Equality means marriage, say LGBTQ activists

| 11/11/2019 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): As government drags its heels over an order to implement a legal framework equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples, a local group advocating for LGBTQ equality in Cayman has said that until same-sex couples can marry, they will not be equal. Following the appeal court ruling overturning the chief justice’s decision to legalise gay marriage, addressing the human rights violations of a family who petitioned the court, Colours Cayman said civil unions are a consolation prize.

Billie Bryan, the founder of the group pressing for the rights of the LGBTQ community, said that while she applauded the Court of Appeal for reprimanding the Cayman Islands Government for deliberately allowing the continued violation of the rights of same-sex couples, the judges had left government holding all the cards.

Responding to the outcome of the government’s appeal against the same-sex marriage case brought by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, Bryan pointed out that, given the appeal court’s interpretation of the Cayman Constitution and its reluctance to make a firm demand for the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the judges had effectively given government a “licence to keep dragging its heels”.

The court issued a directive that government must move expeditiously to provide a mechanism that would allow Day, a Caymanian, and Bodden to legalise their relationship and address the limbo status of their adopted daughter, but the panel did not give a specific deadline.

When Premier Alden McLaughlin appeared in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, he acknowledged the ruling and the fact that government must now act. However, he kicked the same-sex union can into next year at the earliest, calling into question the court’s use of the term “expeditiously”.

This means that Day and Bodden and their child continue to face breaches of their rights to a private family life and freedom of movement, among other violations.

Colours Cayman commended the couple’s courage, strength and tenacity through the battle to have their relationship accepted in Day’s country of birth and the path they are laying towards a brighter and more inclusive future for Cayman.

But Bryan noted that when the government eventually gets around to addressing the court order, it will be only “functionally equivalent to marriage” for same-sex couples, which is likely to be civil unions, “which serve as something of a stand-in for actual marriage”.

“We believe we speak for the majority of our LGBT+ community and its supporters when we say that civil unions are a consolation prize that we will not be contented with. Despite the privileges they may afford, they ultimately perpetuate divisiveness and make anyone who doesn’t identify as heterosexual into second class citizens,” Bryan stated. “As it stands, we’re now anticipating government to deliver a half-measure solution to act as a compromise that will only drag things out even more.”

Bryan said this latest ruling could only be corrected by an appeal to the Privy Council in London. At this point, Day and Bodden have not said whether or not they will press on to the higher court but it remains under serious consideration.

“No matter the direction our government proposes to take in order to appease the Court of Appeal, this fight isn’t over until true marriage equality is achieved in the Cayman Islands for all its people,” Bryan added.

See the Court of Appeal ruling in the CNS Library

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Category: Community, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How long will this go on? How many more centuries will millions of people continue to be mean and stupid because they feel they owe it to an imaginary friend named Jesus? It’s all so sad and unnecessary.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Vickie and Chantelle. Have a long and happy MARRIAGE! Have kids too. That’ll REALLY have them frothing!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any idiot that is stupid enough to want to get married, should be encouraged to do so.

  4. Anonymous says:

    what happened to the caymankind mantra..???????????

    • Anonymous says:

      N/A when the people in question are gay (Caymanian gays or otherwise)
      Or Immigrants (tourists don’t count because we want their money)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Protect Marriage! Ban Divorce and make Adultery a jailable offence!

  6. Anonymous says:

    All the bigots in this OT are over 60. In 10 years or less most will pass into non-physical realm. They achieved nothing on this rock, may be time came to shut up and smell the roses while still can?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      You’re painting blind with a broad brush. Careful with that. I’m no bigot, and I’m over 60, happily married, and I would guess that you know nothing of any of our achievements. That’s the problem with Ad hominem/Straw Man arguments.

      p.s. See what I did there? 😉

      • Anonymous says:

        Sexual abuse of children, domestic violence, prison is bursting at its seams, illiterate children, hundreds of unemployable, mangroves destroyed, drowning in waste, corruption, incompetence, xenophobia …..feel free to add your generation achievements that I missed

        • L says:

          What about your country encouraging gender confusion of children? Before you start pointing the finger.

