Activists urge action on LGBT equality

| 30/12/2019 | 88 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Local advocacy group Colours Cayman has questioned the point of the Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution, given that the rights of the LGBT community are still being trampled on, as they urged action on marriage equality in 2020. The activists also noted the silence from the Human Rights Commission since the findings of the appeal court in the Day same-sex marriage case.

In November, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal set aside the chief justice’s ruling to legalise same-sex marriage but directed the government to create an alternative legal framework for same-sex couples.

In a press release about the failure of both the local government and the UK to act on the appeal court’s directive to address the ongoing and admitted violation of the rights of Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, who have been fighting for marriage equality for several years, Colours also criticised the latest attack on Leo Raznovich, a law professor and outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in Cayman.

Asking where the support from the HRC was, Colours pointed out the part it should play in upholding human rights.

“Colours Cayman also questions the lack of a response from the Human Rights Commission of the Cayman Islands (HRC) and also the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association. They each have an important role to play in society and one would expect that they would stand firm against any attempts to suppress those that seek to protect their rights or those that seek to support persons whose rights under the constitution are breached,” the activists said in a release.

Last May, James Austin-Smith, who had openly backed marriage equality, stepped down as HRC chair after five years in the post, having also endured attacks from legislators. He was replaced in September by Dale Crowley, a local attorney who has, up till now, been silent on the same-sex marriage case. But on 30 December the commission released a statement following enquiries by CNS.

Referring to the Court of Appeal decision, the HRC said that this “provided much needed clarity to enable Government to adopt appropriate legal protections” to ensure that Day and Bodden Bush enjoy their rights to a private and family life while preserving the definition of marriage enshrined in section 14 of the Bill of Rights and under local law.

“The Commission is appreciative of the guidance of the Court of Appeal in this matter and calls upon Government to meet its obligations under the Bill of Rights in the ‘expeditious’ manner set out by the Court of Appeal. The Commission has always and continues to stand ready to assist Government with the implementation of the legal protections necessary to ensure its compliance with the Bill of Rights and the ruling of the Court of Appeal.”

The commission said the topic was emotive but a fundamental principle is that the Constitution will respect, and will protect, the rights of the minority, even if the majority will not. “The Commission continues to support and advocate for equality under the law for all persons as a fundamental principle of human rights,” it added.

But Colours Cayman remains concerned over the continued lack of action by the UK government, which has the power to force its territories to address LGBT inequality.

“Throughout the years following our organisation’s inception and long before Colours Cayman became a registered non-profit, we have received little to no support or intervention from our or the UK Government whenever addressing the rampant inequality that our LGBTQIA+ community faces… particularly as it applies to marriage equality,” the activists stated.

They accused the UK government of standing idly by as the government here continues to “either scoff at the mere mention of addressing this issue and related ones or sidesteps them entirely”.

Colours added that the Constitution is meant to ensure fair and equal treatment under the law to all Caymanian citizens and residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Yet, in spite of this, the Cayman Islands government sees fit to violate our constitutional rights, seemingly with little concern if any at all,” they said, noting that there is still no explicit legal protections at all for same-sex couples.

The government has said that it will turn its attention to same-sex unions or civil partnerships in the New Year, though it has given no indication as to when that will happened. Alden McLaughlin has urged the members of the Legislative Assembly to support legislation that government will bring to create a legal framework for same-sex relationships, warning that if they do not the UK could impose actual marriage equality.

However, with the exception of the veteran politician and member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, and the novice MLA for George Town Central, Kenneth Bryan, no other members have revealed where they stand publicly on the issue. While some of the PPM’s front-bench members are likely to be comfortable with a law creating a legal framework for same-sex unions, it is understood that several members of the PPM administration and other opposition members remain opposed, even to same-sex civil partnerships.

See both statements in full in the CNS Library

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Comments (88)

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  1. NO NO NO NO says:

    Easy fix of the situation.

    Hold a referendum on the issue. Put it to a vote of the people, legally allowed to vote, in the Cayman Islands.

