Writer will vote ‘no’

If I can successfully arrange for an absentee ballot to be sent to me here in Atlanta (now that I am non-resident) I intend to vote ‘no’ on the draft Constitution.

The draft insufficiently protects human rights in the Cayman Islands.

I support the view of the Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee on Section 16 of the draft.

The government has cowered to religious bigotry and gutted Section 16 in order to ‘protect’ the Cayman Islands from the possibility of same-gender unions.

By successfully focusing on this alleged threat, the ultra-conservative Minister’s Association managed to distract the country from the real issue: human rights for all.

Ratification of the draft constitution will not stop private citizens from discriminating against each other. In other words, the present situation will not change in which, for example, a landlord can refuse to rent to someone that he suspects is lesbian, gay or transgender.

This is not a fictitious example: as I have testified before I personally experienced such discrimination when I tried to rent an apartment in Grand Cayman in 1996.

I am a Caymanian.

My pedigree is unquestionable and yet I enjoy more civil protection – more human rights – in foreign countries than I do in my own.

My vote in May will be qualitative, not quantitative. We do not have the opportunity of voting section-by-section: it is a straight up or down vote. That being the case, I believe that I have no other choice but to vote no. That is my right, as a Caymanian.

Charles D. Bush

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