Governor won’t intervene in marriage equality case

| 01/11/2018 | 104 Comments
marriage equality, Cayman News Service

Governor Martyn Roper

(CNS): Governor Martyn Roper says he will not intervene to prevent the Cayman Islands Government from fighting the legal challenge filed by Caymanian Chantelle Day and her British fiancée, Vickie Bodden, who have been refused the right to marry by the registrar on the grounds that they are a same-sex couple. Although Roper said he was aware this was a “hugely sensitive area”, he has signaled his clear support for LGBTQ equality. But he told CNS that this legal challenge was a matter that the local court should be allowed to decide and it was a case of wait and see what the results of this case are.

Speaking at his first press conference since his arrival in Cayman Islands, where he agreed to take questions on any topic, Roper said that having been on island for just a few days, he was still in listening mode.

Asked about the marriage equality issue, he made it clear he was aware of the particular case but was reluctant to go further than offering his support to the concept of equality and compliance with the law.

“We need to see how the courts handle this before moving forward,” the governor said, making it clear he was not planning to intervene and impose any kind of civil partnership law before this case was heard. He also referred to the British government’s policy of, where possible, allowing its territories maximum self-governance for domestic issues.

“My view is that everybody is equal and everyone should have the same rights,” he said, but stressed that the court should be allowed to decide this case.

“We need to wait and see the outcome of this case,” the governor added, as he indicated he did not want to comment on the use of public money by the government to fight the case, despite the UK’s position that it wants to see equality for the LGBTQ community.

During his address at the governor’s formal swearing-in ceremony, the premier hinted at the pressure coming from the UK over this issue and indicated that he was hoping the governor would tackle the issue. However, Roper made it clear today that he feels it will be the courts that decide.

Day’s case is due to open in February before Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, who is hearing both a judicial review application and a human rights challenge. If he finds that the marriage law should already be interpreted in line with the Constitution, this means that it would be lawful for Day and Bodden to marry without any action from government.

If the governor intervened before the case was decided to pressure government to create new legislation for some form of same-sex civil partnerships, it could save public money and save the couple from a costly legal battle, but it could also mean that the couple would have to wait much longer for their wedding day.

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Category: Local News

Comments (104)

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  1. joy says:

    Where is the RIGHT of those that have Christian Values in this Country?? What made cayman great , that has caused $40,000 on work permits and about 110 different Nationalities here……… Our christian beliefs. Have bleesssed this island. While so many have laughted at and scoffed at our Values. Yet so many have had to leave their countries to make a liviing here. Yet they want to deny what has blessed us to the point that so many have moved here for a chance to a better life??? That is sad that our Ideology of what is a Sacred Marriage is being guestioned and pushed out the door. I trust I will be out of my island when the distruction hits ( because of stromppling under of what has made us great in the first place)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yes, the plight of the modern day christians. It is so sad how persecuted you are in the name of… human rights. I can’t wait till you meet your maker (whom I don’t believe will be there but in this case you do so we are going to tell the story this way)… Here is how the pearly gate exchange will go:

      DUDE AT GATE: Joy, what have you done to deserve a seat in heaven?

      JOY: Oh ya know, I took it upon myself to personally attack people who just wanted to get married because they loved one another but their private parts matched so thats not right because of the Bible.

      DUDE AT GATE: You were never asked to judge, we said leave that up to the maker. To hell you go!

      JOY: DOH!

