Chief justice legalises gay marriage

| 29/03/2019 | 479 Comments
Cayman News Service

Chantelle Day (left) and Vicky Bodden

(CNS) UPDATED WITH FULL STORY: In an historic landmark ruling for the Cayman Islands, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has legalised same-sex marriage. In his judgment delivered on Friday in the human rights case filed by Chantelle Day and Vicky Bodden, who had been refused a marriage licence because they are a same-sex couple, the country’s senior judge found in their favour for all of their claims and made the decision not to allow “the violation of the petitioners’ rights to continue”, and for the “indignities” that they and their daughter have been subjected to be “put to an immediate end”. He therefore ordered the modification of the law, instantly legalising gay marriage in Cayman.

Chief Justice Smellie found that in refusing them a marriage licence the government had breached several of their human rights, including the right to a private family life and freedom of expression, and that it had discriminated against them on the basis of their sexual orientation, also violating the women’s rights as enshrined in the Cayman Islands Constitution.

The chief justice outlined in his ruling that no justification had been established by the government in its response to the petition to sustain what he said was the “severe form of discrimination”.

He said the while it was perhaps an unintended consequence the 2008 amendment to the marriage law with the religious aim of maintaining marriage as the exclusive privilege of heterosexuals, the effect had been to “impose indignity, inequality of treatment and inequality of legal status upon same-sex couples”.

He also made it clear that many inequities have existed in the name of tradition but neither tradition nor religion could form the “rational basis for a law”, and he pointed out that marriage is a secular institution.

Explaining the power the court had to remedy the situation for the petitioners, the chief justice said that the legislature had chosen not to open the marriage law to same-sex couples or to pass legislation conveying the same rights for civil partnerships, and so it fell to the judicial arm to resolve the issue.

He said it was settled case law that the court has the power to make legislation which breaches the constitution, as he found was the case with the marriage law, compliant with the Bill of Rights.

He said the court was bound and had a duty not to allow the discrimination to continue, as he ordered a change of wording to the marriage law; it should now read: “marriage means the union between two people as one another’s spouses”, instead of “between a man and a woman” and substituting the words “wife” and “husband” with “spouse” in other relevant parts of the legislation. This immediately paves the way for Day and Bodden to marry.

The judge also made it clear that the government had been given opportunities to remedy the discrimination well before the women took legal action. But even after Day and Bodden had written to the governor and the government asking them to provide, at the very least, access to civil partnerships or some form of solution that would convey similar rights as marriage to same-sex couple and avoid the need for the women to turn to the courts, the authorities failed to act.

“By any objective measure it must be regretted that such efforts at finding a non-litigious resolution did not bear fruit,” the chief justice found in his ruling.

As he concluded the executive summary of his decision Friday, he said that the process of modifying the marriage law to bring it into compliance with the Constitution did not threaten the institution of marriage but that the “institution is strengthened” and that “our constitutional democracy will itself be strengthened by the affirmation of the state’s obligation to respect fundamental human rights”.

As the chief justice left the court following the decisive ruling, the packed courtroom was awash with emotion, as the many friends and supporters of Day and Bodden broke into applause. The women were clearly overcome as the chief justice had effectively found fully in their favour; with a stroke of his pen he had removed the discrimination the women and their daughter were battling and introduced marriage equality to the Cayman Islands.

Local attorney Ben Tonner QC, who represented the two women, said they were delighted that their relationship has been recognised at long last. “The chief justice’s decision demonstrates in unequivocal terms that the rule of law and the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom are alive and well in the Cayman Islands,” Tonner added.

Speaking to CNS after the event Chantelle Day said simply, “Love wins.”

But she also thanked many people who had helped them, especially Dr Leo Raznovich, who had helped them the whole way through the process and helped pull together a “passionate and dedicated legal team who were willing to go above and beyond”, as well as all the people who helped them fund the legal petition.

Given the sensitivity of the case, the couple have been described by many people as “heroic”, being the first to push this type of case. Day said that they didn’t feel like heroes but that they had seen a legal path to gain access to the rights they were being denied.

“We felt it would only take a matter of someone being willing to stand up publicly and challenge it for us to be successful,” she added.

Raznovich has been a tireless advocate for rights of the LGBT community and marriage equality since his own case, where he had at first been denied the right to be dependent on his husband’s work permit, despite the fact that the men were legally married.

The former law school professor and his husband successfully appealed the Immigration Board’s decision and paved the way for non-Caymanian gay couples who were married lawfully in other countries to have their marriages recognised for the purposes of immigration. But Raznovich had been well aware of the irony that local gay people were still excluded from any form of marriage equity and continued to campaign.

Speaking about the outcome on Friday, he said, “Today the Cayman Islands made important progress towards equality and becoming a fairer society. In time, this decision will be seen as a victory for all. Right now, however, we celebrate that Chantelle and Vickie have acquired the freedom to love one another with dignity in the eyes of the law. My husband, James Reeve, and I wholeheartedly wish them both, and their respective families, a future together full of love, health, happiness and mutual respect.”

The full detailed and comprehensive judgement in the case is expected to be available on the court website shortly.

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Comments (479)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    soooo…how come the chief justice didnt ammend section 12 of HSA law? which was later repealed by the legislative? so biased….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I feel as though if Caymanians, and/or christians were truly upset about this they would be protesting with signs at government offices…..haven’t seen any of that…ever.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully some of the DL Cayman Brothas come out from the shadows. Big names them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unlikely.

