Government says marriage is between one man, one woman

The Cayman Islands government has passed a motion to maintain the definition of marriage as it is currently written in the law: a union between a man and a woman. 

“To me, this is one of the most important motions for this House and the people of the Cayman Islands,” said Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden. 

The motion, brought forward by Mr. Eden during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly last week, follows a landmark judgment by the European Court of Human Rights last month which could force the Cayman Islands to change its stance on same-sex unions. 

The Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 states that the government “shall respect the right of every unmarried man and woman of marriageable age” to “marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family.” The Marriage Law (2010 revision) defines marriage as “the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife.” 

However, there is no specific prohibition against civil unions, which can allow couples rights similar, if not equal to, married couples. 

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The ECHR found that Italy was in breach of the European Human Rights Convention for failing to offer adequate legal protection to same-sex couples. In response to the ECHR ruling, the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission called upon the government to enact legislation recognizing same-sex unions, and noted that without such legislation the country is in breach of the European Human Rights Convention and could be vulnerable to a successful challenge in the court. 

Such a change is unlikely to happen easily, as the government demonstrated with its show of overwhelming support for Mr. Eden’s resolution. Every member present during the Aug. 13 session voted in favor of the resolution. Four members – Premier Alden McLaughlin, Joey Hew, Ezzard Miller and Wayne Panton – were absent. 

Mr. Eden’s presentation on his motion, which he said was “based on Holy Bible evidence,” was not limited to a discussion of the definition of marriage. He also admonished homosexual behavior in general and warned people against “satanic confusion.” 

Bodden Town MLA Alva Suckoo, who seconded Mr. Eden’s motion, said that, while he did not wish to “launch an assault on homosexuals,” in his Bible, homosexuality is a sin, and he “shouldn’t be expected to support legislation that would allow sin.” 

Mr. Suckoo said that because the Cayman Islands are “culturally unique” its laws “must reflect the values that we think are important.” 

“I know there are those who will think we must be bigots and homophobes and probably worse,” Mr. Suckoo said. “But I as a representative cannot support a lifestyle or concept that I think clashes with our chosen value systems here and our religious values.” 

Finance Minister Marco Archer, who also spoke on the motion and voted in favor of it, said that while he thinks marriage should be between a man and a woman and that the law should reflect the values of the country’s citizens, some review of the law might be made to achieve equality. 

“If the desire is for equality with respect to the protection of their rights, with respect to the ownership of property and the transfer of that property to their loved ones,” Mr. Archer said, “I believe it is possible for us to review our laws and see in what ways that can be done without considering or interfering or changing the definition of what God always intended to be marriage between a man and a woman, and what our constitution and our marriage laws currently provide for.”

This story has been amended from the original to correct the names of the MLAs who were absent during the vote.

Mr. Eden

Mr. Eden
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  1. I applaud Anthony Eden and his cohorts for his stand on this matter. Marriage was not instituted by man, so man does not really have the authority to change its definition.

    If folk wish to do whatever they want, that is their decision. They don’t answer to me, but in my opinion it would be a really sad situation to stand before God on Judgement Day and try to face Him down.

    Alas, I feel that the LGBT agenda is more than just rights-for-all. I believe that it is an excuse for a witch hunt to punish traditional, God-fearing folk.

    I cannot see the UK, EU and UN giving us a wide berth on this. I just hope the politicians have the fortitude to hang on to their convictions. After all, "He hath founded it upon the seas".

    Peace to everyone.

  2. I vigorously support and applaud Bodden Town MLA Mr Anthony Eden for his bold and courageous the motion he brought forward to recognize and maintain the definition of marriage as "a union between and man and a woman."

    As everyone knows that the Supreme Court of the United States passed into law that "same sex marriage" is now legal. May Almighty God have mercy on us. At no time have I felt ashamed being an American citizen than when this happened. Unfortunately, I cannot state some of the reasons that prompted this action.

    Mr Eden is absolutely right. The Biblical definition of marriage is "the union between a man and a woman." God created us human beings male and female. The Bible does not support same sex marriage in any way, shape, or form. As a matter of fact, same sex marriage is not a marriage at all but rather the destruction of marriage between a man and woman and the family unit as God intended.

    On this subject the Bible declares in Romans 1:26 "… God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

    May God bless Mr Eden and the Cayman Islands government and all in favor of the Biblical definition of marriage. Also that the people of these islands will throw their full support behind this motion. I sincerely wish this was the case in the USA.

