Gay marriage trial set for early next year

| 05/10/2018 | 83 Comments
Cayman News Service

Chantelle Day (left) and Vickie Bodden

(CNS): Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has ordered the civil action brought by two women who were refused the opportunity to marry by the registrar to be heard in February 2019. Cayman’s top judge, who will be hearing the case, also confirmed Friday in a short case management hearing that, during the three-day trial next year, the human rights petition filed by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden on the basis of discrimination will be consolidated with the existing judicial review application.

There was no indication from the attorney general’s representative, Reshma Sharma, the grounds on which government plans to fight the same-sex couple’s aim to marry.

Despite comments from both the previous governors, Helen Kilpatrick and Anwar Choudhury, as well as those from the current acting governor, Franz Manderson, that the Cayman Islands Government will need to pave the way for some form of same-sex unions because of the issue of discrimination, government still intends to use public money to fight the case.

Speaking in March, Manderson said this was an issue that was not going to go away and something that government would need to address “fairly quickly”. He added, “We are going to have to turn our minds to it and make some hard decisions.”

Nevertheless, the issue had remained on the back-burner, and despite clear indications from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that there will need to be some kind of equitable arrangement introduced to enable same-sex couples to have some form of legal union, the recent fallout with the UK over the beneficial ownership issue and the problems of Brexit have diverted the FCO’s attention from human rights issues.

Day, who is Caymanian, returned to her home this summer with her fiancée, Bodden, who is British, and their daughter. Although they could have legally married in the UK, they want to settle in Cayman and at present if they married, wherever that took place, it would remain unrecognised here because Day is Caymanian.

Day and Bodden are hoping that their action, which will be a landmark case, will pave the way for other members of the LGBTQ community to marry and achieve their right to a family life.

To assist Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden in their legal battle, visit their Gofundme page.

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Category: Local News

Comments (83)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Legalize ganja first! No cutting in line. We have been waiting a long time..

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  2. Anonymous says:

    People are wondering why majority of the comments are all for the marriage, by the looks of the GM FB page can make you understand why. What ever happened to Diogenes? I would love to hear his views on this.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    YET, CNS, you continue to allow hate speech against expats! Double standard much!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Hallelujah!! Cayman is finally going to tackle this issue and put it to rest once and for all!

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  5. Dio sandyman says:

    Come on Cayman! Allow these two ladies to marry. They love each other. Don’t be so backwards! We need to get with the times. I am also advocating we lower or abolish the age of consent in Cayman. I know alot of boys are sexually active, and they may want a partner in life. I don’t see anything wrong expressing love for a boy. If the boy or girl loves me, I don’t see why if they are a student should be a factor. There are matured boys I know. One day we will make a free Cayman’s society. And Im looking forward to see alot if our laws amended.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 12 :45pm , I completely agree with your point of view, and you have nailed it . Just read Dio Sandyman comment above , Sandyman thinks that the legal consensual age for sex be dropped or abolished . Now Sandyman when you talk like that you’re advocating disrespectfully against other people rights and for your own needs , and if you are one of a kind keep it that way because when you start advocating for things to suite your needs is where you will get disrespected .

  6. Anonymous says:

    To be fair it is/was their “business” until the plaintiffs ( Ms. Day and family) voluntarily decided to use their relationship, to possibly evoke change to the marriage law. This now becomes the domain of public scrutiny and opinion as well as a legal conundrum as human rights are not one sided as many are led to think. If successful this case will affect the traditional view of Marriage in the community forever.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The traditional view of marriage has worked and should not be tampered with.
      Why try to fix something that is not broken?

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    • Anonymous says:

      How does a decision in this case change the community’s beliefs in any way? Individuals can continue to believe whatever they’d like. Government would merely be prohibited from giving to some what it denies to others on the basis of their sexual orientation.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t everyone just let these people get on with their lives. Seriously, sit back and think for a minute. Should they marry (or not) will have absolutely no impact or bearing on your lives, unless of course YOU decide it will and spend all your time ranting about it. It’s not them causing you issues, it’s YOU. And that’s your problem to resolve.

    Let them live THEIR lives and focus you effort and time on the real issues like crime, poverty, child abuse, corruption. You know the things that do effect your lives.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    In all fairness, CNS should print all responses, for and against.
    I spoke out against and my response did not see the light of day.

    CNS: Some comments are simply hate speech. I will continue to delete them.

