Governor tells LGBTs civil partnerships are safe

| 21/06/2021 | 67 Comments
Cayman News Service
Governor Martyn Roper and Billie Bryan from Colours Caribbean

(CNS): As Colours Caribbean celebrated its first anniversary this weekend advocating for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, members welcomed the support of Governor Martyn Roper in a key note speech at the event. Roper told the community that as well as backing their efforts to fight for justice and equality, he believed the Civil Partnership Act was safe.

Even if the pending judicial review challenging the use of his powers under section 81 of the Constitution to introduce the law was successful, either the current administration could bring the original legislation back and steer it through Parliament or the UK would step in and likely use an order in council, the governor said.

He also paid tribute to Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush and the “incredible job” that they’ve done fighting for marriage equality. The couple are still waiting for the results of their appeal to the Privy Council in the UK in their own case, which relates directly to the reinstatement of the chief justice’s ruling in March 2019 that had legalized gay marriage.

The previous government had successfully challenged that ruling but the appeal court had directed it to pass legislation that was functionally equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples.

Having dragged its heels for months, the last administration finally brought the law to Parliament in July last year. But then premier Alden McLaughlin allowed a conscience vote and the bill was defeated after three members of his government, including two Cabinet ministers, broke rank and voted with the opposition against the bill. As a result, following a direction from the Foreign Office, Roper used his constitutional power that enables him to impose domestic legislation in certain circumstances.

On Saturday night he repeated the position he has held on the issue since the start, that it should have been local legislators who passed the civil partnership legislation without him having to step in.

“But that wasn’t the case,” he said. “I know it’s a really difficult battle to get legal protection for the LGBT+ community in Cayman, but we do have that legal protection in the Cayman Islands. We should be very satisfied and celebrate that,” he added.

Roper said that over 70 people have now applied for civil partnerships and he would ensure that legislation would be protected. Offering words of reassurance, he said he could not comment on the specific legal challenge but regardless of the outcome, he believed the law will remain in place. He said that most members of the current administration offered their support for civil partnerships on the campaign trail and therefore it is open to the new government to bring the law back and steer it through the new parliament.

“This government could bring it back – and I think we can be more optimistic about that than in the past,” he said. “If we look at the election campaign, every single candidate, more or less, accepted civil partnerships and said Cayman should move on. I think that is a positive thing. I think it can give us some optimism for the future. But if the government doesn’t act, the UK would have to and I would be urging the UK to do that very strongly, I can assure you.”

Roper said that change was happening when it comes to LGBT rights and “it’s a change for the better”, but he noted how difficult things still are for the community. “We have a long way to go in the Cayman Islands. But I think we can have some optimism and confidence that we are moving forward. Maybe not as fast as a lot of people want but it is progress,” he added.

The governor also said he would be attending the first ever gay pride parade in the Cayman Islands, which is being organized by the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation and will take place on 31 July.

Premier Wayne Panton, who has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, is expected to attend that event. He also recently met with Colours Caribbean to discuss some issues of concern to the LGBT community. Panton is the first premier to invite an such an advocacy group to talk about the challenges that the LGBT community faces, such as the bullying and harassment of young people at schools as well as the homophobia in the wider community.

During this past weekend’s celebrations Colours received an endorsement from Stonewall, one of the first ever advocacy groups for the LGBTQ community, for their work fighting for marriage equality, not just in the Cayman Islands but across the UK territories.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Community, Local News

Comments (67)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    9.33am And they see some well educated ones take the same path.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think persons who oppose gay rights in Cayman are afraid because they have weak sales resistance?

  3. They HATE Me, I don't care ... I will speak :) says:

    “For this reason (i.e. their refusal to acknowledge, thank and glorify God) God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-27)

    “Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral (or fornicators), nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals (or sodomites; literally those who have coitus, or who sleep, with men), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    “They know that God’s Law says that people who live in this way [i.e., in sodomy] deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but they even APPROVE of others who do them.” (Romans 1:32)

    It is clear from a Pauline 2000 year old document, homosexuality is a sinful behavior and not a “right” needing national protection. Because nobody is born gay! And those who go to their parades, defend these socalled “rights,” and approve of what they do, will likewise receive the judgement of God.

    🙏🏽 peace and love 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot pick and choose which passages from the Bible you will follow and which you will disregard are no longer acceptable. It’s a stupid fairy story put together by powerful men to control us and should not be considered when a country makes its laws.

