Jowell all but concedes on civil unions

| 12/02/2019 | 150 Comments
Cayman News Service

Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden with their legal team (L-R) Ben Tonner QC, Edward Fitzgerald QC, Peter Laverack and Dr Leo Raznovich (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): The constitutional expert representing the Cayman government in its defence of a legal claim by two women wishing to marry all but conceded that there was little he could do to argue against the need for introducing civil partnerships in the Cayman Islands, which would allow same-sex couples to have some form of legal recognition for their relationships. On Monday, the last day of legal submissions in the landmark case brought by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC gave a detailed argument against marriage for same-sex couples but had no defence for the lack of civil partnerships.

Jowell said the question for the court was whether, given the traditions here, the Cayman Islands was ready for such a step, though he conceded he had no legal grounds or authorities that could support preventing such a move.

It is understood that the government had been planning to advance a defence based on public morality and the idea that society should discourage homosexuality, but the arguments appeared to be abandoned, given they had no legal standing.

However, Jowell did press home the argument that he began on Friday, that the ban on same-sex marriage is lawful and, despite being discriminatory, was not unconstitutional because it was justified discrimination.

He argued that the courts had found that the European Convention on Human Rights established that governments who are signed up to it are not obligated to provide same-sex marriage but are obliged to provide a legal equivalent instead.

He said there is no standardisation regarding same-sex marriage in Europe, as many countries on the continent do not permit marriage of same-sex couples, though most now have some form of civil equivalent.

The Cayman Constitution cannot be interpreted any other way than by what it says, which is that marriage is between men and women only, Jowell told the court. The Constitution’s meaning is grounded in Cayman’s “local culture” and must be interpreted as such. It outlaws gay marriage and was written deliberately using words that exclude the marriage of same-sex couples, he submitted.

He said the lack of marriage for same-sex couples will necessarily also exclude them from the rights afforded to opposite-sex couples of a family life, but that too was not unconstitutional because it also applied to single parents or any unmarried couple.

Jowell suggested that this was not discriminatory because they are composite rights that go hand in hand; in other words, if you cannot access one then you cannot access another. He said that the ban on gay marriage was part of the constitutional settlement and no other right can override that ban.

However, he admitted that the absence of an equivalent provision for same-sex couples was problematic. Despite “strongly resisting” the introduction on behalf of the respondents, which is the government, it was a much more difficult question for him. The constitutional lawyer admitted that he accepted the case-law and authorities relating to the ECHR that required some comparative provision.

He said he had submitted written arguments to the court that “were persuasive rather than binding”, which dealt largely with the traditions in Cayman that oppose the idea. Jowell also implied that the court should consider the separation of legal powers between the legislature and the judiciary.

But he argued that the court should certainly not change the marriage law, as the women have submitted in their arguments, and described that as a “nuclear option”. He said it would be “judicial legislation of an unacceptable kind” and undermine the legitimacy of the constitutional process.

Nevertheless, in his final response to the government, Edward Fitzgerald QC, on behalf of Day and Bodden, made further arguments about the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage not being a permanent obstruction as the constitution cannot tie the hands of a democracy forever because situations evolve.

He also rejected many of Jowell’s arguments about the justification for the continued discrimination and the breach of the women’s rights to found a family, their freedom of conscience and the very real consequences that has for their family unit.

“It is discrimination that is not justified,” Fitzgerald told the court, as he accused Jowell of sidestepping the need to justify the continued discrimination.

“Time has been called on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said, adding that the law in Cayman as set out in the Constitution also protects the rights of LGBTQ people under section 16.

With submissions completed, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said he would need time to consider the evidence and would deliver his decision at a future unspecified date.

As this landmark case for Cayman and the first legal challenge to the absence of rights for the LGBTQ community drew to a close, lawyers representing Day and Bodden said the couple were simply seeking to be treated with dignity and equality.

“As we have stated in our written arguments to the Grand Court, there is dignity in the bond between two people, whatever their sexual orientation,” said Ben Tonner QC, from McGrath Tonner.

“This fact has been recognised time and time again by the highest courts across the common law world. The petitioners have done no more than to ask the Grand Court to recognise and give effect to their fundamental right, as human beings, to dignity and equality of treatment. Chantelle and Vickie would like to thank everyone who has shown them kindness and support throughout the course of this case. We must now await the chief justice’s decision,” he added.

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Comments (150)

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  1. Don't compare Color of my Skin to your Sin! says:

    The Immigration department make spanish speakers take a language test before granting them a permit. What do you call that? Its DISCRIMINATION.

    But …

    A JUSTIFIED one.

    The scientific community have no evidence of a gay gene, yet many people do not acknowledge gay rights as being true rights based on human birth and existence; and hence, it is their right to oppose the LGBT movement. What do you call that? Again, its DISCRIMINATION.

    But …

    A JUSTIFIED one!

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    • I DONT SEE SKIN COLOR! says:

      For many years right here in the beautiful (flowering this shit up) having Slaves was a rights because of scientific research they were not as superior (their brain was less developed) as the Caucasian man standing over them with a whip. What do you call that? Again, its DISCRIMINATION

      but…

      A JUSTIFED ONE- LETS GO BACK TO THOSE DAYS!!!