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  2. Jacqueline Ebanks says:

    I mean really. They are talking about EQUALITY for EVERYONE? come on guys …. Where is the Equality for so many of the Women/ Moms working in jobs making $1500 a Month?/ Simply go around to 50 percent of women , man of whom r single mothers, and find let them tell you how many are making say $1600 a month . Out of that they need to spend $1000 on rent for a two bedroom , then it is water ( at least another $60.00 .) Then it is Electricity another $150.00 . Then they need Transport to get to work.. And lets not mention at least $500.00 on Groceries for her an her two children. Where is put her and the children? Yes this is no isolated case. Not at all . Where is the EQUALITY for months making about $6.00 a hour. How is this fair?? Whre in Cayman, will$6.00 a hour be fair and just to have somewhere decent to live in Cayman on $1500 a month. Check the Statistics and find it is not a whopping about 40 percent of employees working on this meager salary. I dont hear these Leaders coming with a Agenda to ask for Equality for LOW PAID WORKKERS? ( a issue that bleeds crime, poverty, prostiitution, children being molested and unsupervised because of good parents that have to work 12 hours a day to try to make ends meet at $6.00 a hour. Where is the Agenda for these who are being Economically explotted?

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    • Anonymous says:

      This isn’t about that though, this is about marriage equality. I am glad you brought this into it because as a women I find it is high time I address some of you out there.

      Why are you a single mother? Did you know the man you had a baby(s) with for longer than a minute before you jumped into bed with him? Was he with someone else when you got pregnant? The majority of time one or the other is to blame. I am a mother of two, I was with my husband for 6 years before we decided to have children. We were in our 30’s when we had said children because we were less selfish, more stable in our careers and made enough to support a family. I find it hard to read the drivel you just wrote on here and care when I can take a guess about how you got into your situation.

      Now I think that was quite harsh of me to say, but I said it for two reasons. I think it’s time you take responsibility for your own actions AND don’t post this crap on an article about MARRIAGE EQUALITY! Find and actual relevant place to post this instead.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Why do we even have MLAs if fundamental decisions are going to be made by Judges?

    If there is a perceived loophole in the Law then MLAs quickly close that loophole!

    If there is a perceived loophole in the Constitution then put the change to close the loophole to the electorate in a Constitutional Referendum.

    Let the electorate decide the issue of what is marriage in the Cayman Islands, the decision must not be left to be decided by Chief Justice Smellie.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Checks and balances. When the legislature violates the Consititution, it is appropriate for the courts to intervene.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Constitution must be respected as the electorate approved supreme governance document.

        If the Judge decides a law is not compliant in implementation of the electorates’ wishes then put the correcting change to leave no doubt the wishes of the electorate in a Constitutional Referendum.

        As the Constitution is the supreme governance document, all laws derive their legitimacy from thr Constitution.

        For a Constitutional Referendum to be approved it must therefore require a an increased majority for approval, above other referendums. In all other countries a Constitutional Referendum requires at least 2/3 majority to be approved.

        In democratic countries ALL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ARE APPROVED BY THE ELECTORATE, NOT JUST BY POLITICIANS BECAUSE THAT IS UNDEMOCRATIC

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the politicians want to bog the governor down in this issue. Anything to keep him from interfering with the cosy world of CS. Hopefully he doesn’t fall for it.

    In any event what kind of weirdo cares who wants to marry who. I can only conclude those so vocally against gay marriage are just bitter and unhappily married themselves.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    So if LGBT only make up 4% of the population, why do they keep making headline news? Why such an organized effort to force feed this on the populous?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why such resistance to allowing that 4% of the population to live their lives in peace?

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    • Anonymous says:

      While the majority is meant to have it’s say in a democratic government, the responsibility also lies within the elected government to protect the rights of the minority

      The disabled, children, the elderly, and persons who face widespread discrimination or victimization
      Do you question why the government mandates handicapped parking, or why children have mandatory school attendance

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ask the 3000 people who showed up to a rally for ‘family values’ why they care so much while you are at it
      Or the elected members of government and church groups why they are so obsessed with 4% of the population
      They rant and rave all day long preaching down on people about values and virtues then act as if its not something they have spent years talking about

  6. Anonymous says:

    The aversion to same sex unions predates all versions and semblance of Christianity and religion.

    Never in the history of humanity has any group, culture, or creed equalized homosexuality to heterosexuality.

    The constant dragging of Cayman’s Christian background through the dirt of this debate is very misguided – by both sides.

