Statement by HE The Governor in response to the Privy Council Judgment
The Privy Council Judgment clarifies a point of law. It ruled that the Court of Appeal was correct in its approach to the interpretation of the Bill of Rights and that it cannot be construed as including a right for same sex couples to marry. I note that clarification on an important constitutional matter.
I know that many in our community who have strong religious beliefs on this matter will welcome the Judgment but I recognise that Chantelle and Vickie, and many others in our community, will be very disappointed by the outcome. I must pay tribute to Chantelle and Vickie for their courage and determination in standing up for their rights over the last five years. They have inspired many through their actions.
Same sex marriage is legal throughout the United Kingdom and in several UK Overseas Territories. Going forward, it is a policy matter for the elected Government as to whether it now wishes to introduce same sex marriage in Cayman. That would provide equality between heterosexual and same sex couples.
Although the case for same-sex marriage was not accepted, the Cayman Islands does have legislation which grants legal protection to same-sex couples, which is functionally equivalent to marriage. Up to the end of 2021, 47 couples have used that legislation to enter into a Civil Partnership and have their rights recognised in law. That includes many heterosexuals as well as same sex couples.
It would seem to me that everyday life in our community was not affected by Civil Partnership legislation. But it is important to those who have entered into Civil Partnerships. We owe it to all to create a safe environment for people to be who they want to be.
I encourage everyone to continue to show acceptance, respect, and tolerance towards others. That will make us even stronger as a community.
Issued by: Governor’s Office (CIG)