      Some people choose to relegate homosexuality to a bit of part-time fun and mischief – and not devalue certain institutions and subsequent regeneration with demands for “marriage equality”.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Whining and complaining is part of the culture here. Not to worry. Anything that takes concentrated effort is not. These folk will soon just go back to their individual lives of just thinking of themselves and praying God will forgive them their sins.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I still cannot understand how one judge can change the law and the cultural norms of the Cayman Islands as well as the Constitution? Why was there not a referendum called?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    how can the courts dictate/change laws? seperation of powers…judicial…executive and legislature? only legislature can change laws? governor? privy council?

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    • dazed and confused. says:

      Section 5 (1) of the Constitution allows the Court to do it.

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      • MM says:

        Which part of it? Here is Section 5 of the Constitution…

        “Existing laws
        5.—(1) Subject to this section, the existing laws shall have effect on and after the appointed day
        as if they had been made in pursuance of the Constitution and shall be read and construed with
        such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them
        into conformity with the Constitution.
        (2) The Legislature may by law make such amendments to any existing law as appear to it to be
        necessary or expedient for bringing that law into conformity with the Constitution or otherwise for
        giving effect to the Constitution; and any existing law shall have effect accordingly from such day,
        not being earlier than the appointed day, as may be specified in the law made by the Legislature.
        (3) In this section “existing laws” means laws and instruments (other than Acts of Parliament of
        the United Kingdom and instruments made under them)”

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        • dazed and confused. says:

          Section 5 (1) requires that where a Law does not conform to the Constitution it must be amended. The CJ held that the marriage Law does not conform to the Constitution because it discriminates against homosexuals, it breaches their Section 9 and 10 rights. The Law therefore did not conform and had to be amended.

          The AG Agreed to this interpretation to the extent that if a Law does not conform to the Constitution, the Court are required to amend it to ensure that it does conform. There are similar sections in BVI, Bermuda, Anguilla, Monsterrat and Turks and Caicos.

          In the cases of Mollison and Roodal the Privy Council held that what CJ Smellie went on to do is correct.

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          • MM says:

            Not allowing a marriage really has nothing to do with Section 9 and/or 10 when you read what is covered in there – no Government authority was hindering these ladies from enjoying a relationship – and marriage is not a human right the same way as employment is not a human right.

            I am not at all against same sex union; I just question the ground the CJ is standing on with his ruling; it seems as if he struggled to find ground. However, our boneless Government officials should have gotten this sorted out a long time ago instead of dragging these ladies through judicial hell to get it done, questionably done. The biggest issue here is that the Constitution has been challenged and over-ruled in a manner that brings the whole document and the process of its reformation in to questions and as this country has no documented process for constitutional reformation (none that I have found at least) that would mean we should follow UK precedent and I have never seen a head judge able to do what the CJ has done.

            Section 9 primarily ensures that no person or family can be raided by police forces or homes searched without permission; privacy and personal relationships are not to be interfered with

            And Section 10 certainly has nothing to do with marriage or an individual’s preference for marriage…. so again… the CJ’s grounds are questionable if his grounds center only around the points you have raised.

            AND – the Marriage law itself has never defined marriage as only for the opposite sex; in fact it has no definition of marriage given.

            AND, if what you state is what Section 5 of the Constitution was enacted for that would mean that the MARRIAGE LAW is what needs to be amended to reflect the CONSTITUTION because the Constitution is the highest law of the land. The marriage law can be found here http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/11525207.PDF

            Here is Section 9 and 10 of the Constitution:

            “Private and family life
            9.—(1) Government shall respect every person’s private and family life, his or her home and his
            or her correspondence.
            (2) Except with his or her own consent or as permitted under subsection (3), no person shall be
            subjected to the search of his or her person or his or her property or the entry of persons on his or
            her premises.
            (3) Nothing in any law or done under its authority shall be held to contravene this section to the
            extent that it is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society—
            (a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health,
            town and country planning, or the development or utilisation of any other property in
            such a manner as to promote the public benefit;
            (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons;
            (c) to enable an agent of the Government or a public body established by law to enter on the
            premises of any person in order to inspect those premises or anything on them for the
            purpose of any tax, rate or due or in order to carry out work connected with any property
            that is lawfully on those premises and that belongs to the Government or that public
            body;
            (d) to authorise, for the purpose of enforcing the judgment or order of a court, the search of
            any person or property by order of a court or the entry on any premises by such order; or
            (e) to regulate the right to enter or remain in the Cayman Islands.

            Conscience and religion
            10.—(1) No person shall be hindered by government in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of
            conscience.
            (2) Freedom of conscience includes freedom of thought and of religion or religious
            denomination; freedom to change his or her religion, religious denomination or belief; and
            freedom, either alone or in community with others, both in public and in private, to manifest and
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            propagate his or her religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, observance and day of
            worship.
            (3) Except with his or her consent or, in the case of a minor, the consent of his or her parent or
            guardian, no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious
            instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance that relates to a
            religion other than his or her own.
            (4) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from or hindered in providing
            religious instruction for persons of that community or denomination in the course of any education
            provided by that community or denomination whether or not that community or denomination is
            in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet,
            in whole or in part, the cost of such education; and this right includes the right of any school or
            community educational institution to impose requirements on employment, admission or
            curriculum-design necessary to maintain the religious ethos of that school or institution, subject to
            applicable employment laws in force.
            (5) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his or her religion or
            belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his or her religion or belief.
            (6) Nothing in any law or done under its authority shall be held to contravene this section to the
            extent that it is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society—
            (a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
            (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right
            to observe and practise any religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of
            adherents of any other religion or belief.
            (7) If a court’s determination of any question arising under this Part might affect the exercise by
            a religious organisation (itself or its members collectively) of the right to freedom of conscience as
            protected by this section, it must have particular regard to the importance of that right.”

