‘Crystal clear’ no gay right to marriage, says Rose

| 25/02/2021 | 60 Comments
Dinah Rose QC

(CNS): Dinah Rose QC, the lawyer representing the Cayman Islands Government in the same-sex marriage case being heard by the Privy Council in London this week, said the Constitution is “crystal clear” and there is no right to marry for gay couples. Responding to the appeal by Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush to reinstate the chief justice’s March 2019 ruling legalising same-sex marriage, Rose said the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal was right to overturn that judgment.

Following submissions by Edward Fitzgerald QC to the judicial committee hearing the case on behalf of Day and Bodden, Rose argued that the case is not about a breach of their rights because the Cayman Bill of Rights simply does not provide the right that the couple are seeking.

“The Bill of Rights doesn’t afford the appellants the right to access marriage because the constitutional right to marriage, which is there set out, applies only on the conditions laid out,” Rose said. After reading that section, she said, “No wider right to marry… can be derived from other more general provisions of the Bill of Rights.”

Rose said the BoR was striking a balance on an issue of significant political and culturally sensitivity in the Cayman Islands. She said that the BoR requires legal recognition to same-sex relationships but does not entrench a right for gay marriage, a matter she argued had been left to Parliament.

Rose also said this was compatible with the UK’s international human rights obligations and Cayman was entitled to leave the issue of marriage equality to politicians. She submitted that Cayman’s constitution does not offer complete equality to all and that some issues are left to public policy and lawmakers. The government’s barrister further argued that the common law had not evolved to the point where it gives a right to same-sex marriage.

Addressing the problem that lawmakers here had failed to address the need to implement some kind of equitable provision for same-sex couples, Rose dismissed arguments that the CJ was right to legislate from the bench. She said that even though Parliament had failed to enact a law, which had forced the governor to intervene and implement a law that is now also under legal threat, and even if that case was successful, the UK could still make them comply with the Constitution through an order in council.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Christian bible forbids eating lobster so should it be illegal to do that!! The Christian bible also praised Ruth for putting a spike through her husband’s temple killing him in his sleep. Should that be legalized? That is why we have proper laws that separate choice of faith from mandatory laws for ALL citizens. Laws are based on the principle that they prevent harm and organize benefits. There is no harm and only benefit in same sex marriage. So how can anyone oppose that on the basis of the Bible while selectively ignoring so much of it and therefore being a hypocrite.

    • How To Talk to Dictators says:

      Yawn [how much time are we to read this]. It seems you have a HATRED for Christians and the Bible. In the end, people have THE RIGHT as well to be Christian. In a democracy, you should try to get use to it. Sorry that your fantasy gay leftist regime has not become a reality as you expect 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Imagine if gays walked the streets in twos like the Jehovah Witnesses to knock on doors, and if you denied their request to donate to the LGBT foundation, they told you that you deserve to be tortured for eternity.

    And then the Christians have the audacity to claim that they’re getting a lifestyle shoved down their throats. The fact that you’re religious isn’t a problem – the hypocrisy and desired to shape other grown adults’ lives is. No one prevents (anyone) from going to church.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just another ridiculous backward Cayman rule that gay marriage is not allowed. It’s as bad as he driving and the attitude to work and civil service performance. Grow up Caymanians who oppose this on religious rights and try to become a developed nation and reach the educational development of the USA and Europe so you can then be respected internationally. It’s 2021 not 1521!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Civil unions for everyone. Church marriage for whatever weird place you get brainwashed. The leader of your cult can print you a certificate and you can frame it or whatever but it’s useless for government unless you also register your civil Union. There, fixed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ll tell you my opinion on same sex marriage- who cares! Cayman Islands should announce another pension fund withdrawal from the grossly incompetent pension funds that are ripping every pensioner off with their 1.5% fee and underperforming market performance. Give me my f$cling cash so I can invest it on my own.

  6. John says:

    I am a straight grumpy old guy married to a woman. I don’t have any homosexual friends nor do I want any.

    However I could not care less if someone who loves someone of the same sex marries them. Far better than promiscuous gay sex.

    • Anonymous says:

      What makes you think you do not have homosexual friends, John. A lot of people are in the closet all their lives. One can never be sure what is going on in other people’s lives. If someone is married to a person of the opposite gender it doesn’t mean they are straight. May be just a cover up. Very common. Just trust me on that. As a gay man I have seen a thing or two.
      But I appreciate your honesty. Indeed, when I get married it’s not going to affect anyone.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      You and me could be friends. Grumpy friends, but painfully honest with each other. I am also straight and married to a woman. Unlike you, I have homosexual friends. There are probably more that I don’t know about. Don’t care. I don’t choose friendships based upon their sexuality.

