Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has filed a Private Members Motion proposing an amendment to the Marriage Law that would define marriage in the Cayman Islands as being between a man and woman.
The motion also proposes the Marriage Law only recognise a person’s gender at birth and that no other form of civil union be allowed in the Cayman Islands to recognise same-sex partnerships.
The motion was filed with the Legislative Assembly Monday and Mr. Bush wants House Standing Orders suspended to allow the motion to be dealt with during the current meeting of the House.
‘This is relevant now because the government is proceeding with a referendum on a constitution with a bill of rights,’ he said, adding that the government intends to bring the Referendum Law to the house during this meeting of the Legislative Assembly. If passed, that law would pave the way for a referendum on the People’s Progressive Movement’s proposals for a new constitution.
The government has stated that the referendum will take place late next month.
The motion points out that the individual right to petition to the European Commission on Human Rights was extended to the Cayman Islands in 2006 and that the government has proposed the new constitution have a bill of rights enshrined in it.
The European Commission on Human Rights defers the power to define marriage to domestic legislation, the motions states.
‘Article 12 reads: ‘Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.’
Mr. Bush’s motion states that neither the European Commission on Human Rights nor the Cayman Islands Marriage Law restricts marriage to the opposite sex.
‘…The Caymanian people have insisted that marriage be restricted to those of opposite sex,’ the motion sates.
Mr. Bush’a motion also states that ‘the Leader of Government Business recognised this deficiency from 6 July, 2007, but has done nothing to allay the fears of the Caymanian people’.
The motion was seconded by West Bay MLA Cline Glidden Jr.