Savannah MLA Anthony Eden defended fellow legislators Monday as he rejected comments made by Governor Martyn Roper in his Throne Speech.
“I have never known of any of my colleague parliamentarians acting untoward to the LGBT[Q] community. Respect earns respect,” Eden said as he took issue with Roper’s comments.
The governor, in his speech during the opening of the Legislative Assembly 8 Nov., said his wish was that despite the strong beliefs and opinions of MLAs they treat everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect.
Eden, in his contribution to the budget debate, took offence at that remark.
“I do not ever remember in the time that I have been here, in my 27 years, either one of my colleagues in this Legislative Assembly bad mouth or said anything degrading about these people,” Eden said.
The veteran MLA also dismissed what he called the local LGBTQ community’s reference to his and others’ Christian beliefs as “hate speech”.
He said in Cayman many families have members who have “chosen” this lifestyle.
“I don’t remember anyone harassing them, I have never heard of any business refusing to provide service to them or heard any restaurants refusing to deal with them,” Eden said.
He also took issue with the governor’s reaction welcoming the chief justice’s ruling in the Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush case. He had ruled in their favour, paving the way for same-sex marriages in Cayman.
That ruling was recently overturned by the Court of Appeal.
He said the governor, who was new to Cayman at the time, welcomed the ruling. Eden pointed out that was not something the Caymanian people wanted.
“We do not see or hear Her Majesty interfering in Brexit and other domestic issues. Why is he trying to give his opinion not knowing what we Caymanians stand for?” Eden asked.
The debate on the governor’s Throne Speech, the budget and the premier’s budget statement ended on Monday night.