  3. It”s also on compasscayman. I thought better of pointing out the many hypocrisies of the bible bashers on the island. I have nothing against religion, but picking and choosing which bits to believe is crazy particularly Old Testament. If we believe the sections about sodomy and gay relations we must also embrace no tattoos, no mixed clothing, no eating of pigs, no shellfish, no sitting on seats with women having periods etc etc. also Jesus is quoted about saying people who are free of sin should cast the first stone. Who honestly believes they are free of all biblical sin, if for no other reason than for the sins of Adam and Eve? If you believe you are then you are also guilty of the sin of pride. Congrats! We live in an enlightened world where we know some of the biblical stories are merely parables. Unless you honestly want to argue that the earth was formed in 7 days, the earth was formed sometime around 4004BC etc etc. I fail to see how people can argue things based solely on the bible in this day and age. You may never agree with it, and that is your right, but who are you to pass judgment on many others who live their lives as they see fit? Who are you to lecture on what is right and wrong? Let”s be honest with divorce rates in Cayman, they are probably as high as anywhere in the western world. If you say no marriage for homosexual individuals then surely no divorces for straight people as that is also a sin.

  4. What a wonderful day for Cayman!

    I am so pleased to learn that Finance Minister Marco Archer has a direct link to God and can speak to the issue of what, exactly God thinks about marriage between same sex couples. Hoo-ray!! What a day! Now since we know that we have this direct link through Mr. Archer, we should ask God for the solutions to the poor education system in Cayman, to the ever present problem of the dump, we should ask him about how to solve the issue of the cruise port, even how to lower the speed limit on West Bay Road. After all, clearly the Legislature does not have the answer to these problems. Good for us!

    Perhaps the Legislature should stick to those issues and all of the others that are troubling this island.

    If the government believes that there are no gay people living in Cayman, they are sadly mistaken. Gay people are everywhere. In our government, in our schools, in our service businesses, in the tourism industry, in finance, construction and retailing.

    Our government needs to understand there are many gay people living on the island. We come across them every day, in many ways. We trust them with our children, our sickly, our personal finances, our own health, and even our most personal secrets. If these people are worthy of such important positions in our lives, what are they not worthy of an opportunity to love the person of their choosing?

    It may be a surprise to many of the bigots and homophobes on the island, but gay people are all children of God. They have not chosen to be who they are, God made them that way. If they are healthy, they accept it and embrace their persona. If not, they live sad, incomplete lives.

    They will tell you that they were created as the person they are, no one, or no society corrupted them, and they most certainly did not "choose" a life that causes them to be ostracized, made to feel dirty, be the butt of nasty jokes and whispered conversations when they enter a room. Who would choose that? Certainly there will be those on the island who will claim they never, ever cross the path of a gay man or woman. To them I say, well — open your eyes!

    To those elected Leaders who have made it to this point of this essay, I ask you wouldn’t it be better to live in a society where all people can be who they are….. free to love who they desire and enjoy their short time in this life, rather than hiding in the closet in fake marriages cheating their spouses out of the opportunity to have a truly fulfilling relationship?

    I know that the media often times emphasizes the outrageous behavior of some individuals who like to throw gay sexuality in the face of society. However, do you really think that two people who chose a loving, committed, supportive relationship are going to be out on the streets engaging in unsavory sexual practices? Unsavory sexual activities are inappropriate whether they are between any two people. Allowing marriage between two people of the same gender will not cause Cayman to slip into the ocean. And, believe me honorable gentlemen of the Assembly, allowing two men or two women to live their lives as they choose, will not force you to marry someone of the same sex — that is, unless you chose to!

    A revolutionary idea for those on the island who are against gay marriage: Simply do not marry a person of the same sex. There! That is the answer! Easy, isn’t it?

    You are free to marry whatever opposite sex person you wish, and gay people should be allowed (and encouraged) to marry whomever they wish. Don’t you wish that for your children and grandchildren?

  5. Marriage is certainly a wonderful institution.

    Shame there isn”t more of it going on between men and women.
    Then there wouldn”t be so many babies bought up by single women and teenagers.

    Maybe this is where we should be focusing our attention.

  6. This is a shame, and is shameful. Allowing human beings to enjoy equal rights and happiness should be fundamental to our beliefs as good people.
    The Bible is a story-book written when the world was a very different place, and should not be taken as ‘law’ or the word of any God, whichever one you believe in, or none at all. As another poster wrote, you cannot pick and choose which parts to follow or support and which parts to ignore as outdated or wrong.
    Please separate state, government and religion when making laws and not base a country’s laws on what the Bible says you should do. News for you, not everyone in Cayman is Christian and they don’t want laws to be written on the basis of what unknown people say you should do from thousands of years ago.
    You might be interested to hear how Cayman’s tourism industry will be affected by this decision and the bad publicity –
    Gay people go on vacation too, but now they’ll be spending their money somewhere else.