      Also read the good book, women were inferior to men their brain was smaller and was made only to procreate…What do you call that? Again, its DISCRIMINATION.

      but… A JUSTIFIED one!

      BTW I am making a mockery of your dumb brain, just incase you didn’t get that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you need a gene to be protected from discrimination? The sort of spurious ‘science’ your pedaling is just the sort of thing that was used to opposed interracial marriages last century.

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    • Anonymously says:

      Excellent point. And its not like we are denying them their human rights just like everybody else, just that some rights should not be forceably accepted by the whole country

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t need no scientific evidence to know I am gay . I am gay. This is what it is.Why is it hard to understand is beyond me.

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    • Unison says:

      Let’s be careful though ?

      Gay people have Natural Rights, and these Rights should be recognized and protected. To not do so, is wrongful discrimination. The concern I have are rights [lower case] that infringes on other people’s Natural Rights. And these rights are usually like priveleges of a minority that should apply for the whole nation.

      Understand, it is for our government within a democratic framework to reconcile these differences of what is a universal right, or we will have conflicts. Gays, religious people, and every can live in peace if this is done properly.
      Allowing for drafted civil partnerships that respects the natural rights of children, parents, and all Caymanian citizens, will be a good step forward.

      But Same-sex marriage law and certain anti-discriminatory laws copying what is in the US or UK, will be too expansive, draconian, conflicting with Natural Rights. It will further lead to Same-sex parenting, taught in classrooms as an acceptable or national behavior. It will lead to branding people as “haters” or “bigots” because the exercise their free speech or voice their conscience. It will open a pandora’s box of other things I mentioned before.

      Truly yours,
      Unison

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  2. Crab Claw says:

    No One Should Have to Apologize For Being a Christian, and believing what they are doing is wrong, a simple No from the start is all that was and will ever need to be said.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    please……

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Best wishes to the ladies, 2 responsible loving, consenting adults who wish to take their relationship to the next level. Who are we to stop them. All the best for your future together

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  5. Sheppie Brandon says:

    Letter to our Forefathers they are destroying these beautiful islands environment everyday now they come to destroy respect, dignity and very moral fiber that it was built on. Sad part its those who claim say they are here to protect us.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    This entire public spectacle at the public’s expense is ludicrous. It doesn’t take a high school education to read the Cayman Islands Constitution to understand that it has no marriage rights for same sex couples to marry. Therefore the Chief Justice has no Authority to make any judgment in favour of same sex marriage or to declare through this judicial review that government discriminated against this or any same sex couple in refusing to issue them a marriage license because there is no right for same sex couples to marry in the Cayman Islands based on our constitution. Anyone, layman, lawyer, judge or otherwise who doesn’t see that point is ignorant or in denial. To grant this couple any favourable decision whether by the Chief Justice or any other judicial official is illegal and contrary to the Cayman Islands constitution. If this couple or anyone else wants to change the constitution and or laws of the Cayman Islands they must do so through the democratic process and not by conveniently bypassing the rule of law and the Supreme power of the Legislature and the voters by begging the Chief Justice to wave his magic wand.

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    • Anonnnn says:

      Then we will have the Foreign Office or the UK MPs bend your hand and your entire 60,000 natives will have to accept our rights whether you like it or not!

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      • Anonymous says:

        The UK can’t even divorce the EU without looking like an ungrateful hag, the last thing they need to worry about is meddling in the affairs of the Cayman Islands…one of the few colonies that shows respect to England despite its history as a slave master and country home to murderous and greedy colonialist.

        But if you insist on testing Caymanians then bring on your foreign intervention and let’s have a revolution and bloodshed and once the Caymanians who don’t want same sex marriage are dead, then you can have a gay parade and have the Islands all to yourselves and your UK MPs.

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      • Attacking the Culture says:

        Natives?! More than half you commenters promoting this lifestyle are not Caymanians. I am glad we have a Constitution that does not allow for Same-sex marriage. If you want marriage, you have the UK, Canada, and US. Don’t expect us to change for your lifestyle.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Evidently it does take a high school education, because in just a few short and well-written sentences you have made very many errors of interpretation of the constitution and clearly have a profound misunderstanding of the role and responsibilities of the legislature, the judiciary and the executive, in addition to the separation of their powers conferred by the constitution. I suggest that you sit down with someone qualified to educate you on these points and then re-post your analysis.

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  7. 50 year old heterosexual male Caymanian says:

    I am a 50 year old heterosexual male Caymanian and I have no issue whatsoever with gay marriage. If two consenting adult human beings want to commit to each other, then what is wrong with that? For the better part of my life I’ve heard other heterosexual male Caymanians (some mind you, not all) make disparaging remarks about gays and I can honestly say that I think it comes from this warped idea that “if I don’t completely, forcefully and loudly denounce homosexuals, people will think that I’m homosexual too!”. My fellow Caymanians know this to be true.

