Bermuda court rules same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

| 07/06/2018 | 71 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Bermuda’s Supreme Court has ruled that elements of the recent ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The recently enacted Domestic Partnership Act barred same-sex couples from marrying, despite the findings of the court in a decision in May last year where they upheld the right of a Bermudian man and his Canadian partner who had challenged the rejection of their marriage application to lawfully wed. In a ruling Tuesday, the court said the government cannot “pass laws of general application which favour some beliefs at the expense of others”.

Bermuda Chief Justice Ian Kawaley found that parts of the DPA contravened rights of freedom of conscience and freedom of creed. The law has been in effect for less than a week and fourteen same-sex marriages have already taken place in Bermuda, according to the local press, as well as six at sea on Bermuda-flagged ships.

Following his ruling yesterday, CJ Kawaley stayed the implementation of the judgment for six weeks to allow the government to appeal, which means that, despite overturning the same-sex marriage ban, it could remain in place for some time because the government has said it will appeal.

This recent challenge to the newly implemented Domestic Partnership Act was brought by the advocacy group OUTBermuda, which filed joint lawsuits with LGBTQ couples wanting to marry. In a statement about the latest ruling, activists from OUTBermuda said, “Equality under the law is our birthright, and we begin by making every marriage equal.”

Meanwhile, here in Cayman, where there is no provision for same-sex partners to enter into any kind of legal union, a local woman who wishes to marry her British partner in Cayman is going through the process of challenging through the courts a refusal by the registrar here to allow her and her partner to register their planned union.

The case is expected to be filed before the end of this month and most legal experts believe that the courts here, as was the case in Bermuda, will find in favour of the two woman. Although the current governor and his predecessor have both made it clear they want to see the Cayman government take the step to introduce same-sex civil unions, at the very least, the UK has said it will not intervene and impose such an order.

Following the recent controversies surrounding the vote in the UK parliament that will impose a public beneficial ownership register on this jurisdiction after the assurances by the FCO that it would not happen, the British government is even less likely to force the authorities at this point. Given the fallout from the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, the right of LGBT couples to marry will be decided by the courts.

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Category: Caribbean, Local News, World News

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    if you want to keep marriage so sanctified start by criminising adultery. There are so many affairs going on in Cayman that it makse their stand just laughable, only have to look at the MLA’s for that.

    So hypocritical

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    • Diogenes says:

      No one is really under the impression that the laws in Cayman are subject to or written in accordance with the Bible or traditional Christian beliefs

      The legal status of homosexual relationships is one of the only areas that these arguments will be made, simply because the opposing side has nothing else to base their arguments off of
      Personal vendettas and hate mongering might get attention but you cannot base a legal defense on them, hence the falling back on religion

      The fact of the matter is that living in accordance to biblical laws would be untenable in the modern day, and they may claim that it would be the better society but people in the west will not stand for such restrictions and limitations

      Diogenes

  2. Anonymous says:

    If God gave us free will, and rewards or punishes our choices made with it, why you all bothered what other people do? Surely, if 2 men marrying is against God, he alone has the right to punish them?

    Get your psuedo-Christian noses out of other peoples lives (and bedrooms), and look after your own choices.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    There are two kinds of people, sheep and goats. The goats go on the left and the sheep go on the right.
    We should ask ourselves honestly, which are we?

    Do we hate God, want nothing to do with Him and generally ridicule those that honour Him?

    If your answer is yes, then you would be a goat and unfortunately, you have hell to look forward to for eternity.

    I do not think this is wise, do you? Do not be a goat.

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  4. dazed and confused. says:

    There is a difference between the Cayman Islands constitution and that of Bermuda. The Bermudian Constitution makes specific references to secularism, whereas the Cayman Constitution makes it clear that the Cayman Islands is a Christian country and that Marriage is between people of different sexes.

    While i applaud the decision of the Court in Bermuda, i don’t believe it is relevant to Cayman. What is going to happen here, is that unless civil partnerships are introduced, the Cayman Islands Gov is going to get dragged to Strasbourg and the European Court of Human Rights, where they are going to lose.

