Panton: Cayman all the better for its LGBTQ people

| 02/08/2021 | 56 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): At the first Cayman Pride Parade on Saturday, Premier Wayne Panton stressed the importance of equality and inclusion, as he became the first leader of the Cayman Islands to offer his public and wholehearted support to the LGBTQ community. Panton said it was an “incredible day”, not just for them but for the whole country, which was much better for having its LGBTQ community.

He recalled how he had been the lone political voice when he first spoke out in support of the community as a minister some six years ago and said there were consequences. “But I was driven by one fundamental belief, that every single person deserves the right… to be who they were born to be,” he said to a cheering crowd.

Panton told the audience that the historic day was a reflection of “tolerance, acceptance and recognition, for we are all human beings and we should love each other”. He said that loving and caring about each other was what life and politics was all about. As he spoke about the significance of the day, he said he had previously known it would be the young people of Cayman who would lead the way from intolerance and respect the rights of the LGBT community.

“I see so many young people here today doing just that,” he said. “So, thank you all very much, thank you for being a part of the solution, thank you for standing up for your rights, thank you for being wonderful, amazing human beings and I am just so proud to be here with you today. God bless you all! You are loved and Cayman is all the better to have you here,” he said over the cheers of the crowd.

Panton also thanked all those who took part in the parade for getting vaccinated, as that showed that the LGBTQ community cared about everyone else.

Governor Martyn Roper, who also took part in the parade, said he, too, believed it was a historic day, as he gave credit to Noel Cayasso-Smith, the founder of the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation, for organising the event.

“This event today is a step in the right direction,” Roper said. “On LGBTQ+ rights we still have a way to go but we are making progress step by step.” He said he thought that the Civil Partnership Law, which gives same-sex couple legal rights, paved the way for events like the Pride Parade.

The governor said that Panton’s presence sent a huge signal about this government’s approach to this issue, and noted that Barbara Conolly was there representing the opposition. He also gave a shout out to Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush, who have been role models in their fight for their right to marry, and their journey continues.

Addressing the crowd, Cayasso-Smith said he was so pleased that the governor, government and opposition were there to support the fight for equality and acceptance. He said it had been a long road but people needed to be identified for their humanity and not their sexuality.

He said that the success of the event would secure future annual Pride events, as he thanked everyone who took part for making it possible.

The RCIPS confirmed that the parade was a great success and went off without a hitch, with no demonstrations against the event.


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Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    03 @ 9:36am – You’re right, Batabano is not a “traditional” Cayman celebration. It was created by Jamaican/Caymanian businessman David Peynado and Guyanese/Caymanian musician Dave Martins in the mid or late 1980s. They did it, with the support of Government and the business community, as a tourist attraction to essentially extend the tourist season, after the end of the usual “high season”. They used Trinidad Carnival as the model and used the Batabano name to connect it with Cayman (per the area of West Bay with the same name). Quite a good business model and clearly successful. BTW, Batabano is a location in Cuba, which perhaps gave its name to the location in West Bay. I doubt Cuba got their name from Cayman. I wasn’t aware that “batabano” means “turtle tracks” (perhaps it does), and if so, that gives the name a further connection to Cayman.

    But, all-in-all, the Batabano Carnival was not a “traditional” event, unless one considers 30-40 years to be tradition. Yes, many of us remember when it started – just the other day!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Being a Christian, who is not gay, there is no doubt in my mind that if Jesus were alive he would have happily walked arm-in-arm with his brothers and sisters in their rainbow parade.

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly, you’ve not been reading the Bible, Christian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Horrible how you are going after a a person who is supporting loving people. So many saints around with mouths full of scripture and hearts full of hate. You are breaking scripture as you are reading it. Leviticus 19:19. Cherry picking.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is DONE!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Relax. You have so much to worry about but me and my same sex partner shouldn’t worry you as much as disappearing beach, for example. Don’t let our personal lives take all your time and energy. Find something else to let your mind be busy with. Peace.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can say that again, Bobo! Have you SEEN the erosion along Seven Mile beach?!

  4. Williwas says:

    And there has been no earthquake or swarm of locusts since?

  5. Anonymous says:

    It would be great to see the Tourism Minister supporting Pride as a tourist attraction next year. There is a lot of wealth within the Gay Demographic and these events are well attended overseas. Mr. Bryan must see the potential this event can play in Cayman’s tourist product.

    • Anonymous says:

      Careless tourism is what is contributing to the destruction of our Island.

