Alva Suckoo resigns from PPM

Says Christianity is “under attack”

Bodden Town MLA Alva Suckoo resigned from the ruling Progressives party Wednesday, saying he believes the country’s Christian foundations are “under attack.”

Mr. Suckoo is the second government legislator to resign, following his Bodden Town colleague Anthony Eden across the aisle of the Legislative Assembly to serve as an independent legislator.

Both men are opposed to any moves toward legal recognition of same-sex partnerships in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Eden resigned immediately after Premier Alden McLaughlin announced in November a partial move toward equal rights for same-sex couples.

Mr. Suckoo also cited the debate over gay marriage as part of what he described as a more general attack on Christianity as he confirmed his resignation in a press statement on Wednesday.

He said he could no longer continue with the Progressives party.

The premier’s office said Mr. McLaughlin had no comment on the development Wednesday.

Mr. Suckoo’s resignation leaves the Progressives party with a precarious hold on government.

Even with the addition of Roy McTaggart, who joined the Progressives earlier this month, the party now has nine members in the Legislative Assembly. This includes Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who, as Speaker of the House, does not typically vote on government business. Also sitting on the government benches are independent members Tara Rivers and Winston Connolly.

There are now seven members on the opposition side, including three from the Cayman Democratic Party, formerly known as the United Democratic Party, and four independent members.

The seat shuffling could potentially make it more difficult for government to get the votes it needs to pass legislation.

Mr. Suckoo said he would continue to support government initiatives that he believed would benefit the country. He said he was resigning on a matter of principle.

“My concerns run much deeper than a simple debate about same-sex marriage.

“The very foundations upon which we built our country are now under attack and I firmly believe that we, the people’s representatives, must now make a stand to protect those values, cultural beliefs and Christian principles that have served these islands for so long.

“Failure to do so will inevitably lead us down a path from where there is no return.”

Mr. Suckoo did not explicitly reference any government decision in his statement. It is understood that, like Mr. Eden, he is concerned about Mr. McLaughlin’s indication that government may have to consider some legal changes to ensure rights for same-sex couples.

Emphasizing the importance of the church in Cayman and the role of Christianity, enshrined in the Constitution, he said, “I cannot, as a matter of principle, follow a course of action that seeks to further diminish the importance of our Christian heritage and further deteriorate our social development.”

McKeeva Bush, leader of the Cayman Democratic Party, said he believed Mr. Suckoo had made the right decision and would be a welcome addition to the opposition benches.

“He is a good, decent young man and I believe he has never really belonged to the PPM. He is not joining any group and that is not a bad thing. I believe in the party system and I’m sure if he wanted to join the party he would be welcomed but he has chosen to be an independent and I respect that.”

Theoretically a coalition of the four independent legislators could threaten the Cayman Democratic Party’s position as the official opposition. Mr. Bush said he did not see that happening.

“I think they are what they say they are – independents.”

Alva Suckoo

Alva Suckoo

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  1. I think that most people would agree that the countries traditional Christian values are not as important today as they had been in the past. A lot of this has to do with the social changes that have taken place over the past few decades and with the fact that none of the decisions that have been made regarding the development of the country have taken this into consideration. In planning for the future we should not shy away from the potentially contentious discussion about values and what role they should play, if any, in the future direction of the country.

    While I can respect the decision taken by Mr. Suckoo and while I believe that he is a man of integrity and is doing what he thinks is best for the country there is still an elephant in the room that must be acknowledged. That elephant is the fact that Caymanians don”t have the final say about what happens in the Cayman Islands. The best possible outcome as it relates to the defense of traditional Christian values is to have same-sex marriage (and by extension what is believed by some to be deviant homosexual conduct) forced on the people of the Cayman Islands. This will ensure that the historical records reflects the true desires of the people.

  2. This type of article always gets people interested in whats going on in the country. The economy is not even on the list compared to this topic.I fear I should build an air raid shelter once I hit send.

    The Chruch has no place in the laws of the land and I am including Religion.Religion is one of the pieces of the puzzle that has caused more destruction in the world including loss of life than World wars or atrocities of disease. People need to be free to do as their will allows them within the laws of the land-a fundamental spinoff from democracy.

    If my neighbour is happy in life choosing to live life with a partner of the same sex, then let his/her happiness be the most imortant thing and not the prejudices of a book thousands of years old. Its teachings of being a good person are the foundation of society and I live by them. Prejudice should not be a part of this life and gay marriage is indeed a real part of life. It cant be stopped and doing so is putting your finger in a dam to hold back the water.

    The political protests of Cayman politician is nothing more than the promotion of prejudice. The Charter of Rights in this world is finally realizing that we should live and let live.

