DP law still discriminates, say marriage officers

| 27/07/2020 | 59 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s leading marriage registrar teams has said that the Domestic Partnership Bill is not fit for purpose as it is discriminatory and ignores commercial considerations of the modern wedding industry. The owners of Simply Weddings, leaders in the local marriage business, have said the law will create an “undignified regime” by creating a list of same-sex couples and undermining the potential destination gay wedding sector.

As the Legislative Assembly prepared to debate the proposed Domestic Partnership Bill Monday, well-known local marriage officer Joy Basdeo and her son, Brett Basdeo, have outlined concerns regarding the bill’s potential negative impact on the destination wedding industry.

“Although it appears that domestic partnerships would be available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, as it is the only union functionally equivalent to marriage that will be available to same-sex couples it can be expected that such persons will comprise the majority of domestic partnerships, essentially creating a public record of homosexuality,” the marriage officers stated in their correspondence to government.

As a result they are very concerned that same-sex couples, both resident and overseas, may find this uncomfortable.

“We can state with some confidence that our clients, domestic and foreign, will balk at the idea of their sexuality existing in a catalogued in a separate and readily searchable public record,” the marriage experts stated.

The registrars pointed out that Cayman was set to lose out on the significant destinations wedding market if it opted for such a discretionary register.

“Destination weddings generate substantial economic activity, both direct and ancillary, for local ‘wedding vendors’, including but not limited to florists, musicians, hairdresser the food and beverage industry, the hotel industry and tourism industry as a whole,” the mother and son duo added.

The Basdeos said that they had seen a noticeable increase in enquiries recently for same-sex destination weddings from the United States where ‘marriage’ between same-sex couples is the norm, not the exception.

“The concept of a public record of homosexuality may discourage destination weddings and risk tarnishing the Islands’ reputation within a crowded field of competitors,” they said, noting that it might also cause the loss of a new line of revenue for Cayman’s now beleaguered tourism sector.

The marriage registrars, who are civil registrars as marriage is a legal not religious institution, pointed out that there was no reason or benefit to creating this new category of Domestic Partnership Officer. It adds another undue burden for marriage offices to become one and they questioned why, when marriage officers are appointed by the governor, domestic officers are to be appointed by the deputy governor.

“The proposed regime is unduly onerous and commercially unworkable,” the pair stated.

The marriage officers also question the introduction of maritime domestic partnership officers, as they suggested this was to appease the cruise industry and undermine Cayman’s own wedding market. This, they said, follows years of abuse where cruise ships have circumvented the need to use local wedding vendors by conducting ceremonies on board.

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Category: Business, Laws, Politics, Tourism

Comments (59)

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  1. Michael says:

    Time to get the hot oil on the fire ready to start dashing on these people an teach um a lesson about trying to force us to accept they BS

  2. Anonymous says:

    when the bill is passed I wonder if any of the MLA’s will take advantage of it?

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a gay Caymanian, all I want is to have my union recognized.

    Will it allow my Foreign-born partner to have the right to live and work here and be with me until God decides we have to go?

    We have been together for 14 years. We don’t care what title this Law is given.

    This Caymanian wants his partner here with him.

    PLEASE GIVE MY THIS RIGHT. PLEASE!!!!! I beg you!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is NO mention in the Bill about the sexual orientation of the Domestic Partners so having a registry will not automatically indicate they are homosexual. Anyone who meets the criteria can enter into a DP – the Bill says nothing about same sex.

    • Anonymous says:

      This right should have been available for a few years now. This is what hurts most.

      • Anonymous says:

        begging for invisbile rights for ‘gays’ is totally illogical….its like ‘i want my straight person rights’
        haha man ya’ll can CRY for nothing.

        • Anonymous says:

          What planet do you live on? You have these rights. It’s like rich people don’t need soup kitchen. What rights are you deprived of as a straight people in terms of marriage? Think, for crying out loud.

  4. Kit says:

    What seems to be unmentioned is that certificates for Marriages, Births and Deaths are all public records – regardless of age, gender, sex, race, sexual orientation, etc. You fill out a form, pay the fee and walk away with an official record, no need to prove relation to the individuals referenced. No one asked me if I wanted my marriage record to be a public record…

    If you do not want it to be public then do not make a record, but yet they are fighting for that very thing. The cry is for equal rights, but to keep that register private would not be equal rights when the other records are public.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The people will decide if their MLAs made the right decision at the next general election.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As a gay expat, I am very happy that this is happening. Cayman needs to rid itself of this so-called Christianity. It is no longer and never was a “Christian” country and those that still believe that are the minority not us. We will have a vote tomorrow and we will win. Thank you Mr. Premier.

    The LGBTQ community will now become a strong force in Cayman and hopefully in the Legislative Assembly. Today’s vote shows that we have great support by the majority of members of the Legislative body even though some of them have no choice as members of their family are gay and they would appear hypocritical if they didn’t do so. We will take the win either way.

