws, as he too questioned why the governor was giving credence to the issues and the upcoming conference. He said she was “stirring up controversy” with her support.

Bush said that, as with many other issues, the concept of same-sex unions was being pushed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the “Queen’s representative here” should consider the views of people before she got involved in the conference. He said he did not care what people did in their private lives but the government should not change the law.

Bush noted that Bermuda had decided to have a referendum on the question of legal same-sex unions and perhaps Cayman should also do that, if the country was “being pushed” to accept them.

“We have our human rights too, which should be respected,” he said but did not make it clear how the rights of heterosexual Caymanians would be diminished in any way by offering rights to LGBT people to formalise their relationships and achieve equal pension and property rights.

Since the premier revealed plans to amend immigration legislation to accommodate same-sex spouses as dependents, thereby avoiding potential lawsuits, there have been no further announcements from government about when the changes will be made.

Dr Raznovich and his husband have taken legal action against the Cayman government after immigration turned down his dependency request. He said this week that their battle was ongoing.

See CIGTV coverage of debates below.  Eden starts in video 1 at 36:30 mins in video 2 Bush starts at 23 mins.

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Comments (149)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope Mr Eden is watching the news about the attack on the LGBT in Orlando. His approach at corporal punishment and public floggings for sexual offenders(what he deems to be a sexual offence because of the bible) is no different from Islamic discrimnation against the LGBT. Only difference is the Muslims who carry out these atrocities are fulfilling the Quran and the laws.
    The bible clearly states homosexuals are to be put to death( Lev 20:13). I hope Mr Eden pulls his head of his own @$$ and realises where his discrimination stems from before we cultivate our own crazy religious extremist. Muslims do it for Allah and Mr Eden does it for Jesus.

    • Anonymous says:

      The shooter in Orlando was a mentally ill individual who happened on Isis as an opportunistic excuse for his twisted mind. Only the extreme form of Shariah advocates death to homosexuals, the same as the nutbar Christian sects.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you implying that ISIS does not condone death on homosexuals? What is the difference between a mentally ill man who uses ISIS an as excuse for his discrimnation and twisted views and Mr Eden who uses the bible to justify his own twisted views of corporal punishment? If all gays are evil and need punishing and Mr Eden follows the word of god, then what is stopping him and other’s from doing the same thing as the Orlando shooter? Common sense or maybe we just don’t have a place for homosexuals to gather so some religious christian nut case down here can go and carry out word of god. Leviticus 20:13.
        By your same logic can’t Mr Eden and other nutbar christians be mentally ill and using the bible as an excuse to carry out their own bigotry?
        And #%@# ISIS, they throw homosexuals off roofs for punishment. It is mentally ill people using religion as an excuse for there own twisted morals. Hence why Mr Eden needs to shut the #$## up about all this religious bs he is spewing.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you never hear mentioned is that the Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Christ was born. He, himself made no mention of homosexuals, much less that they should be damned.

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