      You will see far more Caymanians supporting pride of our Island instead of sexuality come the grim days of seeing our environment wither before our eyes for the select few who can’t even pronounce “Cayman” properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, hopefully same sex marriage gets reinstated very soon and it is going to generate a lot of income eventually. Gold mine, really. And would be fun to see those hateful ones calling on rain, fire and brimstone to start singing ‘let’s see wah me can get’. I yet have to see any of them turn gay dollar down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea it’s not bad enough we are trampling all over our Christian heritage, let’s get paid for it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Homophobia is not the ‘Christian heritage’ to hold on to. It is just as disgusting as racism and xenophobia and none have any place in modern progressive
        society. It’s sad these two words ‘Christian heritage’ pop up when someone says word ‘gay’ yet it’s all good with everything else. Hypocrisy of the grandest kind. I can never understand which God hates loving people, yet was ok with hundreds of years of slavery, endless wars, corruption, hate, robbing the poor etc etc etc. Adultery alone. There was no fire or brimstone yet. LGBTQ people were here since since the day of discovery.
        Wake up for God’s sake.

    • Anonymous says:

      This would never happen. Remember his statement back in last year September. When he told everyone that his constituents voted not to vote yes for the civil partnership bill. It’s all about getting reelected in the end

  6. Anonymous says:

    The end of Eden and suckoo.
    The beginning of a better society .

    • Anonymous says:

      I pray to God that Alva runs against Panton next election. I believe the people in Newlands have just realized their mistake!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well done to Panton and the Governor for being so supportive and kind. Even Barbara! She chose to join even though her party has made it quite obvious where they stand on this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      I urge you to go back and look at the facts on same sex marriage vote in the LA last year – Julie and Kenneth were the NO votes. The PPM was in support of it and voted for it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s astonishing and disgraceful that there are some caymanians who click dislike on these comments and openly are anti-gay. Can I ask some of these people what their issue is and why they feel the need to click dislike and have an issue with people being in relationships with whoever they choose to be in a relationship with? How would you feel if you wanted to ask a guy or girl out and people abused you and told you they don’t agree with your choice of date?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it offensive that someone should have a different opinion and express that they don’t approve of gay marriage? It’s called freedom of thought and freedom of speech – both human rights, like freedom to express one’s sexuality. If neither of these freedoms existed, such a march as took place on Saturday would never have occurred. Tolerance and respect must be exercised on both sides.

      • Anonymous says:

        Replace that sentiment for the same one but instead with one supporting racism.

        If that doesn’t answer your question, not sure what else to suggest.

        • Anonymous says:

          So what you’re saying is that freedom of thought and speech shouldn’t apply to everyone? And further you get to make rules on what is the correct way to think and speak?

  9. Anonymous says:

    to disallow PDA’s was ridiculous. but that said, i NEVER thought i’d SEE. THE. DAY. since the 80’s, i was convinced i was the ONLY queer Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only gay in the village

    • First pride rocked says:

      It was greatly organised and if you do not u d’état and the importance of that historical moment then you have no clue about the sense of community and inclusion.
      If you want to display then it was the wrong place !!!!
      Grow up and move on
      It was a great success regardless what you say and haters will not change that
      Just a fact!!!!!

  10. Teacher David “Benjy”. says:

    Congratulations to all involved!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yes it was a huge success. No arrests made, no drunks, no grinding and humping, no falling off floats from too much alcohol, no fights, no arguments, no young girls being compromise like the other events held here. It was the best day of my life, not just as a gay Caymanian but as a human being.
    Nolly and the LGBT Foundation set a very high standard and example and it showed. This event will be a huge tourists attraction for Cayman. Love is love!

    • Anonymous says:

      As a straight Caymanian, I have to agree that the event seemed to go perfectly!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. Also Straight Caymanian and i feel the same way. Congrats to the persons involved and hope everyone can just grow to live and accept each other.

    • The first pride was amazing stop the haters says:

      Amen Nolly has done an amazing work in representing the gay community perfectly and portraying us as normal people like anyone cos guess what we are normal people.
      So when I read stupid comment about we ar ex back in the 80 ‘s from an imbecile it gets to me.
      Well done nolly and your foundation fir th ex great work done and to next year and many more.
      Fir the haters then c u next Tuesday 🌈🌈🌈🌈

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely right. I recall taking my elderly mother to one of the carnivals here. Along with many children, we were given a public display of dry humping. A Caribbean guy literally grabbed one of the girls from the parade forced her to the ground and humped her. On expressing my disgust, a grinning Caribbean guy next to me said it was cultural and I wouldn’t understand… Give me peaceful and respectful gay culture everyday, hetero Caribbean culture is disrespectful and utterly misogynistic.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It was a nice little event! If batabano is allowed I don’t see why there was such a big fuss over this! At least there are actually gay Caymanians; batabano holds no cultural significance to this country, but it’s still a fun time!