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    • Caymnainbybirth says:

      No one cares about your comment- after all your about spill all the hate and negative vibes.

      But if you decide to be a good boy or good girl you will a wedding invitation, cause we already have our wedding plan for April 26th!

      Cant wait to celebrate with my husband to be!! 🙂

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    • Anonymous says:

      Now, CNS, I am for the motion of letting LGBT people marry. However, I’m also for the notion of free-speech. Either we have free-speech or we don’t. Please define hate speech for us. While we’re not a US territory, the Supreme Court of the United States has already settled that “hate-speech” doesn’t exist.

      Let people air their views openly and publicly if they want. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

      CNS: I think I need to write a viewpoint about this so I can express the CNS view more fully and we can all discuss.

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      • LB says:

        I think the US Supreme Court is a completely wrong justification for how we should define free speech. Because it allows the death penalty too, should we use that as our guiding principle for punishing the most violent crimes? It’s simply a poor argument to use a random country to justify your position.

        So let’s stick to the court that actually does have jurisdiction over the islands: The ECHR.

        And the ECHR provides a summary here of several examples of where free speech is legitimately limited: https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/FS_Hate_speech_ENG.pdf

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        • Anonymous says:

          wow…talk about missing the forest for the trees…

          No hate against trees, ya’ll.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s interesting you shared that – thanks btw. The ECHR ” … prevent[] all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance ” In the US, you’re entitled to free speech as long as you don’t incite violence to others. Also, libel and slander are not protected forms of free speech. Neither is any speech that disrupts public order (e.g. yelling “fire” in a crowded building when there’s no fire or yelling “bomb” in an airplane if there is no bomb).

          CNS please don’t ban this comment as I am in no way endorsing violence against anyone (i’m just using it as an example):

          If I “hate” a group of people (on whatever grounds) I should be allowed to express my hatred of that group of people. E.g. “I can’t stand those ______________. They are nothing but (enter adjective here).” That is a far cry from “”I can’t stand those ______________. They are nothing but (enter adjective here). They should be killed.” The latter is clearly inciting violence.

          I think what Anonymous 9:52 was saying is people with odious views should still be allowed to express those views because when John Public sees/hears/reads their views, the shock alone from society would prevent people from supporting that person’s viewpoint.

          BTW I don’t hate anyone…so please don’t flame me folks. [>.<]

      • Anonymous says:

        9:52 has made a very reasonable and intelligent comment. CNS in turn has made a very reasonable and intelligent suggestion.

    • Just Sayin says:

      Hmmm … I’m curious to know CNS, pertaining to the subject of homosexuality, why don’t you have stated in your terms for opinionated comments, a term defining what gay hate speech is?

      Or, you’re basing “hate speech” on your own subjective definition?

      CNS: Yes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about the hate speech from those who support this nonsense? Why do they get a voice and we don’t? Who made you the moral compass of the world?

      CNS: I’m not the moral compass of the world. I am the moderator of CNS.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hate speech is defined as “anything the moderator does not agree with.” Very Orwellian. The oppressed become the oppressors.

        CNS: Twisting the facts. I agree with about half the comments posted.

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  9. Observer :I says:

    CNS, something is wrong with your rating. Come on, they can’t be that desperate, over one thousand. Somebody is playing around with this site.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Had it been the downvotes, you wouldn’t have commented about it.

      Oh wait, have you ever seen near 300 downvotes also? The downvotes are affected too then..

      Or, perhaps this page got linked from another popular website? Cns isn’t limited to just users from the Cayman Islands.

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  10. Born Caymanian says:

    Well now, we can clearly see that CNS rating thumbs up thumbs down has been compromised to defend LGBT sentiments. There is no way that over 1000 individuals on this islands will in one night or several hours all just of a sudden rate their approvals for same sex marriage. No way!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    300+ ticks on several posts on this story.

    Your may have approached a record, CNS.

    Special! Keep it going.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 8:43 am , that’s a very interesting take . When I was growing up a topic like this wouldn’t have got the time of day . What is the gay population of Cayman islands today ?

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      • Anonymous says:

        lol ???? you can’t be so naive to believe fictional polling, Ron

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      • John Bodden from South Sound says:

        Ron,

        I’m certain the gay population, as a percentage of the total population, is the same as it has always been when we were growing up, and remains the same throughout most countries of the world. There is a perception that it is higher in countries where people can admit to being gay without being killed for the feelings God gave them.