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            • dazed and confused. says:

              Can i suggest this, that you acquire a copy of the Summary that the CJ provided to the press and the attorney’s at Court. If CNS publishes this summary it will explain many of the questions and answers you have. The simple fact is that Section 9 covers family life which includes marriage. So you are incorrect there. The CJ set this all out very well in the summary

              I have a copy if CNS does not have a copy, i am more than happy to send them mine.

              CNS: Wendy has a copy, she just hasn’t had time to scan it yet. If anyone does, you can send it to me here info@caymannewsservice.com and we would be very grateful.

          • MM says:

            Actually, yes, the marriage law was amended to include the definition, that link is for the 2007 Revision which at first did not define it for man and woman only.

  7. Anonymous says:

    time for change. church people..vote the present govt out …full stop

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    • Anonymous says:

      Im not a church goer, but … if this means other gay laws, hell ya. Im with you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Vote them out for a whole bunch of reasons…not least of which: knowing how this would go before it started, and insisting on putting those poor women through it anyway – using OUR MONEY!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    How many more years, and arrests, will it take for our 17th Century countrymen and women to mentally come around to legal realities and join the rest of us in the 21st Century?

    What is the plan and budget for the CIG’s public education campaign to accelerate this mental adjustment?

    Are they expecting that money to come out of the HRC’s budget?

    When are the official full page Cabinet statements of apology scheduled?

    How much of our money did they and Gov’s office/FCO waste opposing equality and basic civil rights?

    The CIG and FCO, remain wide open for additional lawsuits, until there is some public contrition and/or admission/acceptance of their fault, they deserve whatever action gets filed against them.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    So far there are 367 comments on this article. It’s a crying shame the same level of excitement, passion, and discussion could not be attained for things like:

    The GT proposed port

    Barkers

    The proposed 50 story building

    Terrible schools

    Healthcare

    NAU

    Garbage piling up

    Towering and leaching dump

    Roads

    Destruction of the environment

    Crime

    Corruption

    Drugs… the list goes on and on and on.

    But two people who are in love, who would like to get married: 367 comments.

    Time to set some priorities.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 01/04/2019 at 11:37 am – I came to say the same thing but you said it better. And from the time you wrote this until now, there have been 20+ more comments made.
      You only forgot about Caymanian men and their bestiality issues. (I know of 4 incidents off the top of my head)

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    • NIMBY says:

      Well, that’s easy to answer (I get to it at the other well). To start, it’s because the mostly “outrageous” comments and the ‘not Adam’s & Steve’s’ and ‘the Bible say so’, etc etc etc reactives are all about fear.

      Fear that if they don’t jump in and comment right away and show their “outrageous disgust” for 2 people of same sex in love and wanting to get married, that they somehow could end up in a place called hell (no, not that West Bay one).

      They must prove to their god that they too are strong believers in some book written a very long time ago to frighten people and keep them in line. You see, that way they can earn some kudos (aka brownie points) for their eventual welcome into the kingdom of their god.

      You ask: “It’s a crying shame the same level of excitement, passion, and discussion could not be attained”

      Well, since none of the things you listed in your post (except crime, and what type of crime matters to these types of people) make them really, really, really want to care at all and click to sign a useless Internet petition or post hundreds of times on CNS. Nope, your list things just isn’t gueer enough for them to get excited, stir passion and discuss openly, sorry.

      To sum up, a lot of it is Fake outrage, just to please some father figure of all things in the known universe and perhaps score a seat or 2 where it’ll be comfortable, cool and fun. Instead of that other place where it’s molten, hot and punishment is dispensed every second, for eternity. 👣 🏖 ❔

    • Anonymous says:

      11.37am… I agree 100%… you should have send them packing … instead you all have entertained them. Sad past and Present Givernors getting involved. Should not be happening. We need to spend time and money where needed so urgently and desperately. Disgusting, shameful and inconsiderate, when so many Caymanians are suffering. Smiley you need to step down (and gone) – you and the likes of you don’t deserve to live among us on these beautiful blessed islands.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Like it or not, Sexual Assault rates are much higher amongst gays themselves.
    eg.
    A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found nearly half of respondents were sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime and one in 10 was sexually assaulted in the past year. Overall, people who identify as LGBTQ are at greater risk of sexual violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    • 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared with 35 percent of heterosexual women.
    • 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared with 29 percent of heterosexual men.
    • 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men.
    Source:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/13/sarah-mcbride-gay-survivors-helped-launch-me-too-but-rates-lgbt-abuse-largely-overlooked/692094002/

    So yes, “Love” can exist between anyone. But, religious or not, believing in faith or moral-based values does not equate to “hate”.
    The Bible teaches to promote and love all people – but do not accept (and in fact to reject) their behaviours (eg. the woman at the well / Mary Magdalene / Saul / the rich young ruler / moneychangers in the temple..etc,

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you post those figures for hetero people? It’s actually HIGHER so what is your point??

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      • Anonymous says:

        “44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared with 35 percent of heterosexual women.” – Citing this statistic without realizing that the people assaulting lesbian and bisexual women tend to be HETEROSEXUAL men Because some straight men are obsessed by fantasies of lesbian women being “converted” by them or taking part in their sexual experiences
        x
        In fact most of the assualts and sexual violence perpetrated on the LGBTQ minority are done by heterosexual men either trying to scare them or who are conflicted about their own subconscious sexual feelings

        Your entire argument is unfounded and entirely illogical

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    • Anonymous says:

      That might be because “straight” people like you are succumbing to their true feelings, loathing themselves for it and taking it out on the transgender that they have a “forbidden” attraction to!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The last time I saw someone posting a study about abuse rates among gay people, the study they took those figures from showed, yeah, that lesbians experience the highest rate of abuse… from male partners, while abuse rates from women were the lowest.