      I only care because I think it’s a disgrace that we tout our Constitution as modern and worldly, and it is, if only it were enforced. Our Constitution requires equality and nondiscrimination for all residents and citizens. It also has an unfortunate line which defines marriage as being between a man and woman. If we could strike that sentence, everything would be fair and equal.

      Like you, I believe that any two adults that wish to promise themselves to each other should be allowed to do so, and they should be allowed to call that union a marriage. Marriage is a huge commitment, and it comes with legal terms and conditions. It’s not for everyone. In a free and equal society, any two adults are able to chose, regardless of their skin colour, gender, social status, or religious affiliations. In a free and equal society.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is not about Gay people. It’s about Gay rights here in Cayman Islands. Caymanians want their own interpretation of the laws and do not want to be represented by the laws of the developed countries in the world. Why can’t the UK understand this? It’s “Crystal Clear”. Maybe a good time to cut them loose. Don’t want to play nice with the rest of the kids then play with yourself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This issue evokes too much emotion and not enough understanding of the constitution and the applicable laws. While Dinah Rose QC is technically correct in her legal assessment most of the country has no problems with same-sex marriage or some form of domestic partnership.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Where is the outrage from the Churches and Christians in cases of domestic violence, incest and child abuse?

    Hear that? The sound of silence.

    Enough of the bullshit of Caymanian Culture, if our culture is to deny equal rights to our own people, but have no issues with children being sexually abused, women being beaten within an inch of their lives, then maybe we need to rethink our “culture”

    Stop trying to tell people how to live their lives, you have no right to force your beliefs on others.

    Equal rights for all!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ms.Rose as an attorney must present the best argument on behalf of her client, regardless of her own beliefs. This is how the justice system works. That said, what makes us human is our capacity to love. This transcends illogical laws based on religious ideologies. The capacity love one another should be celebrated not vilified based on gender.

  11. JTB says:

    Why on Earth do Christians believe they ‘own’ the institution of marriage, or have any right to say who should or should not be allowed to enjoy it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because marriage was created by God, and He indicated that it was created to be a bond held between one man and one woman. The Jewish faith holds the same belief. The Muslim faith changed it but it’s leaders admit that the change was man-made not from God. Most other ‘ancient’ religions and cultures hold the same belief. So while you question the Christian viewpoint, I question why the people that hold to God’s word are the ones being seen to be in the wrong… there is a whole lot of discussion in that one question. However, from the legal perspective, the constitution was quite clearly drafted to exclude gay marriage. One only need to review the verbatim transcripts of the talks that Cayman held with the UK on the matter during the 2007-2009 constitutional process. The preamble was written to make it absolutely clear. So the learned Attorney is simply speaking what is legally true, which she is supposed to do.. regardless of her personal views.

      • Anonymous says:

        You keep forgetting that not everyone holds to Christian or other beliefs. And it’s not required. Thank God. Marriage has to be accessible to all. Regardless of your faith. If Christians value marriage that much maybe they should stop divorcing and remarrying again as they often please. Unbelievable double standards.

        • Bar 0 says:

          You are right in this instance. Note – “for the cause of democracy,” there should be no issue with gay rights or marriage being legal and our Constitution being amended. Just because the Bible states that something is a sin doesn’t mean that a government should outlaw it. The same argument can be made for alcohol and smoking. However, the key thing that needs to be remembered (and it seems like many in the LGBT gay community, don’t want to accept) is that we all have freedom of association. If a pastor, a rabbi, or an imam wants to turn down a marriage proceeding based on their beliefs, or, ordinary citizens of our country want to verbally disapprove of the homosexual lifestyle as a good thing (free speech), they should be able to. No one has the right to enforce “gay the new black” ideaology on the population. Not even the Governor.

          Enshrine in our Constitution should be the respect and acknowledgement of ALL rights, I repeat ALL rights. It seems the gay folk coming from the LGBT branch, are leftist and atheistic, and would love to see free speech, religious and parental rights undermine for their “gay rights.”

          • Anonymous says:

            But what is ‘homosexual lifestyle’ that you mentioned? I struggle to understand what people mean by that, let alone disapprove of it. Yes, I am gay. What exactly do you think you should be allowed to verbally disapprove about me?

