The defeat of the Domestic Partnership Bill

| 30/07/2020 | 30 Comments

Billie “Bee” Bryan writes: Colours Cayman would like to express our deep concern and disappointment in the outcome of the debate over the Domestic Partnership Bill in the Legislative Assembly this week. This isn’t just a sad day for our LGBTQIA+ community; it’s also a terribly sad day for our wonderful Islands and our persons. The failure of our Legislative Assembly to pass the Domestic Partnership Bill has exacerbated and compounded what our Court of Appeal had already described as a “woeful” state of affairs.

The rejection of the bill by the MLAs that voted against it amounts to a blatant disregard for the rule of law and abdication of their responsibility. MLAs must secure adherence to the Constitution for the benefit of all persons in the Cayman Islands.

Furthermore, Colours Cayman would add that, while some MLAs spoke eloquently and compellingly in favour of the Bill, the vitriol spewed by so many other MLAs these past three days has left many in our community feeling appalled, disheartened and betrayed.

While our organisation respects that the people of the Cayman Islands hold fast to a wide and varying range of values and we often don’t see eye to eye, this bill was ultimately about recognising and affording the rights a sector of society that has, to date, been ignored, segregated and left unprotected, despite clear rights and protections in the Constitution to the contrary. It is a sector of society that has campaigned peacefully, long and hard, to be recognised as equally deserving of living the life afforded to every single heterosexual person and different-sex couple in our country.

But biases and beliefs should not preclude anyone from the enjoyment of any of their constitutionally enshrined rights, not least their right to private and family life. Basic human rights are not the result of a popularity contest, as some MLAs would like us to believe.

For those MLAs who supported the bill, Colours Cayman extends our thanks and appreciation. Despite some bristling and hesitation in a few cases, those MLAs are cognisant of the significance of this bill and adopted a position that, while controversial to many they represent, is indeed the right one.

To summarise, our elected officials should always respect the rule of law in each and every one of their decisions, even in a legislative debate. Again, biases and beliefs have no place here and, to paraphrase some of our own MLAs, while one may not agree with the law, one must still abide by it. What we have seen on display this week in the Legislative Assembly, however, demonstrates that the faith we have in many who claim to lawfully represent us and keep our best interests at heart is severely misplaced.

It’s now time for the governor to fulfill his constitutional rule and to restore the rule of law in our beloved Cayman Islands. His Excellency has a duty to uphold the Constitution, for which he has been vested with the tools in section 81 of the Constitution, and to put an end to this unsatisfactory state of affairs. This is something that the Court of Appeal expected His Excellency to do if the Legislature failed to comply with their decision as they did today.

Billie “Bee” Bryan, Founder and President of Colours Cayman

Colours Cayman is a locally operated non-profit that aims to foster a safe and comfortable social environment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community of the Cayman Islands by building a network of local businesses and public venues free of discrimination and harassment towards anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights as Human Rights and promote the inclusion and equality of LGBTQIA+ persons in the Cayman Islands and throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

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Category: Laws, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    When religion begins to try to rule the law of the land we are in big trouble. Everybody sees their God in a different way and I sure as heck would hate to be ruled by anyone who worships a God who condones prejudice against anyone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    LGBT+ community expected equality in a land where paper caymanians are treated like second-class citizens (driftwood suggesting that they came from ntn); the labor force suffers from severe discrimination resulting from a lack of affirmative action and employment equality; one phone call to immigration or a family member in high places gets you sent home; the blame is always placed on the head of another nationally. I’m not sure if Cayman wants to participate on a global forum with other nations. Many generations must past before it gets there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who makes the Laws? rule of Law my $@*. Remember when it was against the law to have a black man sit in the front of the bus? Guess you would have got up then and said the same crap. You came , you saw , you don’t like? follow the rule of Law, we made it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Church and the Courts are independent of the Government, so I am not sure why 6.32pm should suggest otherwise.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep Fighting Billie and Colours Cayman! You are truly inspirational and I have faith that the constitutionally and morally correct law will soon be in place, which guarantees every adult the right to love and choose to spend their lives with the adult of their choice, regardless of gender. I am also hopeful that the defeat of the DP bill will bring even better things (full equality!)

  5. Anonymous says:

    The critical test is whether any of the parliamentary language and examples were necessary. ie. How did their homophobic diatribes (and full moon sexism) apply to the exclusion of heterosexual domestic partnerships, that they also suppressed by default?

    The limits of exclusive cognisance: the “doctrine of necessity”

    20. The possibility of tension between parliamentary privilege and the rule of law means that Parliament’s claim to exclusive cognisance should be strictly limited to those areas where immunity from normal legal oversight is necessary in order to safeguard the effective functioning of Parliament. It is agreed that immunity applies to that core work itself, to things said or done as part of proceedings in either Chamber or in a select committee of either House—the “proceedings in Parliament” whose immunity from challenge is enshrined in Article 9. The difficulty lies in assessing how far such immunity applies to ancillary matters, to things said or done outside proceedings themselves, but which are necessarily connected to those proceedings.

    21. Both the courts and committees have in recent years adopted a test based on a “necessary connection” to proceedings, in assessing whether or not privilege extends to certain activities. Thus the “one test” adopted by the 1999 Joint Committee in assessing the value of any element of parliamentary privilege was “whether each particular right or immunity currently existing is necessary today, in its present form, for the effective functioning of Parliament”

    All of the MLAs that continue hate speech in and out of the LA should be held in contempt, arrested, charged, and sent to jail.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Legislative Assembly cannot afford our MLAs greater privilege than parliamentarian’s in the U.K. parliament. It says so in Section 82 of our Constitution:

      “A law made under this Constitution may determine and regulate the privileges, immunities and powers of the Legislative Assembly and its members, but no such privileges, immunities or powers shall exceed those of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom or of its members.”

      The MLAs need to be held to account and their privilege shall fall.

  6. Anonymous says:

    well…they just guaranteed Same sex marriage…It’s coming folks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    9 MLA’S had a backbone to stand against the dark cloud that was forced upon us. Bravo to all! See you all at the next Postal Conference!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 12.16 9 MLAs spouted religious, hypocritical and downright nonsensical drivel (Jon-Jon and his full moon sexy garbage) that stopped some human beings having the same rights as some other human beings. Yeah, definitely something to be proud of. Words fail me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new here… old news … let’s move along!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Anything that the governor does will leave him in a situation where he is persona non grata in the Cayman Islands. If he forces his will on the people of the Cayman Islands he will respectfully get the cold shoulder for the remainder of his contract and he will find himself feeling unwelcomed outside of his newly formed base.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm. It is not the Governor’s will. It is the Law of the Cayman Islands, as long proved by our own courts.

      • Jonathan Adam says:

        You are either pathetically ignorant or you are a despicable liar. The courts are not ours as you say, nor is law and order in it’s totality. That, and the power therein, lays squarely in the hands of the Crown. Therein lays but one small part of the problem. Your inaccuracy and/or disingenuity exposes you.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the contrary, the Governor will find that many persons look at him even more favourably than before and will treat him as warmly as they are able.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need to protest. These MLAs insulted our community. And using homophobic slurs?? Under the roof of the LA? Completely unacceptable! This isn’t CaymanKind and we the people need to show them we will not tolerate this foolishness.
    If we’re really allies with the lgbt community we need to fight with them!

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:40am yeah right, just like those who called for a protest for the pensions not being paid and less than 10 showed up. Pure mouth!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful wonderful news!


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