      So spare us from claiming your care is out of love when you lie and try to bring gay people disrepute.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Whatever your position is on same-sex marriage this ruling does confirm that the will of people is not supreme under our system of government and that it is the judicial branch of government that have real power and control over our lives.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is the truth. The judicial branch of government destroying the country.

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      • JTB says:

        It’s interesting that you’d characterise allowing people to marry each other as ‘destroying the country’

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know the will if the people, as in the majority or do you assume the loud and whining makes it the view if the people

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am interested in what Jesus would do. As there are many on this thread better versed in the Bible than me, could one of you please let me know the New Testament sections that are relevant to this issue? I am looking for guidance.

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    • FYI says:

      FYI, Jesus was for family! And he indicated the marriage between a man and a woman is a blessed union:

      “And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4‭-‬6)

      Whereas, Jesus taught love, he did not teach us to love sin! Homosexuality is a sinful behavior. This has always been the stance of the Church for 2000 years – until now, many are questioning the faith of the fathers.

      It is sad that Cayman has become the 1st West Indian country to legally promote this behavior publicly!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus would address the people lovingly, rebuke and instruct them
      Then, condemn and destroy those who reject the Gospel.. Like Sodom n Gomorrah or Noah’s world.
      Jesus loves people but not the stubbornly sinful.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The burning question I have as I read the plethora of comments here:
        Under whose remit does this issue fall- God or Jesus?
        There seems to be some confusion based on the responses I read as to who will deliver the punishment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Got some quotes? Which bit of the Gospel is being rejected?

  13. dazed and confused. says:

    And almost 3 days after the momentous decision to legalize Gay Marriage, God still has not to appeared and drag the Cayman Islands under the sea. Still no sign of him, but one can only imagine he is getting pretty frustrated with people bothering him about homosexuals….

    The sky is still clear and the sea is still blue, it is still hot and those people who were married before are still married now. The change in the Law, as in reality changed the lives of a few people.

    Some thoughts on some of the posts:

    1) You cannot marry your brother or sister (even if you are from West Bay). That is called incest and there are very good biological reasons why this should not happen. So therefore the Law can be justified. This is not a proper argument.
    2) Marriage is defined now as being between 2 people, so you cannot enter into three person marriages. I can’t see this happening anytime soon, if ever.
    3) Please waste your time with a petition, it will achieve absolutely nothing.
    4) if the LA passes a law to confirm marriage being between a man and a women, it will be unconstitutional and overturned, as was done in Bermuda. It just won’t work.
    5) Marriage is a civil institution and not a religious one. The Christians do not own it… Please get back inside your box and pray to the invisible sky fairy… if he does nothing well what does that say about him.
    6) Gay Marriage is legal in lots of Countries… God hasn’t punished them… If you are worried about Cayman being punished go live in…. Jamaica?? God is obviously too busy dealing with other issues to deal with the stuff that is going on in that fine country.
    7) I keep on being told that the Rapture is coming… so come one Christians don’t worry soon you will be vacuumed up to the big sky fairy’s house in and you can be there with him.
    8) lastly, but perhaps most importantly, there is no GOD. I really don’t understand how you cannot see that….. And if he does exist…;.. He doesn’t care about you…. He doesn’t listen to you………. Please grow up… You don’t believe in the tooth fairy anymore do you… well invisible sky fairies are the same and it’s quite sad for intelligent people to bang on about an imaginary person for so long!!!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Why has the courts contributed to the further decay of the moral fabric of our society?

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    • Anonymous says:

      On the contrary the court has at once strengthened society and democracy. it is you that seeks to decay it with your intolerance. Historically more damage has been done to societies because of intolerance (particularly that based on religion) than anything else in the history of mankind! The world is rife with examples of that today! why? Because mankind seems to have a propensity to default to the worst of human nature rather than the best. Try to rise above your base instincts. Please!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Keeping it illegal doesn’t stop Caymanians from being gay, it just discriminates against a minority. Something you bible-thumping hypocrites fail to understand. Throw the first stone if you’re without sin.

      We abolished the death penalty years ago. Leviticus 20:10 says to kill adulterers yet no outrage about that. Because having one man breed 5 women is a legal norm here that none of you care about.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Out of interest Who why exactly would a throuple be the end of society as we know it? The idea that one will inevitably lead to the other has no apparent basis, but from first principles – what if it did? How would that affect Who’s every day existence or make the world a darker place?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think it a the earthquakes, plagues etc they are worried about.

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      • dazed and confused. says:

        3 days and counting… In three days God had created, light, darkness, day, night, heaven, land, called the water seas, grass, seed, fruit trees. He destroyed Sodom in a few hours, the walls of Jericho fell after people walked around them…. and nothing has happened here….