  7. The big problem with same sex marriage they cannot repeat cannot procreate and have children. In many instances same sex couples have to adopt children. How did children come about. By same sex individuals? If God created same sex people there would be no offspring. You and I would not be here.

    Cayman does not have to follow the "separation of church and state" as here in the USA. When government officials are elected they swear their commitment to the constitution on the Bible. Look at the ten commandments and check if many of our laws did not originate there.

    Small wonder the world is in such a mess today. Everyone wants to do what is right only in their sight only. People stand for nothing and fall for everything. "The love of money is the root of all evil" says the Good Book. Its not the money but the love of it. Because of this people will kill and hurt others to get it. Since the Bible was taken out of schools in the USA, juvenile delinquency has skyrocketed to intolerable proportions and continues. Society likewise is on a slippery slope ever since. And will continue until death.

    Not everyone in Cayman is a christian neither not everyone is a non-christian. Gay people go on vacation and non-gay people likewise.

  8. @Geoffrey Daniels
    There are many who are born who are not normal by whatever you or your religion have decided that normal is. Many of them can’t procreate or have healthy offsprings. Has it occurred to you that maybe they came forth to sort of upset the apple cart of human conformity and teach you tolerance and acceptance.
    Your religion is demonstrating a secular irrational need for others to be a certain way and that is what causes humanity to keep shooting itself in a foot.

  9. Let me introduce myself as a gay Chartered Accountant who worked Cayman from 1997 until 2003, and has visited back to Cayman over 20 times; including 10 visits with my same sex husband. Now I live in Canada where same sex marriage has been legal for 12 years.

    When I was a little boy in the 1970s, I knew God made me different. I knew I liked boys, and I knew I liked to do things that were not stereotypical of boys. Back then, this was something to be ashamed of, so I hid who I was and I often contemplated suicide because of my shame.

    Today, I am a confident gay middle-aged man, extremely happily married to my same sex partner of 9 years. We share our lives with our parents, siblings, extended families, colleagues, and friends. Many of our friends are Caymanian. We are pleased to live in a world of nearly full acceptance of who we are.

    It saddens me to see this debate still raging in some parts of the world.

    The one thing I know for sure is that we will look back in history books on this debate, just as we did on all the other human rights debates, and we will see that treating someone as less of a person, and giving them less rights because of the gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, creed, or any other reason is wrong.

    Cayman will move the right way, either through proactive people’s voices just as it happened in Ireland; or through legislative rights as it happened in the United States. Fighting it is silly and puts you squarely on the wrong side of history. Just seeing the support on line and the comments and thumbs up and down, it is already appears that the majority of Caymanians are in favor of being progressive on this issue. That certainly aligns with my personal experiences on the island.

    To those who use the bible to defend their views on homosexuality: You don’t get to cherry pick what pieces of the bible suit you and what pieces do not. There are lots of stories in the bible that we know make no sense for a modern world. At the end of the day, the bible was written in a time when we still believed the earth was flat. Imagine how much we have learned since then. What are you ready to learn?

    Get to know me. Get to know what an amazing marriage I have. Love is love. Me being happy does not take anything away from you. That’s all anyone really wants is to be – happy.

    If you call yourself a Christian, then you would treat others they way you wanted to be treated. You would not make me feel like less than a person because I did not share your views.

    Do the Christian thing and love thy neighbor as you love thy self; and forget all this nonsense about love the sinner, hate the sin. That’s nothing but an excuse to pretend you love someone and still slam them, which we all know is pretty uncool. Not to mention, there is no sin in two consenting adults being in love.

  10. I find it incredibly ironic that the folk (and there are only a few) who stand up for what they morally believe is right are labelled as haters by the apparent majority. It would appear that the words of Jesus are reverberating louder and louder as time passes by.

    Nobody here is advocating physical violence since I would like to think that we all live in a civilised society, so let”s settle that right now.

    Let me quote the words of Jesus: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name”s sake:"
    "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    The Sword of the Gospel
    (Luke 12:49-53)

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man”s foes shall be they of his own household."

    So true. Take a stand for God and Jesus and watch all hell break loose. Well, I for one am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God to save us all. (God knows, we all need saving, especially me. I am no better than anyone else.)

    It is not an LGBT issue we are all facing. We are all in the same boat as imperfect people in a fallen world. What we all need is a Saviour and God has provided one for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

    Let us not be like Cain who slew his brother because his own deeds were evil. The sacrifice that God requires has not changed since day one. It is the blood of the innocent Lamb.

    Peace and goodwill to ALL people everywhere.