MPs angry over FCO’s failings on Bermuda’s gay marriage ban

| 12/02/2018 | 68 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): British MPs have attacked the Foreign Office and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after the government confirmed it would not be taking any action to prevent the Bermuda government from reversing its gay marriage legislation. Foreign Office Minister Harriet Baldwin told the UK parliament Thursday that while the government was “disappointed” with Bermuda’s decision, Johnson was not going to intervene. The former OT minister, Chris Bryant, was one of a number of backbench MPs who criticised the British government for failing to act. 

Bermuda is the first country in the world to reverse legislation that permitted same-sex marriage, and many MPs said they were stunned that Johnson did not think that protecting the rights of gay people in Bermuda was an “exceptional case” worthy of his intervention.

Same-sex marriage was first legalised in Bermuda in May 2017 after the territory’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of a gay couple who sued for equal marriage rights. But following a referendum in which a majority of voters opposed same-sex marriage, the government overturned the legislation and replaced it with a new law that would only allow civil partnerships between gay couples.

Aside from upsetting backbenchers in the UK and the LGBT community at large, the decision has also stirred up trouble for the cruise industry.

Because Bermuda legislation recognises a marriage ceremony performed at sea, several cruise lines, such as Cunard, P&O and Princess Cruises, register ships in the country so that passengers on board these ships can legally marry anywhere in the world. The introduction of the same-sex marriage law last year had paved the way for the cruise industry to sell marriage packages to LGBT couples, which is now no longer possible.

In a media statement, Michele Andjel, a spokeswoman for P&O Cruises and Cunard, said, “Having been delighted and wholly supportive of the Bermuda Government’s change in law last May, which allowed us to conduct same-sex marriages on board our ships, we are disappointed with this outcome. We will now be working closely with the Bermudan authorities to understand the legalities of  ‘Domestic Partnership Act 2017’ and whether this is something we can offer our guests in the future.”

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    @2:10

    Actually, the real dichotomy here is that for the Brits (and others – including a few ignorant locals) in the room, UK “nationalism” is OK but Bermuda’s / Cayman’s nationalism isn’t.

    In case you didn’t realise, this is a Cayman-based forum and the country in question is the Cayman Islands – well, not in this story but you were obviously referring to the broader parameters.

    The problem is too many people relocate here with a stubborn refusal to check their homegrown attitudes, biases and perspective.
    (I have lived elsewhere and will quickly admit, to have done so with an insistence on my Caymanian perspective leading my assessment thereof would have been quite foolish and counterproductive – not to mention arrogant.)

    That will always guarantee friction in a community … as we are now seeing.

    I sincerely believe that Brits have a right to form their own democracy as they see fit. (Similarly, Bermuda and Cayman has a right to their personal form of democracy – otherwise democracy is also a farcical concept of British ideals.)

    In fact, I called the Brexit result from the moment David Cameron confidently announced the referendum.
    When the British government, majority of MP’s, and “educated” members of their society were confident in a “Remain” result – I knew it was going to go the other way.

    How?
    Because I have long realised Britain has a MAJOR PROBLEM with accepting its true self. The oft touted British “morals” and “ideals” is, for the most part, a farce.

    Westminister has made the mistake of believing the M25 interior is representative of collective British / English sentiments – and boy did Brexit prove them wrong.
    Enter the farcical zoo of govt cabinet musical chairs we see today, but I digress.

    The bottom line is actually simple; either we believe in democracy or we don’t.

    The UK has a democratic right to express their xenophobia, and Bermuda has a democratic right to define their concept of marriage.

    End of.

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not a country.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Scotland is yet we see how the Brexit referendum turned out for them.

        It is undeniable that the model upon which “Great Britain” and the UK is founded is now an outdated and unworkable one.

        The sooner they realise we are no longer in the year 1718 the better off everyone will be.

        Patriotic Brits should be well and truly embarrassed by the current state of their nation / country / empire / kingdom / domain … whatever it is they are trying to be today.