    Wouldn’t it be nice, if they would save all that money on expensive attorney’s and just introduce Civil Partnerships in the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fake news! The reference to Chistianity is only in the Preamble to the constitution. The preamble has no legal effect.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry. No need to preemptively introduce gay rights to avoid a legal battle. That’s like shooting yourself in the head to avoid fighting in a war that you may or may not be drafted into.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh Lord…the edenbots are gonna come out (pun intended) in full force now. Here we go again…

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  6. Make a choice says:

    Hi all.
    I think its great news, one that Cayman needs to follow.

    On that note I strongly believe that yhese Islands should also follow suit on the weed. Allow it. Its all good.

    While we are at it I believe that, like many other modern nations, these Islands should allow persons to marry as many people as they want. I for one have 5 wifes and 19 children here on Island.

    And whilst this Island does not allow my legal marrige, we, have been all married, for over 10yrs now. My wifes carry my last name as well as all my children. We all live in the same house. We have been here for over 20yrs now.

    I for one believe in love and no one has the right to decide who and how we love.

    I also practice Shari law and I believe in absolute punishment so, just as the last two burglars found out, people should be allowed to deal whatever punishment they feel necessary in the event a person has wronged you.

    If we, as a nation, believe in and choose liberalism then we must embrace it wholly and completely. We cannot cherry pick what suits us and pretend the rest doesnt matter or exist. If we expect that then we are no better than what we have now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m more surprised you can put up with 5 of ’em

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you even know what sharia law is.? I’m dumbfounded at that stupid statement. If you think shria law has anything to do with burglars you’re sorely mistaken and I’m pretty sure you’re going to get stoned to death for being so stupid.

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    • Anonymous says:

      While I agree with your basic premise, Sharia law only allows three wives at any one time. Of course you can rotate them by divorcing one while keeping her in your household and then marrying another. By that means you could end up with as many as you can afford, but you are only legally married to three at a time.

      The Bermudan court is treading on dangerous ground: laws are not made by the courts but by parliament. If the court is misinterpreting the law, then all parliament has to do is rewrite it in different terms to make the intent more clear.

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  7. In June and July 2018 civil marriage will become open to female couples and male couples and in a few weeks it will be re-opened in Bermuda.

    Soon, therefore, civil marriage will be gender-neutral everywhere the British flag flies except in seven jurisdictions:

    Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Northern Ireland, Sark, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Care to know the real reason why some Caribbean men (only the ignorant ones, but by far not all of us) are so homophobic? Its because they are afraid that if they don’t vehemently and openly oppose homosexuality, they will be deemed as homosexuals by their peers. I’m not making that up. I’ve lived in the Caribbean for 40 years and can state that intelligent men couldn’t care less about homosexuality. The ignorant ones however will LOUDLY voice their disapproval. “Meh nah wan no batty man round we!” Ridiculous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Depends on simple principles my lady.

      Remember, not everyone will subscribe to your views on this matter…its just reality. Therefore, we encourage you to be merry and reproduce sister #MoreLife

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      • Anonymous says:

        Uh, @7:35 pm, I am 5:35 pm. I’m a 49 year old heterosexual Caribbean male.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Please leave your foreign beliefs in the country that you left 40 years ago. Allow Caymanians to do as we see fit in our own country.

          More than likely there were things about your own country that you did not approve of, so you moved to the Caribbean. Now you’re noticing things we do are not in keeping with your upbringing so you want us to change instead of returning to your homeland.

          Is that fair?

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          • Jotnar says:

            Did you actually read his comment. He is from the Caribbean. You just jump to the assumption that anyone being critical comes from overseas and cannot understand Caribbean culture. Is that fair?

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            • Anonymous says:

              Not so Bobo. He said he’s lived in the Caribbean for 40 years but he’s 49 years old. This means he spent 9 years elsewhere. If that’s not the case, then he needs to clarify.

              Also, Cayman does not represent the entire Carribbean and our beliefs do not necessary reflect our counterparts on other Islands.