            • Anonymous says:

              What kind of victimize question is that? lol. Let’s turn this around – I am a religious person. So I was born and raised to be a religious person. I can’t change. Its in my genes. I was “born again.” Get it?! All I am asking from you is to stop the religiophobia, stop the hate speech against my kind, and allow us to practice our religion without having to change our religion for you! Put it this way … what exactly do you think you should be allowed to disapprove about me???

              • Anonymous says:

                The answer I pretty much expected. You do not have to change anything about your religion, you know it. But you can not expect it to shape other people’s lives. That is all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol crated by god but only the government can approve?

        • Anonymous says:

          God appoints Governments! Read your Bible once in a while please!

          • Anonymous says:

            I knew you were about to say that. I thought they were elected. Wow… so how does the appointment go? Mindblowing, really. Trump was also appointed by God?

    • Anonymous says:

      12:11 Ask JESUS!

  12. Breadfruit says:

    :)) lol … I am glad to see a well educated woman rightfully interpret our Constitution in accordance with our culture. One woman against the Chief Justice, Pro-Gay News, the Governor, Premier, FCO, et cetera … This should be real interesting: Our cultural document versus foreign infiltrated “gay rights”

    • JTB says:

      It’s a good job all those bigots in pulpits were able to raise the money to pay that ‘one woman’ then.

      By the way – you’re obviously paranoid – ‘foreign infiltrated’ lol. Seek help.

    • Rodney Barnett says:

      So here’s the deal:

      Cayman is a country governed by laws. NOT the culture of some part of the populace. After all, some people believed in slavery, and it was NOT the culture that stopped it. It was the LAW of the land.

      There are no “straight” rights or “gay” rights….. only HUMAN rights.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i am a single straight native caymanian..i dont want marry…got too much money…

  14. NO to separate-but-equal says:

    Ms. Rose is mistaken on all points. Shame on her for being the mouthpiece of the bigots in the Assembly. “Separate-but-equal” is NOT a solution, because it’s ALWAYS separate and NEVER equal. Telling gays they don’t qualify for marriage is the same as telling them they are second class — which is an ountright breach of human rights. The only reason that could justify separte-but-equal is if it’s impossible to provide total equality — which is definitely not the case here. Indeed, if two men (or two women) marry, how on earth does that affect the straight couple living next door??? Come on, Cayman: Step into the modern world, and leave the bigotry on the trash heap of history.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms Rose is not arguing about what the law should be, as you are , but what the law is. And I think she may be a little more qualified than you to debate the point; certainly for you to simply dismiss her as wrong on all counts with your enormous experience in constitutional law.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Enough. Give EVERYONE the vote in Cayman with referendums on everything.

    No need for the U.K., governor or a bunch of self serving politicians.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well Madam Rose should maybe advocate for the change in law or the law should be totally ignored as advocated for certain politicians!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why they can’t be satisfied with civil unions with the same rights as marriage. If a man says he married then it’s a woman wife,

    and same thing if a woman say she married then it will mean a man husband. Civil unions they should say that’s my civic union partner. Should be some difference.Let’s all live together in peace and respect each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where were you when we were asking for some type of legal acknowledgement of our family rights? For years we have been told a big fat NO. Even now civil partnerships are on shaky ground. This has to go till every legal option is exhausted. Marriage it is. Religion and beliefs aside, it’s a legal issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it attempts to create false equivalency, not unlike the “separate but equal doctrine. Why should Misses Dey and Bodden accept to be second class citizens?

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? No respect in your comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment is disgusting. Who are ‘they’? You don’t deserve any respect!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do Christians attempt to claim the institution of marriage as their own when same sex marriage clearly predates their religion itself?

    • Anonymous says:

      We got over the “should be some difference” mentality when we started allowing women to vote and desegregated races. I’m a white Caymanian, but my great grand father would shun me if he knew I’m married to a black Caymanian.

      Let’s act like it’s 2021 and not 1921. Live and let live. Not affecting my marriage if two women want one.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you respect someone when you say they should not have the same rights as you? How about I was to say that we can both shop at Fosters, but YOU should use a different door? You still get to shop there and you would presumably by your standards not feel I was disrespecting you.

  18. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law. Not more nor less.

  19. Anonymous says:

    That sound you hear is her career and reputation going up in flames. How appalling.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am stunned that she is seriously arguing that gay couples should be denied equal rights because of “cultural sensitivities”. On that basis you could justify any number of abuses!

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