        Most importantly, the sooner Cayman begins to formulate an exit strategy the better for us – which is my primary (maybe only) concern in this regard.

        – Who

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    • The Constitutional Critic says:

      Does the UK then have the democratic right to reinstate slavery?

      Since your simplistic beliefs seem to equate might with right
      As long as the majority agrees to discriminate its fine I guess?
      This one ought to be familiar to you GTFOH

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      • Anonymous says:

        Slavery is alive and well in the Cayman Islands. We just call them “Helpers” these days.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Au contraire monfraire (Jamie), slavery is alive and well in the UK – no pun or joke intended.

          Google it.

        • Diogenes says:

          While some of these situations are less than ideal (that is a understatement on my part) Equating the modern situation in Cayman to actual slavery is a bit much, highlighting similarities is different from straight up calling it slavery, the word carries meaning and still has effects on the modern world. (though that is not an excuse for us to use the past to justify everything as some on CNS seem to think)
          Not to mention actual slavery is alive and well around the world, thankfully actual slavery is not an issue that Cayman has though using the word hyperbole is of use to no one.

          The government could certainly do more to protect these low wage workers, but as we have seen time after time this is not a priority for them.

          Diogenes

      • Anonymous says:

        Technically, yes they do.
        Why, have you heard rumblings to that effect in the motherland?

        All things considered, and in these interesting western times – no one should be too shocked 😉
        Anyway, I like how you skipped around the actual issues at hand. Well done.

        – Who

        Btw, there is a world of difference between the British variant of slavery and the Bermudian definition of marriage.
        Interestingly however, said difference is less when we review recent democratic changes in the UK.

        So…you may be on to something there ol’ chap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Internet Rules of Thumb #34: Those who end posts “End of”, “Enough said” etc tend to have said absolutely nothing of value in the post itself.

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      • The Constitutional Critic says:

        Not like they ever acknowledge the merits of the opposing argument anyway
        Who is clearly an educated guy it’s such a shame that he refuses to actually think for himself, instead of just referencing history to defend his tribe
        Tribalism isn’t anything new though

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, that’s convenient.

        – Who

    • The Constitutional Critic says:

      “The UK has a democratic right to express their xenophobia, and Bermuda has a democratic right to define their concept of marriage.” = Discrimination is fine as long as the majority is behind it
      The extend these radicals will go to rationalize their beliefs is truly stunning,
      what’s next?
      Shall we eradicate the Jews by popular demand?

      Either you are against all legal discrimination or you are for it, full stop there is no distinction

      You cannot leave a loophole to rationalize some discrimination and then say that other forms are out of the question, because that same loophole that is for one can be used to then justify any discrimination

      This man has dangerous thoughts and clear shortsightedness

    • Anonymous says:

      You didn’t fit in overseas? Wow. Didn’t see that coming. You don’t fit in here either. Have you seriously considered an introspective look at yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      wow. That’s the attitude behind the slave-owning Confederacy in the U.S. and racist attitudes today. The Bible was used to justify keeping some of its people down then and now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yet, we won’t even recognize civil unions or same sex domestic partnerships in 2018, not even for voting Caymanians. We are years behind. When our Tourism markets wisen to that reality, we won’t have to wait for history to judge us. We are just an email or tweet away from a PR nightmare and our leadership continues to be blind to the civil necessity – daring anyone to sue them for what should already be theirs.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    …and Brexit, 2017.

  4. Anon says:

    The Bermudians are wise to preserve the definition of the word ”marriage”. It is the union of a man and a woman. The likelihood of biologically related offspring ( a unique possibility) from such a union is the obvious reason that it should have a unique definition.

    Recognition of simple biological fact does not, in and of itself, disparage other sorts of sexual union.

    Studies have repeatedly shown that children raised by their bio parents enjoy better outcomes. Therefore, we all should do everything possible to encourage that arrangement for as many children as possible.