        When we were growing up people were also discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, or because they were born into poverty, or even born out of wedlock; none of which the child had a choice in. For the hatemongers amongst us, homosexuality remains one of the last bastions where you can thump your Bible whilst claiming to “love the sinner but hate the sin”.

        Two people of the same sex who think that they love each other and want to get married will have no more effect on my marriage than two people of the opposite sex who thought the same thing. However, being married gives them the authority to make decisions for each other, and their children. Some of those decisions can be life changing, and I would rather leave it up to them than to a complete stranger to make those decisions just because they didn’t have a marriage certificate.

        If the Chief Justice does not give them the right to marriage, then perhaps one day we will elect politicians with the courage to change the law and allow them to marry. I doubt very much that the voters would hold it against them, since homosexuality didn’t make the list of 10 Commandments, and they are able to turn their heads aside to elect and re-elect politicians who try their damnedest to break every one of those.

        John
        PS. Please don’t muddy the waters with talk about marrying children or animals. This is about a choice between two consenting adults.

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        • Anonymous says:

          John,

          You make some great points. However, I feel you shouldn’t even need to go that far. Either we live in a free society or we do not. If a person, is born gay or chose to be gay, shouldn’t they be allowed to live their lives freely in a free society?

          by the way, by free society, I don’t mean a “free-for-all” whereby there are no rules. Provided two (or more people) are consenting and able to consent (ie have met the age of consent), without diminishing the rights of others, they should be free to pursue whatever makes them happy.

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        • Ron Ebanks says:

          Hi John ,
          I have nothing against gays or no one else and always didn’t care what other people did with their lives , just don’t try to include me in it . Unless she was beautiful and liked to have a good time .
          In my comment I was only making the reference based on from seeing the topic of discussion , and the thumbs buttons, I have never seen an article about any subject get that much attention . And I knew of only about one dozen people who were gay when I was growing up , why I asked the population question .

          I won’t let this get between our friendship . How are things with you . I am doing great and living my life to the fullest , just had my 65th birtday and celebrated it like I did my 25th .

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          • John Bodden from South Sound says:

            Ron Clair,

            I haven’t seen you for a long time, but I also recently celebrated my 62nd birthday, and I hope everything is going well in your life.

            Children are born without prejudices, but you can observe how quickly they can “inherit” the worst of them from family members and friends long before they can barely walk or talk. It’s a terrible cycle and the best that we can hope for is to not pass any prejudices on to our own children.

            Like you, I thought that they were very few gay people when I was growing up, but looking back I can see how difficult it would have been for someone to admit having different feelings from what was considered to be normal at the time. Luckily, my own children have gay friends, so I have learned a lot from listening to my own children.

            There was one boy in my high school class who preferred to read romance novels with the girls rather than play football, pick cowitch, climb trees, and pelt mangoes with the other boys in the class. He committed suicide before his 30th birthday.

            I can’t go back and change the cruel words that I have spoken as a teenager, and some even much later in life, but I can try to be a better person going forward, and that includes standing up for the rights of anyone being discriminated against for any reason.

            John

            • Ron Ebanks says:

              John ,

              I agree with you and your fellings , and we all should have the same feelings , but we don’t .
              Look at Sandman’s comment that want to take our kids legal rights away , by advocating for lower consentual sex age or demolishing it . That’s the mindset of some people today .
              My regards until we see each other again.

              Ron Ebanks .

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said John, to address the other writer, I have no idea why someone would question the number of gay people in Cayman. I am straight but not narrow minded, therefore, I approve of any marriage where two people legally consent to marry. There are a lot of people who see this as an equal rights issue and/or a discriminating against a Caymanian issue. You don’t have to be gay to be tolerant or understanding of gay marriage, or vote a certain way on CNS!

          I respect anyone who has to fight as hard as most gay couples do to be accepted and recognised as a couple, sometimes by their families. How easy it is, in comparison, for those of us whose partners are deemed “acceptable” for one reason or another . Perhaps if we had to fight so hard to be together, some of us would appreciate our marriage a lot more!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow, the bots are out in support.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Woman and woman and man and man relationships is not strange in cayman that been going on for donkey years in cayman even people that have husbands and wives are doing it and people will be shocked who they are if they find out. If the ladies want too get married your honour, judge, majestrate give them the permission through the chambers. If it is a sin?. Sin is sin and jesus may soon come we all have too give an account.