    So why should you care? Why should you care if someone thinks your’e gay? If you are, you are. If you’re not, you’re not. You shouldn’t have to care what other people think. But that is not how many of us think here. Partly because of the religious aspects of our society here in Cayman, but I believe mostly because our community is so very very small. Everyone knows everyone in Cayman (at the very least, most Caymanians know each other), and most Caymanians are terrified of having others gossip about them. Terrified. To the point that we will disparage other seemingly peaceful, well meaning people. Just so that we aren’t lumped in with them. We don’t want to be lumped in with those that are disparaged, so we disparage them too. It is as sad as much as it is wrong. And yes, I see the hypocrisy in saying “who cares” and not putting my name to this post. Honestly, I don’t need the aggravation.

    I am mixed race and I’ve studied, lived and worked in other parts of the world. I’ve seen discrimination first hand here in Cayman, as well as abroad. And it sucks. But I refuse to let others make me feel like I deserve less of a life than they do. So the way I see it, I know what discrimination feels like, so I wouldn’t want any other peaceful human being to be discriminated against. I don’t believe that people deserve less of a life than I do, simply because they are gay, or transexual or bisexual or whatever. We are all human first.

    Maybe, like the proposed cruise berthing piers, we should have a referendum on gay marriage. I think there would be more support from straight Caymanians than most people think.

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    • I hear ya says:

      My dear, you miss the point terribly. Alot of Caymanians are against gay marriage because you guys are using the LAW to enforce it on everybody despite the Constitution and the bill of rights.

      No one in Cayman is stopping you from being gay, living with your partner, and fighting to have civil partnership rights. Just don’t include everyone to recognize you and make it their business. Thats not right!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry professor, but what are the Constitution and Bill of Rights if not the supreme ‘LAW’ of the Islands?

        How is it anyone else’s business? If you don’t like gay marriage don’t marry someone of the same sex! Why is this so hard for people??

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        • Anonymous says:

          Noone is enforcing gay marriage on anyone. Just like heterosexual marriage is not enforced on me, a gay male. Simply because it’s available. If you don’t want a gay wedding just don’t get one. It’s that simple.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much sir for understanding

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  8. CayBrew says:

    FACT

    Almost every Caymanian person I speak with indicates Same-sex marriage will be the government FORCING acceptance of a behavior on everyone.

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    • Anonymous says:

      FACT

      It is legal to be gay in the Cayman Islands.

      Like how it’s legal to be atheist and against religion, you have the right to be against gays. However, just like how atheists have no right to prevent Christians from going to church, you have no right to dictate which adult another adult can love.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because its what majority of the people want. Whats so hard to comprehend or is the minority does not like rejection like what most humans do?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll say it again: Democracy (and the Constitution) respect the rights of the minority even if the majority do not.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    What a shame that WE had to waste 100’s of thousands of dollars to come to a point that any rational person on the street could see clearly from years ago.

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    • Just sayin says:

      I think it will be more costly if we have to change laws and policies for same-sex lgbt sweeping rights.

      So, this is worth the fight. No gay here is being oppressed or persecuted.

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  10. Jebus says:

    Other than the fact that the origins of marriage do not lie with religion, and many non-religious people get married, I don’t see any flaw in your argument.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The GAYS ARE COMING TO DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGES!!! – thats the reason behind your decision?? however to better assist you with your hate “the gays have heard that there are “PRAYER GROUPS” in our community praying against Equality rights, so they have decided on the following;

    ***They are creating a social media group with pictures and stories, showing and telling you how,when and where they meant the straight men on this island, from Pastors, doctors, Lawyers, Government officials and the every day “straight christian man” in our community.

    *** So far they have compiled a list of over 80 Married prominent supposedly straight married men. So get ready for an uproar and getting for an overflow of Divorces and bitterness.

    Stay tune as i will Provide you with the link to the page.

    CNS: I cannot tell if this is irony to make a point (which I suspect is the case) or if there is someone actually creating a social media page with the intention of outing people. If the latter, there is no way that CNS will ever link to it as that would be one of the worst forms of bullying and could cause extreme emotional distress. If people want to declare themselves anything other than heterosexual, that’s their business, not anyone else’s.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know about the exaggerated word “DESTROY.” But through “gay rights” they will walk on other people’s rights including minors! The onus is on government to safeguard the rights of all, and prevent people from being fined or prosecuted by gays. Once ssm is made law they will demand for other entitlements.

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  12. Libertarian says:

    I’m not against anyone marrying. I’m against using the government to do so. Marriage is a religious and personal thing, and should remain so. Government should stay out of it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      But government IS in it. We would all be fine if y’all wanted to sit around in your little churches and perform marriage rituals that have no weight in the real world but that’s not how it is.

      Love is love and if two consenting adults want to marry, let them. Then move on to real issues like the local children needing better heterosexual role models in their parents. So I guess what I am saying is fix yo self and then we can talk.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    If this was a real defense it should have taken months or even years, not days.

    So disgusted.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I think Jowell is revising history a bit.

    If you read the transcripts of the formal negotiations between Cayman and the UK on the modern Constitution, and the debates in the legislative assembly at that time, you can see how the framers of the modern Constitution struggled to include clear statements about how Cayman is a Christian nation, while nevertheless adhering to Cayman’s obligations under the international treaties to which it is a signatory.