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    • Diogenes says:

      Studies have also shown that kids who grow up knowing that their sexuality doesn’t make them monsters are less likely to slit their wrists (since we are going to be hyperbolic)

      This is not about the ability to create a child, otherwise infertile persons and older folks would not be eligible for marriage (nice try though)

      I don’t know how many times I will have to point this out but Christians didn’t create marriage and you do not own it (again nice try)
      You don’t get to decide which legal adults can and cannot get married by virtue of invisible sky gods

      That is all

      Diogenes

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      • Rick says:

        One more lie being trumpeted by the LGBT community. Marriage is a Jewish concept, which Christianity (being from the Jewish religion) adopted, despite the frenzied attempt by the LGBT community to re-write history. Not all unions quality as marriage, but the one practiced legally by most countries around the world, is an adoption of Judeo-Christian values, straight from the Bible. And yes, it pre-dates the Bible, but is the very one spoken of in the Bible. Many different cultures have similar ceremonies which they practice with legal implications, but it is only the Judeo-Christian institution which is under attack by the LGBT people. Ironically, they use the false argument that it is discriminatory to refuse marriage to two people of the same sex., which has been very successful for them so far. But that is a battle which they will ultimately lose, as you will witness over the next several years. It is ironic because the fight only takes place in societies that developed under Judeo-Christian cultures. Other cultures will not tolerate even the suggestion. Try that in India, China, Japan, or Muslim cultures and you get a shock. Russia is Judeo-Christian, but have no tolerance for it either.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Woohooo

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  6. Anonymous says:

    As much as I don’t agree with the Bermuda stance, it is their country and their people should decide, not Britain..Cayman suffers and will continue to suffer from Britain making demands on us…let’s not forget Baines, Tempura, Kernohan, Duncan and Papa (Governor) Smurf…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, that is Bermuda’s business if they felt it necessary to change the law. Upsetting the British backbench and the gay community at large is immaterial. Ships owners worldwide registers their ships and fly the flag of places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands because of the respect and credibility that goes with it and not to accommodate gay marriages. Off course they would make some money from the fares charge but anyone boarding the ships would pay the fares whether gay or otherwise.

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    • Anonymous says:

      yep…. maybe we should have let south african stick to their principals in the 80’s…..zzzzzzzzz

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is not their country. That is the point. They should not be able to take the benefits of being a territory while not conforming to basic moral and rights norms expected of the UK.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, like UKIP, EDL, Britain First, Brexit, etc, etc, etc.

        If Cayman, as an example, conformed to the “basic moral and rights norms expected of the UK” neither CNS (ownership) or the majority of its contributors would likely exist.

        Be careful what you wish for.
        Open your eyes to British reality and hypocrisy.

        – Who

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        • Anonymous says:

          Not forgetting the Liberals, Labour, Green Party, Monster Raving Loonies, fantastic charitable entities, the millions of pluses of the UK, yet Who decides to focus on the small minority of his kind of people. You know, the racist haters, bigots, morally corrupted. All his comments (except one not so long ago and I think that was either not him or a mistake) show he should be a member of all those organisations in his post.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Clearly some people require a hand-hold and slow breakdown; I was referring to comparative periods of population growth and concentration of immigrant influence on the respective communities.

            I.e. Between 1980 and 2016, Cayman’s population increased by more than 100% whereas the UK’s increased by approximately 10% yet was enough to bring about a democratically endorsed wave of xenophobia in the form of Brexit 2017.

            I trust that you now understand the issues being discussed.

            – Whodatis

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        • Anonymous says:

          Chagos.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The U.K. Needs to get their house in order before looking accross the pond.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Umm..not sure if the xenophobic and racist Brexiteers have a leg to stand on in this regard.

    They’ve had 500 years to view others as equals but to no avail.

    Let us allow all variants of democracy to exist as they apply – no matter how distateful to the outsider.

    – Who

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    • Anonymous says:

      Same old, same old…got a new record? This one’s broken

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    • Anonymous says:

      for the 1000th time who….two wrongs don’t make a right.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm…nevertheless, Britain and Brits basically reject all criticism of their undeniable and ongoing shortcomings, i.e. Brexit.