        This is very odd. It is as if God doesn’t care about Homosexuals.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Remember whenever Hurricanes don’t hit us (or hit somewhere else) it is because we are so pious and holy and religious that God spared us personally ( despite the fact that Cayman has been hit by Hundreds of hurricanes in recorded history)

          The idea that natural disasters are some form of punishment is and always has been part of the ludicrous brainwashing used by the churches to scare uneducated persons into maintaining the faith

          The same people who believe that God directly punishes sinful behavior with natural disasters are the ones who think saying sinners and nonbelievers will burn in hell for eternity is a convincing means of proselytizing

          These people are lunatics who have absolved themselves of all reason logic and commons sense in favour of dusty scrolls pulled out of caves in the desert

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          • Anonymous says:

            “These people are lunatics who have absolved themselves of all reason logic and commons sense in favour of dusty scrolls pulled out of caves in the desert”

            Okay, but remind me again what makes you better than me?

            I for one, read the bible, study it, believe in a “higher” power, greater than us all. In addition, I don’t expect others to “follow” me, my beliefs, or even agree with my views.

            I don’t have a problem with men marrying men and women marrying women, as it is THEIR choice. We, the “lunatics”, call that free will.

            A true believer will not tell you what to do or with who. A true believer will treat you fairly and lovingly as they would want you to treat them; which means they don’t judge you, as that is left to the Lord to do.

            If in doubt always remember, that just because you (or anyone else for that matter) refuse to believe something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

            It simply means you choose not to acknowledge it.

            I bet you are one of those special people who “believes” that man went to the moon, back in the 60’s no less! HAHA – good for you!

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    • Anonymous says:

      For those of you who gave this a thumbs down, instead of just clicking that, why don’t you offer an explanation of how exactly this will change your life?

      And please don’t refer to Jesus, because from everything we know about him, he would NEVER want you to be judgmental like you are being with regards to 2 people loving each other.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Think about how many institutions, customs, industries etc. are based on the couple. Now think about everything that has to change if a married unit can suddenly contain more than two people. Everything from the simple act of greeting people (‘these are my husbands George and Adam and this is my wife Denise and her husband John’) to the Westin spa menu (1 hour Couples Massage – $140 per person) has to change. That’s a world most people think would be profoundly weird, no matter how progressive their beliefs, and a world they don’t want to live in. Have as many people in your relationship as you want or as many relationships as you want – just let marriage be between two people.

        And by the way, this is exactly what people who made the ‘slippery slope’ argument were talking about. The whole ‘we demand justice because we’re in love as we define it” thing is a force that can’t be controlled. What WILL be next, because surely it will be something?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your post is a great example of why the simple-minded ought to stay in their designated lane.

      My concern is that of the fickle nature of legislation amendment to combat infinite discrimination – as is the endeavour of our misguided Chief Justice.

      Whereas your concern is; “so what if X happens…why do you care?!”.

      Quite the difference.

      – Who

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman could this have happened and certain people are still able to walk around freely without fear. That may be a good thing … or a bad thing, depending on your own personal views. This does not sit well with me, and if action is required to overturn, I am definitely participating

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  17. The Constitutional Critic says:

    For anyone claiming the Grand Court and the Chief Justice has overstepped his authority please pay close attention to this paragraph:\

    “The judge also made it clear that the government had been given opportunities to remedy the discrimination well before the women took legal action. But even after Day and Bodden had written to the governor and the government asking them to provide, at the very least, access to civil partnerships or some form of solution that would convey similar rights as marriage to same-sex couple and avoid the need for the women to turn to the courts, the authorities failed to act.”

    The Governor the Chief Executive has absolved himself of his constitutional duty and responsibility
    The Premier the head of the Legislature has absolved himself of his constitutional duty and responsibilities to ALL of his constituents ( not just the Christian ones)

    That leaves only the Judiciary as the means of redress, which is exactly what happened

    Don’t be mad at the Chief Justice,
    The Premier had every opportunity to address this since being Sworn in in 2013, he could have struck a compromise between the religious police and the citizenry, but he chose to abdicate his responsibilities in favour of transparent political apathy
    Multiple Governors have had the ability to address the situation and they all refused to do so passing the responsibility off on the LA

    The Constitution is clear, there is clear precedent in common law that made this case a free throw for this couple

    This could have been handled in a myriad of other ways but Alden Mclaughlin, Their Excellencies Helen Kilpatrick, Anwar Choudhury and Martyn Roper all decided to sit on their hands

    And for those mindless idlers trying to start a petition to reinstate the discriminatory policies of the Government, barring making constitutional changes there is little room for maneuvering from the Legislature
    These changes could have been instigated by them their apathy is now
    And Bermuda tried all of this too
    Look where that got them

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    • Anonymous says:

      Foolishness, please research the rule of law, separation of powers and the established fact that only the Parliament can make law. In the USA the Supreme Court can make law but that is not the case in Common Law jurisdictions. I am not sure what motivated the CJ but this will be overturned if challenged. The elected representatives represent the the people and they speak for the people and there is no higher authority. I wonder if you would use the same argument if he also rules that polygamy is legal. And done laugh I saw a Caymanian living in the Middle East post on Facebook that he plans to return here with his many wives.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Try reading the judgment. The CJ explains it so that even idiots can understand.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Read your constitution. Parliament is not supreme in Cayman.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, I could spend all day trying to alleviate you of your ignorance with probably little result but let me spend a minute. First go read the decision when it is available. You should be able to follow along. Second these ladies won because you were denying them the right to do what you could do – marry the one person you love and want to be with. If and only polygamy was legal in Cayman but denied to same sex partners could a similar application win on the same basis so it is a nonsense to imply that this will result in polygamous marriages.

        I do have one bit of news for you though – polygamous marriages are already legal in Cayman if they have been entered into in a country in which it is currently legal – you know those countries where their religious belief says it is cool just like your s tells you that SSM is not! Personally, I wouldn’t want it, most spouses have a hard enough time dealing with one spouse much less multiple ones!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Incorrect.