      • Anonymous says:

        If it’s a stupid fairytale why are you so invested about which part of it is chosen to make a point?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is ignorant to think that anyone would choose this lifestyle. Do you not realize that people have been killed over this??? Do you really think someone would want to cause hardship to themselves, their families, their children?
      They are dealing with the hand that your so-called ‘god’ dealt them and trying to be happy.
      It’s a shame that you let someone else’s lifestyle get in your craw. I’ll bet you’re fun at parties! LOL

    • Bertie : B says:

      Every woman that I have had relations with in Cayman where church going ladies , they all had one thing in common . All of them where either married or where in a relationship, they knew damn well their husbands had one maybe two women on the side , some with children after the affairs .Seen it with my own two eyes . But you see money talks in Church just like anywhere else ! They knew I had money and quite frankly they approached Me . Yes sir , Shout your God Fearing preaching all you want , Hypocritical Bul and you know it . How many times in your life have you indulged in something fresh ? That my brother is kept close to the chest .God Bless .

    • Anonymous says:

      “Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Mark 12:19)

    • Anonymous says:

      You are regurgitating information from the past that was use to control human activities then. Fast forward to the present, we do not judge, but allow people to see themselves. I could blame the developers for destroying the wet land but the house am living in, there once was a wet land. So whatever I may say to the developer, it will apply to me also.
      We should fix ourselves first instead of instead raining down brimstone and fire on others. I am pretty sure we are not perfect.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wayne needs to worry about the racial, employment, social and nationality discrimination more and less about this issue. When was the last time you saw a member of the lgbtq community denied a well paying job because they are gay lesbian or other? I personally know about 10 unemployed black Caymanians all under 30. There is a real problem to solve Gov and Premier

    • Anonymous says:

      Every problem is a real one. One doesn’t make another less important when actual people are involved.
      Any time LGBTQ people speak up someone says there are more important issues on the table. Just because you or any of the people you mentioned don’t deal with a particular problem it doesn’t mean it’s less important.
      Please, don’t tell it to a gay person like me or my partner or others alike, who after over a decade of stable relationship are still noone to each other from legal point of view. Thanks be to the Governor who offered solution.
      You do not know what it is to be LGBTQ person unless you are. We have been suffering real consequences of inequality for years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing to do with race.

      • Anonymous says:

        gay is not a race. That’s how U.S./ UK leftist make it to be to support their notion of discrimination.

  5. Anonymous says:

    People, before you start throwing your arms in the air and saying ‘I told you so’, let it happen and then judge the event on its own merit. I doubt the event will be any more worrisome than the other parades that are held within these islands. If so, then the organizers will have to agree with any sanctions that follow.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Gay pride event? Great stuff. It’s finally feeling like the 21st century!

    Bigoted people, fear not, it’s not going to turn you gay. However, they’re very fun, probably too fun for most of you to handle.

    • Anonymous says:

      This right here is why division continues..Let’s at least try to be inclusive instead of stoking the bear.

      How can we ever get to a point of fairness for the gay community if we keep making statements like this.

      It would be better if you welcomed everyone to come out and join us so that they can see we are no different from them. This is not the way or the road to equality. These words make us no better than them.

      • Anonymous says:

        How ironic, the LGBTQ… that claims to be segregated and bullied continues to denigrate and label negatively anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle choice. Because all of this unnecessary taunting is really helpful to gain acceptance from the very community you are provoking. Good luck with that….

  7. Anonymous says:

    First Pride parade in Cayman eh? Fire and brimstone and all the bigots are gonna love that…..not! Be VERY interesting to see if any of our elected memebrs are on the sidelines peddling their hateful views. Because if they are, they should be fired from parliament instantly.

  8. Bertie : B says:

    All who oppose gay marriage have one thing in common . They can not Fathom two people of the same sex falling in love and Sleeping in the Same Bed ! All who are gay are Born Gay ! People who are gay do not Hate people who are not gay , live and let live , Very Simple .

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all. Some of those who oppose same sex marriage are gay and got stuck in unwanted heterosexual marriages which they were forced into by parents, society, religion etc. And out of lack of good will they often would not want others to have same sex marriage either. A lot of times they are not willing to admit it even to themselves. They often have side relationships with people of own gender but yet they frequently call themselves ‘straight’. Straight is exactly that. Straight is not another word for gay or bisexual, etc.
      I know a few of them and it’s common worldwide.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nobody should be tying themselves to another person whether gay or straight. Civil partnership should be for everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine can be quite uncivil at times. Still, it works for us.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you say. In any case, the legal ramifications are similar, so what’s the difference? You’re still tied legally to another person whether you call it a marriage or civil partnership – which is the whole point of civil partnerships in the first place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    any comment from the governor on the mac-attack footage?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done Governor and Billie. Marching into the 21st century. Lovely photo as well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    While I support civil partnerships I don’t agree with the governor’s position that he had to step in. This matter should and could have been dealt with by locally elected representatives and local political processes. I am also concerned about statements that could further promote divisions within the community and statements that reflect a lack of understanding, care and concern for some segments of the community or preferential consideration for others.