    The framers of the modern Constitution included the members of the Human Rights Committee, who were specifically tasked with addressing the fundamental rights that the Constitution should include and were directly involved in the drafting and formal negotiations with respect to the modern Constitution.

    In their publication “The 2008 Constitutional Modernisation Proposals and their Human Rights Implications” (7 April 2008), the HRC suggested that the Constitution should be worded to state that “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right”, and went on to comment that, “if the principle of equality is to be recognized, the HRC advocates that there should not be discrimination against other types of legal union, which may eventually be recognized in Cayman law. Accordingly, any civil rights to be granted to the parties of any form of legal union will remain a matter for the legislators, provided these are not discriminatory. The HRC recognises that the right to marry can be defined under domestic law; but it would be a matter for each individual religion as to which marriage ceremony it chooses to sanction or perform.”

    From the beginning of the Constitutional modernisation process, the HRC advocated for the marriage right to be broad under the law.

    In connection with the the First Formal Negotiations on a New Cayman Islands Constitution, the HRC issued comments on the 2008 Constitutional Modernisation Proposals (29 September 2008), in which they outlined the following two specific proposals:

    “9. Upholding the basic principles of equality, the Constitution should not seek to discriminate against any person or group on any basis, including sexual orientation. Human rights are based on the notion that all human beings have dignity and value. Accordingly, rights should be secured without discrimination.

    10. In relation to the right to marry, if the principle of equality is to be recognized, the HRC takes the view that there should not be discrimination against other types of legal union, which may eventually be recognized in Cayman law. Any civil rights (such as healthcare benefits, inheritance) to be granted to any form of legal union to be recognised under Cayman law will remain a matter for the legislature, but should not be discriminatory.”

    Ms. Melanie McLaughlin reiterated these proposals, nearly verbatim, in her address to the UK delegation on that same day.

    In reflecting on the Constitutional Modernisation process during the third round of Formal Negotiations, Ms. Sara Collins told the UK delegation: “It’s helpful also to consider the background to this process, because we also have made compromises, and we made these compromises designed specifically to address, we hoped, the concerns of the churches associations, which were to ensure that no right to marry would be conferred on gays and lesbians and to ensure that no rights would be applied horizontally. For those reasons, those matters are dealt with specifically and comprehensively in the constitution. Those concerns have been addressed. They do not remain and there is therefore no remaining concern to which anyone can point which suggests that this further compromise is necessary or reasonable.”

    Transcripts of both these Formal Negotiations are available on the governments’ website. History simply does not reflect unanimity on this issue. What it reflects is a series of compromises designed to appease both sides.

    The end result of that compromise was a positive grant of marriage rights to opposite sex couples — with no statements in the Constitution EITHER FOR OR AGAINST same-sex marriage — and broad non-discrimination protections that include “other status”, but apply only vertically to the government (and not horizontally to non-state actors as well).

    While the MLAs went out and touted the language of the Constitution as an unequivocal “victory” against same-sex marriage, the actual language of the Constitution did not reflect such an unequivocal view, and left room for exactly the court challenge that they, and we as a society, would one day come. We have now reached the point in our country’s history.

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  15. Unison says:

    The STRAW MAN commenters are outs, again. Making this issue a “church versus gay” thing again, and diverting from rational arguments. This is their favorite straw man. And the atheists are the largest trolls because they are against ABSOLUTE MORALS. To them, you are your own god, and make you own right and wrong.

    Common Sense: Same-sex marriage will conflict with other people’s NATURAL rights. It is too far-reaching and attacks the family and our culture. I believe Civil partnerships in democratic framework (respecting the rights of both adults and children) is the best option for these islands.

    If these leftist gays can’t even compromise to accepting Civil partnership option, then know for certain, they are in the business of having government ENFORCE a lifestyle recognition on everyone! And this will not be the spirit of liberty – but a totalitarian state that they want:

    Anti-discrimination laws will be made against people of faith, parents will be pressured to having their children be taught same-sex marriage is the norm, schools will be forced to hire gay teachers and include this lifestyle in the accuriculum., all our Children & Families laws will have to be change. Even passports will have to include another sex other than male and female. All legal documentations will have to change. They will push for same-sex parenting. They will push for transexuals having their own restrooms. Just enacting one law like same sex marriage is a PANDORAS BOX! Pedophiles will want their turn. Incest lovers, son marrying mother, or father to daughter – they will want their tirn. Its all about love. Children, the innocent that deserved to have a biological father and mother, will have that right taken away – not by the dire circumstances of life, no no, but “taken away” by the law! They will go so far as attack your freedom of speech and voicing your own conscience. And the list goes on … look at what is happening in the United States and UK! Gay rights infringing on people’s natural born rights!

    This has nothing to do with a straw man, church versus gays thing. I believe alot of Caymanians against this, are using COMMON SENSE! They don’t want a law enforced on the whole population. You may call us haters, bigots, as much as you like. But we believe in morals, i.e., absolute morals that has consequences when you ignore them and disregard the Order of Nature ?

    Texting from my phone,
    Good Morning,

    Unison

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unison I am with you 100%.

