The couple who fought and won a court battle to legalise same sex marriage in the Cayman Islands say they are disheartened by government’s decision to appeal.
Chantelle Day, speaking on behalf of herself and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush, told the Cayman Compass, they were disappointed but ready for the appeal.
“We have always been prepared to see this through all the way,” she said.
The couple on Tuesday filed their official public notice of intent to marry, required by law for all couples.
Day said the announcement of government’s intention to ask for a delay in implementation of the amendments to the Marriage Law until after the appeal had not changed their plans.
“As far as we are concerned, we have received our judgment and same-sex marriage is now legal in the Cayman Islands and we are proceeding on our own trajectory,” she said.
Day said the couple had been met with overwhelming support since the judgment, as well as some “hateful rhetoric” from some sections of the community.
“A number of people have said we should go back where we came from,” she said. “I am from here. Other gay Caymanians are from here. Where do they propose we go?”
She said they had been prepared for such responses and were ready for the next stage of the court battle.
“We took a lot of time to decide whether we were going to pursue this and we proceeded because we believe we are on the right side of history and on the right side of the law.
“We want the opportunity to live in peace and raise a family with the same legal protections as other married couples.”
Day, who was born and raised in Cayman, represented the islands at the Commonwealth Games and now works as a financial services lawyer, said it was disheartening that no politician had been willing to publicly support equal rights for gay couples.
“It is not acceptable to only take a public stand on the views of the loudest; that’s not what leadership is. Cayman wants to hold itself up as a jurisdiction that is democratic and is one of the top financial centres in the world but doesn’t want to adhere to international standards on basic matters of human rights.”
She said she is confident that the government’s planned appeal will be unsuccessful.
“For anyone who believes it is acceptable to discriminate against same-sex couples on the basis of their sexual orientation, they are entitled to their views but not entitled to request that such discrimination continue in the fabric of our society,” she said.
“I don’t think we are in a position to change their views, but we are entitled to protection under the Constitution whether they like it or not.”