Governor and premier to speak at Pride parade

| 13/07/2021 | 115 Comments
Cayman News Service
Noel Cayasso-Smith raises the Rainbow Flag at Tillies

(CNS): Governor Martyn Roper and Premier Wayne Panton have accepted invitations to speak at the historic ‘Cayman Pride’ parade, scheduled for the 31 July. The first ever official celebration of Pride in Cayman will include a street parade from Seven Mile Public Beach to Palm Heights (Tillies restaurant), where the Rainbow Flag has been flying since it was hoisted to mark Pride Month in June.

Noel Cayasso-Smith, the president of the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation, is expecting more than five hundred people to be on the road for this historic celebration of the local LGBTQ community.

Although this is the first time that Pride will be officially celebrated in this country, Cayasso-Smith said he has had no trouble getting the permits and little resistance from the community over the flag raising. Despite some objections from the Cayman Minister’s Association, it was a great success.

“We had over 75 persons attend the event and it was conducted in a very respectful way, as our goal is not to upset anyone,” he said. “It was a great feeling to know this has been done for the first time in the Cayman Islands. Each year the LGBTQ community had to visit other countries to celebrate Pride, but for the first time we were able to celebrate it right here in Cayman.”

Cayasso-Smith said he was also pleased that both the governor and the premier will not only join the parade but have both agreed to give a speech. “It’s truly great to see that the government shows support for this great cause,” he told CNS. The opposition is also sending a member to the event, though Leader of the Opposition Roy McTaggart is unable to attend.

Cayasso-Smith said everyone is welcome to join the parade and related events. “We only have one rule and that is to respect each other,” he said. “We are here for everyone. You don’t have to be LGBTQ.”

With the implementation of the Civil Partnership Act, Cayman made a significant stride last year towards marriage equality. However, the ultimate goal of reinstating the Chief Jusitice’s March 2019 ruling still lies in the hands of the UK Privy Council, which has yet to rule on the appeal in the well documented Day-Bodden-Bush case.

The passage of the civil partnership legislation caused major political upheaval during the last administration, when the members of government voted against the law, forcing the governor to impose the law through his reserve powers. Since then dozens of same-sex couples have taken the opportunity to legalise their partnerships and there appears to be a growing number of people in Cayman who are openly supporting the LGBTQ community and their right to be treated equally.

While a legal challenge to the governor’s use of his powers to implement the Civil Partnership Act is winding its way through the courts, Roper recently said that whatever happens with that judicial review, the law is safe, as it will either be passed by the new Parliament or the UK will impose it through an order-in-council.

Panton has always been an advocate for the LGBT community but, like his predecessor, he is still juggling a Cabinet that includes politicians who have been vocal advocates against equality. However, unlike McLaughlin, who was less than forthright in dealing with the issue, Panton has been unequivocal in his support for the civil partnership legislation and promoting a more tolerant community.

Anyone wanting to join the parade can email for more information on how to register. The parade will start from Seven Mile Public Beach at 3pm and travel to Palm Heights, where the after-party will commence. 

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Comments (115)

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  1. Benjie says:

    It’s really disheartening to read the vile comments about my faith. As a Christian I do not agree with the LGBTQ community but I also don’t harbor any ill will towards them. I feel that you should live and let live. I do have a problem with my daughter watching tv and then being subjected to commercials with two men being intimate with each other. This is forced indoctrination as you take away the parents power to control how they raise their kids. Movies and TV shows are one thing but commercials are too random to control. Some Christians can be too zealous in their beliefs but true Christians have faith that we will all be judged by God…no need to judge on earth for activities that aren’t criminal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Love is love. It’s ok to be straight. We unfortunately live in the world where people would not mind watch a murder mystery in full detail rather than two men kissing. No problem, Christian or not. As long as no two people of the same gender showing affection for each other. That is a no-no. The rest seems ok.
      What a mess…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have no issue with the pride but the hypocrytical statement of equality. Why is a parade consisting of our 500 people which is banned in the regulations allowed to happen without all members having to be vaccinated?

    Carnival has been cancelled because all members would need to be forced to take the vaccine if they wish to participate but yet we are having a pride parade that has no such restrictions.

    Insult to injury, the governor and premeir has agreed to participate. The Health administration labeled carnival / parades as a super spreader of covid.

    Equality here is a joke as a statement. Please dont bother say this is a hate statement, its just simple facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except it’s not “simple facts” at all.