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      • dazed and confused. says:

        Ok. I feel the need to repeat what i said, just so this silly person understands.

        i. The America is a common Law Country… Common Law means that the legal system follows precedent. Which the CJ did in this case…
        ii. I’m not sure it will be overturned… we shall see, i reckon there is about a 10% chance it will.
        iii. The CJ can and is in fact required to amend old Laws which do not comply with the Constitution. That is what he has done here.
        iv. The highest authority in Cayman is the UK Parliament… No the MLA’s or the Legislative Assembly. I believe the Caymanian People voted for the Constitution… congratulations you voted for a document that allowed Gay Marriage.
        v. Polygamy is not recognized in Law and you will not be able to enter into a Polygamous marriage in the Cayman Islands.. the CJ’s rewording confirms that marriage is between 2 people.

        Hope that helps.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct … outside of administrative issues or clerks refusing to do their job as in the the US on gay marriage you can apply for a marriage license tomorrow. The test will be to see who is the first marriage officer to do so.

      As for legal recourse, there is really none. The Privy Council would only through out such a petition as the matter has been ruled on studiously by the CJ. Likewise the law was discriminatory.

      Come on Cayman stop being hateful and selfish.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, agreed.

        Now legalize marijuana for personal consumption and growth!

        If two men or two women can marry and “be happy” (which they should be able to do as they choose in their lives – straight talk), then we should all be able to grow our own marijuana and use it for personal consumption!

        The church has no say in your personal life. They need to pay more attention to all those “elder” brothers in their churches who are child molesters and pedophiles!

        Too many old perverts in the churches in these Cayman Islands who act like they are so sanctimonious! You trust your kids with these same people, wake-up!

        Lastly, how many married men (in heterosexual marriages in these Cayman Islands) are actually gay, secretly living two very different lives??? Seems to be that they’re everywhere.

    • Very ticklish indeed says:

      Well. Now the Judiciary needs to decide. Do they now allow a rehearing of ALL CASES where the normal rules of Statutes were applied or do they squash the CJ’s ruling as unlawful. Either way it will be very expensive but more so if the former path is taken. It will mean that ANY and ALL rulings before where this rule was applied can now be challenged and a different outcome obtained. This then means that the Judiciary can be held legally accountable for all loss and expenses. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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      • Anonymous says:

        Stop the stupidness and attempts to undermine the Rule of LAw! The judgment is perfectly sound and perfectly right! You may disagree because of your beliefs but you should also be happy that the system works because you never know when you might have to look to the courts for redress!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why didn’t all of the critics ask their MLA’s to support same sex civil unions? No we wanted no rights for gays. Now look where we are. No petition no appeal is going to change this ruling.

      Pastors refused to support civil unions so they will have gay marriage.

      Love they neighour and move on.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please explain exactly how the court concluded that the marriage law was in contravention of the Constitution, when as far as we can tell C.section 14 defines marriage as being between two people of the opposite gender.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Try reading it. It defends the right of a heterosexual couple to marry – it does not define marriage as limited to heterosexual couples. The marriage law defines marriage as limited to heterosexuals, but that law and all other laws are subordinate to the Constitution. And Article 16 prohibits any law from discriminating against minorities.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The CJ probably never read that section or knew it existed, otherwise, how could he rule contrary to the constitution?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    To all the religious freaks out there, watch this video and try to understand that in a way this has happened to you when you were young.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac

    Now please grow up and look at the real world…….

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    • Anonymous says:

      Holy shit!

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is child abuse.!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all of us went to concentration camps. Please stop calling me and other people who choose to believe in something greater than ourselves, “freaks”. The video is one perspective. It’s wrong but it doesn’t apply to everyone.

      Please feel free to speak of all the child-trafficking and child sex rings around the world…..please don’t forget about those….since we need to grow-up and look at the real world.

  20. Voice of Democracy says:

    The petitions says it all 87 to 3000 people, The stronger statement is that minority is now forcing its views and lifestyles on the majority. Time to stand up Cayman what more do they want and are prepared to take from us. Time for those who are not acting in the best interest of Caymanians to go. Some need to stop using the law to act against people and democracy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You Caymanians voted yes to the new constitution.
      The judge did not change any laws. He just enforced what you have written yourself.

      You can always move to Afghanistan together with eden.
      Same laws, rules, traditions as you have.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If slaves had to depend on a majority of citizens to say “NO” to slavery, What do you think the outcome would be?

      Not all decisions can be placed in the hands of common folk.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I also suggest starting a petition against the pesky disabled community who demand the best parking spaces be reserved for them

      Forcing their views and lifestyles on the majority
      I deserve a convenient spot when I pull up to fosters, Who are they to demand special treatment

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s very easy – if you don’t like same sex marriage don’t marry someone of the same sex.

      No one is forcing anything on you and you’re welcome to carry on believing whatever you like about talking snakes, boats full of animals, pregnant virgins, burning in hell, etc. etc.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow.

        You mock the bible as if you know FOR SURE, it is not true. You must be God then. Thank for stopping by and letting us know it was all a dream! LOL

  21. Anonymous says:

    CIG urgently needs to review laws and departments that are now be impacted by the new definition of Marriage. Land transfer stamp duty, health insurance, immigration, pensions, probate laws, etc..

