Premier Alden McLaughlin: Suckoo, Eden departures ‘unfortunate’

Alva Suckoo

Premier Alden McLaughlin has described as “unfortunate” the defection of a second backbench legislator to the opposition benches. 

The premier declined to comment directly on Alva Suckoo’s Dec. 30 decision to leave the government or the debate surrounding legal rights for same-sex couples that prompted it. 

He did appear to address the issue briefly in his New Year’s speech, however, saying, “Discrimination in any form is wrong.” 

Both Mr. Suckoo and Anthony Eden – the latter resigned from the Progressives party in November – are opposed to any moves toward recognition of same sex partnerships in the Cayman Islands. 

“My concerns run much deeper than a simple debate about same-sex marriage,” Mr. Suckoo said in a statement announcing his resignation. 

“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.” 

Mr. McLaughlin, who has indicated that government will make a partial move to recognize the rights of same-sex couples, said in his new year’s speech, “Despite the unfortunate departure of two of our members, your government remains strong and we will continue to work for the betterment of our people and our country. 

“We have bid farewell to another Christmas in which we celebrated again the birth of Christ and His teachings of love and tolerance. 

“We need to love and be tolerant of one another and appreciate that discrimination in any form is wrong. 

“Our constitution speaks specifically to Cayman being a God-fearing country based on traditional Christian principles, including tolerance. Indeed Christ himself exhorts us ‘to love one another as I have loved you.’” 

Mr. McLaughlin has so far resisted pressure from the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission to introduce full legislation allowing legal recognition of same-sex partnerships in compliance with new mandates from the European Court of Human Rights. The impact of the Strasbourg’s court’s decisions extend to Cayman because of its territorial relationship with the U.K. 

He did acknowledge in November that government intended to change Immigration Law regulations “as a matter of urgency” with regard to same-sex partners. 

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

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly in November, Mr. McLaughlin said the change in immigration rules would not be expanded to a wholesale acceptance of civil unions in the law. However, he indicated that Cayman may have to bring in changes eventually. 

“This is a train that is not going to stop coming. It has long left the station,” he said. 

Mr. Eden resigned immediately after that statement, and Mr. Suckoo followed suit last week, saying, “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.” 

He did not explicitly say what course of action he was speaking of in that statement, but it is understood to be a reference to moves toward legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. Mr. Suckoo did not respond last week to requests to clarify. 

Last year he seconded a widely supported private members’ motion from Mr. Eden calling for marriage to continue to be defined in law as a union between a man and a woman. 

In a presentation on his motion, which Mr. Eden said was “based on Holy Bible evidence,” he also admonished homosexual behavior in general and warned people against “satanic confusion.” 

Mr. Suckoo, speaking in support of that 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.” 


Read the premier’s new year message in full. 

Alva Suckoo


  1. Premier Alden McLaughlin is correct when he described the actions of Mr. Eden and Suckoo as “unfortunate”.

    It is amazing to me that these two gentlemen are so ignorant of modern social customs around the world that they would resign their positions in the ruling party over this matter. Granted, they will say "this is Cayman" and we are different, we are special, and unto ourselves. Well, surprise, surprise, Cayman is part of the world community. Caymanian people watch TV, read newspapers, and surf internet. They know what is happening around the world. They wonder why not here? If I am Caymanian, why can”t I get married to the person I love. Why must I live a life of lies, deceit and subterfuge?

    Which so many important issues effecting many, if not all of the residents of these islands needing action, their inordinate attention to this issue which effects such a tiny number of people astounds me. Perhaps focus should be turned to the financial problems of the government, the intolerable road and drainage systems, or the dozens of other real issues.

    After all, unless you are considering marrying someone of the same sex, this really should not be an issue to you. Recognition of same sex marriage in Cayman will not unleash a overwhelming spate of sexual activity on the islands. Marriage by gay people is not a license for that, as just in any marriage love, companionship, support, caring and someone to share life”s dreams and events is the real reason.

    Visitors and residents of Cayman should understand the customs of decorum are quite reserved here and examples of public affection or indecency are simply not acceptable. Gay or Straight, it seems that public demonstrations of affection or sexual contact are not tolerated period. I do not see that changing because two people of the same sex choose to create a recognized union, establish a loving, supportive home of substance and live their lives out in peace and harmony.

    My Bible tells me to love they neighbor, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So I ask, how can you ask me to respect your rights to a happy life, when your won”t respect mine?

  2. It is good to have men like Mr. Eden and Mr. Suckoo who stand for what is right instead of following the prevailing winds of what is currently politically correct.

    Nobody is talking about discrimination and it is a red herring to even suggest that any form of discrimination is involved. As a society we often times decide what is and is not acceptable and it is not automatically discrimination when any particular group of people are not allowed to have their way.

    Deviant homosexual conduct and all related activities have never been acceptable in the Cayman Islands. If we are to be forced to accept this conduct then let it be forced so that the historical record will reflect the will of the people.