    And finally, please dont tell me that its the teachings of the Bible that has created this attitude as there are many things in the good book that most people choose to ignore and I will not start quoting scripture. But be careful beacuse there are things that are nasty in that book.

    Please excuse me while I go build my shelter.

  3. I Sincerely support Mr Alva Suckoo in his move and open declaration, emphasizing the importance of the Church and the role of Christianity.
    To the people of Cayman I say; what ever we are or what ever we believe in is our prerogative, but remember the game ends sometime.
    Mr Alva Suckoo, your decisions are welcomed by many in your district; and I stand firmly with you.
    In your own words, " I cannot as a matter of Principle, follow a course of action that seeks to further diminish the importance of our Christian Heritage, and further deteriorate our social development"
    To the people of Cayman; those words alone, should make every one consider what is more important. Principle, Money or Power.
    Mr Suckoo, I feel you did the right thing in standing up for what you believe in.
    In Cayman we have MEN and WOMEN, but we also have those who chose not to wear the Capitals. All is loved the same way but we must not allow some persons to dictate what they want, just to disrupt our way of life.
    Mr Suckoo and Mr Eden, It is received with great pleasure that your choice was made on good principle and the voice of your people of Bodden Town.
    Come 2017 Bodden Town, we need to stand by our MAN.

  4. Bodden Town, I believe you did the right thing in not splitting up your vote and diluting your political will during the last election, but here now your representatives do just that. Separation of church and state, Yea-Yes.

    Homosexuality may not be right, but they will have their rights, whether we like it or not. What those right are I believe have already be decided.

  5. Yes, Mr Suckoo has every right to resign over this issue, but it is sad that the matter is being treated as a religious one. It is not, its an issue of human rights. The Bible may well teach against same gender marriage, so does the Holy Koran, and those that follow the teachings of those good books have every right to abide by their teachings. The Government of these Islands however are bound to apply rights fair to ALL its inhabitants, not all of whom are Christian.
    I agree whole heartedly with Jenny Taylor, religion is personal, not National.

  6. A government or state should not make it”s decisions about the future of a country based on religious beliefs. Religious freedom is surely part of the constitution, as well it should be, therefore the country”s citizens are free to follow any religion of their choosing or none at all if that suits them.
    Once a government makes laws and policies based on the beliefs of just one religion, it basically imposes that religion on all of its citizens, residents and visitors.
    Much of what the bible instructs is nonsense and has no place in a modern society, yet those who follow it fervently seem OK with picking out those elements that suit them and ignoring the rest.
    If citizens allowed this to happen without check, where exactly would it end?
    How about this one? "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)
    And that”s particularly mild. There are plenty of others we could suddenly start to impose on the Cayman citizens if we were really to start making laws based on the bible.
    I hope in the next elections that voters have the sense to bring in representatives who will make sensible decisions of government based on the real world, not this fictitious one from thousands of years ago.

  7. Perhaps he should have resigned from politics, not just the PPM. So called leaders like Alva are showing how confused they really are about what they are elected to do. It is so sad to see people like this believing what they are doing is honorable. They are only weakening the already crumbling ground this government is standing on.

    Alva”s and Anthony”s position will only last for a few more years. Just like the last hangers-on of those who would not recognize legal marriage after divorce many years ago. Yes, agreed, the Bible denounces it. But our understanding the living word evolves. When Jesus was on earth he tried to teach everyone this. He didn”t change the written law, but he asked everyone to be more accepting and be open to a more full understanding of what it means.

    Man and woman. What does that really mean? Some women are more of a man than Alva or Anthony. Some men are more of a woman than Juliana O”Connor or Hillary Clinton. Our country will at some point accept this. It is just sad we have to drag ourselves through this bitterness in order to finally get there.

    Alva, Anthony, keep throwing your stones. But just know eventually your arm will get tired, and you may regret the damage you have caused. Stop the hate.

  8. I think that we should be watching Mr Suckoo and his actions till 2017 to see if he just wants to be the premier, and stop beating up on him and the bible, maybe he is more than we think, or maybe he might be the man that the Islands and the people need.

  9. The sad aspect of this is that there is no reference in the Bible to same sex marriages. Even the Pope recognized this earlier this year. Homosexuality is not mentioned in the Bible.
    When people try to claim to be experts in the scriptures and they are not, then the results are generally less than optimal.
    Maybe Mr Suckoo should resign and fight his claim in the Human Rights court.

  10. Whether we believe in a religion or not it did help to educate you. Whether we pick this passage or another it helped to lead us through bad times and good times. It made you come here to live in peace.
    1 Timothy 1:9-10

    Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,