Governor: CIG must protect LGBT rights

| 26/09/2016 | 59 Comments

(CNS): The government has an obligation to protect the rights of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, the governor has said in an email to the local gay activist organisation Colours, but she has still fallen short of calling for the legalization of same sex unions. The group, led by Billie Bryan, has petitioned the UK and its oversea minister, Baroness Joyce Anelay, via the governor’s office, asking for the Equal Marriage Act, 2013 or the Civil Partnership Act, 2004 to be extended to Cayman. In her response Helen Kilpatrick said the British government expects the Cayman government to guarantee LGBT equality.

Bryan had hoped to meet with the UK minister when she visits Cayman for next week but the governor said the schedule was too tight. However, she said that the petition would be sent to Baroness Anelay, who would also discuss the issue with the chair and vice chair of the Human Rights Commission when she meets with them during the short trip.

The governor has persistently stated that the UK will not force the CIG to adopt same-sex marriage but the governor’s comments imply that it should be finding ways to offer the LGBT community equity under the law. But whether she believes that the CIG should create a legal framework for the recognition of same-sex partnerships remains unclear.

“The UK expects the Cayman Islands Government to adhere to its international human rights obligations and to pursue policies and enact legislation guaranteeing LGB&T equality in respect of the rights set out in the Cayman Islands Constitution,” she stated in her short email response to Bryan.

Over the last year the issue of equity for the gay community has risen to the top of the opposition political agenda. Veteran MLA Anthony Eden triggered a controversial debate in the Legislative Assembly last November with a private member’s motion asking government to reaffirm that the institution of marriage will only ever be between a man and a woman. Eden used the parliament to attack the LGBT community based on biblical teachings and although the motion was supported Eden quit the PPM anyway because the premier had stated that the government might need to make some amendments to immigration regulations to accommodate lawfully married same-sex couples from overseas.

Although the premier has called for tolerance and the fair treatment of the LGBT community, he has stated that his government has no plans to enact any legislation that would give same-sex couple legal recognition of their union.

The power of the church on this issue and its influence on voters is such that there is almost no political support for the extension of any rights in law that would allow gay couples to register their relationships and give them access to the same rights as their straight counterparts, such as issues relating to medical, pension, property and family rights.

Bryan has sought the intervention of the UK on the issue as the only possible course of redress for the inequity currently faced by the LGBT community when it comes to the right to a family life.

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Category: Local News

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Gay couples are some of the happiest couples EVER !!….. Must be doing something right 🙂

  2. Just Commentin' says:

    At some point, the religious right, and those who are still in the 20th century, will have to stop getting so riled up about sex concentrate a tad bit more on love.

    The bottom line is…(Uhh, I see potty-minded people making a pun in there somewhere…)
    Lemmee try again..

    The hard fact of the matter is…(Hmmm…?? Nope. Let’s rephrase that…)

    What we have to come to grips with… (Uhh-uhh…okay…one more time…)

    The difficult to swallow issue is…(Oh my, no…restart…)

    (The thing we need most to grasp is…(Oh hell… let’s go with this…)
    The thing we need most to grasp is is that, like it or not, the sexual preferences of two (or even three or more) consenting adults should be a “live and let live” thing. The bedroom is the last place we need to be sticking our collective noses. Dictating who one can or cannot love and form a life with should not be a mandate of the state. (Ok, yeah…I hear ya…if certain dudes want a mandate, they should be allowed a mandate. I’m good with that. But we digress…) The debate here and all the spouting off by politicians is a pointless waste of time. As long as we belong to the UK, recognition of LGBT rights is something that is going to come, and come it will, sooner or later. (Sheesh! I give up! You people minds are I don’t know where.)

  3. Just Commentin' says:

    Zika? Simply put, yes. Zika can be transmitted through gay sex (and hetero sex) Semen is once source of transmission. So wrap it (and avoid fellatio).

  4. anonymous says:

    It’s disgusting the way the church and our parliament is so intertwined with eachother. At the end of the day, morality and law should not interconnect as they are two completely separate things. The law is there to protect our society from harm. Not to shine your homophobic beliefs on people!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh, the selective bigotry-battlers of CNS readership. You guys are awesome.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can [a gay] man get the Zica virus from their man on man play? Serious question tho.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where can I sign the petition?

  8. Anonymous says:

    For the life of me, I still can’t understand why the government has to be so stiff-necked on this “issue”. If they don’t want to call a legal same-sex relationship a “marriage”, then by all means at least call it a legal union, one that allows both partners (male+male, female+female) to have the same HUMAN RIGHTS as those of the heterosexual community. It’s really not that hard to extend simple human rights to EVERYONE, regardless of their sexual orientation.

    It baffles me that the government, and the church, wants to turn a blind-eye to the fact that there are MANY members of the LGBT community within our society – some of whom are Caymanians; some who work within government and attend our churches; and some who let it be known or choose not to because of the discrimination that’s brought on them all because they love the same sex.

    Who gives a rats butt?!?!