      Thanks for keeping it real.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Just enacting one law like same sex marriage is a PANDORAS BOX! Pedophiles will want their turn. Incest lovers, son marrying mother, or father to daughter”

        Yea go on ahead and ban eating turtle meat too since we’re slowly going to want to legalize cannibalism.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yep real indeed, some folk choking on their corn flakes.

    • Anonymous says:

      “schools will be forced to hire gay teachers and include this lifestyle in the accuriculum”

      1 – it is already legal and totally possible to be a gay Caymanian teacher. Sexual orientation isn’t an interview question.

      2 – you don’t need school to teach it when 99% of Caymanian schoolkids have access to Instagram and all of the internet. My little sibling is 7 and already knows how kids are made without having had the talk!

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      • Hellooo says:

        Because it is on the internet or instagram does not mean it has to be taught in the classroom!
        Your point #2 makes no sense.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How are gays automatically left? Political views have no impact on sexuality or vice versa.
      Me = a right wing gay in favour of gay marriage.

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    • C.S says:

      Unison,

      “The fool says in his heart, ‘THERE IS NO GOD.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.” Psalms 14:1

      So no matter what you say, if they are determined to live their own lives, after death, they are destined for the fire. Because they would rather trust “self” over divine wisdom. The best we can do, is teach our children what’s right, protect our freedom of worship, speech, and to peacefully assemble. Satan is working on people’s minds and desires. He has cast his net, and is catching alot of fish. But those who trust and obey God will shine like the stars in the dark sky. They will be hated, but protected by the Almighty.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No worries, I’ll be seeing you along with hypocrites I used to worship with in the fire…. if it existed.

        You were nothing but lifeless scattered molecules before birth. There’s nothing after this life. Death cannot be defeated – your faith is grounded in a false promise that it can be.

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        • C.S says:

          Your day will come, and after death, there will be a judgement for you. Everything in nature shows a continuation of everything. There is really end. Everything comes and goes to come again. And so you have a soul.

          I warn you. Continue bashing God and spewing your hate for the truth. Time will tell. Your body will run down, and you will have no one to look to but darkness! You will die without hope and grace because you disregarded the moral laws of God to follow your own way.

          Don’t be a fool.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Nah I went the Hindu route. Wouldn’t want to end up somewhere you bigots are. I’ll just re-incarnate like what the hundreds of millions of other people believe. How do you know they aren’t right?

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            • Anonymous says:

              Why follow lies?

            • Bob says:

              FYI, Hindus, the oldest organized religion, believe in a Supreme Being (Brahmin), and they believe in consequences for your actions. They believe everything is “one” and hence the ego-self is your worse enemy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wibble.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Unison??
      Dont mind the thumbs down.
      They are fictional

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    • Just saying says:

      Unison, so far your post tops any other post for or against the matter at hand. Thank you.

      Now, if the legal beagles would divert to such thinking and refrain from playing gods, we may get somewhere, to the end that is.

      There should be no further debates and time wasted, marriage between a man and a woman only. This is the normal course of nature.

      We have all lived with gay people all our lives, aka queers. Some are family and some are friends, we love them all. They are not freaks of nature, they are all normal people, however, they choose to copulate with their same sex, that’s their business. No one needs to know and no one needs to care as long as they are consenting adults.

      Where it becomes abnormal, unacceptable and unpalatable is when they copulate in public and the public must ignore and pretend it never happened because they are adults, and worse accept this as normal. Anything that challenges the normal course of nature WILL have dire consequences, so don’t be fooled or complacent.

      The LGBTQ community as they have labled themselves need to keep their behaviour private. Stay within the boundaries of their own fraternity/community, and learn to live with the rest of us, not the other way around. I do believe that they are the minority in this matter. Why should the rest of us have to live with it, like it or not.

      We all answer to one God and we answer for ourselves, no lawyers, no advocates, parents or representatives.

      For those who say nothing and do nothing, is their vote of acceptance, and please don’t think for one moment that you are automatically exempted from the wages of sin.

      Yes, yes, you may question, adultry, fornication, etc, update, all sinful behaviour, but not, unfortunately, abnormal.

      On a more personal note, if any of my children, God forbid, came home with a same sex partner and expected me to accept them, that would be the day my child will have a very important decision to make, me, their parent or the partner. My love would never change, this they would be told, but their so called partner would be trespassing on sacred grounds. I believe that if the precious souls of LGBTQ community was not supported by family, this entire movement would have been nullified ages ago.

      Thanks to Muslim Barack Obama for endorsing something no other POTUS would touch, but he is not Jesus, neither are the British lawmakers. Caymanians do not continue to fall for nothing. It is high time to stand up for something. Let the Cayman Islands remain a HG (Heterosexual Godfearing) Community. Those who oppose, the USA, Britain, Australia, etc., are huge countries that will welcome you with laws in place to accommodate your lifestyle. Goodbye, be happy, in the end it will not worth it, guaranteed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t tell you the last time i’ve seen someone “copulate” in public. What makes you think gay people would suck tounge in Hurley’s?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Go stone all the adulterers in Cayman before you quote the same Leviticus to be against it.