              For example, if 99% of the Caribbean supported LGBT, it would not be fair to lump Cayman in with them as we are not the same.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not homophobia – they are not scared of gays, they are simply playing the rehearsed roles of jerks. Many of these same misogynist idiots fantasize about rolling around in a room full of nubile lesbians. If they are man enough to secure their openings, they needn’t fear what goes on in someone else’s bedroom, with loving consent, and far away from their own. Only a coward would dictate the behavior of those born differently.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    All these gay haters need to stop and think. If they really hate gays so much, allow them to do the one thing that causes untold stress and misery on hetero couples.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s imprudent for our nonchalant Cabinet to continue to loose at trial showdowns on our dime. Please adopt the civil rights standards that already apply to BOTs, without yet another international session of ill-advised ecclesiastic discordance. Please spare us that chapter and attendant negative PR.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The CJ of the Cayman Islands now sits on the Court of Appeals in Bermuda. So interesting to see how he would rule.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Not in Cayman bobo

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Don’t know why two people loving each other regardless of sex is still not recognized. Cayman will be left behind once again.

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    • Anonymous says:

      On the contrary Cayman could be the world leader in recognising marriage for what it is supposed to be and not one man sticking his private parts in another

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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly @ 1:25 pm

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why does it matter so much to you?? If someone wants to “stick their private parts” in someone else how on earth does it affect you?

        No one’s telling you you can’t do what you want with your ‘private parts’ – stop telling other people what to do with theirs. To use your rather childish expression, they are, after all, ‘private parts’.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Missing the point a liitle I think. Marriage is constitutionally between a man and a woman. Even the new gov has agreed that.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Antiquated man-made law that was bound to change as society move forward to progression instead of regressing to ancient constructs. Get a grip. Love is love, and just because you can’t (or won’t) experience it doesn’t mean others shouldn’t either.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Law and constitution don’t define society’s morals, society defines the law and constitution. Never forget that slavery, bans on women and people of colour voting, bans on some people owning land, were all supported by law and constitutions in the UK and USA once.

            Society changes, the law must change with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          What if someone stuck their private parts in an underage child with their consent? What if the child was convinced that they are in love with a 37 year-old male/female and understood the purpose of sex? Is it still wrong? Is it still love? XXXXX

          CNS: An adult having sex with a child is wrong, morally and legally, no matter what the child says or thinks at the time. The words you need to get a grips with are “consenting adults”, both are equally important.

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      • Anonymous says:

        What is it supposed to be exactly???

        Private parts? What are you, 5 years old. If i wanted to put my ‘private parts’ in a cheese grater, then that’s my choice. Leave other people in peace.

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        • Anonymous says:

          but we don’t recognise marriages to cheese graters. You miss the point. You are free and will be left in peace to do whatever perverted things you want to do to your cheese grater.

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      • Anonymous says:

        world leading and cayman will never appear in the same sentence

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    • Antinella says:

      Who cares?! Are you TRYING to be monkey see monkey do? Some things should be left alone.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we have been warned, but it will not be the last word on the matter.
    If there is no righteous and just God, this will just be resolved with the stroke of a pen and voila, we have a new law.

    But if indeed a holy and righteous God inhabits eternity and is watching carefully, I would suggest caution.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You lose all credibility when you bring God argument into the mix. No one has ever died and came back to confirm that God exists.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I beg to differ. The Lord Jesus not only conquered the grave, he also gave eternal life to those who will believe.
        I believe and I know that I have put my trust in a righteous God.
        I do not need to see Him.
        I feel His presence every day, just as I feel the wind.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Amen. I too believe in Jesus Christ as my saviour.

          Many people on here will bash you for believing in him, many people will laugh at you for your faith. But what do we say?

          “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”.

          In staying on topic, I also believe people have free will, and should not be told what to do. You can’t be a true believer if you judge others…..simply put, we must allow people their freedom of choice whilst holding fast to our own beliefs. I am heterosexual, but it never stopped me from having gay friends. It never will.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So when I pass wind it is “god” talking to me? And I thought it was the broccoli.

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          • Anonymous says:

            That is just a silly comment and you know it.
            You belie your own intelligence.
            You are better than that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell that holy God to stop killing our friends and family with cancer, AIDS, MS… you get the point. Surely there are more pertinent issues that holy God has to attend to than same-sex love.