          • Anonymous says:

            This is, of course, the MO the the religio-chud: they’re going to go after transgender people next, claiming they’re against “gender confusion” all the while ignoring the pain and indignity they inflict on them. Don’t think they don’t feel a twinge of joy in their heart when a transgender person is abused or self-harms under their regime.

            Fight and win. That is our only recourse. And to all our gay, lesbian and bisexual brothers and sister, do not forget our transgender brothers and sisters once we have conquered this singular goal. We have a long fight to root out this rot and gain true security and dignity.

            • Anonymous says:

              For me dual sex chimeras are not from a science fiction anymore. If there is such a mechanism in nature when one embryo absorbs its own twin into itself, preserving some of its tissues with its own DNA and chromosomes, there is nothing weird about the fact the remaining twin can have female brain and a male body and vice verse, or even a split personality. If part of your brain belongs to your unborn twin, that explains a lot. And there is probably more people born this way than we think. May be we all start as twins. It is very difficult to test organ’s DNA, since tissue biopsy from different organs must be taken, including brain.
              Just freaking accept, they are normal.

              3 Human Chimeras That Already Exist.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In many “progressive” countries like Australia and the USA there is still a political and judicial pushback against gay marriage. I just do not see it happening in Cayman unless the Privy Council allows it and I don’t see them doing that because they will not impose a cultural “norm” when there is a solution called civil unions which gives petitioners the same human rights. I think the case would fail at the PC as it did in the Court of Appeal.

    Civil unions are apparently going to be hard for you to get, so fight for that. Lobby all of your allies and the government in the UK for that starting now. You can do online petitions, emails, etc. Push them to pass that civil unions law. That is where your power lies now.

    • True Blood Caymanian says:

      I oppose all “gay rights”! Gays ALREADY have rights like you and me, including the right to life and free speech. The so-called gay rights is a special minority privilege to impose on the entire population! The bases of their “rights” have nothing to do with the natural order, but their lifestyle. .. So, I say no to same-sex marriage, AND CIVIL UNIONS!

      *Now, if they want to draft civil partnerships by power of attorney to ensure their partners have a share in benefits like inheritance, property, hospitalization rights, et cetera … well that’s different. But the whole country should not be enforce to acknowledge “gay rights” as real protective rights.

      Glad for the ruling though,
      Peace 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        “The so-called gay rights is a special minority privilege to impose on the entire population!” false.

        “*Now, if they want to draft civil partnerships by power of attorney to ensure their partners have a share in benefits like inheritance, property, hospitalization rights, et cetera … well that’s different. ”

        Actually no, you idiot, those rights are the rights they want, not special rights.

        They are already going to get everything marriage offers except the name because of church lobbying. Christians didn’t invent the concept of marriage, so they’re the ones forcing their doctrine on others.

        • Pat says:

          Wanting a gay right nationalized, requires a justified need for it. And as far as I can see, there is no need. You come here or born here with well established rights already. No one here is persecuting gays, depriving them of jobs, ill treating them. Stop pushing your agenda on our culture. You come here, respect it!

          • Anonymous says:

            *lol 😂 say it again, Pat*

          • Anonymous says:

            There’s no such thing as special gay rights that you yourself have to recognize. Continue to disagree with the lifestyle in the manner of a vegan shunning a meat eater, but you can’t stop me from eating KFC. Being a homosexual is NOT illegal!

            Equality. Did you miss the first word on the article?

            Culture? There are many gay Caymanians. Who are you to tell them to leave their own home?

      • Anonymous says:

        For anyone wondering, this is what gaslighting looks like. They know what they’re saying is bad faith horse droppings. They are your enemy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I support the ladies but I just don’t understand why same-sex couples insist on marriage. Of course they should have the same rights afforded to married couples when they commit to a long-term (and hopefully) life-time partnership with children etc. But marriage is simply a religious ceremony which has been defined over hundreds of years as a union of opposite sex couples. Why is there a need to redefine the institution of marriage?