    • Anonymous says:

      For real? Have you been following the entire situation? It really sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about yet you want to say something. Please, at least read the article. It provides the insight into the situation.
      A quick question : what is it about the idea of equality that some of you just can’t get? It’s a paradox that you suggest that equality involves division. It should be bringing people closer.
      Homophobia, bigotry, discrimination and inequality are not the sentiments to be understood, they are the dark sides of reality to be addressed largely through education.
      Everyone deserves the same rights. Period.

      • Michael Day says:

        Brilliantly put!!
        “A quick question : what is it about the idea of equality that some of you just can’t get? It’s a paradox that you suggest that equality involves division. It should be bringing people closer.
        Homophobia, bigotry, discrimination and inequality are not the sentiments to be understood, they are the dark sides of reality to be addressed largely through education.
        Everyone deserves the same rights. Period.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes the parent knows what’s best for the child.

    • Anonymous says:

      OHH PLEASE… Follow the stories leading up to that point. When the last government was in it was being pushed by the Premier Alden because with the previous ruling he knew it was something government had to address. However like many things they sat on it. He eventually knew the UK would eventually step in. It is a human right, And as so the Governor stepped in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Noone is more deaf than the one who refuses to listen. Your words fall on a lot of deaf ears. I am afraid the idea of equality is beyond comprehension for so many. Until equality is what they want for themselves. But then again… they will most likely say ‘oh, but that’s different’.
        This is why it’s good to have someone in power who can do the right thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fo someone who intimates you followed the story you have it wrong. Alden worked quietly to try to bring people with him. He brought the draft Bill when he thought he had the best chance to get it passed. But Chris S and Kenneth and others backed out from perceived pressure. Plus Julianna and Dwayne voted with the Opposition. In the end the Bill lost by one vote. Alden did his best despite a difficult situation in Parliament. He should be commended.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Love the photo. That’s really going to trigger the idiots. Keep it up Colours Caribbean and Governor Roper!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Panton’s number 1 priority as far as I am concerned! Go Wayne #lgbt #equality #gaylesbian #nomoreskyfaries

    • Anonymous says:

      We can give him top marks for this! Got this one done! What’s next on his agenda. Thanks Wayne, way to go!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Leave and let live, I always say. As parents, relatives, friends,, neighbors – Homo Sapiens – we should strive to be happy without hurting anyone else. If each of us adopts that approach, then this will cease to be an issue.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Did they need permission?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, yes. There was no legal provision to recognise civil partnerships, same sex or otherwise. These also extend to committed-relationship heterosexual partners that, that may have preferred not to get married, but need to have a dependant and/or children recognised for a permit application.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They have the government protection but no protection for our families especially our CHILDREN…..but no surprises here!!

    • Santa says:

      Please clarify the point you are making. Are you concerned that LGBT people will prey on your children or lead them astray somehow?

    • Anonymous says:

      You want your children to be able to have civil partnerships protected by law?

      That is a very strange request, and to be surprised that children cannot get married is just wierd

  18. Anonymous says:

    All for the equal rights, but I’m not for the overly aggressive approach taken by this organization. You can’t force quality…educate people and use increased understanding for change. Colours Caribbean is forever begging for money and what do they do with the money? Where are the social programs? Are we just funding salaries and lifestyles? This group is creating a binary in our society with their “us vs them” style of advocating. We need more organizations out there to support this important cause because between Billy and Leo this whole movement is getting a bad rep.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true, as a gay person in Cayman you either accept the aggressive and intimidating tactics of these two which is not doing anything to make us in the gay community seem inclusive. They do not represent me and many others like me. We appreciate their efforts but it has now gone to their heads and they believe they are the de facto leaders for the gay community in Cayman.

      I shy away from most things that they do as it always comes across as we are against the people of Cayman and it puts a target on the gay community’s head.