    Just like those wanting to change the drug laws, gun laws, banking laws etc…..

    It’s called the Democratic Process.. . Simple fix….

    The ONLY people who would NOT support this are those who want ONLY THEIR way, without the proper process taking place.

    Those persons who dont want to follow due process are those who always skirt the law to suit their agenda without any regard for the rule of law and process. Basically they are criminals…Pure and Simple.

    Put it to a vote……

    No still means NO……

    CNS: The correct process (due process, if you like) has already taken place through the courts. The appeal court has said that the government MUST put in place legislation for same-sex legal partnerships. This is because government is also bound by the law, in this case the Cayman Islands Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, which protects the rights of all, especially minorities.

    To labour the point, same-sex unions WILL happen, the only question is when. The situation is already past the point where you seem to think it is.

    The section of the Constitution that allows for a people-initiated referendum can be seen here. Note that it should be “on a matter or matters of national importance that do not contravene any part of the Bill of Rights or any other part of this Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry bud, it’s perfectly legal to have homosexual sex in Cayman.

      Legal still means YES

    • George says:

      In other words, we are screwed. If we never adopted the 2009 Constitution with its updated Bill of Rights, we could have had a democratic vote on the matter. But somehow, our politicians at that time thought they were doing a good thing with the UK’s blessings.

    • Anonymous says:

      For what seems like the thousandth time: the Constitution respects (and will protect) the rights of minorities even if the majority do not.

  2. MR says:

    Not sure what is worst – the 15 yr old girl getting coerced in to sex with a 25 yr old man or the 15 yr old girl getting coerced in to sex with the 25 yr old women – but I know of both situations in Cayman happening.

    The sad part of the 15 yr old girl and 25 yr old woman is that the young girl has not even matured enough to make a decision of whether she wants to be in a homosexual relationship or a traditional one… and of course this particular girl is a vulnerable one.

    Fact is, grown adults really got to keep their desperate, sexual hands of the young people whether homosexual or straight – can an adult be charged for defiling a minor of the same sex?

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course anyone can be charged for pedophilia! What does this have to do with two consenting adults having the same rights? Also if you know something you should probably say something to the cops. Or continue to anonymously post on CNS and when someone finds out hopefully they charge you with abetting.

    • the facts says:

      You seem to be suggesting that homosexuals are pedaphiles. That’s ridiculous. The overwhelming majority of pedaphiles, according to statistics, are heterosexuals. Please keep your facts straight.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here we are 20 years after same sex activity was decriminalized, and our homophobe and sodomy-fearing lawmakers don’t understand that legal reality. Our police and judiciary don’t understand it either, and have never accepted or defended it. This is about how rotten and corrupted our legal and judicial structure is at the core from fringe “religious” lobbies wielding disproportionate influence. It’s more than just Same Sex Marriage at issue.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One Hundred upticks on the internet forums agreeing with the PC fascism does not truly reflect the real world and tell how people really feel about been forced to accept gay marriage.

    The comments of bringing in the army to enforce and demanding the arresting and fining anyone that will not bend to the PC wills and trying to twist Christianity with the low down claim if you’re a Christian you should love everyone and everything they do.

    No Christianity is not that way, there are rules and if Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong that is there right to believe and their right to impose in a country that the founding principles of that country is Christianity as Christianity will not bow down to the devils’ way that the PC doctrine is teaching.

    Be careful with the fake HR demands as the world is getting tired of been forced to not have the freedom of speech and belief to make a minority happy, lastly those Christians that is hated so much and made fun of for believing in a so-call none existing deity, it is because of them and the hardships they endured to give your snowflake ass these freedoms and rights to now use against them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amazing how the people who claim homosexuality is being forced onto them are the ones forcing Christianity onto the “country”.

      At least you admit your foolishness. Our constitution provides freedom from religion, so no, they don’t have the right to tell anyone to live by the bible when you said “if Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong that is there right to believe and their right to impose in a country.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Then why move to a Christian country to only combat the locals belief in Christianity ? It doesn’t make sense to me.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m a born and raised homosexual Caymanian you fool! Don’t tell me to leave my own islands because I’m not Christian like you!