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing new about this. The court has simply confirmed what the law already is, and has been since the 2009 constitution. Any government official or agency acting contrary to the law deserves to get sued.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not just sued, prosecuted. They will be failing to perform their legally obliged duty. Thank God for the rule of Law. Finally!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Love Won. Move On!
    #lovewonmoveon

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  23. Unison says:

    @ Whodatis

    This law opens, sir, a pandoras box! Everyone thinks its about RIGHTS, but it is more than that no matter how pretty you make the box 👀

    We are talking about new laws springing from this one law, thanks to the Chief Justice:

    * Same-sex parenting- where government plays Gd and places children in same-sex homes. Caymanian homes may now consist of two dads raising a young girl because the state arranged it so.

    * The expanse of the discrimination laws- whereby people of faith or people voicing their own conscience, could be fined, lose their job, or arrested for speaking out against a lifestyle.

    * Same-sex marriage will now have to be recognize in the Cayman Islands educational system. Teachers and parents better prepare for this one.

    * Passport documents, birth certificates, the entire family and childrens laws will have to change – to include more than male and female …

    And we can go on …

    Thanks to one man’s ruling against Gd, and certain IGNORANT FOLK in Cayman Islands, saying its all about love, equality, and rights – we are embarking on grave matters that will affect our society and the family unit of this country!

    Again, must we always follow America and the UK??? Where will so-called discrimination end??? It opens the box for incest relationships as well claiming rights, thanks to our CJ ! 👀

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    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on.

      The ignorance and short-sightedness of those celebrating this change is quite disturbing.

      Unfortunately, all people like you and I can do at this point is sit back and await the inevitable societal fallout.

      Until, of course, a few decades pass and we return to “quirky, retro, neo-traditional” values as we suddenly rediscover the positive effects thereof.

      – Whodatis

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      • #LOVEWINS says:

        Hahahahha..

        Common sense won. Accept defeat.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @ Unison and @whodatis

        I get that this is the weakest, most mind-numbing retort in your impoverished arsenal – sort of a last refuge for those with no real argument at all. If you could produce a rational, winning argument, I’d gladly migrate to your side. But because “it says so” in the constitution order, the Bible or my horoscope, it’s not a winning argument; it’s a ripcord – an intellectual equivalent of a yellow-bellied, pant-pissing wimp cowering behind mommy’s skirt.

        What should have happened was minority rights should have been more explicitly spelled out/protected in the 2009 constitution. If that meant providing civil-unions for same-sex couples in lieu of marriage, then so it should have been. But because the politicians of the day did not have the moral fortitude to do what was right, and consequently created a ‘separate AND unequal’ society, we now find ourselves in this position.

        The CJ had the moral rectitude to fix this and did so.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Quite a number of personal insults there buddy.

          Anyway, I am most impressed by the utilisation of some of my long-forwarded views on the matter to combat my general perspective.

          You are a very interesting character.

          – Who

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yep just as we quickly reversed all the other “societal collapse” inducing changes that you bible beaters and cuckservatives have been moaning about for the last 100 years

        Female suffrage
        Global desegregation and minority protections
        Gay Marriage (still waiting for the netherlands to run out of a viable popualtion and or collapse as a nation its only been 20 years, any timeline on their societal collapses, should I pull out a chair for our forthcoming wave of Dutch refugees?
        Ending the War on Drugs and prohibition ( Canada is still standing, should I also pull out a chair for them as well?)

        You people are comical

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      • Ugottarelax says:

        Inevitable societal fallout? Wtf are you talking about? You’re ignorant to a large swath of the history of human civilization and it’s relationship with sexual orientation and gender if you think same sex marriage is going to be the downfall of society. Then again all your posts seem to be rooted in delusional sensationalistic bs with no factual information to back up the rubbish opinions you present as fact . If nothing else, at least your idiocy is on brand.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @Unison & @Who

        Drinks on me! Well said!

    • Anonymous says:

      Show me proof of your god and i am with you all the way.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Apparently its Gd not God.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The proof that the Lord exists is all around you. From the plants, flowers, bees, etc. It’s all there for you to see and appreciate. The sun, the moon and the stars….man did not create these things.

        Man has used all forms of natural resources to build cars, houses, ships etc.

        As well as natural resources to make clothes, shoes, make-up etc.

        The gas in your car is made from oil taken from the Earth. Everything we use is taken from a natural resource which we as humans did NOT create.

        All these things you have at your disposal to “do” with, yet you say you see nothing. You see no sign of the Lord?

        Perhaps you should change your perspective, humility is imperative to understanding and appreciating life.

        • Dazed and Confused says:

          You can’t say because there is oil which humans didn’t create the Christian God created them. You need to prove it.

          Or alternatively prove that Thor didn’t create it or anyone of the numerous creation myths isn’t true.

          • Anon says:

            Why ridicule someone because of what they believe. You dont have to and they dont have to prove anything to you. Whether we believe in God’s existence or not, we just don’t get to ridicule the other. None have fully understood or seen or studied the wonder of the universe. The bible has been a moral guide for a couple thousand years +, and has been the basis for many of the laws that protect the citizens of this world today. Believe or don’t believe but dont ridicule those who believe as I am sure you wouldn’t want anyone ridiculing you because you don’t. That only breeds anger and contempt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, I fail to see how same sex marriage is in any way related, or even in the same ball park, as incest or non-binary gender, other than in the heads of scared bigots with not a clue about anything outside their limited experience of life.