    Grow up. Read a book. Study a cave painting. Different but not equal.

    Similar to how we’ve never required the Bible for us to realise it is wrong to kill your own mother – we’ve also never required it to realize a man fits into a woman and therefrom springs regeneration.

    Male + female rules supreme – dont take my word for it tho..ask your Mom & Dad – or for those therewith, ask your same-sex parents.
    Good luck!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Try reading about the Ancient Greeks – start with the Theban Sacred Bands. Have a look at the history of the Cult of Lesbos (whence the word Lesbian comes). Homosexuality was not only accepted as normal, it was sacred.

      Educate yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Christians also kept slaves which the bible condoned. What is your point? Civil Unions will not hinder your life at all.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sheesh!
        Talk about completely missing the point of an argument.

        Nevertheless, your post has garnered positive support.
        Awesome.

        (smh)

        – Whodatis
        (Original Poster btw)

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      • Theologian says:

        These slaves were not forced. You compare Jewish slavery with Egyptian type slavery. Know the book before you start making a fool of yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They will continue dragging down our Christian heritage to the mud. And why is it always an “us versus the church”? Because despite the diverse beliefs churches have, they share in common certain morals from the Bible. And this is a threat to their new age agenda. The Bible makes it plain that homosexuality is not only contrary to nature and the family, but is a sin against God.

      And God is the last thing a stubborn or arrogant homosexual want to hear. That he or she will be held accountable for sins they cherish. How dare you say we can’t pick and choose our own morals!

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are free to pick and choose your own morals. What you are not free to do is pick them for someone else. Get it now?

        Church and religion should have nothing to do with equal civil rights.

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        • Anonymous says:

          (Ignoring the fact that the RCC is the most prolific and reprehensible nurturer of the greatest global network of pedophiles in the history of mankind…for which they ALSO escape genuine judgment and repercussion…)

          I trust you equate the Roman Catholic Church with the “murda a battybwoy” sectors of Jamaican culture, yes?
          Because they are one and the same in this respect.

          Interesting how many have such condemnation for Christian morals when it has a non-White face but will go along their day as if the cannot identify the actual (fairer) genesis of the regional aversion to homosexuality.

          The “Western world” should clean up its own backward before running around and condemning others.

          Their supposed inherent moral authority is a myth.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How embarrassing to be a caymanian.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Still waiting to hear the view of the leader of the opposition on this matter. What say you Ez? Why so quiet for once?

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    • Anonymous says:

      https://youtu.be/9fWYui19c2M

      He stated that he supports civil partnerships not marriage

      Assume that he is speaking only for himself in this regard not the opposition, as Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo (who would never support even that position)

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      • Catboater says:

        If you support civil partnerships, giving gays the same benefits of a traditional marriage couple, then the very meaning of traditional marriage becomes ruined.

        I’m a non religious Caymanian and I stand behind Eden and Suckoo !

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Anyone still belive that there isn’t a great division in cayman when it comes to equal rights.zzzzzzzzz

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I cry for Cayman…. Babylon will soon lead our children into confusion by destroying their wisdom of good and evil.

    Remember what makes us different from the beasts of the fields- the discernment of good and evil. Loose that, and humanity is a lost cause.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Lawd God! Mi tiyad man. Jus’ low di LGBT dem an’ mek dem marry na?! Unna na tiyad fi spout de same huninspired rhetoric?! Hall now, de ataclapse na ‘appen so is what a bun all a yuh?

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    • Anonymous says:

      They can marry. They just want everyone to legally accept it on par with real marriage. But that would mean our government interfering in marriages, and why do we need that? If all they want are simple rights like properity or inheritance, that can be easily be arranged without destroying the sacredness of real marriage.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No they can’t marry and live in Cayman. If they marry abroad it would not be recognized in Cayman and they wouldn’t have any of those rights you ignorantly suggest they would. Read the facts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @ 2:06 pm I’m sure your grammar makes your country so proud. Thanks for putting that comment at the top CNS.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually sir/madam, I’m an educated born-Caymanian who uses Jamaican vernacular whenever I feel that something is utterly ridiculous (e.g. like the number of comments articles like these garner when there are other more pressing issues to be addressed). I would also like to say a thank you to CNS for putting that comment at the top.