    We are already planning our first Gay Pride Parade, hopefully early next year. I can’t wait to see the Rainbow flags as we take over the Seven Mile Stretch. Many of my friends have already expressed interest in coming down to celebrate with us. We hope that everyone will come out join with us as we celebrate this LGBTQ win over the old heads of the Cayman Islands. Time to bring this country in line with the US and the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the kind of comment that just ruins it for everybody!

      • Anonymous says:

        You need to be a seasoned CNS comment reader to spot the trolls.

        That comment was strategically crafted to ruffle the feathers of those opposing the legislation, likely written by someone who also opposes it.

        Unlike gay “expat” I’m a gay Caymanian and can confirm we have zero desire to “take-over 7MB” or whatnot.

    • Anonymous says:

      God is still on his thrown

    • carlygordon@gmail.com says:

      The LGBTQ community want to be acknowledged and respected and treated like any other person living here but yet we have comments like these that disrespect Christians and the beliefs. What makes the LGBTQ’s opinions any more important than Christians living here?

      Christians are also entitled to their beliefs and despite usually being painted as hateful, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they hate you.

      The last thing in the world Cayman should want is to be become anything like the United States as we can see what is happening over there.
      Arrogant, unruly and entitled is how I describe most Americans I have encountered.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is that you basing on your Christian beliefs think you deserve more than some of us. You may disagree all you want in your church or household but by default you stop others from equality. Just because you believe in something. You still don’t understand?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no reason why they should get more than you. But there is every reason they should get the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have no right to disrespect “the old heads of the Cayman Islands” in the or any other matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      …..in this or…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I dont discriminate against the LGBTQ community but I dislike that some members of the community have a need to impose their beliefs and values. Why do you want to force Christians to agree with your lifestyle, you dont agree with their beliefs and that’s okay. Live your life and allow others to live theirs.

    • You should be ashamed of yourself.

      The country was founded on Christian principles.

      You don’t like the principles, then leave the country!

  7. Paul says:

    How about we just abolish marriage completely – problem solved immediately! ✔️✔️✔️👍👍👍😀😀😀

  8. Anonymous says:

    11:07, I get what your saying. Had a gay boy scout leader in my hometown who wanted to take the boys on a camping trip with his husband.

    Needless to say I didn’t send my boys. Didn’t want them exposed to that, or experimenting.

    Children are like sponges and its naive to think this type of behaviour will not influence them.

    • Anonymous says:

      No amount of heterosexuals influenced me. I have always been gay and will be. It’s heterosexuals who procreate and make LGBTQ people. What is your point?

    • Anonymous says:

      That is the most ignorant comment I’ve ever read.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ” ..who are civil registrars as marriage is a legal not religious institution” exactly. So how come the Church got involved in the issue on the first place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can someone from the Ministers Association explain clearly what the legal union called marriage has to do with the church and it’s teachings?

    • Rick says:

      A ‘legal union’ is not marriage. Marriage has its roots in religion and is based on religious practices which were eventually put into law. A marriage is the legal practice of the Christian bible where God mandates that a man should take unto himself a wife. A legal union is merely a legal recognition that both parties are joined as such for the purposes of the law. The un-Godly and the anti-Christian would like to convince the world that marriage has nothing to do with religion and Christianity because they cannot accept the basis for marriage in the first place. But I agree with all of you that the Church should stay out of trying to keep the status quo and leave the fools to their own devices.

      “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.”

      “Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea verily unto you I say which God? Good luck with Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and tooth fairy. Or should I sayeth Zeus, Apollo and Athena? Or should I say Jupiter, Venus and Saturn? Or Vishnu, Shiva and Ganesh? Or should I say Allah, Mohammad and Jesus (wha!, Jesus in in the Koran – omg)? Buddha maybe? What about Thor, Loki and Odin? Or doth thou arrogantly say only the Christian God is correct?

      • Anonymous says:

        Marriage predates Christianity

      • Al Catraz says:

        “A marriage is the legal practice of the Christian bible…”

        …in which a rapist who pays the bride-price to the father of his victim gets to keep her.

        Also, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and all other non-Christians cannot be properly married, because it is a Christian practice.

      • Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to these folks for pointing out the obvious. Shame that the majority of MLA’s do not see the same thing. Change a few words rather than create a new union/marriage regime.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m a firm believer in not judging people. I’m was raised believing that homosexuality is a sin. However if people I know are going that direction and want to get married I tell them that is Between then and God. I just pray for them. No need for this dramatics. I don’t understand these comments about effect on children like homosexuality isn’t being portrayed even in Disney movies and celebrities. The only thing we can do is pray and let God. Don’t punish people for their preferences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fair enough.You can’t catch homosexuality, it’s either one is gay or not. It’s that simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are clearly NOT a firm believer in not judging people.