      Everything else you identify as potential problems is not a problem at all in a decent, open, welcoming society.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You have missed out the arguments that same sex marriage and homosexuality are also associated with paedophilia, polyandry, polygamy, bestiality and anything else which our society may find outrageous or unacceptable. The only common denominator is some element of sexual relationship because to these people anything other than heterosexual relationships, preferably within marriage, are all the same – and if the law extends to loving binary relationships within the confines of a marriage it is somehow the door opener to everything else. I am sure similar messaging followed the enfranchisement of slaves and women – its either deliberate fear mongering by those seeking to justify their hatred as “normal” by eliding stable and committed gay relationships with other forms of behaviour, some of which are clearly criminal in regards to the human and social damage done, or the voice of the fearful and ignorant who genuinely cannot discriminate between them. Either way really quite sad.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And which if those 4 points is a problem? They all seem like a no brainer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Um, Unison, these are all good things.

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    • Anonymous says:

      These contributions from the completely irrational bible thumping authoritarian and the faux-philosopher have confirmed completely what side of this debate I am on

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    • Anonymous says:

      Since we are scared of men being in positions of power over children can we start with churches which are often hotbeds for child abuse of all forms

      Need I remind you of the numerous cases in Cayman of “Church Men” and “God fearing christians” caught in compromising situations with children because the list is quite exhaustive

      How about this Unison and Co you can focus on cleaning up your Houses of the Holy (because lets be real, churches has a long and detailed history of being obsessed with the innocence and purity of children) and let the innocent members of the LGBTQ community go about their business
      You bible beaters have much bigger fish to fry anyway on account of actually getting people to show up to listen to you virtue signal and pontificate in an educated world

      Handle your folk and leave everyone else alone

      Or better yet, just shut up ( I like this one the most)

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    • Imagine if sense was common... says:

      If the xtian God existed, much less answered prayer, don’t you think the world would be different ie no crime, no pollution, no innocent babies dying etc etc. Something doesn’t add up and using your PERSONAL belief in a myth to justify trying to control the lives of OTHERS seems arrogant at best and at worst, well, stupid.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course there has NEVER been incest in Cayman. No siree. Nope. Not once. And to claim that 2 women who LOVE each other will suddenly produce a tsunami of incestuous relationships is just mental.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how all the other developed countries around the world have managed to keep functioning despite all these ‘dilemnas’….

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    • Anonymous says:

      @ Unison – THANK YOU, a well written response!

      Drinks on me mate! Lets go!!!

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  24. Anonymous says:

    If they can marry crack heads to strangers that been here longer than two weeks. Or spaniards in bars that cant looking husbands. Then hey nothing wrong with this shit. To marry a Caymanian is like winning the lottery. Or better yet breed for one.

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  25. Slacker says:

    It is really encouraging that someone like the CJ, who is a devout Christian, can still use reason and good judgement, to overcome personal, moral and religious values. This is the difference between “Moral” and “Ethical” beliefs.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Let there be no question, our current CIG government is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for this development;

    “The judge also made it clear that the government had been given opportunities to remedy the discrimination well before the women took legal action. But even after Day and Bodden had written to the governor and the government asking them to provide, at the very least, access to civil partnerships or some form of solution that would convey similar rights as marriage to same-sex couple and avoid the need for the women to turn to the courts, the authorities failed to act.”

    As much as I believe CJ Smellie’s judgement is flawed and shortsighted, as it is only a matter of time until “throuples” (and other groupings) start claiming discrimination under his newly modified definition of marriage, individuals like myself have long been encouraging the Cayman Islands to adopt and implement Civil Partnerships as an alternative – and possibly mandatory / suggested replacement for traditional marriage legislation.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/6582726/polyamorous-throuple-have-sex-every-day-and-now-they-want-to-get-married-and-have-a-baby/

    https://mediadrumworld.com/2018/09/28/32962/

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/throuple-advocate-for-threesome-marriage-parenting

    However, the cowardice and arrogance of our elected members have once again left the country in a state of divided frustration proving themselves a wholly incapable collection of individuals unable to effectively function in the 21st Century.

    Interestingly, as the bible doesn’t speak directly or often to polyamorous relationships, most are ignoring the aforementioned inevitable standoff.

    Just more evidence the LGBT fight for equality is really more about “defeating the churches” than actual equal rights.

    XXXXX

    CNS: I know you get all bent out of shape when I delete part of your comments but this was an aside anyway. It’s hard enough in this small island to express views openly. When people do so, I think that anyone criticising them in a personal way should also do so openly, i.e. with your own name (exceptions for public figures and politicians).

    Lastly, regarding the circulating petition, which I have received at least a dozen times since the ruling, I believe Cayman is missing the point.
    Instead of campaigning to CIG for an overturn of CJ Smellie’s decision, this debacle proves we ought to be campaigning for an overturn of CIG itself – for reasons including but not limited to this most recent fallout.

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      Last time I checked the churches have been doing a well enough job on their own at driving people away

      Church attendance has been steadily declining for decades
      As have the numbers of people who self identify as being part of an organized religion

      Young people especially when force fed religion by their parents and societies are more and more skeptical and cynical as they should be
      The societal disillusionment with the religious status quo has been a long time coming and is still dramatically less pronounced than it ought to be
      The movement to end very clear discrimination against the LGBTQ community happens to be simultaneously occurring during the largest decline in the prevalence of religion in our history and can far more likely be linked to increased standards of living and education than some nefarious plot by gay persons to emasculate an already mortally wounded estate.

      But you belief whatever lunacy floats your boat Who
      You have always preferred creating the narrative in your head and then demanding that all facts line up with your conclusion

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    • Anonymous says:

      I did not realize that Whodatis was such a bigot.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You must be new here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Am I? How so?

        On the contrary, the greatest displays of bigotry in this thread are by posters toward the Christian and religious sectors of Cayman society.

        You people are FILLED with HATRED.

        The evidence is all right here in black & white.
        Congrats.

        – Whodatis

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