Premier: No same-sex union poll

| 13/06/2016 | 57 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Government has no plans to hold a referendum on the question of either same-sex unions or gay marriage, Premier Alden McLaughlin told the Legislative Assembly Friday. However, he asked his political colleagues, especially those on the opposition benches, to be more tolerant towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as he raised concerns about discrimination. Same-sex marriage was not on the Progressive administration’s agenda and the UK was not pressing Cayman on the issue, so there was no need for a national poll, he said.

As he closed the budget debate, the premier was answering his former PPM colleague, Anthony Eden, who has been vociferous in his condemnation of the LGBT community, and Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, both of whom raised the issue of a referendum in their contributions to the debate.

Acknowledging the comments by members of the opposition benches and the controversial convictions held by some on the issue of same-sex partnerships, McLaughlin made it clear that there was no need for a referendum on the matter at this point. But he called for more tolerance, noting that the basic principle to ‘love thy neighbour’ was fundamental to Christianity. He said he believed that love was the key to eliminating discrimination.

Imploring members to put tolerance of others ahead of their convictions when deliberating in the LA, he reassured members that his government was not pushing for or moving towards legal recognition of same-sex marriages or unions.

The premier pointed out that, in time, the UK may press the matter and Cayman would need to make plans to avoid an order in council in the future, but he said he had no indication from UK officials that this was likely to happen at the moment.

He nevertheless expressed his concern about discrimination, noting that the Cayman Islands’ Bill of Rights prohibits discrimination on a range of issues, including sexual orientation, and the country is also bound by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), regardless of how members feel. The premier said there was nothing government could do if legal challenges were made in the face of discrimination, and urged members to bear that in mind.

However, he made no mention of government’s plans to revise immigration legislation regarding the issue of legally married same-sex couples in Cayman and their right to be dependents on work permits.

A former professor at the Truman Bodden Law school, Dr Leo Raznovich, and his husband, who is a lawyer with a leading local law firm, have appealed the decision by the Business Plan Staffing Board to refuse dependency status on his spouse’s permit because they are in a same-sex marriage.

Given the fact that the two men are legally married in their respective home countries of Argentina and the UK, the refusal is a legal problem for government. The couple plan to take legal action in the courts if the Immigration Appeals Tribunal also refuses the request. The premier has previously stated he believes they will win as a result of Cayman’s own Bill of Rights and precedent in the ECHR, and was therefore making plans to amend the current immigration law.

The premier’s comments came on the eve of the Queering Paradigms Conference, which was held in Cayman at the weekend, despite opposition from some churches.

Local experts on issues relating to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Cayman welcomed the premier’s comment that there would not be a referendum because, they said, at this point the island is not ready for the change and a referendum would probably have a negative result.

Gay marriage here to stay, says bishop

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Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A public pole would indeed be the exact instrument to determine the extent of either lustiness or innocence in our community and settle this thing one and for all!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sad how baseless and vile ancient religions give modern people encouragement and justification for hate and stupidity.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not so long ago in the US the black people were discriminated because of there color.
    Religious freaks were the biggest supporters of that philosophy. Call them the white anthony eden’s.

    Times have changed, and in a way white and black are equal now.

    Currently the religious freaks are against gay people.
    Times will change, and we will be equal, AGAIN.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not even the Queen (Mother) wants it. Its not Biblically accepted here. It also not discrimination. Its a chosen lifestyle and its will be destructive to any nation, especially a small Christian nation as Cayman. If you want to talk about discrimination, talk about the discrimination that is taking place in the Financial sector against the Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Queen Mother died in 2002.

      HRH Queen Elizabeth II, who just turned 90, the Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church of England, has more progressive thoughts on the matter that differ substantially from those of the unhappy, self-annointed, and disassociated Nicholas Sykes, who runs his own independent unrelated church business under a weird alliance of backward-looking USA-funded Episcopalians using the Book of Common Prayer from 1539 (no kidding), not the Common Worship introduced in 2000. He wrote an angry letter to the Queen in 2013:

      In contrast, you will find that the actual Anglican Church is not only supportive of LGBT issues, but also employs many LGBT clergy and bishops to spread their message of peace and love. With the blessings of HRH. It would be nice if there was a REAL Anglican Church here using the book of Common Worship (2006). I’d happily attend that on Sundays.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention Prince William, is currently on the cover for “Attitudes” the leading UK gay publication.

    • Anonymous says:

      It irritates the hell out of me, that most religious freaks simply repeat what the pastor says, without thinking. But that is how it works.

