FCO welcomes CJ ruling, irritated by appeal

| 03/04/2019 | 62 Comments
Cayman News Service

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

(CNS): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it welcomes the ruling by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie regarding his decision to modify the Marriage Law in the same-sex marriage case filed by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, but the FCO is disappointed government is choosing to appeal. The governor’s office has confirmed it will not be part of that appeal but there is no indication that Governor Martyn Roper will be weighing in to prevent it or the stay that government wants from the courts in order to stop any same-sex couples taking advantage of the recent ruling.

“The court judgment permitting same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands puts the territory among the most progressive societies in the region in terms of LGBT equality,” an FCO spokesperson said. “The UK Government is committed to equal rights, including LGBT rights, and welcomes the judgment. We are therefore disappointed by the decision of the Cayman Islands Government to appeal.”

Given this decision by government to appeal, the governor’s office said that it would not be appropriate to comment further, but that the office, which was one of the defendants in the original case, would not be involved in the appeal, which will be brought by the attorney general on behalf of the elected branch of government only.

Yesterday, 2 April, the Human Rights Commission had also welcomed the ruling and congratulated Day and Bodden. Describing the ruling as “tremendously significant”, the HRC said it made clear that government has no justification to sustain the discrimination.

“This judgment should be welcomed by all in our community,” said the HRC, which is planning to issue a more fulsome statement. “In modifying the Marriage Law, the chief justice has affirmed the constitutionally protected rights of Vickie and Chantelle and many others in committed same-sex relationships. Equally, the rights and freedoms of all other individuals in the Cayman Islands, including rights of religious freedom, are similarly affirmed and protected.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller, who will be playing a part in today’s debate, has said that he is not opposed to the ruling regarding the discrimination but supports the government’s position that the decision by the court to modify the law should be appealed because it encroaches on the rights of legislatures and breaches the separation of powers.

However, in the executive summary of his decision, the chief justice made it clear why he had the power to make the slight modification to the law and end the violation of the petitioners’ rights.

Both the full judgment and the summary are in the CNS Library

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Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The CJ Judicial Review Ruling declared the part of the Marriage Law that says “man and woman”, and the part of the Constitution that says “opposite sex” void, since they are prejudicial and in conflict with and repugnant to two fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution. There wasn’t any editing done, or red pens out, or changed language. It’s simply deemed to be inoperable under the law as they violate higher Act of Parliament and UN/ECHR Human Rights Charters. That’s not legislating from the bench, on the contrary, that’s exactly what Judicial Review is designed to do: remove legal ambiguity and identify dirty laws (fixing them still remains the job of the LA).

    ju·di·cial re·view
    review of the constitutional validity of a legislative act.
    (in the UK) a procedure by which a court can review an administrative action by a public body and secure a declaration, order, or award.

    Privy Council will not find any differently, and should sanction this Cabinet and the AG for giving new life to this lengthy persecution.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unlike most Caymanians that I know.

  3. Anonymous says:

    AG Bulgin is the attorney for the LA (Legislative Branch) and also the attorney for the Elected Govt (Executive Branch) he is too conflicted in these types of matters that involve both branches of Govt.

    The LA needs to hire its own attorney and leave AG Bulgin as the attorney for the elected branch

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the powers could be taken away from some of these so called top people then we would’nt have to be goibg through so much shit today

  5. Confidence Trick says:

    Stop buying the UK junk Equipment that what irritates us here in Cayman too . But little is done about it by the FCO!

    • Anonymous says:

      FCO is paving the way for their own. Are they really concern or interested in our indigenous people? Are they?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The FCO is an irritant themselves…I am so think of these liberal British a-holes trying to rule us. The need to clean up their own house but before they even bother knocking on our door..

    The EU needs to give them a good A$$ kicking and when they are out and on there own they will be wishing they had stayed…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ll be delighted to see the British get Brexit sorted out – they’re looking ANOTHER extension – and figure out how they are going to reclaim the power from the Muslims in their homeland. After those are solved, they can raise their concerns about the running of the overseas territories, many of which do not have the tumult that Britain does…and they don’t have same-sex marriage, either.

    I think because the Muslims are so assertive of their views and have learnt how to properly force the human rights, just like gays and British do (except the Muslims have a much more militant mentality) the English are setting up enclaves to relocate their super-rich and the Caribbean territories are ideal escape/vacation sites…all that’s missing is the homosexual climate that they are used to.

    England truthfully does little to help any of its territories – don’t forget Ivan and the hurricane season 2017 – but feels it has the right to dictate about internal affairs in those same very countries. Apparently, it’s ok if I starve to death as long as I don’t oppose the LGBT agenda. .

    As far as love and tolerance, the LGBT might want to start practising what they preach. I’ve never seen so much intolerance to other people’s views as the reaction to a person’s right to be anti-gay. The name-calling and bullying are reprehensible.