        Picking and choosing your verses to support your personal views.

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  16. Zombie Jesus says:

    Civil Unions are nothing but a half measure. Everyone in our community should be entitled to the same rights end of story.

    We should change our country’s motto to Land of the Bigots or Home to the Intolerant.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Constitution cannot be interpreted any other way than by what it says, if u don’t like our country rules then move on .bobo.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Consider this is also Chantelle’s country. Her family and friends live here, and yet, she must live in exile because of misplaced, antiquated, and soon-to-be-found to be unfairly prejudicial and legally-non-standing bias.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent, so you’ll be fine with whatever the Chief Justice decides?

      4
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  18. Anonymous says:

    This is not a religious debate; it is a legal debate. The law clearly and specifically states that a legal marriage is between a man and a woman. We simply cannot establish a precedent of changing things about the law that we don’t agree with.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Under that logic the laws from 1895 should still be in place. After all we just cant change them because we don’t like them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well, I guess we’ll see what the Chief Justice says won’t we… LOL.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We will learn that the two words, “opposite sex”, inserted by CIMA in 11th hour of Constitutional discussion, cannot be used in isolation to contradict the spirit of the broader document, nor be used to ignore pre-existing higher-court legal precedent, and standing territorial obligations. The prejudicial error will be corrected, one way or another, by Orders in Council if necessary. There will be international headlines along the way, and ultimately a settlement paid to these women. The Premier knew where this charade would end, even before it started, because he is a lawyer.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Good to see the pastors have got their sheep, sorry, flock, out in force on the thumbs ….

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Civil Partnerships is the amicable solution to this stand-off.

    If they were smart they would have pursued something along those lines from the very start.
    Instead, they took the same old road as most gay marriage activists, which was to launch a proxy attack on the “Christian morals” of a community and apparently had their booties handed to them in a court of law.

    By the way, religion is not the sole platform for an objection to “equal marriage”.

    For example, I am not particularly religious but I don’t agree for a moment that all unions are equal.
    In feelings, love, and intensity – perhaps, however, the union of man + woman (and the biological possibilities thereafter) set heterosexuality apart…to the extent where ALL OTHER VARIANTS are forced to borrow therefrom to construct some semblance of originality.

    It just is what it is.

    That is not to ignore the significant trauma the introduction of gay marriage would inflict on the deeply Conservative and Christian circles of this community.
    Sure, such sentiments are “out of fashion” these days, but that does NOT negate the FACT that they exist.
    Similarly to how over 70% of young Brits voted Remain in the Brexit referendum, the xenophobic / fearful / racist grey-haired old folks carried the Leave vote and the rest is history. The younger generation are left to inherit a version of the UK that they democratically rejected.

    Democracy is not always pleasant to everyone – constitutions as well, apparently.

    Moreover, in this (gay marriage) debate the crucial roles of male + female energy in respect to the development and welfare of children tends to be ignored. Yet we ALL know of instances whereby a lack thereof has significantly impacted a loved one.
    (Kindly miss me with the “all a child needs is love” crap. Crime-ridden South-Side Chicago and Preston, England are filled with love-filled, fatherless homes but greater examples of social decay cannot be found in the western world.)

    Bringing it nearer to home – I forward everyone’s attention to the Dr. Yolanda Forde report. Therein we find references to the reality alluded to above. (Feel free to do your own research.)

    Furthermore, to amend Cayman’s marriage legislation from “man and woman” to “2 persons” does not do away with discrimination, as we WILL eventually be facing the following situation whereby 3 (or more) gay (or straight, or a mixture thereof) individuals that “love one another” will bring a claim of discrimination to our courts; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/03/colombia-three-men-union-alejandro-rodriguez-manuel-bermudez-victor-hugo-prada

    The question then remans, “Where does discrimination end?”

    I reiterate, Cayman should seriously consider introducing civil partnerships for EVERYONE, and not just for gay couples as the UK did, as we do not have the predatory marriage and inheritance tax revenue system which was the real reason for that unfortunate repeat discrimination within the endeavour to eradicate, but I digress.

    Not only does it represent the most palatable compromise in this stand-off, but all partners, married or not, straight or gay, should seriously consider a Civil Partnership.
    English family / marriage law is hundreds of years old, filled with loopholes and inconsistencies and is therefore very unpredictable.
    How could it not be, after all, at its inception all women were “owned” by either their father, uncle, or husband?

    A CP can simplify a divorce, adoption, asset division, liquidation, insurance claim, health matters – the list is endless.

    Cayman remains one of the most coveted destinations in the world offering safety, employment, fine living, a healthy environment, peace, political stability, racial + social harmony, and of course; “warm and friendly people”.

    Not many other countries can say the same today – including the so-called great, western democracies.

    I wish these young ladies the best going forward and here’s to the preservation of certain cultural norms in the Cayman Islands.
    Granted, imperfect my “progressive and modern” standards – but ours just the same.

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is why gay people act like they do – a straight homophobe

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      • Anonymous says:

        I uphold the historic and traditional definition of marriage.
        Simple.