    • Anonymous says:

      What does the Queen’s mother’s opinion on this matter have to do with anything?
      And just the fact that you use inaccurate information to justify your discrimination is quite revealing. Even if it were a choice, which it’s not, but even if it were, how does that justify your discrimination? It may be a lifestyle choice for me to wear my hair frizzy or I may have simply been born with frizzy hair. It doesn’t matter. If you discriminate against me and choose not to hire me based on me having frizzy hair then we have a problem. EVEN if the Queens mother doesn’t like frizzy hair.

      What evidence do you have that a person’s choice of who to love and marry had a destructive effect on a nation? If you are worried about the nation falling apart perhaps you should look into the state of the education system. Priorities please.

    • Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Swingers already be having parties here on island lol nothing new

    • Anonymous says:

      Where? Have I missed something…private message me the address and I will go buy my condoms and lube now.

  6. C-Both-Sides says:

    “….a legal problem for Government….”

    So a Saudi prince shows up at the airport with four wives: all legal in his country;

    A Yemeni shows up with a wife aged thirteen: legal in his country;

    Remember Jerry Lee Lewis arriving in London with his fourteen-year-old wife: legally married in Alabama U.S.A.

    How far does a government go in respecting another government’s laws?

    • Anonymous says:

      Their marriage is legal in the UK and we are a dependent of England…not that hard to put it together

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as they aren’t ours we have to respect them seems like….

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s focus on two adults married to each other in a consensual relationship and let’s leave the floodgate deflection to desperate homophobic fundamentalists.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure what your point is. These are aren’t foreign laws. Laws in the Cayman Islands are supposed to be bound by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and International Conventions, such as ECHR that we are already a willing party to – and have been for some time.

      LGBT residents and citizens already have absolute rights (ie. not limited or qualified rights) under “Non-discrimination” clause of §16.1 of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009, CI Bill of Rights and ECHR 2000 (Article 14). It’s well beyond public opinion, referendum, or debate at this stage.

      In fact, it is actually unlawful for any government member or public official to act or incite opposition contrary to their obligations under the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and/or ECHR – to do so is a violation of the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Assembly.

      To illustrate how broken things are, our Madame Speaker, bound purportedly, by a rigid code of conduct, is obliged to be mindful of the Constitution Order 2009 and Legislative Assembly Standing Orders 2006 §82, “Privileges of the Legislative Assembly and its members”. Under §24, “Duty of Public Officials”, she has an obligation to immediately denounce those offending and restore order and/or instruct the Serjeant-at-arms to withdraw/eject or bar them if necessary from the LA.

      • Anonymous says:

        You be saying she needs to protect Hinduists, Voodooists and Satanists next. Are you taking the Pisacco?

        • Anonymous says:

          The Cayman Islands have never had a Speaker that fulfilled their responsibility to keep these children on task. Never seen it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, the Speaker, the Deputy Governor, and Governor all need to know and uphold the Constitution. The Hindu racism remark is also a hate crime that could land you in the anal-rapings of Northward. Ironic.

          • Anonymous says:

            The “hate crime” in question was taken from a quote from the current Speaker at the time of the proposal to introduce the Constitution….

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. It is about Cayman abiding by their own Constitution and International Obligations. No-one is asking for the law to be changed but to be applied fairly and without discrimination. Cayman is a secular nation therefore matters of religion and matters of law should be separated. I, for one, believe that the current government want the UK to intercept so that they can say “not me mate. It is our colonial masters calling!”. In the end everyone has the right to have a family life unhindered by discrimination and harassment irrespective of gender, race, religious belief or sexual preference as long as people are law abiding citizens.

        • Anonymous says:

          All of our laws flow from, not supersede, the Constitution – this is why the Immigration Law was amended to get it into context with the anti-discrimination Human Rights that are enshrined in there. Any MLAs that think it’s the other way around, or that these don’t apply are not fit for office.

  7. Unison says:

    Who is born a certain way … my respects and I support anti-discriminatory measures on their behalf. I am against hate. However, who is not born a certain way, but CHOOSE to live a gay lifestyle out of the lust or desires of their heart, I feel do a dishonor to themselves and to God who made them for the opposite sex. I would say 90% of the “gays” are by lustful choice. These are the ones I feel the Bible and other religions condemn, along with hating the sinner and not the sin. And as a deist that is why I am very reluctant to support the rainbow movement. The few good (who are born a certain way) must suffer for the real sodomites. :/

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you saying that, although you yourself was not born that certain way, you still have a lust and desire for the gay lifestyle but you CHOSEN not to give in to those base instincts?

      Should we all clap in Unison?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Lustful by choice” covers all humanity. Why don’t you take a little visit to certain bars in Cayman that lots of lustful actions take place by placing money in the underwear of a dancer. This is sinful too but I don’t see Christian Caymanians boycotting or demonstrating outside these “sin palaces” infact I have seen a number of good Christian Caymanians enjoying such “lustful” activities. The contradictions amuse me no end here!

