Governor warns MLAs over same-sex issue

| 08/11/2019 | 57 Comments
Cayman News Service
Governor Martyn Roper delivers the 2019 Throne Speech

(CNS): Governor Martyn Roper issued a warning to politicians to be careful how they speak about the LGBTQ community when they address the issues raised by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal’s ruling, delivered Thursday, directing government to implement a form of civil partnerships for same-sex couples. But the governor also indicated that the order from the court calling for the legislature to act “expeditiously” will not necessarily be as immediate as the judges ordered when he said government should act with “reasonable haste”.

At the end of his brief throne speech, outlining where government will be spending a massive amount of public cash over the last two years of this administration, he referred to yesterday’s ruling, which overturned the chief justice’s ruling legalising same-sex marriage in the Day-Bodden case.

Roper said, “It is my firm belief that the government should act with reasonable haste to comply with the court’s directions. As governor, and the representative of Her Majesty the Queen, it is my strong wish that, despite strong beliefs and opinions, everyone in this Honourable House treats everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect,” he said.

During his two-hour long budget address, the premier also gave passing mention to the court’s findings when he urged his parliamentary colleagues to address the issue rather than leave it for the UK to impose a law, as he finally acknowledged that politicians could no longer abdicate their responsibility.

But despite that admission, he said that any draft legislation to provide for the change would not happen until next year. But he did not specify when, even though the court had directed government to act immediately because of the continued breech and violations of the human rights of the family at the heart of the case.

See the governor’s Throne Speech in the CNS Library

Check back soon for full reports of the budget addresses of the premier and the minister of finance detailing the biggest ever spending plans in Cayman over the next two years.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I always believed that two people come together in marriage because they love each other and want to seal it legally. The argument about it meaning to bear children is garbage. In fact, it would be a generous action to see less of these children coming into home/marriages that have no business on earth having them. Given the real reason to get married, ie: being in love I see no reason on earth why the gender matters; only the love and the commitment to each other.. Time to get over your ridiculous prejudices!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thought anything could be said in the assembly, with complete impunity.

    • Laws to be made only by elected representative says:

      If the correct ruling which i agree is the Court of Appeal decision was made in the begin this would not have been any issue.
      The important lession here and i hope the Court appreciates it is, the Court can not over turn the law made by the LA and impliment its own law. It maybe time we look at term limits for Justices and magistrates.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Boom bye bye

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any day 2 man can come together and produce a child and 2 woman does the same I’ll accept gay marriage…until then I’ll stick to the bible ways what kind of rights does homosexuals have…forcing other people to believe what they believe.

    CNS: 1) If the purpose of marriage is procreation, are you also against anyone who is infertile or all women past childbearing years getting married? if no, this point is baloney.
    2) No one is forcing you to believe anything. That is utter fabrication. Under every scenario you are absolutely entitled to hold onto whatever beliefs you have. But you will not be able to force your beliefs onto anyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      My ‘like’ is for CNS’ response

    • Bishop Nicholas Sykes says:

      Dear CNS

      First let me congratulate you for producing comments that are not anonymous, and very well worth answering. Unfortunately trying to answer anonymous comments often only results in slanderous accusations which tend to prevent (as perhaps they are intended to do) reasonable discussion. My practice is never to respond to anonymous statements for this reason. However, the effect of such slander then becomes that one side of a discussion is shut down. The views of reasonable people may then only be held in private if they wish to avoid the slander. This is the very opposite of upholding freedom of speech, which I suppose that as ethical journalists you are theoretically committed to.

      In regard to your point 2) therefore, indeed nobody however slanderous can force me to believe anything. But what anonymous comments can do, and often do, is shut down reasonable conversation because of the unpleasantness of slander. The result of this is a breach in the right to freedom of speech, a breach which may in any instance shut down one side of a reasonable conversation, a breach in which in reality, even if not perhaps in intention, your systems are complicit.

      In regard to your point 1), the traditional purposes of marriage are threefold, and not only for the purpose of the physical continuation of the human race, though this traditionally is stated as the first of the three purposes and the particular purpose for which communities and their governments have given special status, approvals and, from time to time even rewards. Certainly a religious outlook will support this communitarian point of view, but it is not a point of view that is exclusive to the religious outlook.

      A marriage in this same traditional sense that by reason of age or medical reasons or choice does not fulfil this first of the three traditional purposes of marriage has never (at least in our time) been denied its standing as a marriage. There are in any case a multitude of other ways that it can benefit the community.