        GTFOH – your reply is just a jazzed up way of saying; “Do as we say, not as we do.”

        – Who

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        • Anonymous says:

          Reading these comments is like watching a car crash in slow motion
          Over and over again
          It’s hilarious watching Who bring up the UK’s entire past in justification for anything today
          As if the Modern MPs have been in charge for 400 years
          Good on you Who
          Maybe they’ll save you a room in the mental facilities

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    • Anonymous says:

      Odd that Who’s nationalism is OK but the knuckle-dragging Brexiteers’ nationalism isn’t. It is hard to tell the difference between them. But anyway, it is just deflection by Who since his position on this issue is inane.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Up to them what they want to do, UK shouldn’t interfere with the wishes of the people there. Though the key is if it doesn’t hurt you why bother.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Still, even with this modification to the language, Bermuda remains years ahead of the Cayman Islands in legislative compliance with existing civil right obligations. Our leaders refuse to recognize same-sex unions and domestic partnerships. Globally, there are only a handful of political backwaters sharing the same mindset as the Cayman Islands, and many of them are under international sanctions of some kind.

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  10. Free thinker says:

    Power to the (majority) people!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The majority is meant to be held in line with laws and regulations because the majority doesn’t always (rarely if ever) keep the best interest of minorities in mind

      Slavery, Civil rights, womens the list goes on and on

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    • Anonymous says:

      Free maybe but fair? Definitely not!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that the oppression of a minority by the majority lead to concentration camps.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The decision to give in to bigotry was a disgrace to the UK and shows how weak the government is at the moment.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    CNS is very pro-LGBT anything.
    Personally, I disagree with them.

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    • Charles Darwin says:

      Of course they are pro-LGBT and you would disagree with giving two human beings equal rights. CNS seems to be a very level-headed and objective group of people who have no issues shining a spotlight on the topic of modern-day discrimination. I hope that the exposure helps to remove it from society.

      This is 2018. Love is love. Make peace, not war. We already did this with whites vs blacks, let’s please not do it again with gay vs straight.

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    • Diogenes says:

      Highlighting relevant stories that could set precedents for Cayman means that CNS is pro-LGBT?
      They are not voicing support for these movements
      They are highlighting the issues that are relevant to Cayman
      And don’t say people in Cayman don’t care about this issue one way or the other because look at the size of the anti-gay rally fully endorsed by the government
      They also wrote an article about he anti-gay rally that was held here does that mean they are anti-LGBT as well, I think not

      The Premier’s own words were very clear on the issue:

      “Discrimination is wrong in any form,” he said, as he pointed to past ills in society where gender, race and religion have been used to discriminate against groups in society. He said his government should not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation any more than against women or blacks.

      take that into consideration

      Diogenes

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  13. Diogenes says:

    Let the Bermudans do what they want, they ought to remember it was their own court that decided to allow it in the first place or said that it was these groups legal rights, the British government should not be involved in this instance. (though there are justifications that would necessitate British intervention, we have not yet reached that point.
    This fight is for us to win, if they step in to force change even though it is their right to do so (just like it is here) they would be seen as foreign power exerted from the UK and would make the people of the territory resent them just as we have seen in so many other places.

    Christians can continue to play the victims here, if they so choose, I take joy in knowing according to their own beliefs they will be judged for their hatred

    I have always said, let the bigots both here and abroad be bigots in public, let them display their outdated beliefs publicly, let the rest of the world look upon their twisted ideologies and see them for what they really are, the sad misconceptions of times past and the last dying breath of the remnants of power organized religion once held in nations
    I want Cayman and Bermuda to proudly step on the world stage and say “We discriminate and we won’t stop discriminating”

    Let them make up their own minds now, we have seen with so many other movements that these people are the ones who’s names will live on in infamy, the ones who don’t have enough “testicular fortitude” as my representative would put it to stand up for minorities even if it isn’t popular with the majority. Change will come,we have suffered much worse for far longer and we will endure, as we always have

    This hatred is nothing new

    Diogenes

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, they can now follow the lead of the US, Russia etc in allowing bigotry and discrimination in all forms…no-one stands up to them and therein lies the problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1.) You are clearly bigoted against Christians and or religious people.