        You are free to feel differently, and guess what?
        I won’t call you nasty names as a result.

        – Who

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        • Anonymous says:

          No sense in saying anything Who.. If you don’t agree you are the scourge of the earth because only certain people are allowed to hold an opinion on certain things and if your view differs then the name calling and accusations start.

          I don’t agree with same sex marriage but I know enough that it’s not going to hurt me in any way nor will those two ladies getting married pay my bills so let them do what they want. If I was invited to their wedding I would smile and sincerely wish them happiness because what they do in their private time that brings them happiness is between them and God.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So consenting adults have to hold themselves to the arbitrary standards of hypocrites because your feelings would be hurt

      Yeah

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    • Anonymous says:

      “warm and friendly people”

      Yeah unless you happen to be in one of the groups we don’t like

      Muslims, Gays, non-Christians, Liberals

      Other than that we are real friendly and warm

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yet if they were Chagos islanders they could marry freely.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow!! Chagos doh?

        Shout-out to my Day 1’s!
        (As da kids say on the ‘Gram these dayz!)

        – Who

        *That was a deeeeep throwback.
        You really in your feelings huh?

        ;-D

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    • Anonymous says:

      Great comment “who”. Thank you for sharing.

      Well balanced argument.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Look like the churches have called out their trolls.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    So our government in their infinite wisdom instead of making a compromise and implementing the system which the government’s own lawyers admit is required of them
    They decided to ignore these women and other gay Caymanians for years and try to fight this unwinnable case out of nothing but spite and malice.
    How many thousands of dollars were wasted hiring these lawyers? or spending days in court arguing a point that even the government admits it is obligated to have done?

    We should be ashamed that this is how we treat our own people, it is disgraceful
    And somehow people spend all day pretending their is no discrimination.

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    • Anonymous says:

      this way the politicians can blame it on the courts. Neither side can blame them. I think everyone will see through it but they still can make the claim.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They paid thousands of dollars to an aged QC to defend what they must have known is a poor case. Why did the Government proceed with this? Politricks. If the court gives opinion against the Government they can tell Bishop Sykes and others oh well we tried. Look at what the court is telling us to do. Well played.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Shame they abandoned immorality as an argument. Could you imagine the press coverage that would have generated? It would have led to the end of marriage discrimination all the sooner.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    CONSENTING adults want to make a loving commitment. Shockerooni!!!

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  25. Anonymous says:

    ?All you need is love doo doo doo doo doo?. Slowly being dragged into the 21st Century Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      All you need is fairness and freedom:

      1. Legalize same-sex marriage and partnerships

      2. Legalize abortions

      3. Legalize cannabis

      4. Legalize gambling

      Don’t legalize one, legalize all of the above.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why stop there? Anarchy!

      • Unison says:

        FAKE LOVE versus REAL LOVE

        You can’t legalize these things without considering the golden rule: do unto to others what you would want others to do to you. This is universal love.

        Allow me to explain two of them:

        ABORTION

        Love is giving a woman the right to make her own decisions with her body. But love again, is giving an unborn child the right of live and develop his or her body as well. So love is respecting both the life of the mother and the child AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. So, here rules out much of abortion, which will be murder.

        SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

        Love is giving people the right to love each other and make civil partnership agreements. But love again, protecting the natural development of children, the basic rights of others from being falsely charge for discrimination – rights that must be protected like parental, speech, expression, peaceful assembly, children with no voice, religious conviction … etc …

        In sum, you can never say you believe in love and equality if to have your gay rights recognized, you undermine the family, children, and rights of religious people, etc…

        Unison

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hell is already legal. Your choice.

  26. Anonymous says:

    CIG was going to run an immorality defence until Jowell pointed out a) this would end up in the Privy Council and b) it was not the 18th century.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    High praise for Chantelle and Vickie for their courage and determination. Praise also for their fine attorney, Edward Fitzgerald. Love is love, whether straight or gay. If the two people involved desire to have their union recognized by marrying, it’s only fair and a matter of equality that they should be able to do so. Further, it takes nothing away from anyone else: More love for a gay couple does NOT mean less love for a straight couple! It would be nice if the premier and the legislature would have led the way toward fairness and equality — but they did not. They sat on their hands. Shame on them. They are more concerned about their reelections (and getting support from churches that keep pushing discrimination against gays) than they are with doing what’s right for the country. I certainly hope that Chief Justice Smellie will do the right thing, which is to mandate the government’s recognition of same-sex MARRIAGE. Anything less than this will merely prolong the discrimination.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Look at the state.. No wonder people are against it.

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  29. At the Bar says:

    Good job at defending these islands Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC ??

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  30. Slacker says:

    Hilarious! Politicians trying to throw the Courts under the bus and now their high priced lawyer is throwing them under the bus. As usual, the only winners are the lawyers.

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  31. Bertie : B says:

    Agree 100 % with you 11:50 . Love is between two human beings no matter what sex they are . From what I have witnessed in my life of so called heterosexual love is a bloody joke .Literally billions YES Billions of divorces , cheating , even murders because someone finding another person to love , that includes men and women . So sad that people just cant mind their own damned business . Love the picture girls , ya both look great , Its lunch time so excuse me for a few minutes , this is my time to go and argue with the wife about something I done thirty years ago lmao . Chat soon ladies xoxoxox

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    • Anonymous says:

      I know a gay couple that got married and one cheated on the other and got divorced. the joys and perks of “heterosexual love” is not limited to heterosexuals.