    • Anonymous says:

      Might better do a little research on Batabano and how it came about… It is actually very Caymanian. It coincides with turtle nesting season (Batabano = turtle tracks). Remember, way back in the olden days, Caymanians were turtlers. (glad that has tapered off)

      • Anonymous says:

        While it is a home-grown, locally invented festival, Batabano has nothing to do with turtling or turtle-nesting season. Over the years, it has been staged at different times of the year and has not always coincided with turtle-nesting season. Also, the word ‘batabano’ does not mean ‘turtle tracks’, at least not in Caymanian dialect.

      • Anonymous says:

        The name is relevant but carnival/mas was not a Cayman tradition. I can remember when Batabano parades started.

        • Anonymous says:

          03 @ 9:36am – You’re right, Batabano is not a “traditional” Cayman celebration. It was created by Jamaican/Caymanian businessman David Peynado and Guyanese/Caymanian musician Dave Martins in the mid or late 1980s. They did it, with the support of Government and the business community, as a tourist attraction to essentially extend the tourist season, after the end of the usual “high season”. They used Trinidad Carnival as the model and used the Batabano name to connect it with Cayman (per the area of West Bay with the same name). Quite a good business model and clearly successful. BTW, Batabano is a location in Cuba, which perhaps gave its name to the location in West Bay. I doubt Cuba got their name from Cayman. I wasn’t aware that “batabano” means “turtle tracks” (perhaps it does), and if so, that gives the name a further connection to Cayman.

          But, all-in-all, the Batabano Carnival was not a “traditional” event, unless one considers 30-40 years to be tradition. Yes, many of us remember when it started – just the other day!

      • Anonymous says:

        What turtles humping each other and acting stupid as hell. Please go back and do you resurch

  13. Anonymous says:

    Panton has a lot of decency in him and modern attitudes to modern issues rather than the depressing Old Testament bile so beloved by some. One just wishes he had a decent set of Ministers alongside him instead of that rag tag bunch of has beens, never wases and fence jumpers. Maybe Chris Saunders (Ego Man) and Andre Ebanks could be excluded from that list, to be fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:34pm, Chris belongs on the list…don’t exclude him. All else in your comment was spot on!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Given all the fuss over travel having to be essential, I would love to know why the leader of the opposition had to be off island and could not attend the event. Hopefully not a medical emergency, as I would hate to think that he was either shopping, on vacation or simply using travel as an excuse not to be present at the parade.

    • Anonymous says:

      I highly doubt he would have left island for the sole purpose of not being at the parade. As far as I’m aware from speaking with him he supports gay rights.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I remember him speaking out about it in parliament and on the election trail – NOT.

        So what’s your case – he went off island for medical treatment, or to take someone to college?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do we all have to try and discredit each other, OMG please stop with all the bull, and let try to get along with one another. If he is off-island for medical reasons that who are we to think different.

    • xx says:

      Interesting how you manage to turn a positive event into an opportunity to put down a politician without reason.
      I think a better question should be why such a silly edict was made by our tourism minister.
      I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to travel abroad for their chosen personal reasons.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a planned medical follow-up – so yes it was for a legit medical reason. What you could ask is why did the Health Minister plan her constituency meeting for the same day as the first pride parade.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.17pm Roy had a medical appt. He is certainly not going to travel just to miss this.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant.

    If the vociferous bigots could please refrain from commenting that’d be great. Nobody wants your tiny brains getting over-exerted.

    The ones who denigrate gay people for being who they are, and then justify it using their religion aren’t far from Taliban style foolishness.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yet it is okay to throw insults about tiny brains as a generalisation. You should also look up the word bigot. It does not belong to the homosexual community exclusively as you have just demonstrated so well!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the input.

        Oooops, I guess I’m bigoted against people with tiny brains.

        Somehow, I’ll be able to live with myself.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A big step forward for Cayman. Well done to everybody involved.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a fun event! Can’t wait till the next one! Hopefully it will be in June. 🌈

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