          Our constitution grants me the right to be atheist and I’m not combating your right to go to church.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because not every Christian is as self righteous as you lot.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because I was sent by satan to corrupt your way of life. What with you guys marrying cousins and molesting kids and cheating on spouses I was sent to impose equal marriage into your infallible lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one is telling you to stop being straight. No one is saying you can’t have an opinion that you don’t agree with the lifestyle. But you have no right to tell Caymanians they have to live a Christian lifestyle.

      How are you so sure the Buddhists aren’t right? Because a book said so? Keep paying that tithe, sheep.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looking forward to pitchforking you in Hell. See you in the cauldrons.

  5. NO NO NO NO says:

    Can you all just give it a rest already.

    NO means NO. Simple. Easy to understand.

    Or are you all like rapists. You dont get the meaning of a big NO.

    Jeez. Just go somewhere where you can live the lifestyle you want as free as can be.

    Everybody wants to be famous.

    I was the first to do this, I was the first to do that. Really……. Get over it already. Stop wasting the countries money on this crap.

    I want freedom to carry firearms. I want the freedom to stand my ground and lawful end someone who pisses me off. If you can have your way then I should be allowed to have mine. Its MY HUMAN RIGHT.

    But alas the laws say NO. So I obey the law and dont carry a firearm. Have I tried to change this. NO. But I can tell you this, if you all get what you want then I sure as hell gonna get what I want.

    I want to be known for for being the first openly free carrier of a firearm and usage to stand my ground.


    • Anonymous says:

      Laws dont work if they are not supported by a majority of the society.
      Also times and cultures change and laws need to be adjusted.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Constitution is there to protect the minority, not just the opinion of a presumed majority who are thought to oppose our legal obligations. The judiciary should be dealing with ANY lawmakers who don’t think the law doesn’t apply to them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m vegan and despise eating meat. I can tell my kids they can’t eat meat, but I have no right to tell adults they can’t go to KFC.

      Likewise, who are you to dictate other adults’ life? Comparing apples and oranges here. Two consenting adults, not guns.

      • Anonymous says:

        You forgot this part. The other consenting adults are proposing to change the law and ultimately the entire culture surrounding eating meat or not. And challenging your belief whether its right or wrong for you to be a vegan. And your authority to dictate to your children or any others in society to impose your belief in veganism. Because the “rest” of the world feels its ok that everyone should have the right to consume meat here, there and everywhere

        • Anonymous says:

          So you’re butthurt that it’s becoming less and less socially acceptable to be a homophobic bigot who tells Caymanians to leave their own home. Gotcha.

          Newsflash: homosexual sex is perfectly legal in Cayman. I can boink them in a bedroom but can’t marry them? I guess that’s why unna never protested adultery at Fort St.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the meantime and more importantly Australia is on fire!! I pray for the people of Australia and the kangaroos too!!

    • Anonymous says:

      End someone who pisses you off? Even if guns were legal here I hope there would be psychological tests in place to prevent someone with this mentality from getting one.As for the law saying No, laws can be changed and this one should be.

      • NO NO NO NO says:

        Based on who’s opinion. A select few or the majority.

        Have a referendum if you and all the other pro advocates believe that it should be changed.

        It’s called democratic process.

        Otherwise stop trying to force it on everybody.

        One word comes to mind….. RAPISTS….. NO MEANS NO.

        Just like if there was a referendum on the right to bear arms…..

        • Anonymous says:

          The Constitution is there to protect the rights of minorities even if the majority won’t. It amazes me that this is an issue for the bigots. If you don’t like same sex marriage don’t marry someone of the same sex. FFS.

        • Anonymous says:

          How dare you compare a civil rights campaign to rape. You should be ashamed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nowhere in the law says that you can’t have homosexual sex with another consenting adult privately in the Cayman Islands.