    • Anonymous says:

      Marriage predates Christianity. Why is there a need for you to redefine it as a strictly religious ceremony? Atheists shouldn’t marry either? Get off your holy high horse.

      • Anonymous says:

        I became infertile after heterosexually marrying my husband. I guess we don’t deserve a marriage also, anymore.

        And they wonder why we class them, Anthony Eden and JuJu as foolish.

      • Anonymous says:

        The point is that marriage is both a ceremony and a legal status. We need to separate the ceremony (marriage) from the status (legal/civil partnership/union).

    • Caymanian Believer in Equality says:

      A) Marriage is not a religious institution. If that were the case opposite sex couples would be required to be part of a religion in order to marry.

      B) Saying you can have the same rights as opposite couples have under marriage, but it needs to be called something else is still discriminatory. It’s not much different from saying black people can ride on the bus but have to sit at the back.

      C) The ladies asked the government, and the foreign office to bring in civil partnerships a few times formally before commencing legal action. They pointed out the exact same breach at the court of appeal declared. This is also the same breach at the government conceded and acknowledged in court, and DID NOT deny or fight against. In the absence of any other legal framework, the ladies had no choice but to litigate to gain access to marriage – the only legal framework in Cayman that provides legal status to couples.

      Is this too much understand or ask for? I think not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same reason you buy a diamond ring for a wedding ring. Someone years ago told the gullible masses it’s what you had to do and it stuck.

      • Anonymous says:

        Now this is true! I just wanted a diamond ring because I think it’s pretty but we did buy into a load of BS and we also bought into the lie that they’re rare and we should pay a lot of money for them…

    • Al Catraz says:

      “But marriage is simply a religious ceremony”

      Why do people keep saying this?

      Atheists get married, and they don’t do so out of any desire for a religious ceremony.

      Are people really that stupid to keep mindlessly repeating this stupidity, or are they putting us on?

      There are many people who are and become married, who have no interest in religion whatsoever. This fact should be plainly obvious to anyone.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are absolutely right in many ways Al Catraz however, by the wording of a typical ‘incantation’ itself (ceremonial script such as the one below, of the wedding service), it is indeed a religious ceremony:- That said, again you are quite right insofar as many people who enter into marriage are non-believers and will probably never attend church again.
        Just commenting on this – because THIS is the reason ‘Why do people keep saying this’.

        It is true – Atheists get married, but that does not stop the ceremony ‘in and of itself’ from being a religious rite.


        We are gathered here today in the sight of God and these witnesses to join together x and x in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, since the first man and the first woman walked on the earth. Therefore; it is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore, if anyone can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

        There are several different versions of the Incantation preceding the Wedding Ceremony, (some with biblical quotations) but they are all encompassed within the same theme that the ceremony is being entered into from a Religious standpoint so are therefore Religious Ceremonies.

        Here again, there are also many Invocations of the Religious Ceremony which (as the above Incantation) would not preclude same sex couples from entering into a Marriage Ceremony.

  9. Anonymous says:

    if a child is born in marriage and parents divorce, the mother is allowed to stay here without permit requirement and work until child is 18 yrs old…however, if a caymanian british overseas naturalized child is born out of wedlock, the mother has to go??? how fair is that on the child? dont that chikd deserve a family? equal rights?

  10. Dwain connor says:

    Go get married jus not here sorry

    • Anonymous says:

      hey Dwain Connor- would you say the same to someone in your immediate family who was gay and wanted to get married in the COUNTRY THEY WERE BORN IN!?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should gay Caymanians have to leave their own country because of bigotry?

    • SSM345 says:

      Their marriage would not be recognized in Cayman…….that’s the problem

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Government of the Cayman Islands fear and ignorance will not allow them to change. Therefore they will not want anyone else to change. Plan on having to make them do any work on this. Empathy is not part of their culture.

