Appeal court mulls stay of gay marriage law

| 09/04/2019 | 94 Comments
Cayman News Service

Sir John Goldring

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal is expected to deliver a decision Wednesday on the government’s application for a stay of Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s 29 March ruling, in which he legalised same-sex marriage. The ruling came after he found in favour of a case brought by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden. But Premier Alden McLaughlin announced last week that government intended to appeal the decision and request a stay on the implementation of the ruling, preventing the modified Marriage Law to accommodate same-sex couples coming into force. The case was put before the appeal court at very short notice and heard just one day before Day and Bodden plan to marry.

The three appeal court judges heard arguments from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the lawyer representing Day and Bodden on Tuesday afternoon, where the government claimed it had a reasonable grounds to succeed with its case, as the chief justice was “confused”, and it would be unjust and inconvenient to allow his ruling to stand until the serious questions of law were settled.

David McGrath, representing the couple, said the AG’s appeal was wholly without merit and pointed out the indignities and injustice his clients would suffer if the government was allowed to perpetuate the discrimination and violation of their rights.

Having heard both sides and after a few moments in chambers, the president of the Court of Appeal, Sir John Goldring, informed the parties that they would deliver a decision on the question of a stay at 3pm Wednesday, just hours before Day and Bodden are scheduled to become the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the Cayman Islands.

Check back to CNS for more details of the government’s grounds of appeal and the outcome of the application.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I still don’t know why they lump all the “letters” together. It is one thing to be ok with Gays, it is a whole other agenda to agree with transgender, choosing your gender depending on which way the wind is blowing etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the point is that treating people like people—and granting everyone fundamental dignities under the law—shouldn’t really depend on whether or not you’re “ok” with them. It should just depend on whether or not they are a human being.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a decision the country should have voted on, not one to be given under the power of 1 sole man.

    If the people of the country vote ‘yes’ then yes it is, if not then those unsatisfied should take up residence somewhere else.

    This is a decision that effects the entire nation and society as a whole, not just those on one side or the other.

    Something so controversial and divisive should’ve been left to those able to vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Slavery was completely legal and a normal part of society until some people got the common sense to see why sometimes majority shouldn’t rule.

      Segregation of races was completely legal and a normal part of society until some people got the common sense to see why sometimes majority shouldn’t rule.

      Women not having the right to vote was completely legal and a normal part of society until some people got the common sense to see why sometimes majority shouldn’t rule.

      • Insulted says:

        Must you compare the color of my skin with your behavior??? Not the same. Your right is not a true civil right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does it really affect the entire nation? I do not understand how 2 women or 2 men getting married to each other will harm you.

    • Anonymous says:

      You lost this one at ‘Country’ , which Cayman is not . But as you obviously never got the education here to learn that , I’ll let the thumbs vote count below here help you along.

  3. Bertie : B says:

    The damn world is exploding with wars everywhere , But in Cayman many people ae worried about two young women getting married / this bulls#$t has been in the news more than thousands of young and old Muslims / Christians / and every other bloody religion there is getting slaughtered Daily ! S.M. H

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a British resident for many years I must admit I tend to agree with the local sentiment regarding any type of sexual deviation.
    In the UK the latest “trend” is “transgender” – we even have children being assisted by the NHS to change their sex, not just adults. To make things worse a growing number of these transgendered “homo-sapiens” having undergone a sex change at the taxpayer’s expense are now going back to have the procedure reversed.
    I may be old fashioned but I firmly believe that un-natural sexual liaisons should not be legally recognized. I have no concern about such behavior between consenting adults in private but it should not be flaunted publically.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hardly think the purpose of their marriage is to have “unnatural” (whatever that means) sexual liaisons in your front garden! I think it is about being able to affirm their love for each other and have the same rights that heterosexuals have when they commit to each other.

  5. Anonymous says:

    All of the thumbs up/down in favor of reversing the ruling to allow for gay marriage seem highly suspect.

    There is a vocal minority targeting these articles and I suspect the church is behind it.

    In actual truth the majority of the people residing on this island Caymanian and Expat, don’t really care.

