Governor Martyn Roper, Premier Wayne Panton and MP Barbara Conolly have been presented with the first set of shirts and goodie bags as part of a pledge of their support of Cayman’s inaugural gay pride parade.
“This sends a very clear message of unity and support that we are receiving from all parties involved,” said Noel Cayasso-Smith the founder and president of the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation, which organised the event.
The street procession begins at 3pm on Saturday 31 July at the Seven Mile Public Beach and ends at Tillies Restaurant and Bar on West Bay Road.
Governor Roper is expected to lead off the parade. Taking to social media he said, “I am looking forward to Cayman’s very first Pride March this Saturday… We have made strides as a community to be more understanding, accepting and respectful to all which is an important part of the significance of this [m]arch.”
The Cayman LGBTQ Foundation has limited the number of participants to 600 people, 400 fewer than the maximum allowed by the government.
“We are still calling on the government to reconsider their stance on restricting children under the age of 12-years-old.” said Cayasso-Smith. “There is no vaccine available for children under 12, so it’s not like they are choosing not to get the vaccination.”
He added, “It just doesn’t make any sense, we have not had any COVID-19 transmission in Cayman since June of last year. Plus people can attend the pre- and post-parties even if they are not vaccinated.”
Unlike other street processions which feature elaborate costumes, revelry in the streets and the open consumption of alcohol, Cayasso-Smith said the parade will be a “dignified and respectful event” without alcohol.
Turn to God
Meanwhile, Cayman’s Ministers’ Association have issued a press released urging members of the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters to “turn to God”.
“We will not be drawn into a conflict with this group,” said Pastor Bob Thompson, the head of the CMA. “Our concern is to educate people and get them to turn to God. But, when we see people trying to target our children we will not allow our silence to make it appear as though we acquiesce to their lifestyle.”
Thompson said he believes the march is proof of the degradation of Cayman’s Christian morals and values, which has been brought about by pressure from the LGBTQ+ community on businesses.
“We do not want to be confrontational in anyway and a protest will only give them undue attention,” said Thompson. “We want people to realise that they can chose to live the way they want in this life, but it’s only preparation for the next.”