Show of support for gay community

LGBT rights supporters gather outside the Legislative Assembly on Sunday afternoon.

Colourfully clad and waving rainbow flags, more than 100 people gathered in George Town Sunday to show support for Cayman’s LGBT community.

The marchers included a mix of Caymanians and other residents of all races and sexual preferences. Some carried banners with slogans like ‘Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice’ and ‘We were all born to be loved’.

The ‘Out of our Shells’ march was originally intended as a celebration of the Grand Court ruling that legalised same sex marriage, according to Billie Bryan, of Colors Cayman, which organized the event.

She said it had developed into a more general display of solidarity for the LGBT community following a week in which alternative lifestyles have come under attack.

The march culminated with a congregation on the steps of the Legislative Assembly, where Cayman’s elected politicians unanimously voted to appeal the historic court ruling last week.

Bryan said she was disturbed to hear some of the comments during that debate but was encouraged by the support on Sunday.

“It was a really great experience,” she said. “We got a lot of support and more participation than we expected.

Chloe Beth Hawkins had a question for government during Sunday’s rally in George Town.

“It was supposed to be a celebration and a way to congratulate Chantelle and Vickie (the same-sex couple who won the legal battle) but I also made a speech to say that we will have to fight to defend our rights,” she said.

Bryan said there were many LGBT people who were still afraid to come out and be themselves in Cayman because of fears of how they may be treated by their family, church, friends and even employers.

In the current climate, she said, it was brave for people to show up in public to demonstrate on the issue.

“It was encouraging to see so many people. We are stronger together,” she said.

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