      2.) As bigotry seems to be your word of the day; Brexit?

      – Who

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      • Diogenes says:

        This one is hilarious Who
        the same one who complains about ad hominem attacks (Hypocrisy is not surprising though)

        If being intolerant of the discrimination of others makes me a bigot then, and I guess civil rights leaders were bigots by that measure as well? If being fervently against discrimination in all forms is somehow bigoted to you, then yes I am a bigot, some Christians (key word being “some”) use their personal beliefs to enforce their religion on others and then they act somehow as if they are the victims of discrimination or attacks.

        Just because you are on a diet doesn’t mean I can’t have a doughnut Who, though of course your confirmation bias is well known on CNS

        I personally am agnostic though you can claim that I hate all religions if that helps you sleep at night Who.
        My mother is a christian, my grandmother, and most of my family are christian, I was raised in a christian home, went to a christian school and church for most of my life
        I became disillusioned with Christianity and most established religions when I began to do this magical thing called “thinking for myself” I looked at the inconsistencies and all of the parts that come with the “believe for faith’s sake” or “the believe or you’ll burn in hell for all eternity” and I decided that camp and train of thought wasn’t for me
        I don’t care what religion anyone is, what they believe in whether it is desert zombie Jews or flying spaghetti monsters or tentacled creatures from the depths
        Feel free to believe whatever fairy tales you want Who. Personally held religions have no effect on me, my problem starts when said religious person decides that I too am to be drafted into their religious mindset. I am not part of a church and I do not subscribe to the general tenets of orthodox Christianity, so why is it that I am forced to follow another person’s religion beliefs?
        The rights that humans have are not optional, (except in specific cases when rights are restricted prisoners being one such example)
        Some of the best people on this earth, that I know personally and that I know of by other means are christian, however some of the worst people I know on this earth, are also christian this idea that religion is beyond reproach may be how you were brainwashed Who but some of us have managed to get out of that mindset

        Marriage is not a christian concept in origin and any Christians who claim otherwise are uneducated. Marriage occurred all around the world between all types and groups of people in one form or another the church wasn’t concerned with marriage up until long after it was set up as an institution. Christians do not have a monopoly on marriage and they do not get to act as the arbiters of who can and cannot be married simply by virtue of being the majority.(Do whites get to rule over minorities by virtue of being the majority? though your confirmation bias again will show itself in this regard because you refuse to acknowledge any similarities between racial discrimination and sexual discrimination)

        As for your brexit comment, What this has to do with brexit I haven’t the slightest idea but to you the person who find way to blame England the leftists in Belgium,, the UK, Imperialism or the Queen herself for all of your problems it must make sense in your head
        As for potential bigotry in Brexit, I have only one thing to say and it is “Duhhhhh”
        All the persons railing against immigrants and the EU’s policies of course played a part in Brexit
        We have plenty of Caymanian Purists and anti-immigrants here as well, ironic coming from a country that subsisted for years off of sending our men out to sea to other ports for work though they will never admit that
        Anything “Caymanian” is good and anything “foreign” is bad by definition to those people

        Can’t wait to see your response to this, try to go against your natural urges and limit the hypocrisy O wise one

        Diogenes

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        • Anonymous says:

          I honestly DID NOT read beyond the first line of your post.
          (Geesh!)

          Just wanted to reply and make you aware.

          – Who

          🙂

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          • Diogenes says:

            The appropriate Trumpian response

            “Sad!”

            Diogenes

            *It’s fine if you have no response, everyone knows how you stay, you’d sit here all day and write a response if you had one*

            **Good riddance to bad rubbish as the mothership would say**

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          • Anonymous says:

            So – no answers

        • Anonymous says:

          Dio, I think I love you! ?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry to say, but I don’t think Who is smart enough to pen a well-reasoned and unbiased response.

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