      Get off your holier-than-thou horse. The gay Caymanians can fornicate but can’t marry yet because of bible thumping people like you. How ironic.

  6. Bertie : B says:

    This constitution only seems to work in the outhouse !

  7. Anonymous says:

    We are not protecting animals, the LGBT community, indigenous Caymanians, and the environment. Third world country much?

  8. Anonymous says:

    As much as I support this human cause, the Cayman Islands are a disgrace when it comes to many other ‘rights’ that most progressive countries see as basic.
    Workers rights for example, the right to a liveable and enforced minimum wage, the right to healthcare provision, pensions, elderly welfare, sanitary and safe housing for all, action against rogue landlords, monopoly oversight, equitable rights for both residents and locals, political representation for all, and many, many more basic ‘rights’ that many on this island are deprived.

    • HDB3 says:

      I would love to know which utopia you are responding, surely not any of the first world countries on this planet!!! Before opening your mouth, have you actually done any research?

  9. Cayman -- an absooute disgrace says:

    Are Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden going to appeal the ruling? Sure hope so. Also, it’s hard to believe, but even extremely homophobic Bermuda currently provides more rights to LGBTQs than Cayman. Imagine being outdone by Bermuda. What an absolute disgrace, Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      However, Bermuda had always outdone Cayman

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah right. They Have outdone us in racism, crime and budget deficits. Go live there for awhile and you will quickly find out. Oh and they manager to destroy their tourism product too. Yup. Great place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Boy…when England cracks down…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Religion destroys humanity.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution is only there to protect the rights of the UK. It was never designed or intended to strengthen and protect the right and freedoms of the citizens of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because there is no such thing as a citizen of the Cayman Islands? You’re a territory, not a country, you don’t get to be a citizen.

      • Anonymous says:

        passport reads BOTC

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly. A territory. No seat at the UN. No ability to prevent the UK from imposing any law they want to. Don’t even have parliamentary representation in the UK. And all the rights of access provided by that passport entirely dependent on the UK.

    • MR says:

      Actually, a good look at our local constitution would show that it only strengthened and protected the rights of our local politicians…

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s almost 2020, the fact that we haven’t dealt with the morons who still don’t understand that two consenting adults can do what they want with each other is mind blowing. And to the homophobic, sexists, and racists still left out there… your time is up.

  14. ~s3k says:

    I’m a Caymanian my early 20s, straight, and it blows my kind how out of touch Anthony Eden and Julianna are with times.

    Go to church in peace but don’t stop *two adults* from loving each other…please

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      It is evident that the younger generation is 100x more open minded than our elected fossils and that makes me optimistic for the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check a letter printed in the Cayman Times (page A2) on December 27. It is from what one believes to be a “Christian” and it shows that hatred and bigotry are still alive and well in the “Christian” community.

  15. JTB says:

    Just goes to show, a Human Rights Commission is an irrelevance unless it has members willing to stand up and be counted. James Austen-Smith is sorely missed.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lets vote on it whenever we get around to voting on the port expansion project!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s way past time for the public to weigh-in on a matter that is already a civil obligation by law. Luckily, moronic “opinion” on the restriction of rights for others does not matter. That’s why there is a Constitution – to protect the minority, not the majority.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    No SIPL enactment either. The public, NGOs, and stakeholders should all have the right to inspect and scrutinize senior public servants historic disclosures for conflicts, payments, bribes, casino cage transfers, private jet/yacht charters, honorary doctorates, and other corrupt “in kind” gifts.

    • Anonymous says:

      STOP Civil Servants running private businesses during government hours.
      It’s corruption, pure and simple.
      All residents have the ‘right’ to expect that their money is used appropriately and not used to facilitate private income.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Want you to know, Im a Rainbow too- Bob Marley

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sue them and seek damages against the officials personally. That is the only thing that will get the constitution followed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, even better may be no prosecute a few of them for malfeasance in public office. The refusal to follow the law now appears intentional in some sectors. A few years in Northward could help focus attention on legal obligations.

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