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      • Anonymous says:

        That is a cop out.
        You have closed your mind to the origin of evil and in doing so, you hinder your own salvation.
        It is critical for us to be in this evil, fallen world so we can become who we really are, the children of God. By stamping your foot and being in a huff, you achieve nothing.

        In a world of darkness, the light will shine. Do not blame God for the actions of those who have free will.

        If he made you into a robot, you would not have free will and therefore, you would not need salvation. You are going to have to start thinking a little harder my friend. God gave you an awesome brain – use it!

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      • Anonymous says:

        LOL @ 7:30 am.

        Just so you know, it’s not Jesus Christ who is harming any of us. It is people who are killing people, spreading diseases, etc.

        It always has been! You show your shallow mind-set in that you would rather blaspheme and be a bigot than to admit defeat; human beings have ruined everything. (AIDS was created in a lab – by people)

        Human beings murder, rape, steal, lie, cheat, manipulate, colonize, you name it!

        When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, what did he do in his short time? Do you even know? Have you looked into this?

        You should, for you will be humbled.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    As this article points out, as backward as Bermuda may appear to those living in the modern world, they are still a few steps ahead of our civil rights legislation. We are on collision course for our own headline event, which will bring another unwelcome wave of international condemnation, and possibly another avoidable and large cash settlement paid from the public purse. Once again, our poorly advised leadership ignores the will of the electorate and digs in their heels on the wrong side of history.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t recall gay rights being in any manifesto. There is no “will of the electorate” on this issue as you say.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Roll on idiots posting bible scriptures in 3…2….1….

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    • Anonymous says:

      You judge yourself because out of the heart, the mouth speaks.
      You are responsible for all of your words.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’d rather be responsible than act like my own insecurities are there because a magic man in the sky told me to say it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

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          • Anonymous says:

            I love how atheists say there’s no proof God exists (despite proof in the countless miracles of nature) and yet cannot produce a shred of evidence to prove that He does not.
            “There is none so blind as he who won’t see.”

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            • Anonymous says:

              You CAN’T prove a negative, it’s a logical impossibility. The onus is on you to prove he does exist. All you need is ONE genuine, incontrovertible example – 2000 years and we’re still waiting, 3500 is you include Judaism and possibly 4500 years if you include Zoroastrianism.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Science is a pretty good place to start when you want to disprove a god if any kind.

            • Diogenes says:

              I love how somehow you think the onus is on nonbelievers to prove your particular invisible sky god is real, instead you work backwards from your conclusion and rationalize arguments to make up for the illogical belief system you have set up

              For instance you have no real proof that your God is real so you turn to the argument that everything in proof, because somehow in your tiny mind that is unassailable evidence

              Even if I suspend my disbelief and all logic and ration how could you claim that it is your God alone that is responsible for all nature and it’s wonders?
              By your own logic nature’s existence would then be evidence for any God or religious group with a creation story?

              Does nature’s existence mean Thor and Odin and Zeus are real too? The Greeks and Scandinavian people had creation stories even more entertaining than the christian one, but somehow you in your infinite wisdom was born into the one true religion? Really?

              If I make up a religion called Dormism and say that my God Dorm is responsible for creation of the Universe does the existence of the Universe prove Dorm exists? I think not, Making your God the “god of the gaps” doesn’t provide evidence to your beliefs it just show how little you really have to go on, and how brainwashed mindless belief has made you

              Diogenes

      • Not The Messiah says:

        Didn’t it also say “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” without clearly also referencing manufacturers of ALL dairy products? Seems a totally blinkered piece of fiction to me.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So your polished eloquence dabbed with a smidge of nervous humour convinces me?
          I think not, friend.

          Try this, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

          Now do you see the difference?

          May peace, blessings and honour come to rest upon you. I sincerely mean it.
          We are all in this shit storm together.

          My anchor is God. Make Him yours too and just hold on.

          When the storm has passed, we will stand together in a brave new world.

          Now, you’ve got me all emotional….lol.
          Take care.

          BTW, watch out for those Cheesemakers. They can’t be trusted.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Get ready Cayman… it’s coming to you soon 🙂

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