      We should be trying to find ways of being more inclusive rather than politicizing everything we do. I know now I will get hit hard with all the negative comments but I can take it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, you are right LGBT people must be more inclusive! How dare to discriminate against Eden and Juliana …

        • Anonymous says:

          Two wrongs don’t make it right! if it is love you are truly spreading, don’t stoop to the levels of persons mentioned above.

        • Anonymous says:

          I guess the point I was trying to make has been lost on you. Naming people and shaming them makes us no different than them..How can we justify this when we are doing the same thing?

      • Anonymous says:

        Totally agree with you, @7:42am

        There’s no question that Leo and Colours have done great work and helped make a lot of progress. I’m grateful for that. But I don’t understand why supporting them feels like you have to sign up for a whole agenda that too often means being OK with them firing off one accusation or another.

        Equality isn’t up for debate, and LGBT people here don’t have it easy. But Colours would have so much more support if they focused on helping people learn, instead of calling them bigots and Nazis.

        There’s more than one way to support LGBT people.

        • Anonymous says:

          Amen, I couldn’t have said it better..We will never get equality if they keep the same political stance and always having to be in the limelight. When we do this we reduce ourselves to the same level as those against gay rights.

          I believe that Leo and Billie have done their part and I thank them but they need to have a complete change of focus in trying to be less political and more inclusive. They both have had their 15 minutes of fame but as far as I am concerned their actions don’t represent many of the LGBT-Q community here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t omit the context. A political leader speaking in Parliament (then the LA) proposed that an LGBT advocate (Leo) be taken from his home in the middle of the night, while sleeping, and returned to the U.K. That was *exceptionally* alarming. It was in response to that when the Nazi analogy was drawn due to the clear parallelism with their tactics. The Human Rights Commission in Cayman also reacted to that political leader’s comments (and other comments made in the LA) and as a consequence conducted research and concluded that a Code of Conduct is required for MPs.

          Firm responses have been given by Leo when necessary, for the protection of *everyone*.

          • Anonymous says:

            Was the political leader speaking in parliament was wrong? Yes. Was it alarming? Yes. Was it even remotely close to the atrocities committed during the holocaust? Nope.

            Those kinds of comparisons are actually pretty anti-semitic, the way I see it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Was the MLA wrong to make those statements? YES, CERTAINLY.

            Was it exceptionally alarming? YES, CERTAINLY.

            Are “politicians who think that they need to see what their voters think about same-sex rights, LGBT rights … no different from what the Nazi government did in Germany when they executed the minority in favour of the majority”, as Leo was quoted as saying? NO, CERTAINLY NOT.

            There is a very big difference, in my view, between politicians trying to gain an understanding of whether the culture may or may not have evolved over time with the extermination of millions of people. To suggest that it’s “no different” is just highly inflammatory, not to mention deeply insensitive to those that suffered and died in the holocaust.

            Leo may have meant to make a comparison between the MLA’s statement and the tactics of various regimes that attempt to silence dissenting voices, but that is not what he said. Instead he said that these actions were “no different” than the holocaust.

            Leo could have misspoken. He could have apologised for his mistake and been more careful with his words going forward. But instead it seems like he and Colours don’t actually SEE the problem with the approach, and even go on to defend it.

            The way I see it, Leo’s response wasn’t for ANYONE’s protection. It just enraged those who didn’t already agree (likely making them more stubborn in their view, not less). That doesn’t help.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:02pm: Did you attend the event? You would have had many of your questions answered – and even some that you did not even ask. I agree that the forceful approach is unpleasant, but sadly, when it comes to this topic, being diplomat gets you bullied, insulted and discriminated. Sad.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Now can cayman get in the real world and abolish all the other archaic laws, like not showing R rated movies in the cinema on a Sunday night for example, or the fact that abortion and the rights of women are banned?

    • Anonymous says:

      Make here like everywhere else, and you will be the first to leave, as you’ve previously done…

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who wishes to terminate a pregnancy is welcome to go to Miami. No one even needs to know.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except the poor who don’t have the privilege of the money it costs to have to go to Miami to do that.

        • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          No disrespect 2:32pm but that is where real sex education comes into play. Woman: protect and value yourself.
          Man: Protect yourself. Neither gender needs to procreate before they are mentally (and financially!) ready. There is nothing to prove, nothing to gain.

          • Anonymous says:

            That doesn’t work as uneducated or poorly educated are not taught this and they watch their parents mess around with multiple baby mommas and dadas.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Good. Me and my partner are going to do it then, since we have been waiting for response from London and felt very insecure about the entire situation. Thank you, Governor. From the heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.