    How does two people who love each other getting married impact anyone else but them?

    If we followed the original bible there would be all sorts of rules that in today’s day and age would seem bananas. Why are the religious groups being so selective on what to enforce…should women all go live in tents while they menstruate as well?

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny how people argue that people are born gay and those same people believe more in science and evolution than God and the Bible….yet I’ve never heard them explain where gays got their gays genes from????? Where did the gay blood come from????? Who were the first gays to pass on the gay gene??? Did all human beings come from two lesbians or two gay men???? Are gays a mutation of normal human genes? Are gays nature’s way of humans evolving to a better state and for the purpose of surviving in their environment???? Please what are the answers oh wise gays and gay supporters????!

    • Anonymous says:

      Born with it or not, why would anyone choose to be shunned, choose to lose rights, choose to be told they’re going to hell, choose to put up with your torment, etc?

      • Anonymous says:

        Great questions…I suppose even God and the Devil respect a persons freedom to choose good or evil evil..right or wrong…etc. To answer your questions I would suggest because they just choose to…however the persons to answer why they choose gay lifestyles are gays…look forward to their comments here…

        • Anonymous says:

          The point is for most gays it isn’t a choice! However, it is your choice to believe being gay is evil.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:43 – “gay genes” “gay blood”?!?!?! Tell me, where did you get your “straight genes” and your “straight blood”? It’s ignorant, uneducated people like you that make me ashamed to be a Caymanaian.

    • the last zion says:

      Seriously…. Gay blood? Gay Gene’s….. Do you think there is a gene which means that i’m an atheist……

      Simple answer we don’t know. Just like we don’t know why certain people have idiotic views.

      Your view is suppose is that god created homosexuals so that they could be tormented on earth…

    • Anonymous says:

      Where does your stupid gene come from?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear. You are really an ignorant one aren’t you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does it matter if you are or aren’t born gay? What if some people just grow to not like the opposite sex? We have teeth that evolved to naturally eat meat yet some people just don’t like eating meat.

      Your claims that it’s a choice to be gay imply that they should simply choose to be straight instead of gay, but it doesn’t work like that. Just because you don’t share their orientation, it doesn’t mean you must demand they follow your beliefs and share your sexual orientation.

      Allowing them rights does not demand that you must then choose to be gay too, so nothing is imposed on you. Public display of affection was not legalized, nor will it be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. You obviously weren’t paying any attention in Biology 6th grade, basic reproduction, XY chromosomes, genes…anything ring a bell??? Do you know how easy it is for any change from hair colour to autism just being the result of science based on chromosomes. Sorry, that stuff isnt in the Bible. Yeah, yeah, I know…..mass thumbs down. We get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. I have a gene that made me athiest BUT ONLY AFTER after studying theology and realizing that religion was hypocrtical and had only caused years of human suffering, hate and war…

    • Anonymous says:

      Great post 👍🏼 Im glad you brought up the “gay gene.” The LGBT used this argument well to formulate their gay rights and have anti-discrimination laws made because of it.

      But it is all LIES! No consensus in the scientific community supporting this false claim 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    #LoveWinsAGAIN ??!

    Going laugh so hard if this appeal fails. I’m straight so either way it doesn’t affect me.

    Appeal successful: minorities in Cayman are denied rights. Sad but oh well. Apparently you all “choose” to be gay and “choose” to go through this torment.

    Appeal unsuccessful: some gay people get married, bible thumpers get angry, my marriage + rights are unaffected and the world keeps spinning.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As Moses said allegedly “let my people go” Let Chantelle and Vicky go and get married and live in peace. The world is watching!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is there a reason that a Feminist feeling Male and a Masculine feeling Female are not attracted to each other? (or vice versa).

    Marriage is between a Man and a Woman. Biblically and in Nature.

    Civil Unions can be used for all other terms and conditions, and all it would take is a simple adjustment in the law to include “Married or in Civil Union”.
    (“or” “and” being the power words to get the equality they seeking.

