MLA Eden leaves PPM over civil union issue

Anthony Eden

A founding member of the People’s Progressive Movement political party left the organization Thursday after a months-long dispute over the legal acceptance of same-sex unions in the Cayman Islands.

Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden, 70, indicated he would become an independent lawmaker and sit on the other side of the Legislative Assembly when the House next meets.

“I have been contemplating in regards to the completeness of the discussion of the premier on same-sex marriage,” Mr. Eden said. “I will take this opportunity to say to this House and my constituents I will no longer sit as a part of the PPM backbench. In the next meeting I will sit on the other side of the floor.”

Progressives party leader, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Friday that Mr. Eden’s departure left him disappointed, although it was “not entirely unexpected.”

“Tony Eden has been, and will continue to be, an exceptional representative of the people of Bodden Town and an outstanding member of the Legislative Assembly,” Premier McLaughlin said. “I know he will continue to serve the people of these islands well, no matter where he sits in the House.”

Mr. Eden left the PPM a few hours after Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin announced government’s intention to change Immigration Law regulations “as a matter of urgency” to allow same-sex partners to remain in Cayman as dependants on their partner’s work permit.

The “test case” for this issue, involves former Cayman Islands law school professor Dr. Leonardo Raznovich, whose application to remain in Cayman as a dependant of his partner was denied by the Immigration Department. Since then, both Argentinian and British government officials have written to the Cayman Islands government urging local politicians to reverse their position in the matter.

For now, Mr. McLaughlin said, the change in immigration rules would not be expanded to a wholesale acceptance of civil unions in the law because he believes government has “no mandate” to do so.

However, the premier indicated Thursday that the times are changing: “This is a train that is not going to stop coming. It has long left the station.”

For more on this story, see Monday’s Cayman Compass.

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  1. I would to remind the premier that not everything that is popular is also right. Sometimes good people need to take a stand against what is wrong irrespective of the consequences.

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  2. As a voter and political watcher in the district of Bodden Town; I salute Mr Anthony Eden on his decision.
    Do not become a part of the LA cross-dressing. Plain to see little Horns have grown out the top of some of their heads. Who would have thought that it would have came down to this.
    When I voted, I voted for "Men in Black" not "Men in Pink" to run this country.
    Furthermore Mr Anthony Eden does NOT have to go through any undue stress from persons hiding in the LA closet.
    Mr Eden you are a man, because you stood up for what you believed in. People did what they want to do behind closed doors for the longest of times, but Daylight Tom-Cat weddings is not acceptable. Life is all about where we go from here and what we believe in. No one is going to hold unto your hand and say I will travel with you when you leave this earth. You will go alone, so abide in your faith and self preparation.
    Very little any of us can do about the LOST finding their way if they do not want to.
    But I say Cayman…….make sure next time you vote that you vote for "Men" And Men who has the guts to stand against what is wrong irrespective of the consequences.

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  3. Despite my own personal feelings on this issue I would like to take the time to recognize Mr. McLaughlin for making such a bold move. He clearly knows that if Mr. Eden should choose to run a team of independents in Boden Town that the PPM will never be in government after the next general election. The fact that he has essentially sacrificed the PPM over this issue is a bold move to say the least.

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  4. Congratulations to Mr. Eden. He has taken a good first step.

    Now all he needs to do is steps down from the LA altogether. Clearly his bigoted ideas are out of date and out of step with enlightened Caymanians.

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  5. Twyla
    I mostly do not agree with your opinions. But I admire your courage in publishing them despite the fact that the majority of readers regularly disagree with you.

    On the current subject I have no interest in sexual relations with another man. But whether one likes it or not, a minority of people, male and female ARE attracted to members of their own sex.

    like it or not gay rights are now written into the laws of most Western countries.
    As a colony of the UK we will have no choice but to recognize this.
    A court action fought to defend Mr. Eden’s views will fail at the cost of millions of dollars in legal expenses.

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  6. Christoph, just go ahead and invite me to have a face off if it will make you feel any better. Cayman is not your country, and we would be happy hearing you leading the way in your own.

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  7. Graham everyone knows that the diminishing minority are Caymanians.
    People like you are afraid of me because you know I won’t stop short of telling you to get back on your horse and ride out of town. This is my island, it is not yours.

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  8. Norman, you see that is the problem in Cayman. There is not enough BOLD people like myself that will speak their minds and is prepared to take on those who are anti- every thing in Caymanian that does not pleas them.
    What you do not know or do not want to admit is that all of the persons disagreeing with what I say are expatriates; that is why they only disagree, without a name behind their comments.
    If you check all comments I make you will see that I never say anything on another person comment, I comment on the editorial reports. If they take me on for a showdown, I have the ability to tear them up verbally.

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  9. Mr MacDonald, I understand what you are saying, but don’t be too hard on Twyla.
    This issue is really about Human Rights and its supporting legislation. The law is constantly changing and is based, broadly speaking, on what a reasonable person in current times believes. If you read some of what Twyla has said in the past, she is broadly supportive of the idea that people are entitled to their own beliefs (and thoughts) and ways of life.
    Her most recent comments, whilst a little hard to understand seem to be otherwise! So, it is worth digging amongst the verbiage to see why, and my take on that is that she is greatly influenced by her reading of the Bible, and why not? As we said above, everyone is entitled to their religious views, the problem with that is that a literal reading of writings of another time, do not fairly represent the world we live in now. Examples of this are available in all religions, think about the Catholic versions of Christianity and their teachings on say, birth control, or about some of the versions of Islam and the problems they bring to the world. They are largely based on account teachings, sometimes on warped variations of writings, and are simply no longer relevant.
    So, allow her a little latitude for that and try to be a little kinder. And Twyla, maybe you should do the same, last time we disagreed you told me to "Buzz Off", and to Christoph below you effectively told him to leave, remember your own words, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs!

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  10. Graham
    Sorry but Twyla has the same right to express her opinions that you and I have.

    Even if many people disagree with them.

    Has Grand Cayman progressed in the last 30 years?
    In material ways most certainly yes. But up to 10 years ago one could walk down any street without fear and armed robbery was unknown.

    30 years ago George Town was a small but real capital. Now it is avoided by most locals as it is an outdoor mall for cruise boat people.

    And you could drive the length of West Bay Rd and have almost uninterrupted water views.

    Better times now? Not so sure.

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