    • Al Catraz says:

      “I would say 90% of the “gays” are by lustful choice.”

      And the other 10%, when you asked them, turned you down?

    • Anonymous says:

      Methinks thou doth protest to much………….Gaylord.

    • Anonymous says:

      A dumb uneducated remark, coming straight from your pastor.
      You don’t have a brain of your own ?
      Gay in my mind is a mistake of nature, but that does not mean they are not human. They have the same rights as you do.

      Do some reading (not the bible) and educate yourself. Form your own opinion.

  8. Sharkey says:

    The premier and all politicians are in full campaign mode, you will see and hear that they are against things now that they were for in the past including the GT dump, which now soon you’ll hear that is going to be fixed before 2017 election .

    I think that it’s time to change the baby diapers, because 4 – 8 years is too long for the baby to wear one diaper.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Like the death penalty and the decriminalisation of homosexual activities, this will need to be sorted out by Orders In Council as the backwards rump of the Empire cannot be expected to act of their own accord in a manner expected of British territories.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Love is the key to eliminating discrimnation, or just critically think for a second what it is your discriminating against, why and where that stems from and if it’s logical to begin with.

  11. Wow says:

    Funny, Alden said the opposition were wrong and he had to act now to save us from an Oder in council, turns out they were right. He said Baines was attacked unjustly by the opposition now he gets up and tells us Baines has cost the country so much and wasn’t doing his job, then he refused to participate in the debate of the missing boaters, turns out he now has concerns! What a typical politician! Does he actually stand for anything these days?

    Seems to me he is being led by the opposition!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden McLaughlin is the premier flip flopper in cayman politics who will say and do anything for power.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There is always the option of refusing the work permit of the employed spouse upon renewal. Base it on the fact that there is a suitable Caymanian who can take up the employment. Whether a Caymanian takes up the position or not is neither here nor there. The fact is there are many qualified experienced Caymanian lawyers that can replace him.

    Problem solved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem begets new problem via multimillion-dollar conspiracy and discrimination lawsuit that they would easily win based on volumes of existing ECHR case law. CIG pays huge settlement, and UK concurrently forces adoption and recognition of same-sex unions by way of Order in Council. Checkmate.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just let the courts earn their keep and sort it out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If discrimination is not permitted by law then why are expatriate children refused public schooling, expatriates in general discriminated against not to mention the district and inter island discrimination. And, I am still waiting for my driveway to be paved with public funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      No no. Only minimum wage expatriates.

    • Regan says:

      “Why are expatriate children refused public schooling?”

      They are most certainly not; you need to make a visit to one of the many public schools on island. Many expat children go there. Some barely speak English.

      The truth is Government can’t refuse an expat child from attending public schools on island; you have been seriously misinformed.

      • Jotnar says:

        Yes they can and do refuse expat children. It is policy to extend places to Caymanians first, then expats on government service, and if there is space, expats. And there isn’t space. The expat children you refer to are probably the children of status holders.

        • Anonymous says:

          But these children have the right to free primary and secondary education guaranteed to them under Cayman’s human rights obligations.

          • Anonymous says:

            Our Caymanian children should have first choice in our Cayman schools. You can always go back home with your non Caymanian children . What do you suggest we do with our children if your children are allowed to take up all the spaces in our schools. Some of you out there seem to have lost your minds .

  15. Iyatollya Once, Iyatollya Twice says:

    Cayman is just like Iran. An advanced medieval society with no gays whatsoever.

    • Just saying says:

      Lyatollya let me tell ya, maybe you should go live in Orlando, Florida.

      • Anonymous says:

        That disgusting comment about ‘live in Orlando’ is beneath contempt and illustrates the appalling mindset of the bigoted Caymanian.
        49 innocent kids died whilst enjoying a regular night out and you think it’s worthy of your discriminatory and contemptible viewpoint.
        Just so you mouth breathing jerks understand, that is what happens when religious and politically fuelled hatred spills over into civilised society. Living in Orlando didn’t kill those people, a homophobic and religiously inspired maniac did, so perhaps it’s you that needs to ‘live’ in another country before your hate filled ideology consumes what human dignity you have left in that pathetic mind of yours.

        • Anonymous says:

          at 8.36am Now look at who is being a bigot. The poster that you are responding to did not identify himself as Caymanian ,but as ‘Just saying’ yet you have deliberately chosen to use this to castigate “bigoted Caymanians’ which only served to highlight your own bigotry and hate.

    • Anonymous says:

      The women are hot in Iran.

    • Anonymous says:

      And, both have great sex parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Iran……lol do you even read?

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