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  14. Zombie Jesus says:

    I really hope that these ladies are successful. Every member of our community should be entitled to the same rights and consenting adults should be able to marry whomever they like regardless of sex.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Zombie Jesus , are you the creator of all Zomibies ? Just think about what you said , I hope these Ladies are successful . They want to be married as husband and wife , so how can they both be Ladies ? Like what this person told me who I thought was a woman ,said I am not a lady , I couldn’t touch that reply with a 10ft pole .

      Do you know how Zombies get ahead in life ? They have to grow another head because the one they have now is no good .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Every country should also have the Laws protected as well.
      Not every Jackie or Jhonny should come expecting to change rules and Laws for them.

      Some countries can stomach the gay marriage and have enough immigrants that took over those countries. Why does the Laws have to be changed to accommodate something that many have accommodated over the years?
      Even CNS owner has a good story of how to adapt and accept certain rules and laws.

      It’s like buying a piece of land around a Dump and then complain after that the dump is a problem and needs to be moved.?

      Cayman Law has always been the same. It’s different if they wanted to get married in one of those globalist countries and come back here to argue about the immigration Laws in regards to having the other member around.
      But going all out for a constitutional law. Thats pure bigotry.

      The Devil is out to destroy traditional families. We should amend the constitution laws now to also address the adoption of children with same sex “marriages”.
      What kind of life would that child have?. They would see same sex as normal.
      No chance to lead a normal life without feeling that they have betrayed the people that adopted them.

      And yes. Those stats simply do not add up. The fight is not local.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The right to be free from discrimination is enshrined in our Constitution.

        The actual law, per our Constitution, is that our government cannot discriminate against the people of Cayman. The marriage “law,” which clearly discriminates against gay and lesbian Caymanians, is in conflict with the law enshrined in the Constitution, and is therefore invalid.

        No one is trying to change the law. They’re trying to overturn an unjust law that is in conflict with the supreme law of the land enshrined in our Constitution.

  15. Anonymous says:

    One question that I never get an answer to is, can a couple reproduce on their own if they are same sex?

    CNS: New CNS rule: If you’re going to use the marriage is for reproduction argument (which this is) you also have to explain why older or infertile couples are not included in your reasoning, or it gets deleted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My upvote is for CNS – mad respect.

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      • Anonymous says:

        One is a medical condition the other not so much.

        CNS: Ah, so now your logic goes like this: The purpose of marriage is to have children. People who are too old or for some medical reason cannot have children are given a pass and are still allowed to get married. Gay people cannot get married because, you say, they have chosen a gay lifestyle which means they cannot biologically make children. So the logical conclusion is that heterosexual couples who have no intention of having children also should not be allowed, ditto men who have had a vasectomy and women who have elected for non-medical reasons have had their tubes tied so they cannot have children.

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        • Anonymous says:

          CNS, you are clearly Pro-LGBT which is UN-CAYMANIAN and treasonous to our people. Hopefully one day you’ll run out of business and we never have to stomach your ignorance again.

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          • Anonymous says:

            How exactly is respecting the dignity of gay and lesbian Caymanians un-Caymanian?

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          • Anonymous says:

            Perhaps you should start a news site that is anti-LGBT. You have free speech, so start your own site to balance out the opinions of CNS (since you feel that way.)

            You really need to be careful about using the term “treason”. In many countries, treason leads to the death penalty. Alden used it against the Compass a while ago and ended up embarrassing himself and the country.

            Wait…Alden…is that you?

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          • EFH says:

            I don’t get why we all just cant write what we feel.
            its annoying when people want to express and CNS keeps deleting the comments. might as well then don’t have a comment section.

            not everyone is for it
            not everyone is against it

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      • Anonymous says:

        Being in a heterosexual relationship is never just about having sex or reproducing but for some reason homosexual relationships are always reduced to sex. Its shameful. People in homosexual relationships experience love, emotion, companionships, communication etc and to have to spell that out in 2018 is ridiculous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t like the argument, but let it be, its the only way to expose it for what it is. Facebook and Twitter and Youtube are on their way out with so many alternative websites that offer the same services that guarantee no censorship.

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    • Anonymous says:

      CNS: You are SO BIASED it isn’t funny. You should have your business licence revoked for being so ignorant.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Biased, because they don’t agree with you? All news sources are biased…that’s why you’re supposed to read from a variety of sources to get a more well-rounded viewpoint.