    These are supposed to be Lawyers involved here. Is it a different agenda or do they want equality? or are they trying to tell a Christian to accept something that is against a Christian. There is no way to be a Christian Nation with Legal Homosexuality being allowed. If they were sincere in this so call battle, they would have compromised with a solution and not a dissolution of Marriage.

    Let’s hear it now how this is hate Speech.

    • People's Front of Judea says:

      Bobo, you don’t have to be a Christian to get married, neither do they own the concept..have a great day!

    • the last zion says:

      i. “Feminist feeling man”…. What is that? is it a man that supports feminism, a man that feels feminists…. i have no idea.

      ii. “Marriage is between a man and a women”…. WRONG!! not in many parts of the world it isn’t and it hasn’t been a religious institution here for over 200 years.

      iii. Biblical and in nature. Technically marriage in the bible is between a man, his wife and if his brother dies his brother’s wife…. that seems fair.

      iv. i have to say i haven’t seen any swans get married or giraffes… i’m not sure if they are Christians either. However, i do know that that homosexual behavior has been documented in 450 animals and that 10% of domestic rams refuse to mate with Ewe’s and only mate with other rams.

      v. “is it a different agenda or do they want equality”…. i have no idea what this means.. This different agenda… do you think the expats what to turn Cayman gay? have you been watching Alex Jones go on about Flouride and frogs.

      vi. “There is not way to be a Christian nation with legal homosexuality being allowed”. Too late this was decriminalized ages ago. Didn’t you realise? Because on your views Cayman hasn’t been a Christian country for a while… so what are you moaning about.

      vii. “If they were sincere in this so called battle they would have compromised with a solution”. I’m guessing that you haven’t read the summary of the case issued by the CJ or the full Judgment because if you had then you would have known that the two ladies tried to get Alden and the Governor to introduce Civil Partnerships but because the LA is full of bigots this never happened (albeit there are some members that are not).

      It’s not hate speech, its stupid though!

    • Anonymous says:

      “There is no way to be a Christian Nation with Legal Homosexuality being allowed.”
      Got news for you buddy – homosexuality is already legal in Cayman. Has been since 2000.

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      The government could have easily introduced civil unions as a solution to this issue a long time ago but instead they decided to fight it in court. After losing in court they are upset that they lost and that CJ changed the law. Their behavior in the LA since the decision is appalling. Appealing the decision is a big waste of time and money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yikes. I never want to be stuck in a conversation with you. Anyway, hope the appeal fails.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You can surmise just how weak the C.I.Gs case is when the reason for their appeal is to claim the chief justice was ‘Confused’ . I am sure all his other grand court rulings in the past are based & decided on confusion , in an ongoing basis.

  11. Dragonborn says:

    Can someone out there please explain to me why we have all of this disaccord and confliction over a god no one can prove exist? Isn’t the law factual and evidence based? Where is the evidence for this sky fairy the homophobes keep bringing up in their defense against same sex marriage? There is no evidence. This is why “faith” is the term used to describe the religious practitioners ability to be convinced without the need for evidence.

    A wise man once said, “that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without it”. I’d advise those in government positions against the HRC decision to take a step back and gather the evidence that supports their reason to object same sex marriage. I’m talking about substantial evidence too, not an old book written by illiterate goat herders, thats not evidence.

    • the last zion says:

      Freedom of Conscience cuts both ways. And the drafter the European Convention on Human Rights, the US Constitution and nearly every constitution in the western / common law world that i am aware of protect not only belief in a God but freedom from being forced to believe in a God.

      Undoubtedly, people should be able to freely believe in what they want to… the conflicts becomes is when that belief interferes with other beliefs, i.e. the gay marriage issue, abortion and others. The church’s are worried and Gay Marriage is i think there last hurrah.

      Science shows that the bible is not the literal truth… well the bible does that as well as it contradicts itself. People are losing faith because if what the bible says is not true, why should we believe other things and accept the morals of “illiterate goat herders”. The scandals in the Catholic Church, with the JW’s (to a less extent) and other denominations show that sometimes those people who you trust most are in reality a “wolf in sheep clothing”.