      19
      • Anonymous says:

        And there have been many well publicized crimes of passion as well from jilted lovers from both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Justifiable discrimination? Yikes

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Repeatedly, this regime’s policies demonstrate a reckless insensitivity to cost and consequence. CIG General Revenue is just an unlimited cookie jar to them. This settlement will ultimately range into the 7 figures. The AG must ask if there was sufficient pre-trial advice, whether that was deemed to have been qualified guidance, and how electoral support was quantified to merit this go-ahead stance with our public money. No affirmative sounding was sought from my MLA/Cabinet Member, that I am very certain.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    I actually agree with the Government (cant believe it) lawyer, he speaks the truth.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was a many splendored thing? Wait, no, a battlefield?

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  36. Do What is Right says:

    Just because it is legal, that does not automatically mean that it is right. There was a time when slavery was legal; and in Europe in the 1930’s there was a time when persecution of the Jews was legal – but in no way does this make either of those morally right. It’s time to do what is right, and allow people to marry whomever they wish to marry, providing they are consenting adults, capable of making adult choices.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    As instructed to do so for political expediency.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    I wish foreigners would stop conflating Jamaican culture with Caymanian culture.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “batty man fi ded” is the saying I grew up hearing. Not surprised many of us are bigoted homophobes here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yet multiple times a day I hear generational Caymanians using “Jamaican” phrases and terms. If our own people conflate the two then why should we expect foreigners to know any different?

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      • Anonymous says:

        FYI while Cayman and Jamaica are separate countries(territories), it is a fact that the historical ties are deep and intertwined to this day. There are many prominent multigenerational Caymanian families that can trace at least one limb of their family tree to Jamaica. What do you expect when we only established our own radio station in 1976, and where do you think we got our main news, music and other entertainment from before that?

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Can we stop the stupid argument of “allowing them rights infringes on mine as a straight person”?

    I’m atheist and my constitution grants me the right to freedom from religion. Because I see people reading their bible, does that infringe on my rights? That doesn’t give me a right to stand in front a church and scream religion is a lie and try to prevent you them entering because I don’t approve of a religious lifestyle.

    You’re straight and don’t approve gay lifestyle, despite it being legal. How does two gay people getting health insurance infringe on your right to health insurance?? That increases the pool, helping you!

    Again, it is NOT A CRIME to be gay in Cayman! They aren’t asking for special rights, they just want the SAME as you!

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    • Smh says:

      You may have the same right like any other human being providing it is in accordance to nature. But “gay rights” that are really entitlements like having your own bathroom, is not based on natural finding. You are not born gay! Hence, why should you impose your “rights” on everyone to adhere to. That is leftist.

      You belong to the atheist Stalin crew.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Special bathrooms are for transgender people. Apples to oranges.

        Transgender may imply you’re also gay.

        Being gay doesn’t imply you’re also transgender.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m a woman and I like women also.. Never have I assumed that because I share that in common with males, that entitles me to being able to use the men’s room.

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      • Zombie Jesus says:

        If according to your totally rational and rock solid logic that you can’t be born gay then I have to assume that we are all born in a neutral state. Then my question is, when in your life did you choose to become straight?

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    • Anonymous says:

      12:15 But if you admit to being an atheist (as I am) here you still risk being discriminated against in employment and in the days when you had declare it on WP applications (I used to file mine as CofE) it was definitely held against you. Welcome to the land of religious bigotary.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    “…not unconstitutional because it was justified discrimination” In this day and age how can any discrimination at all be lawful?
    Old timey days…

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  41. Anonymous says:

    Go for it Chantelle and Vickie!! Love is love.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No one is stopping them. Thst is exactly what you all fail to understand. Some of us just do not want the institution of marriage changed. We have rights too!! Fighting for the institution of marriage is worth every penny spent!

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      • Anonymous says:

        What is the cost? Or are you afraid your wife/husband will leave you for another woman/man!

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      • Anonymous says:

        What possible rights of yours are affected??? No one’s changing your marriage in any way at all: stop trying to inflict your prejudices and views on other people’s lives.

        Is your marriage so weak that someone else who you’ve never met getting married might affect your “rights”?

        Give me strength!

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    • Citizen says:

      If love is love then it must be for freedom. And if you are for making a law that will negatively affect other’s freedom like same-sex marriage.
      If certain of your homosexual rights threaten and conflict with my free speech, free press, freedom of religion, the right to protect my child from homosexual teachers, and you push for this law against our culture … then how can that be true love?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Free speech? Continue to speak your opinion.

        Free press? How is that being affected lol.

        Freedom of religion? No one is telling you to change your lifestyle and stop going to church.

        Freedom from homosexual teachers? It’s entirely legal to be gay and a teacher. Odds are that your child will be taught by one without anyone realizing it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Love is a scam, created by Hallmark.

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