        Sounds like you’re the ignorant one.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    The pecking order at work of who gets priority of benefits and promotion is and always has been:

    Married with Children > Divorced with Children > Married > Divorced > Engaged > Singles > Gay

    The gays are sidestepping these structures in society. It will ruin everything, I will not go to work if I know that a single or gay person can now be elevated above me based upon performance. I got married so I could make fun of single people or gays at work knowing that no matter how hard they work they will never earn more than me or be promoted above me ,or at least we will make them work twice as hard since they have no children from a traditional relationship.

    Why should I get married if this “thing of ours” does not mean I get something out of it. Gay marriage will ruin the pecking order.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Ladies, we are with you and hope for the best. Thank you for being strong and standing up to injustice.

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  18. Rodney Barnett says:

    Based on previous feedback on this issue, I believe the polling on this story has been compromised. Perhaps CNS should look at the historical statistics on this issue to learn if the yea/nea counts are out of proportion.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    What is the explanation for the delay?
    Close to a 5 month wait for a clear cut case that has only one reasonable and almost universal conclusion in western jurisdictions
    The CIG’s policies and lack of action on the issue are clearly in conflict with the constitution, UK legal precedence and what is increasingly becoming international legal precedent

    Is this 5 months to give the CIG time to build their case or hire an team
    How much money is the CIG willing to spend to fight this case?

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Good luck ladies. You are a beautiful and brave couple. I’m happy to be a donor to your go-fund-me account to help with your legal costs for this issue and encourage others to do so also.

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  21. A says:

    I hope they fail in their bid. Traditional family structure is the best.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They won’t
      Our consitution was written in the same style as the US, with UK influences
      They (they being the PPM) wrote in all the anti-discrimination and equal treatment under the laws areas without thinking for a second that they would be subject to their own rules

      Just like they have seemingly forgotten their constitutional mandate to protect the environment

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  22. Anonymous says:

    what a mess…..

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Can two hermaphrodites marry? I’m curious.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Note that the UK just announced that they will be extending civil unions to ALL couples. Some opposite sex persons do not wish to “marry” but must have the same rights/opportunity. This whole thing is a pile of BS. If two persons want to join together in a union or marriage who cares what sex they are AS LONG AS BOTH PERSONS LOVE EACH OTHER.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Gay Caymanians didn’t fall out of the sky – they came to be in the same way as any other Caymanian and they are entitled to the same rights as any Caymanian. To refuse that is discriminatory, unfair and wrong. Not all perhaps but I am pretty sure the majority of politicians agree with that. To them I say find your resolve to do what is right.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly.. I don’t give a f##k if they were born or choose to be. They’re Caymanians and aren’t hurting anyone.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s sin and it will hurt the fabric of any nation! What will be next? It will be ok to murder? To steal? Look what just happened to the alcohol laws. Guess we will be serving beers in church next?

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        • Anonymous says:

          When I was a Christian, I drank wine in church as a symbolic ritual. You also cannot compare truly loving another human being (regardless of orientation) to murdering.

          Why do you insist on forcing your indoctrinated lifestyle onto everyone in this country? There are many residents here who adhere to other religions, or none at all – accept that.

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  26. Bertie : B says:

    Good luck ladies , still with you all the way . Unfortunately their will be many negative comments as usual , but don’t pay attention to them . You love whomever you want to love , end of conversation . God Bless .

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Repeat after me before commenting:

    Letting people love the same sex won’t turn you or your kids gay.

    Not letting people be gay won’t stop people from loving the same sex.

    Letting them be married doesn’t devalue your marriage. It supports the bond.

    If you are vegan, you have no right to make it illegal for me to eat chicken simply because you don’t believe in eating meat.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. I’ll eat whatever meat I want thank you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed with one more point…..

      You can’t conform peoples’ opinions. We must accept that not everyone will support, agree or accept these unions.

      Once these two ladies get their rights addressed and are allowed to live freely then we move on to the next backward piece of legislation restricting human beings from living freely in this territory.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, become like everywhere else in the world? Live free you say. That is the same reason why we are unable to sleep with a window open at point of the day or night.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You cant be that asinine to relate tolerance and same sex rights to crime!

          In fact a more tolerant and loving society is exactly what we need!

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    • Anonymous says:

      But my kids might turn vegan!!

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