      The Church’s believe that to stay relevant they need to win this argument, they need to show that they are relevant because if they don’t then in reality what is their need? We go to therapists for advice, we consult doctors when we are ill, we are married by Civil Registrars and we know understand (most of the time) what goes bump in the night.

      All the Church’s can do is hold over us is eternal damnation but if the secular law disagrees with the Church’s law, then can a just and honest god truly punish a person…

      As a democratic and just society we should not discriminate and we should treat everyone with respect. The weakness in the Church’s position is that Gay Marriage does not effect marriage, it does not diminish marriage and it does not effect their congregations marriage.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How can same sex get married period? And why would they want to have a religious ceremony? Lets stop this madness and put a law in place to ban them raising children who will be affected based on recent research. Enough screwed up people in the world.

  13. Anon says:

    What a waste of resources while education and sports need funding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually I think Alden had no other political choice. This is such a polarizing issue that politically he had to try this issue to the fullest extent in the courts. There was no way he could have reached a decision in government on this issue – it would have been political suicide. It is costly for Cayman but this is the only conceivable path.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I trust the government application will be successful and stop this corruption.
    I fully agree with the education minister with respect to objecting against this evil.

  15. Elvis says:

    How to waste money. Lmao

  16. Anonymous says:

    Get your popcorn ready. This is going to be highly entertaining.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Vickie and Chantelle have a great day tomorrow and we pray that you will be happy together for the rest of your lives!

  18. Anonymous says:

    My interpretation of the ruling is that the Marriage Law was found to be repugnant to the Constitution and was therefore void. It still remains the job of a more cooperative LA to make the recommended changes Marriage Law (2019) as the Chief Justice described.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It would be a gross injustice to order a stay on the day this couple want to join together as one in celebration of their love. Every single member of our Parliament should be embarrassed to support stripping the rights of minorities in our society as they have. Most of them are cowards because they think they have the majority solidly behind them. Too many are also downright dingbat crazy and none should ever be allowed to represent the country or any of its people.

    They wont succeed but remember who they are.


  20. Anonymous says:

    CIG – Give it up, you are thirsty.

  21. Anonymous says:

    On June 9, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its decision on the case of Chapin and Charpentier v. France (n°40183/07). It questioned the French courts’ decision to annul the “marriage of Bègles” contracted in 2004 between two men, in violation of French law.

    By this decision, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously recalled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not include the right to marriage for homosexual couples, neither under the right to respect for private and family life (art. 8) nor the right to marry and to found a family (art. 12).

    More precisely, this new decision confirms a series of judgements and particularly recalls that:

    The question of same-sex marriage is “subject to the national laws of the Contracting States” (§ 36, making reference to the Schalk and Kopf v. Austria judgement (n°30141/04);
    Article 12 confirmed the traditional concept of marriage, which is the union between a man and a woman and “does not impose an obligation on the governments of the Contracting States to grant same-sex couples access to marriage” (§ 36, making reference to Gas and Dubois v. France, n°25951/07, § 66);
    Article 12 “cannot be interpreted as imposing such an obligation on the governments of the Contracting States to grant same-sex couples access to marriage”. This recall of the recent judgements of Hämäläinen v. Finlande [GC] (n°37359/09), and Oliari and others v. Italy (n°18766/11 et 36030/11) has a very strong impact since it recognises the theoretical limits of the interpretation of the right to marry (§ 39);
    In regard to the right to respect for private life (guaranteed by Article 8) and the principle of non-discrimination (Article 14), “States are still free (…) to restrict access to marriage to different-sex couples”, (making reference to Schalk and Kopf ,§ 108 and Gas and Dubois, § 66)
    States “enjoy a certain margin of appreciation as regards the exact status conferred by alternative means of recognition” of same-sex relationships, and its differences concerning the rights and obligations conferred by marriage (§ 58).
    The ECLJ welcomes this decision, which it considers consistent with the correct interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECLJ notes, however, that this decision does not totally rule out the possibility of a future development in the Court position in favour of a right to same-sex marriage as part of a right “to the recognition” of stable relationships. It also recognises that such an interpretation cannot be based on the wording of the Convention.

