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Cayman’s legalisation of same-sex unions could affect BVI

A section of the main island of Tortola. (Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News)

Activists believe the decision by a court in the Cayman Islands to legalise same-sex unions could have repercussions for other British Overseas Territories (OT’s) such as the British Virgin Islands.

The ruling, which was made by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie in Grand Cayman late last month, was made on the argument that it was unconstitutional to prevent such unions.

As such, the chief justice ruled for changes be made to the existing laws that prevented such marriages in the Cayman Islands.

The decision was as a result of a lesbian couple – Caymanian Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden of the United Kingdom – who went to court after their application to wed last year was denied.

In the meantime, a United Kingdom report released in February this year is pushing for the BVI and other OT’s to, among other things, impose same-sex marriages.

The report said: “it is time for all OTs to legalise same-sex marriage”.

The report further recommended that the UK government set a date for all of its OT’s to comply and validate same-sex unions.

“If that deadline is not met, the Government should intervene through legislation or an Order in Council,” the report opined.

“It (the UK government) must be prepared to step in, as it did in 2001 when an Order in Council decriminalised homosexuality in OTs that had refused to do so.”

An Order in Council is a command made in the name of Her Majesty the Queen and failure to conform, could result in the UK exerting diplomatic pressure on its non-compliant OT’s.

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51 Comments

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  1. buju says:

    BOOM BYE BYE

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  2. Right says:

    Even if UK try to force same sex marriage on BVI, the onus will be on our officers to refuse to perform the ceremony. We are a Bible believing people. If the UK want to be a second Sodom and Gomorrow they must not try to force their non Christian will on others. In marriage it is expected that there will be pregnancies and children to populate the world. Can that happen from two men or two women? Let us follow God,s words, do what is right and love everyone whether gay or straight. Leave the marriage part out.

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    • Jokes says:

      As you are such a follower of the bible, please advise when you last stoned someone to death for working on the sabbath

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    • @Right says:

      What about you that is preaching and professing to be so holy and pure and is out here living in sin. Messing around with other people husbands/wifes.what about husbands that is on facebook and other media sources professing to love their wifes and chasing behind every skirt they see. Married Women of the BVI,you are all getting played by your loving husbands.

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Superstitionist drivel.

      There is no god you credulous fool.

  3. Reply says:

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE IS NOT A HUMAN RIGHT

    Judgment of the Human Rights Court of Strasbourg -France

    Unanimously, the World Court of Human Rights has established, verbatim, that “there is no right to homosexual marriage.” The 47 judges of the 47 countries of the Council of Europe, which are members of the full Court of Strasbourg (the world’s most important human rights court), issued a statement of great relevance that has been surprisingly silenced by information progressivism and its area of ​​influence. In fact, unanimously, the 47 judges approved the ruling that “there is no right to homosexual marriage.” The sentence was based on a myriad of philosophical and anthropological considerations based on natural order, common sense, scientific reports and, of course, positive law.Within the latter, in particular, the judgment was based on Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is equivalent to the articles of human rights treaties, as in the case of 17 of the Pact of San José and nº 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this historic but not disclosed, Resolution, the Court decided that the concept of family not only contemplates “the traditional concept of marriage, that is, the union of a man and a woman”, but also that they should not be imposed on governments to “obligation to open marriage to persons of the same sex”. As for the principle of non-discrimination, the Court also added that there is no discrimination, since “States are free to reserve marriage only to heterosexual couples.”

    It is important and absolutely necessary to spread this kind of news because governments and sympathizers of such lobbies will not want people to know. Help spread if you want! Obviously, it does not interest the media to publicize this news.

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    • Reply (The Original) says:

      The Cayman’s Islands decision foretells how gay marriages will be resolved in the British Virgin Islands and most if not all British Overseas Territories.

      I have made this argument before on this forum, and the Cayman’s ruling comes as no surprise to me if one understands what these OTs constitutions typically spell out relative to equal treatment under the law.

      I said before, and I will repeat: All it takes to get same-sex marriage legal in the BVI is a similar brave gay couple, as was in the Cayman case, to file for a marriage licence and then be denied.

      Once denied, they can then seek relief in a court. Once in court, eventually a judgment would be rendered in their favor based on a constitution finding that all citizens should be treated equally. This will be a process that will take some time to resolve thru the courts.

      The gay marriage question should not be decided by the people as the Premier has reportedly suggested because we all know how that will turn out.