      To assert however that a form of association that is inherently by nature of its very form unable to fulfil naturally the first of the three traditional purposes of marriage, no matter how young, how healthy and how willing the parties are, and which would inevitably be compelled to take from outside parties “essential ingredients” for a child to be formed that is not biologically exclusively theirs by nature (if the parties so chose to “form a family”) as something that is inherently equal to a natural marriage, is indeed contrary to all reason. It is this contradiction that your answer asserts and supports.

      CNS: Leaving the free speech discussion for another day, you’ve basically said the same thing, using a lot more words, as Anonymous above, with the added insinuation that same-sex couples cannot, like opposite-sex couples who cannot have children, “benefit the community” in “a multitude of other ways”. Otherwise your argument appears to be, basically, it’s not part of your tradition/beliefs. I can’t see where you have countered my points at all. (There are only two of us at CNS so we are hardly anonymous, for the record.)

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Sykes is to be commended for posting under his own name but I wonder if I’m the only one to be bamboozled by his words, like his sermons in the old Seales newspaper. The last three paragraphs of his comment are eye watering in their inability to say something in simple English…it sounds like something out of Leibnitz or Spinoza. But the problem people like me have with Nick and his minister friends is that their influence in Cayman is ridiculously strong simply because of the “old people vote”; we are not a theocracy, Nick. You all had FAR too much influence in the creation of the Constitution which the politicians, cynically, went along with to ensure their votes. But the young ones coming up are not on your side, Nick. They are appalled by Anthony and Julianna on this gay issue in particular and the Ministers Association because they represent a Cayman they do not want to live in. Like me, Nick, you are approaching 80. Do you remember what 75 year olds stood for in the UK you come from 60 or 70 years ago? It wasn’t nice was it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Give it up CNS you’ll never convince people like these. Their opinion is rubbish but they’ll hang on to it regardless of any logic supplied.

    • Anonymous says:

      My thumbs down was for the comment, not for the CNS reply, which deserves a thumbs up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well my thumbs down was actually for the original thumbs up which was initially deserving of a thumbs down, but the CNS addendum warranted a thumbs up.
        And now I am sitting uncomfortably wondering where my thumb is.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why are you forcing your beliefs on us? If you can make your statement, surely, I can make mine?
      Does freedom of speech exist here. Let me have my say and if I am ridiculed, so be it. No one died.

      CNS: No one is forcing their beliefs on you. After the law is passed, whether it ends up being same-sex unions or same-sex marriage, your opinions will be exactly the same unless you decide to change them. The difference will be that your beliefs will not be forced on others.

      • Anonymous says:

        Upvoted for CNS.

        The gays aren’t telling straights to be gay. The straights are shoving bibles down people throats and telling them to go marry elsewhere.

        Im heterosexually married and don’t care if they marry.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tha wa you get MLA’s! Now unna got to keep your ignorant homophobic holes shut.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is to much, this man comes in and wants to destroy our heritage. Fight him off representatives!

  7. Anonymous says:

    A warning for some “special” folks or what? lol what a sad future we have ahead if the basic Human rights dont cover these special FON.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just say no.
    To the port that is

  9. Al Catraz says:

    “it is my strong wish that, despite strong beliefs and opinions, everyone in this Honourable House treats everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect”

    Well Martin, wish in one hand and s**t in the other, and let us know which one fills up first.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Do you think that anti-gay bigot MLAs are really as ignorant and mean as they seem, or do they just say things that they believe will earn them cheers and votes from the worst of us?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, they are that dumb all by themselves. There are no efforts to get reliable soundings from district constituents.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Governor Roper – what the hell do you think you are doing? Do not pretend that you have suddenly discovered that the Cayman Government is acting in breach of its own constitution and laws. It is an illness that pervades our society. It is everywhere, and has been ongoing for years.

    You make statements because the Court of Appeal says government have been acting unlawfully for years. You cannot act like this is news to you. Fair enough, you have only been here for a year, but your predecessors have actually governed us through a descent into chaos and increasing lawlessness. It is beneath your office to suddenly protest that there is “gambling in the casino.”

    For Christ’s sake man, stop this madness wherever and whenever it occurs! That is your job! Your predecessors have allowed the government and civil service to dig the hole so deep that you can no longer see what they are doing. The citizens of Cayman see. We need, and demand, better. Please stop pandering. Just insist that the government act lawfully all day every day, and give us a meaningful, effective and accessible course to follow when they do not.