    The question of same-sex marriage pushes the Court to the limits of its ability to interpret the Convention. These limits are marked by the very wording of this treaty and by the explicit will of the majority of its Member States. Although it is still appropriate to apply the Convention to the changes in society, on the contrary, it is inappropriate to pretend changing the very content of the Convention.

    For further reading, see particularly: G. Puppinck, Same Sex Unions at the ECHR, 20 April 2015.

    • Anonymous says:

      Missed the point. Both legally (and morally).

      The ECHR is a minimum not a maximum.

    • the last zion says:

      You are missing the point…. with Chapin and not looking at Oliari.

      The ECHR has stated that homosexuals have the right to have their relationships recongised and have something akin to marriage. That is the very minimum. Cayman is in breach of the ruling in Oilari because it did not have civil partnership. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights extends to civil partnerships. Equally our constitutions says that you cannot pass laws with the intention of discriminating or promotion one religion over another.

      the CJ had only one option when the found that the Marriage Law was contrary to the Bill of Rights he had to amend it. The amendment had to cure the repugnancy (legal term) in the marriage law and the only way to do that was to amend it the way that he did. He could not introduce Civil Partnerships because that would be going to far…

    • Anonymous says:

      8:12, could you summarise this in a couple of easy to understand English sentences? I’m afraid I was educated in one of Saint Julianna’s government schools and can’t understand what you’re saying. Thanks.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:12 is trying to suggest that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against gay marriage. What they have in fact ruled is that a state cannot be forced to legalise gay marriage IF they make alternative provisions that provide the same rights. Basically the poster is selectively quoting his cases , picking the bits that support what he wants the law to say, and completely ignoring the bits that are inconvenient. Not dissimilar to all those who cite passages of the Bible in a similar fashion.

        • Anonymous says:

          Love the thumbs down. Perhaps someone could explain what is factually inaccurate about that statement.

          • Anonymous says:

            Same as most comments against gay marriage. There is no factual evidence in support, just factual hate and severe ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      And every time that decision gets raised, whoever posts it “accidentally” forgets the bit that, if the state does not offer an alternative that grants identical rights in law i.e. civil unions, the the prohibition on same sex marriage is discriminatory. CIG is dead in the water if this ever gets to the ECHR. They had years to put civil unions law in place but thought they would be clever. Not looking so clever now.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they get married at 11am tomorrow which would still be in compliance with law if no stay has been granted at that time.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Who was the lawyer for the Government?..Hope it wasn’t Bulgin as he is too conflicted..

    • Anonymous says:

      Conflict: is that like when you accept a cabinet status grant and then opine that they were all perfectly legal?

    • Anonymous says:

      The three appeal court judges heard arguments from the Attorney General’s Chambers. So Sam Bulgin was also on the wrong side of the battle, despite being given the opportunity to explain Chief Justice decision to the simpletons. Very telling.

  24. Cornered Gov says:

    I wonder if they cause them to go on with the marriage, what then will Cayman’s government do?

    Go along with the same-sex approval, or some other political decision.


  25. Anonymous says:

    Please let sanity prevail. Good luck, Vickie and Chantelle!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sanity ? You need to really think where the insanity cane from. The CJ is supposed to apply the law and make a decision, in this case the law didn’t allow sane sex marriage so he changed the law. Remember he is not given that power in the constitution. When the Government overturn the decision you can only blame one person!

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually he is given exactly that power in the constitution. But don’t bother reading it or anything – don’t let facts get in the way of your deeply held beliefs – or should I say prejudices.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please let the law prevail and permanently put an end to this illegal discrimination.

      • Islander says:

        I don’t discriminate people, but hell ya, I discriminate a sexual lifestyle and the promotion of it!

        • Anonymous says:

          That discriminating against people you sack of irony.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, its not. You can hate someones behavior and still not hate who they are.

            • Anonymous says:

              What part of born this way don’t you understand. But hey, whatever helps you think you’re not a discriminatory piece of poo.

            • Anonymous says:

              You can disagree with it, but if you don’t allow them to do it, then that is discriminating!

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