        I also am fond of using the local vernacular to point out, “I com’ ya by peen”. I do hope my country is proud of me though. 😉

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    • Anonymous says:

      An excellent comment!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Q. If McKeeva Bush is not a real scholastic, medical, or honorary doctorate recipient, how is the ongoing unchecked use of that honorific, to which he openly countersigns, not construed as “false impersonation” and a crime of disrepute worthy of disqualification from politics and public service?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    woman marrying woman? what in the world is this madness? next they’ll be flying planes or being allowed to vote….the end is nigh i tell ya….

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just like how the sky was falling down and fire and brimstone rained from heaven above when cayman decriminalized homosexuality in 2001, right?

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  14. Ron Ebanks says:

    Where are the public. PR Speakers for these big blowback politician ?

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  15. FROM THE PEOPLE OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS says:

    Alas, more UK crap about same-sex marriage! This was no issue here for over a hundred years until they made it one!
    CNS, you and your FCO Governor’s opinion .. we could care less what you lot think! We will always reverence God and defend traditional marriage!

    We stand for the words of the Jewish Tanakh, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife [male & female], and they shall become one flesh [one family unit, which has built Cayman the way it is today]!

    Source: Jewish Tanakh, Genesis 2:24

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    • Anonymous says:

      News flash, not all Caymanians are religious, and religion isn’t a requirement to be a morally good person in society. Who are you to speak on my behalf?

      I’ve commented this analogy a million times, but if you’re vegetarian, that gives you no right to tell me I can’t eat chicken.

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      • Anonymous says:

        what a lame reply. im not religious nor am I christian. And i very well know not even evolution can exist if there is no offspring !! my lil girl told me that. very smart kid

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        • J says:

          There are 7 billion + Homo Sapiens on this planet and that number is steadily growing. Our resources are also under strain while we pollute the environment and promote global warming. Our species is at no risk to go extinct just because a few people ended up falling in love with a human of the same sex. We’re destroying our own habitat while being split on petty issues like this, so we’ll kill ourselves environmentally or through war before everyone turns gay, falls in love, and decides to stop procreation entirely.

          The argument that gay people should not be able to marry or form a union is simply idiotic. What about people who are born infertile? Those who choose not to or cannot afford to have kids?

          Why do they not deserve equal rights? None of your rights are threatened – YOU are the one which forms the wall that stands in the way of their freedom to equal rights as equal, and fellow,

          humans.

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          • OLD Caymanian Captain says:

            J , and Mr Eden alone can’t do anything about it , and Mr. McLaughlin won’t do anything about it , Mr Bush hasn’t spoke about it yet , and the Governor refused to . So it looks like they are back to square one . Then the saying comes to mind , if you can’t beat us , join us .

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          • Anonymous says:

            smh … and the two ladies can’t leave Cayman, come back married? And we can’t settle for civil parnerships? Why are you hell bent at destroying our institution of marriage and comparing it to homosexuality? They are not the same. Population control? The last I heard China is growing strong and gaining momentum, and all like you want to talk about is reducing population as a good thing!

            please continue …

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      • Anonymous says:

        We can say anything we want.

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      • Anonymous says:

        But you do have to obey the laws of the land and if the law is that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman, then so be it

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone with half a brain can tell this was upvoted by bots. It doesn’t make your religious bigotry any more right. People like you is why I stopped going to church.

      When I get home later tonight if I can be bothered to, I’ll fire up my bots and boost this comment too.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No, its real bots coming from sensible folk and not church goers too. But if you dont like it, call up Cns and do what you got to do 🙂

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    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Someone figure out how this person rigged the up votes. No way over 2000 people read and liked that! Just another piece of evidence to show how some religious people lie and cheat to get their way.