      A referendum is not the answer either, as it is clear that a majority of people in the BVI at this moment may not approve such legal unions.

      If that is indeed the case, that would leave in place a situation whereby gay citizens are not being treated equally under the constitution, and that cannot stand.

      Thus the answer for gay marriage in these OTs whereby there is heavy christian indoctrination, homophobia, and widespread misunderstanding about gay people, like other places, is thru the courts.

      If I was gay BVI Islander with a loving partner, and felt passionate about marrying that person in the BVI, I would start that journey at the marriage licence office.

      I would expect to be denied a license and told this by the lovely lady at the front desk. After, I will have my lawyer on speed dial to get this thing started.

      Alternatively, I would get married in the U.K. or the Cayman Islands, return to the BVI, and file a court challenge that my lawful marriage of the U.K./Cayman’s be recognized in the BVI.

      It’s just a matter of time. One day in the near future gay folks will be able to marry in the BVI.

      Now, I don’t know why anyone want’s to marry anyway, gay or straight unless they want to have kids and raise them in a two parent household. Marriage is not what is is cracked up to be.

      As far as I am concern, apart from raising children together, you are better off single in this day and age. Save yourself the headache and money if you ask me.

      Want to have peace in your life, stay single.

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      • Richard says:

        MGTOW – Always better off single, unless ofcourse you are a gay man – how ironic is that!!!!!!

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        • Reply (The Original) says:

          That’s an old tired argument. I see $hit has not hit your fan as yet. Give it time. You will come around to my view. If you are married, I wish you well, but chances are very low, you will not be happily married years from now.

          A very large percentage of heterosexual marriages end in divorce for various reasons. I would imagine that will be even greater among gay marriages. So why would any sane person gay or straight go down this road beats me.

          As I said, marriage is not what is is cracked up to be, and unless you have been married, you may never understand. Some people just have to learn the hard way. There is no convincing them, and this is not my mission. I could care less who marry. My only point is that people should be treated equally under the law.

          Now, anyone who reads me routinely here, know that I speak my mind openly. My posts are always gender neutral. That’s deliberate. I have never stated my sex, or sexuality as I have never seen it relevant to any topic.

          Nevertheless, let me me say this: If I was a gay man: I would so state. I would be open about it because from my view, I see more harm in being in the closet than being truthful about my true sexuality. Furthermore, I see absolutely nothing wrong with a person being gay.

          There is a high incidence of HIV/AIDs in these Virgin Islands inclusive of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I believe that has to do with the fact that there are many people living in the closet, or as bisexuals, or down-low, because of societal fears doing things in the darkness, catching HIV, and then spreading it to unsuspecting partners.

          In my view, people should live their lives in truth, but that’s just my opinion. To each his own. Each of us have to live our lives in a manner that is best for them, and live with the consequences.

          Now, lets assume your impression of me is correct, let me ask: Are you male? Are you married? Are you ugly or handsome? What exactly do you look like? Do you have money?

          I ask because as per you I am a gay man who is single. What you missed is that I’m really looking for a handsome bloke like you who is not broke who can take care of our household.

          I’m looking for a man like you to take this matter to court. Are you ready for the ride?

          Get back to me soon. Finalizing our marriage can take years, and we need to start our case now. I’m tired of being a gay single man. You are the one for me.

          LOL. I hope you got a good chuckle. That was fun.

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          • TJ says:

            You’re sick

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          • Be Corrected says:

            There is not a high incidence of HIV/Aids in the Virgin Islands. Be corrected.

          • Reply says:

            @Be Corrected. No you need to be corrected. There is. What’s your source to dispute this fact.

            May I suggest you research this further, and practice safe sex. Denial of the facts can bring you a lot of heartache. You have been fully informed.

      • LOT says:

        It better be very private ceremony because the amount of f***s that will be tossed on that satanic ritual. Trust we will be very very ignorant in this matter and I can’t wait to see who have the NUTS to take the 1st mash up LOL. We will be worst than SHARIA LAW.

      • TJ says:

        This is bullying! Our culture does not recognize marriage between same sex person’s. That said there are quite a few gay homo people enjoying a comfortable life here. But now they want to change our culture. These people are bullies.

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      • dont care says:

        As i can remember or could be wrong that the last administration talked about making gay marriages part of the tourism product.

