Almost 60 per cent of respondents to the most recent www.caycompass.com online poll believe Cayman’s legislators should define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
59.9 per cent (401) of the 669 respondents to the two-week survey backed a definition of marriage that is between a man and a woman; 27.4 per cent (183) said marriage should be defined as being between any two consenting adults; 11.5 per cent (77) said Cayman’s legislators should not define marriage; while 1.2 per cent (8) said they did not know.
The poll question follows Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts’ announcement on 6 July that Government plans to define marriage in both the law and the country’s revised constitution.
‘It is presumed at this point and time that marriage means the union between a man and a woman,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.
‘The situation is not one that we see as very urgent,’ he said.
‘But rather than have any segment of our society wondering about it and bringing attention to it; we thought we would simply allay their fears.’
Most of the respondents who made comments favouring a male-female definition of marriage claimed Christianity influenced their position
‘I believe in the male-female connection only,’ said one respondent. ‘All the parts fit. We were designed that way without question, we really don’t have a say in it, it’s simply just the law. God’s law! The unchangeable.’
‘But more importantly than how it is defined by legislators, the Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman!’ said another. ‘And for a country of who prides its Christian heritage – how else should marriage be defined!’
‘I pray that all children can grow in a normal society where their parents are Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,’ said someone else.
A respondent supporting a definition that allowed any two consenting adults to get married said gay couples deserved the same rights as straight married couples.
‘Insurance, mortgages, work benefits and the list goes on. What will happen if my partner of 10 years passes away? Will my place of employment allow me the right to grieve or will I have to take sick days or vacation?’
‘The Christian right is making this issue into something that it is not. They are [delaying] a bill of rights because they don’t believe that homosexuals should have the same rights. My God a bill of rights! Can the people of these islands be so blinded by ignorance that we would not want a bill of rights? I say legislate against stupidity, prejudice and hate!’
‘Get with the times’ was the message from another respondent. ‘There is no doubt a local gay community exists here as in the rest of the world (Yes Jamaica you have one too). To discriminate against anyone for any reason is wrong. We all know that. We will never change the fact that there is homosexuality; why not focus on what we can change, like sexual abuse of this Islands’ children!!’
One person said law-makers in the Cayman Islands are too interested in pleasing church leaders rather than promoting legislation that is in the best interests of human rights, national progression and a free society.
‘The CI constitution and the UN human rights convention are living, breathing, legal documents, wherein they can be revised to meet the needs of our society; why then do our law-makers continually derive laws, such as the definition of marriage, based on a storybook written 2,000 years ago that has never been revised?
‘Maybe Cayman should abandon all scientific endeavours as well and use the science knowledge of 2,000 years ago; that is, if it pleases church leaders!’
‘Live and let live,’ was the message of another respondent. ‘It’s hard enough to find another human being you are compatible with. Why should other people’s personal choices bother us?’
A respondent, who opposed law-makers introducing any definition, thought everyone should get over the gay marriage issue.
‘If two people genuinely love each other, they should be able to marry each other. This same argument was pursued decades ago about interracial marriages,’ the person said. ‘No person or government has the right to dictate how and who to love. If God disapproves let him/her deal with the individuals.’