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  16. Cayman my Home says:

    He would support the LGBT?
    What a shame.

    The LGBT is against democracy. It is leftist socialist agenda! They will tell you to educate your children their way, or face the consequences. They if had their way, they will persecute you for speaking your mind in public, and brand you a bigot or hater. They are not a group that respect others freedoms, and this gov does not know what he is talking about!

    None of our government members seems to have the balls to stand up for respecting traditional marriage, making it to a mere contract. And what is so upsetting, they are silent about it. I guess too coward to follow Eden or Suckoo. Instead leaving the issue to the Uk to decide the destruction of our morals.

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    • Anonymous says:

      LGBT supports democracy, peace and equality for all. No one is forcing any lifestyle onto you, stop playing the victim here. They aren’t threatening consequences if you don’t accept it – you’re entitled to your opinion.

      Don’t want to be gay? Continue to be straight! Don’t want to teach your kids facts of life? Don’t! Just let two ADULTS love each other if they want, what’s so hard about it?

      All they want is the right to to have a civil union so that they can have equal rights such as purchasing a home together, hospital visitation rights, etc. How does this negatively affect your life in ANY way?

      You all are so quick to say that LGBT is forcing their lifestyle onto you, when you’re the one shoving your bible down everyone’s throats, be it straight or gay.

      Can anyone give me a single sensible negative impact that would happen should same sex unions be allowed? The world will continue to spin.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And nobody is trying to stop two ADULTS from loving each other. But do you have to make it LAW! You are forcing when you telling us we have to MAKE IT LAW! Yes, the world is spinning, but we Caymanians dont want to go counter clockwise. You say your standing for freedom, well, stand with us!

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    • Fish-walla says:

      They will call you bigots and haters because that is what you are. They are not trying to force their agenda on anyone – simply asking to be given the same rights as everyone else – to love who they love, and to able to have it recognised in a formal capacity. What are you so afraid of? It’s not catching.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    He gave the same reply Eric gave, but some folk are too biased against their own kind.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Justice takes far longer than it should, and comes at a high price in these islands. These women are now years and hundreds of thousands away from their target. They’ll have to go through our judiciary, and possibly successive appeal courts until the final verdict in their favor…at which point they will sue the CIG and win a 7 figure settlement. Will it all have been worthwhile Alden? A costly legacy to assign to us.

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  19. OLD Caymanian Captain says:

    Same sex marriage , Could that have been the first TRAP that Alden tried of trapping the Governor into interfering into everything in the Government business . Remember Alden asked the Governor to look into it .

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Do we see the Governor strategy in handling of the big boys ? More to come because he was well informed before arrival . Keep it up Governor Roper , very good start .

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I think that the Premier and the Speaker /Unity government , they all needs to be reminded that you don’t fight fire with fire , they all needs to remember that it was a hostile environment from the time Mr. Choudhury was removed . All they are doing here is making the situation worse by engaging in the kind conduct that has already been made towards this Governor .

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am a Caymanian, please do not speak for me. I like many believe we were all born to have the same rights and be treated equally regardless of color, status or who we were born to love. Take your bible and hatred and stupidity somewhere else please! .

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  20. Anonymous says:

    CNS: your statement below is your opinion (to which you have a right just like me) and not a statement of fact:
    “..If he finds that the marriage law should already be interpreted in line with the Constitution, this means that it would be lawful for Day and Bodden to marry without any action from government.”

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    • Anonymous says:

      Both Constitution and Marriage Law are in sync already, the one providing rights to an unmarried person to marry someone of the opposite sex, and the other defining marriage as a union between the opposite sexes.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Governor, you need to walk into that LA and find the biggest idiot of them all and stomp on his face. Its the only way to let those immature boys know who is boss or they will continue to take advantage of the country.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To11:26 .something wrong with your head ? How bout it being your face /head he stomps on ? Never thought we have such shallow minded people , those people in that assembly are mothers children ,and each one was elected by the people of the Cayman Islands weather you like it or not .