      If you say you need to pray for gay people, then you have already judged.

      If you don’t judge, you would not have written this comment.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:39 Praying for someone doesn’t mean you are judging them. You can pray for their happiness and well-being. Nothing wrong with that. I pray for my family and friends all the time. Nothing but positivity! I have several friends who are gay who have no issues with me praying for them nor do they feel judged. In fact, the majority also believe in God and pray themselves. As the above commenter implied, it’s not our place to judge, what we all do in life is between us and God.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you see that once you mention prayer and God all else goes out the window – I hope you got a little taste of what will come next. You better choose who you going to serve: man or God because that fence-straddling will do you no good not here on earth nor when you get to judgment.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So this means its ok for a man to marry another man?

    Asking for a friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is OK and has been perfectly legal in the Cayman Islands since the Bill of Rights took effect.

      The government has been acting unlawfully ever since.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not that straightforward. The BOR does still refer to marriage being between the opposite sex. You can have something that is the functional equivalent but it is not really marriage.

        • Anonymous says:

          If it’s not really marriage, it is not equivalent. And you realize what you are arguing for is apartheid, right? “Separate but equal?”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Considering that homosexuality is still discriminated against and stigmatized I can understand not making the registry public.

    The issue of tourists using Cayman as a destination for their DP union needs to be addressed in the Bill also.

    Funnily enough….there is no actual definition of domestic partnership in the Bill itself which makes no sense.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If churches want to preserve marriage for their (prejudice) reasons, then let them have church weddings recognized by whatever 1of 1000 denominations they follow. Obviously the church weddings won’t be country recognized and they will also need a civil partnership license. Separate church and state.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well done Basdeo’s. A wonderful family saying AND doing the right thing. That has been my experience of you all for the decades I have known you. You are amongst the truest representations of the traditional Caymanian culture and people, and what has made us what we are.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      My 50 years of traditional Caymanian people and culture has nothing to do with homosexuality being recognized as good or normal, but it does recognize the following, excerpted from the Constitution:

      x A community protective of traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit.

      x A country that honours the sacrifice of its seafaring men who left the shores of the Islands
      to enhance the quality of life of their people, and in doing so established themselves amongst the finest within the global maritime community of that time and through their remittances, endeavours and experiences built the foundations of the Cayman Islands’ modern economy.

      x A country that honours and acknowledges the important contribution of Caymanian women who during the absence of the seafaring men of the Islands managed the affairs of their homes, businesses and communities and passed on the values and traditions of the Islands’ people.

      Please don’t try to warp my history, traditions and culture, now.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I “balk” at the idea of homosexuals getting married and the effect it has on our/their children.

    Seems so twisted that someone would want to keep such an important union secret after openly fighting for equality.

    This is one of those “have my cake and eat it” moments.

    • JTB says:

      I ‘balk’ at the idea of you having the vote. But hey.

    • Anonymous says:

      They want to keep it a secret for fear of their own lives?? People get killed for being gay, so why on earth would they literally put a target on their backs??? How ignorant are you?

      • Anonymous says:

        So they want to stay in the closet? If you’re not in the Middle East, there’s no real fear for your life.

        • Bad Man says:

          So true.. we in the Cayman Islands are no strangers to homosexuality.. in fact.. gay ppl have existed for as long as the human race itself.. here are the problems. Profiling human beings has and will always will bring problems, seperations and disagreements. Homosexuals are human beings and just that.. however in many jurisdictions who i consider to be un civilized have profiled and mis treated gay people causing the Politics to get involved and supporting gay rigts.it is a political fotball and vehicle. There are certain things pertaining to gays that i will not accept.. first of all.. not all who chose the life style are genitically gay.. they are truoble makers. Secondly.. i will not accept 2 men adopting children. I can accept 2 women adopting children because by nature a woman is designed for motherhood regardless if she bears her own or not..men are only sperm doners, although many are good supportive Fathers. Gay people should be able to live their lives as they choose. I will not support same sex marriage.. 2 men cannot re produce.. 2 women cannot reproduce.. marriage is a bond between a man & a woman. Be it on paper or not . The reason for that bond is to replenish the earth ie.. reproduce.. many children are born outside of wed lock. I was.. but my parents served their purpose as a man & a woman. I treat every one as human beings. I could care less obout their gender. It comes down to respect and knowing your purpose.. i dont need Religion or Political laws to give me purpose.. thats for weak mis informed people. Profiling is a bitch and it never goes away as long as you entertain it.

      • Anonymous says:

        oooooohhhhh myyyy myyy myyy…life in the cayman islands is soooo scary!!! no wonder they have to create “safe spaces”. i wonder who else they will attack tonight in those islands!

        Hold on! you mean in one of the world’s safest countries??? Where gays and everyone else is moving because they are actually safer there than anywhere else?

        Give me a break!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because of all of you haters victimizing perhaps?

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