      Its you making assumptions on what the facts are – which I found in under 15 seconds on Google BTW, so you clearly didn’t even bother – no doubt because you have started with the assumption of bias. The irony here is that you are accusing others of bias, when in fact its you that is distorting the facts in order tyto back up your clearly biased perspective. So here’s a link to save you the effort of actually confronting what the “simple facts” are:

      As you can see, outdoor public gatherings of under 1000 are permitted, and indoor up to 500. No requirement for vaccination as you assert. This is 500, which is less that the 800 estimated for the Queen’s birthday parade, also attended by the Governor.

      Take the beam out of your eye before you criticise others. Simple facts my eye – simple homophobia more like.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just so everyone is clear, all people who are taking part in the parade must have been vaccinated AND must present their vaccination card in order to be registered to take part in the parade.

      The Cayman LGBTQ Foundation has made it clear that if you are not vaccinated OR you are vaccinated but do not present your card, you will not be permitted to take part in the parade.

      – a member of the CLGBTQF

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure JuJu and the CMA ministers will walk with them and pray for them every step of the way, if they setup food stations every 100 yds.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a paper Caymanian, I am fully in agreement with you.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Never call yourself that, please. Everywhere else in the world, a person goes through the process of citizenship within the parameters of the country or territory, and upon completion, they are a citizen. Not a Status Holder. You are a citizen.

      There were some giveaways, and possibly some purchased Caymanian Status in the early 2000s. Some of those cheapened the Caymanian Status Holders who went through the process and earned their citizenship.

      You are Caymanian in the eyes of the law. Be well.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a paper Caymanian. I have a piece of paper (for which I am thankful for) that says I am a Caymanian, so yes, I am Caymanian on paper and nothing else. Not even 47 years in Cayman has bestowed any Caymanian upon me.
        I came from somewhere else and I can go back.
        I consider myself a guest in another’s home. It’s just good manners.
        I will always be a paper Caymanian. I know my place.
        Its a pity the “Caymanian” government doesn’t do much to help their own, though?

        • Anonymous says:

          3:42 Thank you. Finally someone gets it.

        • Anonymous says:

          @3:42pm – well if you still consider yourself a “guest” after living here for over 47 years, then you’re right, you aren’t Caymanian.

          • Anonymous says:

            No if he’s been here for over 47 years and still believes he’s “only” a paper Caymanian, then he absolutely has drunk all the kool-aid and is in fact full on Caymanian.

        • Anonymous says:

          2 types of Caymanian = apartheid

          No other commonwealth country has this system where only certain types of citizens can run for office.

          One for FCO to deal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wish people would stop with the labeling as just be human.

  6. Bertie : B says:

    Every Home comes equipped with A Door . If you do not agree with people who are celebrating How they are Born ! Shut the Door for a couple of hours . B,T.W . I feel that any celebration should be when people are allowed to get married and all that comes with that . But it seems that for Now this is all the law will provide , go for it , But the Gay community have not yet won what they deserve . Regular every day marriage to the one you love ! Hit Me lol .

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much. Your words come from the heart. It shows. And the best part is that you are a heterosexual person who says that. Very much appreciated. Being good feels good.

    • Anonymous says:

      How they choose to live, not how they are born, but carry on. This argument is totally subjective and evokes strong emotion on either side.
      I hope I have put my point forward succinctly and tactfully and you are free to disagree.
      Violence and vitriol will not be tolerated.
      Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a ridiculous argument. You think gay people opt in to a life of oppression? How dense could you possibly be?

        Seriously: when did you choose to be straight? What’s that? You say you didn’t make that decision, you just knew you were straight? SURPRISE, THAT IS HOW IT WORKS FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE AS WELL.

        Then you have the audacity to pretend like you have some moral high ground to stand on while putting your “point forward succinctly and tactfully” – pfffft. Did your skywizard stutter when he said “love one another”? John 13:34-35.

        This argument is not subjective; you are just a bigot.

        • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

          You were doing fine until you started denigrating religion. Don’t you see that’s exactly what the other side does? Intolerance works both ways.

          Agree with your other points. I didn’t every choose. I was born the way I am and I knew that I was straight when I looked up at an older female lifeguard at a pool. I was 7.

          We need to all just accept one another. There is no “normal”. We are all different, and that difference is what keeps life interesting, the eclectic mix of people and ideals and views. Go outside everybody and learn from people who think differently from you. It won’t hurt a bit. Don’t be afraid to laugh.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Boy Nolly is going to have to swallow his “pride” that day. I can remember all the horrible and derogatory things he had to say about Premier Panton both before and after the election. This what you call when you spit in the sky it will fall in your eyes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because someone has an opinion of a person does not change overnight because they are doing a good deed. I too have an opinion and because he is now Premier doesn’t mean it has changed right away.

      I have questioned Mr. Premier a few times and I will say this he had no idea how to answer some questions that I asked (big shocker).