    Instead of the focus being placed on the sexual orientation of those you know, or don’t know, the focus should be placed on more important issues on the island. REAL issues! I wish they’d give members of the LGBT community a break and allow them to enjoy their human rights EQUALLY, and stop trying to tell them what they can/cannot do, who they should/shouldn’t date and love, and what rights they should/shouldn’t get.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can’t reason much with people who already believe in angels, a talking snake and the Noah’s ark story. They are working from an entirely different worldview.

  9. 345 says:

    No politician running for re-election or as a newbie is going to touch this with a ten foot pole.

    In the same way that they will refuse to address the PR issue.

    They want to run on an “I opposed it most” campaign and wait for the UK to implement it or the Courts to rule against them, and be able to claim “I did my best”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. Doing the right thing should be easy, and we should expect our leaders to lead not regress. Defending our Human and Civil Rights should be a strong platform, otherwise who or what are we if we vote against that?!?

    • Can't stand ona says:

      The government elect is the one who must if it wills either pass the appropriate legislation or LBGT be damned or the Uk will. It’s not up to non government members wh obviously can jump up and down and sing Hallelujah but what power do they have really. In the end there will probably be some physical bashing that will cause the UK to impose he rights.

  10. Born atheist born again atheist says:

    Christians who are heavily indoctrinated feel threatened by the idea of acknowledging the LGBT community as equal.
    These church folk have adopted the attitude that they’re better than everyone because they have the grace of god on their side. The idea that of people different faith and sexual orientation are equally right creates a hole in their perfect book and the thought that their book could be wrong is a threatening reality to the deluded.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Expect the usual torrent of derision when that rabid.lot over in the U.K.come to some semblance of consciousness in the morning. Look, sportsfans, in all honesty, there’s about as much chance of me being elected to the U.S. presidency as there is of Cayman acceding to this contextually zany idea of a man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman in the Cayman Islands. The governor, quite naturally, feels compelled to beat the drum even in the sure knowledge that it reverberates little beyond the gently lapping waves to her west. (Yes, I live in a house, not a cave. Yes, I have running water. Yes, I can read and write.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Having running water and being able to read and write are one thing. Knowing how to use those tools properly is another.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Goveror’s statement is very strong. Her Excellency makes clear the Cayman Islands must adhere to its “international human rights obligations”. In this regard, it is worth reminding ourselves of the comments made by the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission in its press release issued on 23 June 2016:

    “For the avoidance of doubt: [the Cayman Islands is] required, by law, to make provision for same-sex couples to have their relationships legally recognised (although that recognition does not have to be by ‘marriage’). Any suggestion that Cayman’s current legal framework is sufficient to survive a legal challenge in the Court on same-sex unions is wrong as a matter of law.”

    There can be no question, therefore that, as a matter of current law, the Cayman Islands is required to enact legislation to make provision for same-sex couples to have their relationships recognised. The Governor is reaffirming that position and has an obligation to do so, because the UK is ultimately responsible for the current breach of the Cayman Islands to comply with these “international human rights obligations” under the European Convention on Human Rights. Moreover, the Cayman Islands own Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and denying equality of treatment of LGBTQ people under the law is, hence, a breach of the Constitution too.

    Permitting to subsist clear and unambiguous breaches of both local law and international law may have profound and far reaching consequences for the Cayman Islands, if not rectified swiftly. It may become problematic for many foreign investors, hedge funds, banks and other businesses working with / through the Cayman Islands.

    The solution here would simply result in giving equal rights to all persons. This does not mean anyone’s rights need to be taken away and there is no need for same-sex marriage, but the longer this situation remains unresolved, the greater chance there is that same-sex marriage will be introduced by Order in Council from the UK. Particularly now that the Premier and all politicians in Cayman have stated publicly that they will not enact any legislation at all!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Legalize same sex marriage but make same sex divorce illegal.
    Then see who wants it!
    Zack

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear. You just don’t get it, do you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Zack, sportsfan, you could be on to something, but I’ll need to devote a couple of hours to figure out exactly what it is!

    • annonymous says:

      Do you hear yourself 8:09pm?

      If allowed to marry or have their civil unions recognized, then the same should be applicable across the board. Heterosexuals can get divorced right?

      It is called human rights… and gays being afforded the same rights as you, I or anyone who is heterosexual is not taking a thing from us.

      We don’t have to like it, but that doesn’t mean they should not have equal human rights.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How is that one young Caymanian, Billie Bryan, has more courage and a greater sense of justice than all but one member of the Legislative Assembly?

    Take notes, Cayman. Bryan is showing us how social progress happens.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Last time I checked this is not a theocracy….who cares what the church has to say and why should they have a political platform when they are ignorant and refuse to understand or speak to members of any minority. The democratic process is to especially protect the minority whether that be race or orientation…if a government fails to do that they they are failing in their duty to protect. The issue isn’t about religious fanaticism it’s about equity….and nothing else.

