Solution still possible for same-sex union legislation

Apparently many people in Cayman have concluded that there is no solution to the current impasse over the now defunct Domestic Partnership Bill outside of the UK imposing its will on Cayman – if you would call that a solution. This is not so.

Premier Alden McLaughlin was clearly very disappointed. But it would be wrong to wait for the UK to act, if indeed they will. He can pick up the pieces and turn this apparent loss into a victory for the country. In order to do this, he needs the right kind of professional and other help.

The legal drafters of the bill let him down. They appear to have copied something from another country which seemed to just substitute domestic partnership for marriage. The result was a marriage in everything but name.

The solution is to develop a concept that looks less like a marriage and more like a regular contract. That contract can embody the specific areas of concern for our same-sex brothers and sisters, such as health insurance, pension, maintenance and the like. To this end, if the protagonists are interested, he can consider constituting a working group to hammer out the details.

But to do so, he needs additional help. Some of us in the community have discussed this and think that we can assist the premier in producing legislation that may be acceptable. If he is interested, he can reach out and we can flesh the ideas out a little more.

Also, I would appeal to the same-sex community to understand that it may be difficult for the UK, after such a vote in the Legislative Assembly, to go against the clear will of the people and impose legislation any time soon. The opponents of the same-sex unions must also consider that ultimately, if not soon, the UK could impose unions, and perhaps even marriage, after the dust has long settled.

Not to make light of this weighty issue, [but] when Muhammad Ali was due to fight George Foreman, Ali insisted that he was still the greatest. Angelo Dundee (his trainer) answered him by saying, “You and I know that; but you have to beat Foreman for the world to acknowledge it.”

Most of us know that, even though we sometimes criticise him, the premier is a real leader. He can silence any doubters if he can pull this one off. It could be the defining moment of [his] political career. We are here to help.

Bilika Simamba
Attorney at law and former senior legislative counsel

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