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t now what Nolly’s personal opinion is on the Premier, but the fact that he invited Mr. Panton demonstrates that he can look past his own personal views to work with people he may not like to achieve a goal for everyone.

      Way to go Nolly! Keep up the good work.

  8. Concerned about women's rights to safety and privacy says:

    My concerns are related to LGBTQ+ connections with Stonewall and if they have an agenda to change language, forcing people to call men women and letting men use women’s safe spaces such as toilets, change rooms and letting men compete in women’s sports, be housed in women’s prisons. That is bad for women and bad for children when they are going to the toilet or getting changed at school. I can tell my friend I am not religious and I don’t believe in it, can i tell Jenny he can’t use the women’s toilet because he is not a woman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Im afraid I agree with this. I am a massive supporter of LGB rights and have a number of gay and Bisexual friends who I loved dearly. I have issues with some of the Transgender movements where it infringes on my rights as a biological woman. I’m afraid I struggle with the concept and don’t feel comfortable with biological men in women-only spaces (bathrooms/changing rooms etc.) Also, I am uncomfortable with the idea of this being pushed on children. This does not make me a “transphobe” which is a word that is easily thrown at anyone these days that disagrees with the movement which honestly is unfair. I am all for people living happy healthy lives but this should not come at the cost of others. My 10 cents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your 10 cents were worth a million dollars. Well said!

      • Anonymous says:

        Then you dont love your friends. You are a person with a womb. You are not entitled to have a bathroom that excludes those who identify as female. That is the whole point of the movement..equality.

        • Anonymous says:

          3:23 I’m sorry but you are very much wrong. I do love my friends very much. Some in the gay community aren’t always comfortable with certain aspects of the transgender movement either. Equality won’t be the outcome you seem to think. It will only end in erasing what makes a woman a woman. There is more to being male/female than just a feeling. It is in our genetic code – something that can never be changed. We are already seeing certain repercussions of this. Laurel Hubbard a Trans-women was allowed to compete in the Olympics this year however at the cost of a biological female from Samoa losing out on a spot. Female athletes in the US are losing scholarship opportunities to biological men. No matter how many testosterone supplements a man takes there are still biological differences that make men outcompete women in nearly every sport (lung capacity, bone density, oxygen-carrying capacity). Women have only recently been allowed to compete in the Olympics (1900 games). Now they risk being sidelined again.

          kristoffer Johanssen now trans woman who was arrested and imprisoned for brutally murdering his girlfriend has now been transferred to a female prison. How is the safe or fair for the other female inmates? These are just a few examples.

          Again I am happy for people to live enjoyable fulfilling lives but when this negatively impacts biological women and children then I have misgivings. Why are women not allowed to voice these opinions without being labeled as haters or transphobes? These are reasonable concerns and have nothing to do with bigotry. I am not a “lactating female” nor am I a childbearing female”. I am a woman. why should we have to change everything for less than 1% of the human population? Our concerns should not be swept under the rug.

          • Anonymous says:

            FFS it’s only a bathroom!
            Have you been into a McDonald’s bathroom in Europe lately? They’re unisex…McDONALD’s!

        • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

          No. If a person presents as a woman, then they should use a stall, and we don’t have to know one way or another. Children should never be exposed to adult genitals in public. Period.

          If a person presents as a woman and stands at a urinal, then they are making a point, but losing the battle. Or maybe they’re just doing it for shits and giggles.

          Most transgendered folk want to be left alone to live their lives and not be judged, just like you and me.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are only going to be an ally until you draw a line. Get ready, the compassion you champion will not be remembered. You support the entire alphabet or you don’t. Just look at the madness in the USA – women sports are being destroyed from the ground up. Men are in woman’s restrooms, and it is being pushed on children – dare speak up against it and you will be burned at the stake.

      • Anonymous says:

        Leaving out the T because they’re now the acceptable targets.

    • Anonymous says:

      We may be a BOT, but we really shouldn’t be imitating TERF island.

  9. WBW. Czar. says:

    The Cayman Ministers Association needs to stand up to this blatant assault on our Christian culture.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cope harder.

    • Anonymous says:

      Petition Heaven? Thoughts and prayers.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      What are you so frightened of? This isn’t contrary to your or my Christian beliefs. It is simply an acknowledgement — finally — of legal equality, absolutely nothing to do with religion.