    • Hell Yeah says:

      Yeah @q10:39 you tell him. Same sex marriage and civil union are two different things aren’t they? Which one are you advocating for darling. The European courts have ruled its not a Human Right darling. It is “unconscionable” for minorities to rule over majorities isn’t it or does that make you squirm a little. If successive duly elected governments were not actually lawless as you project then we would have had not only a shamble of an island but you would not have been able to voice your opinion. Yes CIG give these ladies and all who wish the right to civil unions and ignore these nonsensical detractors who obviously according to their statement are living in Lala land.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am advocating for the right of adults who are committed to one another and unmarried, to form a family that is recognized by law.

        Since that right is already the law of the Cayman Islands, and is being actively denied by those in power, I am advocating for the upholding of Cayman Islands Law.

        In doing so, I accept that my elected politicians are to blame for the status quo. I also however point out that the office of Governor is also to blame for allowing this and many other injustices to not just continue, but prevail.

        It is disingenuous of him to make comment now. His office should have been all over this issue since 2009 when the constitution came into effect, and 3 years later when the bill of rights came into effect.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There needs to be an acknowledgement of who is actually in charge in the Cayman Islands. For too long Caymanians have fooled themselves into believing that they make the final decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      and therein lies the problem..this is our country and “we the people,” Caymanians live here and for so long we have allowed other people to come here to change our value systems and culture..This island needs to evolve you can’t have judges at a stroke of the pen telling an elected government to enact legislation that they have no mandate from their people to do…

      The definition of marriage will change and it’s time will come but bullying people or the government for something they have long held sacred is not the right way to go about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Our country? False, it’s an overseas territory.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen..couldn’t have said it better…

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is not a “country” but a territory of G.B.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is not a country. You exist through the good graces of the UK. The only thing that is Caymanian is your culture. All Caymanians are from somewhere else. In my Culture we were warriors that ate our enemies and were ruled by a King and Queen. We have since embraced the modern ways and have assimilated to the world view and have prospered ever since. Good luck surviving in this day and age.

  13. Anonymous says:

    As lame as Roper’s actions/speech is, wonder if any MLAs get it?

  14. Elvis says:

    Bill or rights my arse, bill of cayman rights that’s about it,

  15. Anonymous says:

    You must first have courtesy, dignity and respect within you to give it. These people are not worthy of it. You will never see them respect anyone other then themselves. They are their own God and only worship each other. Plan accordingly.

  16. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Next year is not “reasonable haste”, and it’s a far cry from “expeditiously”. “Next year” in Cayman time is nearly the same as “soon come”, which is entirely subjective and wholly undefined.

    Come ON people. Let’s stop diddling around with this. It’s the right thing to do. Stop dragging it out. Look at UK law concerning this issue and make ours the same. Simple. Don’t reinvent the wheel over a misplaced sense of cultural propriety.

    Just do it. It’s the right thing to do.

  17. StayOutOfPolitics says:

    So he is going to cause further Constitutional crisis by forcing the people’s Govt to do what the people may not want? The writing may be on the wall for him to get in politics. The Queen never got into Brexit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brexit was never illegal!

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean what you and people like you may not want. You are a minority and dying out. The “writing on the wall” seems to be that most Caymanians in these modern time are not wanting their past to be their future and are looking forward to it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman Islands are a Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom. Always have been. It doesn’t matter what MLAs might wish to be the antiquated cruelties of select members of their home district. None of them have any clue because there is no mechanism to take regular soundings from them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Governor Roper, there’s an old saying, ‘All you get from sitting on the fence is a pain the arse!’

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that any ridiculous ‘Gaypril’ comments will be dealt with this time rather than have the other MLAs guffawing at it? We’ll see eh?

    • Anonymous says:

      4.46pm Gaypril was a term introduced by gays. Are you saying they were Gay bashing?

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Even if that is true, that is akin to saying “it’s okay to use the n-word, as long as black people do.”

        We are ALL aware when we are using derogatory terms. It’s not a mystery, and there is no gray area or wiggle room.

        Just Don’t! That is the point of the person to which you were responding.

      • Anonymous says:

        And do you think for one second that it wasn’t said in a way to humiliate the LGBTQi community? Wow. Just wow.

      • Anonymous says:

        He wasn’t refering to any event or awareness period he was just using Gay and april as a portmanteau word to make fun of gay people

        You don’t have to take my word for it, there is video, he waited for a reaction then started winking like a 10 year old who heard the word “penis”

    • Anonymous says:

      It took him a very long time to address dishonorable comments in the “Honorable house”

    • Anonymous says:

      Telling the ignorant to please not openly act ignorant is a little ignorant in itself. Don’t you think. They are all ignorant when it comes to Gay people and they are too old and set in their ways to train so what you have is what you get. Expect ignorant remarks from the ignorant. Sorry, I meant “Honorable” ignorant.

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