    Needless to say, I am DELIGHTED to see the actions of the government. If this had been about getting married they’d have done so in England. This is about changing things from the way they used to be, just to further an agenda. Human rights? Brings all this turmoil? Nahhhhh….sumting wrong widdis storeh boboh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes sir 10:58, why do they think were blind an cannot see…sigh. Third eye wide open.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks to this writter,.Did the right arm of the law not know that the left arm of the law would challenge this,again I thank you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Kindly allow me to illustrate this stand-off via a comparison everyone can understand today;

    Cayman did not and would NEVER democratically endorse the racist, xenophobic, and nationalistic principles that drove the British people to vote for BREXIT.

    (No – the majority of Brexiteers don’t even understand the workings of a customs union so spare us the bullsh!t please. It was more to do with “preserving” British identity and supposed culture. Not surprising as the very same energy is now rampant across the rest of Europe.)

    Therefore, can we please cease with the rhetoric and ridicule that attempts to portray the UK as a bastion of tolerance and peace worthy of consultation – as everyone can see, that is far from the reality.

    As I always say; some countries don’t like foreigners – and some countries aren’t fans of gay marriage.

    Seems fair.

    – Whodatis

    *The hypocrisy dripping all over this comment thread is quite disturbing.


    • Anonymous says:

      “As I always say; some countries don’t like foreigners – and some countries aren’t fans of gay marriage.”

      Seems Who forgot we don’t like both, plenty of Caymanians hate foreigners and foreign cultures and beliefs
      Plenty of Caymanians vote in favour of Candidates who support policies very similar to ones criticized by Who
      Many of the ideas are quite mainstream here

      I can think of at least one MLA in office TODAY who was elected on a platform that included a moratorium on all new work permits ( a polite way of saying keeping out foreigners)


      Or maybe he forgets the warm welcome the Muslim imam got and the reaction from some over our short lived Muslim Governor:


      But the entirety of your argument rests on the idea that the people of the UK made a charged and negative choice in the 2016 Brexit referendum *by the slimmest of margins* so it’s ok for Cayman to do the same
      That might be the world you enjoy living in Who
      But some of us want Cayman to be BETTER than the UK

      *of course as usual Who will rationalize and obfuscate, population quadrupled in 30 years forgetting of course we allowed and encouraged that artificial external growth*

      • Anonymous says:

        Umm, no.

        I am saying the words of hypocrites are worthless.

        The end.

        – Whodatis

        • Anonymous says:

          If the words of hypocrites are worthless, they the “so called Christians” quoting Leviticus should take a look at themselves. It is also expressly “an abomination” to
          Trim your beard
          Eat shellfish
          Touch the skin of a pig (I guess football is out)
          An on and on and on with the “abominations”. To those ppl with their hate spewing rhetoric some common sense, Practice what you preach and be a true Christian and practice love and acceptance. Amen

      • Anonymous says:

        9:32 pm
        It is not that foreigners are hated, it is the fact that when they (not all of them) come to work or stay, they try to change and manipulate the things that are Caymanian. A work permit is a contract, which should not allow an individual to jump from one job to another. If the powers that be checked some of the permits/ holders they would understand the undercurrent, devious evasion of fees and job positions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Who gives two hoots what the FCO thinks, their country is a bloody circus at the moment about an issue that is framed by bigoted nationalist views, how about you cast your irritation there and leave us alone to sort out our own affairs?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Has the FCO ever been happy with us?

  11. Anonymous says:

    CNS where did the FCO say that it was irritated by the appeal? I’m seeing disappointed. That may mean irritated in this context but it doesn’t seem correct to me to say that the FCO is irritated by the appeal. A mosquito is an irritant – this is a legal appeal and the Government has the right to bring it. Disappointed is the diplomatic language and the language they used.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Typical Cayman 1 step forward two backwards. Martin Luther King, JFK, RFK, Malcom X, Rosa Parks and the list goes on all died because they promoted justice and equal rights so you can enjoy the priviledge lives you lead now and not still picking cotton or paraded naked in the town center ready to be sold like a piece of meat. You need to get over your self righteous misplaced superiority because you are or pretend to be straight. Oh the hyprocrisy. Why the hell cant you respect the judicial system, this couple, and most of all yourselves by substituting ignorance and brainwashing for CaymanKind. Free your minds and the rest will follow.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Our lords and masters grow irritated with our desire to want to respect traditional family values and slow the pace of moral decline within our communities. How dare we have a position that is not in line with the most deviant thoughts from the darkest places on Earth. We should prostrate ourselves in a demonstration of strict obedience to their will.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Appeal Them Yes 🏹
    This ruling is against our culture.
    Uk is not our culture!
    IS WORTH IT 🙂👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  15. Anonymous says:

    That’s the right of the government! we want everyone to be able to exercise their rights we live in a free social the couple got a chance to try now let the government try, best case win

    • Anonymous says:

      It only went to Judicial Review because of this impudent government and they had agreed to abide the verdict! I would encourage these women to seek significant damages this time, and counter sue the FCO if they, once again, abandon your corner.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m disappointed and irritated too as “ a Brtish Overseas Terrotities Citizen “ with the dreadful results of the national disgrace called brexit, but what can I do about it. So much for a global Britain. The UK mainislanders have spoken (voted).