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      • Anonymous says:

        @7:35 True and when they walked into the MLA the began acting like the children they are.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Believe you are expecting too much
          with the people who lack real world experience, and dealing with different people and cultures.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How about it being your face? Such a mature response. Clearly an LA member using their years of practicing law to muster up such an intelligent counterpoint.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We have been here for a while, but you have to give the new governor a break. Every time he listens to one of them he probably changes his mind about which one is the biggest idiot.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    No one can legally interfere in an ongoing court case.

    Welcome to paradise Governor.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No one is suggesting he intefere with a court case. The Governor has the power to legislate in situations where the local legislature is unwilling to do so and there is a clear breach of international treaty obligations. Cayman is required as a result of the ECHR decision in Oliari vs Italy to provide for same sex unions and the Governor has the power to enforce this without these two ladies being required to fight the point in court. It’s a waste of effort and resources to allow this matter to proceed to court.

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  23. OLD Caymanian Captain says:

    Premier, first strike down in the 9th inning .

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what Alden gets, he wanted to pass the buck so they could blame the Governor if things went bottoms up. Well played Mr. Roper, well played.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Litmus test.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Oh so the Big Roosters will have to sort this one out on their own like big old boys, lets see what the wig has to say about that!

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr. Roper. The laws of the land must be respected irrespective of race, gender, religion or sexual preference.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    While this isn’t a surprise given the Foriegn Office’s previous unwillingness to get involved, it is sad that Chantelle and Vickie will be forced to litigate on a matter in which the UK Government has, not only the power, but a legal obligation to intervene as the ultimate governing body of Cayman as an overseas territory, where it is evident and undisputed that Cayman is not adhering to its international treaty obligations on the matter of same sex unions.

    It’s not only disappointing but also hypocritical that the UK is willing to force the requirement for public registers, a move controversial and potentially damaging to the financial services industry, on the OTs by way of order in council but are not being willing to do the same for a matter of human rights and equality.

    Our Goverment and each and every elected member of the LA should be ashamed of themselves for remaining silent on this issue when it is well known that several of them have no “issue” with same sex unions behind closed doors, but are too fearful of the alleged public “backlash” to stand up and be a leading voice on this important matter. They would all rather sit on the wrong side of history and react after the fact – pathetic.

    While the public purse is drained fighting this losing battle, I look forward to welcoming Cayman into the 21st Century (albeit they seem to want to be dragged there kicking and screaming) when the judgment rules as we all know it will, in favour of equality and justice.

    Love is love and this has nothing to do with anything other than equality for our fellow Caymanians.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @8pm

      Whereas I agree completely with your sentiment, especially on human rights and the hypocrisy compared to the register, I do think you are confusing ‘Government’ intention. Governments don’t do what is right, they do what is convenient, financially beneficial or popular (regardless of whether it’s right) politically. And the UK is a master at it!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Blah be blah blah

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    • Anonymous says:

      @8:00 I agree with everything you said but like the article said, if the governor did intervene there it may make them wait even longer like it said in the last paragraph.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree…I am >$100k and three years into a Grand Court FSD case that hasn’t yet advanced to a preliminary case management hearing. Even at the glacial pace of our LA, we could have had an amendment in shorter time than the speed of judiciary resolution in the Cayman Islands.

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    • CYM says:

      Equality yeah right, after we see whats happening to the rights of people up north. “Love” is no reason to impose laws on us. You need to keep your kind of love to yourself. Our children don’t need it!

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  28. CB4 says:

    Alden’s plan for a scapegoat did not work!!

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  29. J says:

    A sensible man. You don’t walk into a bar and fire your gun into the air just because you weild the power to do so.

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See draft amendment to the Constitution in the CNS Library