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    Guys guys?, please understand this is not about what u or i think. This is about God getting so angry he destroyed a whole country for .
    But i am sure if u dont believe in the Bible . You wouldnt be able to follow me or understand my rational

    Cayman is a very bleessed island

    But behaveors that Angers God
    We dont want the degredation, moral devay , flooods , earthquakes etc that has come to so many countries
    Those happennings many call the Wrath of God because wickness angers him

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously educated in a government school!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because we never had natural disasters before the gays got uppity right?
      You people are so ridiculous

    • Anonymous says:

      11:28am you are a brainwashed zealot. Please read a book other than the Bible.

    • Bertie : B says:

      For Christ sake 11:28 , get a life , there are other books you could read , check out Darwin , or maybe superman or batman .If the so called Wrath of God was real ? humans would have been wiped out from early days . Go eat an apple .

    • Anonymous says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    Where did the definition of marriage come from? Before marriage how were people recognized in a union legally?

    • Al Catraz says:

      Don’t you read the Bible?

      It’s very simple.

      If you rape a woman and pay her father, then you own her and she is your wife.

      God decrees it in Deuteronomy 22:28-29

  15. Anonymous says:

    The government should not be involved in the institution of marriage. Let the government grant civil unions to all of the existing married couples and any other grouping of individuals that want a civil union and then leave the marriage business to the church.

  16. full equality to all says:

    Billie Bryan is 100% correct. LGBTQ people must be offered MARRIAGE rights, same as anyone else. To offer less, even if functionally equivalent, is to perpetuate the discrimination. Heretosexuals don’t own the word “marriage”. No word in the dictionary is owned by ANYONE. Either the constitution and law demand full equality — or they don’t. Justice Smellie said they did. The justices of the Appeals Court were cowards and said otherwise. The Privy Council will re-affirm Justice Smellie’s ruling. MARRIAGE rights are coming — and Cayman will be a better place for providing full equality to all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Homosexuals don’t own the word ‘Gay’ either, so shooting yourself in the foot with that one.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t even think you know what you are saying here this logic doesn’t hold up

        People on Cayman usually Christians are claiming the only marriages that should be recognized and that should be legitimate are the ones they subscribe to, because of their religion despite the fact that their religion did not invent marriage and thus has no monopoly on its definition or on its usage, nor did many churches concern themselves with marriages until the middle ages, centuries after Christianity was established and the concept of marriage existed in its own right
        Even if you claim that your religion does not allow SSM this country also claims to allow religious freedom for individuals which easily dispels the idea that christian beliefs whether they are the majority or not can be forced onto other people via government policies or legislation
        You can have a religious marriage ceremony if you so wish, but that does not give you the right to decide another person’s marriage is illegitimate because of your religious beliefs

        In contrast
        whether gay people claim the word gay or not has absolutely no relevance in this discussion, marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state, being gay is not an institution separate from an individual like marriage is, it is a state of existence of individuals

        Never before have I seen a more clear example of “Apples to Oranges”

        • Anonymous says:

          And smarty pants, why do you think marriage is recognized by the state? Have you heard of CHILDREN = CITIZENS?

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil unions MUST be available to everyone. Whatever your sexual orientation.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Those ladies were more than patient in the years they have spent trying to reach an agreement with the government before initiating this litigation
    They tried compromising from the start the Government ignored them and dismissed them
    They should fight this ruling as high as it can go the rulings from other common law jurisdictions favour their argument not the governments

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      We should ALL fight ALL inequalities in the eyes of the law. This battle doesn’t just belong to LGBQT, but to all people who believe in the concept of equality. We, as a people, should be against any form of discrimination.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Day and Bodden to continue to face breaches of a private family life? How so? Aren’t they currently having a private family life?

    • Anonymous says:

      None as blind as those who refuse to see

    • Anonymous says:

      As in, their right to private family life is currently breached. Until the law is changed (a new one written) their right will continue to be breached. It won’t be new breaches, but then we’re just splitting semantic hairs only the grammar police are worried about.

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