    The population in cayman has voiced their opinions about same sex marriage and it’s a pretty clear position.

  17. Anonymous says:

    as usual…the governor has chickened out of saying what he thinks is right.

  18. anonymous says:

    Totally ridiculous to appeal – a waste of money and why cant these government bigots just live and let live – get on with your own lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      An appeal is a good idea. Whatever side you are on, the decision should be made by someone more than one lower court judge.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Firstly I am a god fearing human being. But we as people have to realize that we live in a world that are giving people and animals rights.

    For Cayman to be a Caribbean island with high standards around the world to appeal this decision by the courts is very sad.

    This only proves my view of our society that although we are forward on a lot of things we are still backwards on a lot of issues.

    In my opinion this will hurt Cayman in the future.

    So long as what they do is kept behind closed doors. Who am I to argue. At least we don’t have gays parading around in the streets like most countries do.

    • Flamboyant much and you know it!! says:

      I beg to differ. My daughter and I walked up to a restaurant for lunch yesterday and were greeted by a same sex couple devouring each others faces in the outside seating.

      So please do not come with that story.

      They are very flamboyant and in your face for the most part, and you know it.

      • An atheist says:

        I don’t care about gay marriage one way or another. But I don’t like to witness what you describe in a public place.

        • Anonymous says:

          You don’t like to witness people kissing in public? Or you don’t like to witness gay people kissing in public? Personally I don’t like to see either.

      • Al Catraz says:

        28 days left until Batabano!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone ever stop and think that they gay couple were purposely being flamboyant because they know of this islands intolerance?

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re probably right and it just makes the behaviour even more obnoxious. Most straight couples don’t do it and almost all wouldn’t put up with ostentatious PDA in front of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are just living up to our bigoted expectations.

      • Anonymous says:

        I call BS on that comment 3:53 but are you ok with heterosexual couples devouring each others faces in public? Or MLAs, including very senior ones who beat or have beaten their wives and girlfriends? And we ALL know who they are despite the women putting a brave face on when royalty comes here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I beg to differ. My son and I walked up to a restaurant for lunch yesterday and were greeted by a opposite sex couple sucking each other’s tounge in the outside seating.

        So please do not come with that story as if everything on the internet is fact.

        • Anonymous says:

          Everybody please note that

          Flamboyant much and you know it!! says:
          03/04/2019 at 3:53 pm


          Anonymous says:
          05/04/2019 at 8:03 am

          Have the same stories and wording other than one’s story is with son and the other was with daughter….seems obvious people are fabricating stories.

          In my 46 years, do you know i have NEVER seen a homosexual couple showing any PDA in public!! But ive seen heteros making out and having sex at public events!!!

    • An atheist says:

      God is kind. Why to fear him/her?

    • Anonymous says:

      3:27 pm, it seems just got a serious hit to the head. Have you been to Canada? I’ve seen them walking on the streets holding hands and kissing. If you have your young children, is this the type of behaviour you are advocating for them?
      How many more petitions are needed now to flush the system. If the LA is where the legislators debate and pass laws, so shall it remain. We don’t need another arm of government imposing his sentiments and belief into law.

  20. Anonymous says:

    When is the FCO actually going to grow a pair? It is responsible for good governance. Bad governance meant the government did not introduce civil partnerships when it should. Bad governance has led to basic core rights of people here, including Caymanians, being abused. Bad governance led to the case being necessitated. Bad governance led to the Chief Justice issuing his ruling.

    Now, bad governance is going to lead to an appeal doomed to fail and a total waste of government resources that are desperately needed elsewhere.

    Roper, the wedding is to take place on 10 April. Government House, or the beach in front, would be a wonderful venue – if not for the wedding, then at least the reception.

    Go on, I dare you. Do the right thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone figured out why Mr Choundhury was recalled? Actions speaks louder than words. The FCO has sung.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please understand that anything that goes on in that Government house is paid by us the people of these islands and not by the FCO or The Governor

        Why don’t they tell us why they got rid of the former governor?

  21. Anonymous says:

    UK needs to dissolve our ridiculous, bigoted, half witted, corrupt, egotistical government. This appeal and the absolute hell they dragged these two ladies through is an utter embrassment to Cayman..We had fantastic, positive, int’l press for a day or two thanks to the Royals’ visit highlighting our conservative efforts with blue iguanas and our marine instutue achievements only to be overshadowed now by this religious, prejudicial CRAP!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well forgive me but I’ve been disappointed in the FCO for literally my entire life. I don’t recall a time that I wasn’t disappointed in the FCO… and I remember well many of the atrocities heaped on us by that office…. anyone remember the name Ballentyne for example. Unfortunately since I was a civil servant for half of my career I know a lot more about the way that the UK operates in relation to the overseas territories than most people. You think Mr. Bodden’s book is scary. Oh that any of us would be brave enough to speak of our learned colonial masters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow so when you were a baby you were disappointed by the FCO? Most babies can barely hold their heads upright. Not you though. Smh.

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