      If you feel conflicted or angry, you should recognise that you are judging from a self-imposed moral compass, not a legal one. We should all embrace legal equality of ALL residents. Myself, I don’t believe that judgement belongs to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is important to separate what this is to various people – for Christians it gets confusing. It is a sin by Biblical teaching. As Christians were are to counsel one another. But here is where (we/me/Christians) slip – we will take a hard nosed approach on this coming off with an air of stern judgement. However, the other sins will often get a softer judgement. The drunkenness, the gluttony, anger, pride, etc. These will be soft pedaled and not judged likewise. That being said we (Christians) should seek to help one another – love the sinner but hate the sin. I am not gay, but I know a few who are. As Christians we find it wrong to “celebrate” this in the same manner we should not celebrate the alcoholic and his love of the bottle. And, regrettably, many Christians won’t address the drunk friend who needs help or the friend who keeps cheating on his wife but find it too easy to condemn those in the LGBT community. I pray for everyone, myself included, as I am far from perfect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kind of hard to do when the churches have the highest percentage of pedophiles. One does protest too much….they certainly don’t want to draw too much light or names will start to get called.

    • JTB says:

      Thoughts and prayers, buddy. Thoughts and prayers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why is stuff like this a priority at all? I don’t care what people do with their body parts. I am not a member of the LGBTQ nor will I even try to say I understand them. I’m not for or against but I do feel we have much bigger issues to march and protest for. #1 – cost of living which affects everybody, straight or gay.

    • Anonymous says:

      So organize a march then. No one is stopping you. And having a pride parade doesn’t mean people can’t march for these other issues either.

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems it’s never a good time for anything related to LGBTQ matters. Always some excuses or none at all. Nobody stops you from pursuing your goals.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly why we march to speak up for those rights. You don’t understand because you have not felt that discrimination. I don’t understand why people can’t imagine multitasking to speak out against multiple issues. If you are worried about cost of living, this is not the place to speak up, get out, march, yell!I have marched for LGBT+ right, woman’s right and domestic violence. I have spoken to people in power about Caymanian job access, housing and cost of living. Stop complaining and get up and do a petition, collect signatures and make change!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, but this could be off the streets and at a venue, also the carnival. Why would anyone want to be identify by what they do in the privacy of their house.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue. Even Jamaican has Pride Parade and we all know how homophobic they are due to too much churching. I cannot wait to celebrate. If you support the Gay community here then come out and show it! I would rather attend a Gay Pride parade over Batabanoo. Proud Caymanian!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Love this! I am a straight person who will be out in full support of our LGBTQI friends and family.

    • Anonymous says:

      Straight person here. I will be there celebrating and supporting the local LGBTQ community!! Love is love is love.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are parades allowed under the current public health regulations? I thought Batabadon’t spin-offs had to shift timing for that same reason and include a provision about vaccination requirements to participants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please read the post regarding being vaccinated and participating before paying stupid comments. This is what start problems. To quick to judge. No one is asking you to leave your home and watch. Get on with your normal daily business.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which post are you referring to? I just re-read the article and the 78 comments to date and am not finding anything resembling what you’re referencing.

        I would assume the parade was granted an exemption like CayMas, likely coupled with vaccine requirements. But it’s not actually stated.

        “Too” quick to judge, by the way, and you will note that the post you assume to be anti-pride in fact makes no value judgement, only queries if it runs afoul of current public health regulations.

        • Anonymous says:

          To participate in CayMAS on the road, everyone must be fully vaccinated at least two (2) weeks prior to the Road March date. That means you must have taken your second dose of the vaccine on or before 24 July 2021,” the notice stated. It added that proof of vaccination will be required for participation.
          May 31, 2021

        • Anonymous says:

          Try reading the regulations instead of making assumptions:

          No bar to a parade involving less than 1000 people. No need for an exemption. Just as there wasn’t for the Queen’s birthday parade.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Christians in Cayman complain about gay people imposing their views on them, while simultaneously imposing their christian views on everyone and forcing.

    I frankly dont really care for either, but i never understand why christians vehemently deny gay people rights. If it doesnt impact you, let them do what ever they want.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because a lot of them love to play God and decide how everyone must live their lives. It’s about the power they lose bit by bit to decide for me and many others what we should be allowed and whether we can have what they have. It’s about self righteousness and bigging themselves up every time they say something to harrass LGBTQ people. Homophobia appears to be viewed by many as a Christian value. Some simply can’t see the difference between words ‘rights’ and ‘obligations’. Etc etc etc. But hey ! Equality is a beautiful thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Facts are facts, prayers are never answered, if prayers was answered there will be NO sick people in the world, facts, why do preachers and Christians go to Doctors ?, why ? because they know deep inside that praying, Wishing and hoping are exactly the same .

