One cannot embrace love without freedom; one cannot embrace freedom without dignity; one cannot embrace dignity without equality. Today the Cayman Islands made important progress towards equality and becoming a fairer society. In time, this decision will be seen as a victory for all. Right now, however, we celebrate that Chantelle and Vicki have acquired the freedom to love one another with dignity in the eyes of the law. My husband, James Reeve, and I wholeheartedly wish them both, and their respective families, a future together full of love, health, happiness and mutual respect.
To the government of the Cayman Islands, you have had ample opportunity to address this issue but have consistently failed to act. I and others have warned many times over that equality for all is required by the Constitution, without any exception. Today the court has done the job that the government was unable, or unwilling, to do.
If we look to the Bermuda same-sex marriage case, not a single judge was convinced by the arguments of the Bermudian government that civil marriage must remain an exclusive heterosexual institution. Furthermore, the UK Parliament has set its view very clear on this matter: same sex marriage must be extended to every corner of the UK including all of its overseas territories. As a matter of law and as a matter of politics, any prospect of appeal is set to fail and to constitute a hemorrhaging of money that the government should instead use for health, education or other areas that will benefit all Caymanians, rather than a group of narrowed minded anachronic churches whose mission appears sometimes to divide and to promote hate, rather than to unite and promote love. For those extremists who would rather support independence, I’d simply say that the Organisation of American States would undoubtedly welcome the Cayman Islands, but be mindful that equal marriage is required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the American continent.
To those that oppose this decision as a matter of principle rather than with hate, I say this: denying two people the ability to love one another, to commit to each other and to support each other throughout life, in good and in bad times, to have that love respected and protected by the country in which you were born and raised, is the cruellest of all evils. Look into your hearts and search your soul. Is this something that you wish to continue to endorse? Find the wisdom and courage to accept change, because today you have lost nothing, this decision will not force you to marry someone of the same sex nor will force any church to celebrate a same sex marriage. However, the Cayman Islands have instead become one of the most advanced nations in the Caribbean, something of which you should all be proud.
Leonardo J. Raznovich