  3. At Barnett

    Your submission is superb and seems void of self satisfying commentary.

    It seems as though, in Cayman peole get all worked up about things that are really inconsequential to them but want to go to war about things because its the thing to do.

    The two politicians who have led the march against "living in todays world" have left no doubt in my mind about their level of intelligence or ability to analyze a situation. They just want to raise their arms in the air and rant and shout about whats right and wrong.

    Eden and Suckoo need to get their heads out of the sand or wherever their heads might be.

    The wave is coming and Cayman cannot stop it. Its simply not big enough on the world stage.

  4. I think that the reasons why Mr Suckoo and Mr Eden departure may not be directly based on the subject. "Politians" we have to remember that politicians say one thing and do the other, just like Mr McLaughlin now looks like he is in favor of Same sex marriage, but watch and see if anything changes. Their decision would be used against them , that”s politic.

  5. I do hope the people of Cayman are not being naïve in thinking that Mr Alva Suckoo’s stepping aside from the PPM Government was solely because of debates by Government surrounding same-sex couples?
    Well, two or more years ago, many of Mr Alva Suckoo’s friends family and voters became aware, well aware of certain things that went on in that party. Mr Alva Suckoo, a newcomer, was put in between a Hard-Rock and the deep ocean at times by some of its members. Maybe he did not want to expose it to the public, being a principle man of integrity and a "New kid on the block" but half of the story has not been told.
    Sometimes everything good to eat is not good to talk.
    Did you read paragraph 5 of Mr Alva Suckoo’s own words? It says my concerns run much deeper than a simple debate about same-sex marriage". So you can all stay there and don’t know that there was more to it than meet the eye.
    Furthermore, concerning the UK and what it is asking concerning same sex-marriage; The Premier should allow the UK to impose this upon us.
    Mr. Premier, I am well aware that you were brought up in Christian foundation, but if you have allowed the world to stray you away from your principles, so be it. I am not really concerned about who like my openness or who don’t; my aim is to endeavor to speak my mind on whatever truth I know.
    And another thing folks, we got some dangerous people in this country when I saw how far my people went hand in hand with the UK Top Dogs to take down the first Premier, and how they have got the North Side and East End representatives just there dangling in mid-air. But if they could touch them they would.
    Mr Premier, I have a concern also in this report where you state in the seven (7) paragraph from the last "Speaking in the Legislative Assembly in November". So my thoughts are It is either you need not drag foot on your intentions, just simply allow the UK make the decision, there is no reason for the "Cayman may have to."
    Mr Alva Suckoo, thank you for the final paragraph, let those who can read do just that, and do not worry about the thumbs down or negative response, it only gives us the opportunity to count the few Caymanians left, and also give the opportunity to see those among us who have the —— to stand up and be counted.

  6. Mr McLaughlin, tolerance of others includes tolerance of your Caymanian people to be welcomed in the workplace and for you as premier to use your power to pass laws like the labor law.
    Mr Winston Conolly recently proposed which would ensure some degree of tolerance even if by enforcing laws already on the books. I’m afraid you don’t get a free easy pass here. You already displayed an attitude of support for the existing apartheid conditions under which those who elected you to office unfortunately live under and you refused to engage in legislative change to make their lives easier, so your cute little religious speech of hypocrisy regarding tolerance does not impress those still suffering. You’ve had 3 years already and it’s been hell on earth for Caymanians. If you get a backbencher seat next time round, I’ll be shocked and if the PPM is even re-elected.
    Mr Barnett, you like other descendants of Christian parenting of the highest calibre are one of those Caymanians that have lost all regard for your god upbringing and have allowed your foreign friends or your atheist college professor to fool you into believing the doctrine of fools that live and exist in the liberal corrupt world you hesitated to fully and truthfully describe. You all should be ashamed of yourselves, your parents taught you better.
    I wish the late Hon. Tom Jefferson was still here with us, he was one West Bayer that had spine and not bending over for no gay mafia bullies. He told em leave and don’t let the door knob hit you where I met you. We are keeping tally of who the real men are and who the sissies are. We need strong men to lead in this critical hour and Mr Eden and Sokoo are not afraid of criticism from compromised Caymanians like you Mr Barnett nor from foreigners who come here to destroy our good morals like they have done to Europe and North America.

  7. You know it is really ticklish to observe some people in this discussion who defy Gods word when in Liviticus God said thou shall not lie with a man as with a woman, and in next verse not lie with a beast, because the same nutsy society will come back and ask govt to grant rights to marry their cat and dog, thats just how crazy humanity has fallen, they have lost all natural affection as the word said would happen in the last days. Yet the atheist agnostics and heathens are now trying to dictate and quote scripture to justify political correctness which has no place in Gods laws. Stop and think about the Christian heritage we once had and its all destroyed because of sellouts like some voicing their opinion in favor of same sex marriage and all things liberal. I serve you notice that if Alden is allowed to stay in office his attitude towards LGBT AND UK BULLIES WILL INDEED BRING DOWN THE WRATH OF GOD ON THIS NATION. The pangs of which are already being felt with the joblessness and so on, and the same jobless people are fighting for liberal causes, fighting the wrong war. What they’re doing is bringing a pocket knife to a gun battle, simply because your arms are much too short to box with God!