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well done cayman. Everyone deserves to love who they love and own and share their own bodies with whoever they wish. Let’s hope this leads to more freedoms in cayman and cayman catching up with other civilized developed democracies with things like legalizing abortion and better education so people stop refusing vaccines based on nonsense conspiracy theories so we can all develop and move forward for the greater good.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This wont benefit locals the way they think it will. We need a respect locals parade next.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t that Batabano?

    • Anonymous says:

      That would never happen, hate wins.

    • Anonymous says:

      If give respect you get respect. So rethink yourself

    • Anonymous says:

      So there are no local gays? Dumb comment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fact is I know about 70% more gay Caymanians whom are generational than gay expats.

        • Anonymous says:

          Another fun fact is that 84.7% of statistics are made up on the spot. ;]

          I also know many gay Caymanians, some I even went to school with. It is a shame that they have been taught by religious zealots – who have no qualms about pushing their beliefs on any and everyone, I might add – that it is better to be dead than to be gay. It is truly a shame what some of our people go through, at the hands of their own.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to be the one to shatter your reality but… some of the Locals are gay.

      I understand that this may appear impossible to you but I’m confident that if we work together, we can all come to accept that its no longer 1932.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love seeing LGBTQ people literally living rent-free in bigot’s minds lol.

    Some of y’all got nothing better to do. Let people live their lives however they see fit, it’s not affecting you so just mind your business, how hard is that to understand?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Even though I am not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am a WHOLEHEARTED supporter of equal rights. Beyond proud that, as a “born and bred” Caymanian, my country is taking steps in the right direction to be progressive in a way that our people deserve!

    • Anonymous says:

      Equal rights, so permit holders get to vote?

      • A. Caymanian says:

        @ Anonymous 7.13 Go home if you want to vote. Your mindset is exactly why Caymanians do not trust outsiders. If I was a WP holder living aboard I know I would not have any voting rights yet people come to Cayman expecting to change it for them, respect our laws and culture if you cannot accept it there are flights available for you to go back home.

      • Anonymous says:

        NEVER! You people are the one’s that are entitled in Cayman come here trying to change our country. Financial immigrants on permit will never be allowed to vote

      • Anonymous says:

        In what country to permit workers get to vote?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sure. And people can drive without passing a driving test or having insurance, otherwise that is discrimination. And why should I have to go to medical school before I can perform operations at the hospital etc. etc. etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please provide examples of where guest workers participate in elections of the country that issues them work visas. Genuinely curious.

        • Anonymous says:

          Er, the UK. Which allows foreign citizens with “leave to enter or remain in the UK” the right to vote.

      • Anonymous says:

        correction…ALL Caymanians have right to run for election.

      • Hello other foot! says:

        @14/7/21 at 7:13 am – Sure, permit holders in Cayman get to vote here, as soon as your home country grants immigrant workers there the right the vote as well. Shoe, meet other foot.

  20. Anonymous says:

    good for them

  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally some relief for these people who only want to be able to be with the people they care about. Everyone can now enjoy that right.

  22. Gray Matter says:

    To each their own. Why cant you all just leave people alone and not interfere in ones lives.

  23. Anonymous says:

    As a gay Caymanian I am proud that we have come to the understanding, as a country, that it is a matter that no family escape. This is true in every country un the world.

    My fellow suporters let us march with our heads held high and know that we are supported by the Premier and the Governor.

    Let’s march with PRIDE and respect and have genuine fun knowing that history is being made here in the Cayman Islands and it can only get better going forward.

  24. LEVITICUS 18:22 says:

    Will Juju split from PACT given her religious beliefs?

    • Anonymous says:

      Saunders? Bryan ? Bernie ? Mac? All silent now ? Why? A cabinet seat abs speakership is worth so much more than silly Christian values

      “While a legal challenge to the governor’s use of his powers to implement the Civil Partnership Act is winding its way through the courts, Roper recently said that whatever happens with that judicial review, the law is safe, as it will either be passed by the new Parliament or the UK will impose it through an order-in-council.“

    • Anonymous says:

      Has she legalized the herb yet as promised?

    • anon says:

      8.13pm I assumed she would join the march to set an example for all our schoolchildren.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be honest who cares. It’s not her life. And frankly non of her business.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The ones giving thumbs down and angry faces to good news are having another sleepless night. I see they are already working hard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done cayman. Everyone deserves to love who they love and own and share their own bodies with whoever they wish. Let’s hope this leads to more freedoms in cayman and cayman catching up with other civilized developed democracies with things like abortion law reform and education so people stop refusing vaccines based on nonsense conspiracy theories, so we can all develop and move forward for the greater good.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is fantastic news for the Cayman LGBTQ community. Have fun!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Great to see

    Look forward to seeing the Premier

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