    • Born again atheist says:

      I’ll say it again. Religion holds no place in politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      No thinking person would need to check if Cayman was being run as a theocracy. It is, however – and I would not expect you to attach any value to it – a devoutly religious society with strongly held beliefs.The government it elects is reflective of this, which is kinda how democracy works. You might not agree with the government being a mouthpiece for the majority, but it is a reality, and no amount of self righteous, “superior” huffing and puffing will alter it. By the way, you speak of “the church” as being an entirely separate entity from that of the Caymanian people. You have much to learn, my friend, if nothing else.

      • Anonymous says:

        The religious right, as a proportion of voting Caymanians, may not hold the decisive margin that was the presumed pre-2004 when there were only 6000 or so registered voters and maybe 10-12 new status applications approved per year. There have been >10,000 new merit-based Caymanians added since 2004, these came after the 3000 or so “status grants” of 2003. It should be obvious that the voter landscape has changed dramatically and irreversibly. Now would be the time for any MLAs with survival instincts to rethink their outdated assumptions and adjust their playbook.

  16. Leviticus 18:22 says:

    Anthony Eden 4 Premier!

  17. Anonymous says:

    What would Buju do?

  18. Anonymous says:

    As the Right Honourable Robert Nester Marley said, “Man to Man is so Unjust”.

    Who Jah/God Bless no man curse.

    • Born again atheist says:

      Sounds like an honourable fool. Homosexuality is not just a form of sex it is a form of love and for that deserves respect.
      You believe jah,god,yahweh or Ghandalf whichever created life and love then I suggest you refrain from being a bigoted hypocrite and learn to accept people for who they are and not want you think they should be.

  19. Anonymous says:

    No one is taking away their rights. Our laws and constitution does not allow homosexual marriage . End of story!! Marriage is not really a right anyway ,- it is a privilege between a man and a woman. Subject closed,

    • Anonymous says:

      Marriage is the socially recoginized union between two spouses, two consenting adults. Sexual gender does not matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Both the Caymanian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights include an explicit right to respect for private and family life. The Olari court found that those rights are not guaranteed where same-sex couples have no opportunity “to enter into a civil union or registered partnership (in the absence of marriage)”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mate, if you can read, fetch a version of your constitution and tell me exactly where it reads that same-sex marriage is not allowed, let alone prohibited …

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re correct: their rights aren’t being taken away. They’re not being given them in the first place, which is the issue at hand! And marriage isn’t just a privilege for heterosexual couples; marriage is a union between two consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation.

      The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines marriage as:
      a. (1) the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law, (2) the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
      b. the mutual relation of married persons
      c. the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

      Nowhere in that definition does it say it’s solely for a man and woman. And yes, I’m aware the Bible says differently – I was raised in the church – but the Bible was also written/translated by man, and if there’s one thing we can all attest to is that as humans we’re fallible, and we each have our own way of perceiving the Bible and the lessons taught. However, one thing that’s always been made clear to me is that we, as humans, don’t have the right to judge each other; that’s God’s job. So why there’s even judgement and debate taking place in regards to whom another person wants to be legally united with is beyond me!

      If the CIG doesn’t want to acknowledge same-sex “marriage”, then by all means they can acknowledge same-sex “unions/civil parternerships”, and allow the partners within those relationships to have the same human rights provided to them as heterosexual couples.

      This isn’t a marriage issue. This is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue!

  20. Anonymous says:

    What a wimpy response!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mexico had a 100,000+ man march against same sex unions just two days ago, some people here believes that the Cayman Islands is the only place on the face of this earth against this practice.

  22. Anonymous says:

    OK, so here we go, again, expect 200 comments at least, a lot spouting various Bible offerings and predictions of calamities galore and “if you don’t like our laws leave us”, and a similar number of “neaderthol, get out of your caves”, “backwards” “we are not in your bed” type comments. And precisely nothing will have changed except CIG kicking the can down the road to the next parliament, who will do precisely nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve! You forgot that one.

    • Anonymous says:

      so whats your solution????
      well done cns again for exposing the ignorance and hypocrisy of the cayman islands….

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s for the duly elected people’s representatives to resolve. Who else? What’s your solution? Revolution? Yeh, cos that’s gonna work.

    • Ky-Catholic says:

      No

    • Anonymous says:

      What is it that the LGBT does not understand? This sort of behavior ain’t tolerated in the Cayman Islands! They are other places in this world that is quite accommodating so go make there your place of stay. Alternatively, go to the Middle East hopefully, you’ll make it back out alive.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you really suggesting that the murder of LGBT individuals in the Middle East, or anywhere else for that matter, is acceptable? I can’t think of anything more hateful or deplorable. No one — no matter how much you disagree with them — should ever suffer violence simply for being who they are.

        And who are you to ask Caymanian born citizens to leave their homes for something that is fundamental to who they are and something they cannot change? Anyone born in this country has as much of a right to be here as you do.

        In your own words, “This sort of behavior ain’t tolerated in the Cayman Islands.” It is not who we are.

      • Anonymous says:

        More buggery goes on behind closed doors in the middle east than anywhere else…wherever it is banned you will find the same…same as alcohol, drugs, prostitution…

    • Anonymous says:

      So what does that tell you about the stance of Caymanian society on this issue? And does this matter to you?

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