  8. Hi Twyla,
    Alden’s speech betrays him, remember he’s the whimpy kid that the UK has been waitin on for decades to use as their delivery boy! T dump the trash from the cesspool of Europe into this territory. They couldn”t bring that proposal near Mack much less sadle him with it….. so the phrase used by this whimpy premir "Cayman may haveto." is not stranfe to his political weak DNA former Premier Bush caused the FCO office to moan each time upon his arrival meeting with them because they realized they were going to lose, I was against Mckeea until I had lunch with one of my cousins who know him well and explained to me exactly how hard McKeeva Bushhad been fighting for Cayman to remain free of threats of losing our traditional family values etc. How Mr Bush now opposition leader kept standing up to the UK on our behalf and refused to sell us and our children to the liberal societies. It was at tha point I changed my mind about Mr Bush and brgan to praise God for such a man, I strongly believe that one weakness the UDP party had during their reign was that their PR officer did not do a good job informing the people explaining all that the former prenmier was doing and why. This is why as leaders you better be sure about who you hire to work in your camp. You can not hire a dog to watch your food! My frustrations with Mr Bush when he was Premier was there were a lot of talk about wha projects he woulbe supporting as Premier etc but no Public Relations person explained in detail or made a comprehensive case to explain to peope how and why the then Premier Bush was moving in that direction. irresponsible ancillary systems destroyed the image of the UDP unecessarily…. I trust they learned from their mistakes and we look forward to winning in 2017 with the proper people in place because we can not allow the PPM to get any seats at all in 2017 to finish us off and destroy the future of our children for generations to come. Steps now need to be taken to properly groom leaders for 2017. Also I still insist that the list of names of lazy spineless lawmakers that are scared and useless need to be started and Alden McLaughlin need to be put on that list at the very top followed with his sidekick Panton, next McTaggart, they have no vision and got elected on their family name and not based on performance as you can now see for yourselves. There must be a list for every district of wo to vote out becuse of their worthlessness and uselesness.We need men and women who will stand for right and against wrong.

  9. Hi to you too Florence, Many people may not know this but there has been some bad blood running between "1st and 2nd premier" for decades, at least 25 years that I am aware of, or maybe even more. If they could not find any transfusion in all that time; I really do not see it happening now. It is just a "crying shame" because of that, we the people must continue to suffer over parties. I have lived in Cayman long enough to see some things happening that make you want to just stay home or wish you had some place better to go. I am very open and transparent, and of course most people do not want to hear the truth. I was one of the persons who encouraged Premier Alden to run for politics. He was always a good person to talk with, strong minded and had potential. However after, after I found out that he and Mr. Bush would not see eye to eye, don’t care what kind of glasses they wore.
    I can safely say, that I have been a strong supporter of Mr. McKeva Bush from the day he ran for Office; this, Mr. Alden has always been aware of. I listened to the passion Mr. Bush had and shared with the people of Cayman and knew he was genuine, leading us forward into the 21 Century, including expatriates too. But there were too many Judases in his camp. Caymanians and Expatriates. They undermined him, set him up as they bought bottles of bubbly champagne and Tried to hang him in George Town Square. Even those whom he gave Cayman Status to have a life here, kicked him in the butt. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Alden McLaughlin, and will continue to do so.
    But Ms Florence I will tell you this much, as long as I live, I will always support Mr. McKeva Bush whether he is Premier or not.

  10. You know, reading some of this stuff about Bush has me wondering if we all see only what we wish to see!
    In this thread I have read about a paragon of virtue, the only man strong enough to stand up to the Colonial masters, the only man to lead this struggling nation, and whose only wish was to serve the common man.
    If I look out of the other window, I see a man who thought CIG credit cards were for providing ready cash for slot machines. I see a man that was Director of a bank that lost many of his fellow men their savings. I see a man that chose to cancel properly arranged contracts at massive cost to his government only to engage the Islands in a contract with decidedly questionable people. And thats before one speaks of the Cohen arrangements!
    OK, so we disagree about his motives at the very least, but we shouldn’t exaggerate what he has done whilst ignoring what he cost us.
    Next, I see a discussion about religion as it relates to a human rights issue. It doesn’t! The Islands chose to remain a part of the UK area of control, they can leave any time they chose, and at their peril. If they don’t so choose then they are bound and Britain is bound to ensure, that they abide by certain standards. One of those relates to the rights of ALL humans to be equal. Its not a religious issue, its not essentially a gay issue, its simply a matter of human rights. To suggest that Bush would have "told them where to go" is to exaggerate his powers.
    Its time to get real!


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