        The practice of homosexuality has not and will not be accepted. As I can remember, there have been homosexual cruises to the BVI since the 80’s and it has never been an issue.

        I don’t recall of an attached on anyone for their sexual preferences but the BVI population is not the same as before. Yes we have called people names but no violence. We have people from all over who have brought their violent behavior into the territory.

        I do believe if a request is made for a license it wont be denied. I don’t care either way. Howsoever, don’t try to push your behavior on anyone. My belief don’t have anything to do with Christianity as we can see that is the breading ground for the homosexual behavior.

      • L2Ez says:

        Its not ao simple. Otherwise ratsa would have cannbis legal. Reality is politics and power not equlity. The equality you believe you have is a pacifier and you would not want true equality.

    • Young legal mind says:

      @reply. While I agree that Gay Marriage is not a Human right, the truth is that the Strasbourg Court has accepted that Sexual orientation matters falls with the protections afforded by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to respect for Private and Family Life. This is largely because the said Court treats the Convention as a living instruments, hence its position on matters such has Gay Marriages etc. has been evolving over time as societies have evolved to the point where LGBT relationships are now becoming more acceptable in societies around the world. Where traditionally they were shunned.

      However, the Court treatment of the Convention as a living instrument to interpret domestic laws in member states including the U.K. for the purpose of determining whether those laws infringes Convention right has led to criticism, particularly by religious groups who have accused the Court of trying to destroy the sanctity of marriage as God intended it. Likewise, on many occasions the Conservative Government in U.K. have threatened to withdraw from the Convention.

      The U.K. itself staunchly rejected homosexuality until 1961 when it amended its Sexual Offences Act to decriminalize homosexuality between couples who are 21 years and above where those acts were performed in private. For those who may not know, this is what eventuall led to decriminalizing homosexuality in its OTs which is the current law in the BVI.

      Since then several same sex couples in the U.K. have challenged U.K. domestic laws on the basis that they were discriminatory against same sex couples because the U.K. Marriage Act only recognized marriage as between a man and a woman. As a consequence, the U.K. courts have chosen to follow the Strasbourg Court’s decisions in declaring the U.K. marriage law discriminatory. As a a result, its now legal for same sex couple to marry in the U.K. via the Marriage (Same sex) Couples Act 2013.

      Additionally they are cases where civil servants have lost their jobs for refusing to issue marriage certificates to samesex couples or refusing to counsel samesex couples and these cases were decided in the courts which ruled against those civil servants who made competing claims that they right to practice their religion was being infringed. However, the courts rejected their claims on the basis that they were being paid as civil servants to do their jobs, thus if they were uncomfortable doing it they had a choice to quit and seek employment elsewhere. Hence, if anyone in the BVI civil registry refuse to issue a marriage certificate or accept an application for a same sex couple to wed, they could loose their jobs when that time comes.

      All this to say, the BV will have no choice but to accept as Cayman Islands did that the BV I Marriage Act (Cap 272) on the basis of the Convention right to respect for private and family live under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which is mirrored by Section 19 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007. Hence, its only a matter of time before the Marriage Act (Cap 272) will be amended to recognize and provide for same sex marriages in the BVI regardless of our personal views or religious beliefs.

      Note: This is based not on my personal opinion or beliefs about same sex marriage or relationships but rather on my own research as a student of the law.

      • Reply (The Original) says:

        “All this to say, the BV will have no choice but to accept as Cayman Islands did that the BV I Marriage Act (Cap 272) on the basis of the Convention right to respect for private and family live under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which is mirrored by Section 19 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007.”
        ————————————————–

        Your “Young legal mind” is a brilliant one, and I appreciate your taking the time to put this entire discussion in the proper context. You will do well legally. I can hire somebody like you.

        I love your response. It was a pleasure reading what you wrote because you understand totally what is going on here, and provided the legal history, evolution, and context that has led up to where the U.K. stands currently, and where OT’s are heading. I agree 100%.

        The most important part of your post for me is that which I quoted. What some people need to understand, especially those who have issues with gay marriages for whatever reasons, is that this matter is and will be a legal one, one that will be resolved as such regardless of personal feelings.

        Nothing that has been said on these blogs have not been argued elsewhere before prior to the legalization of gay marriages elsewhere. It’s just now our turn to make these arguments.

        Now, I don’t now if your post was meant for me or the person who helped themselves to my handle , but nevertheless, it was excellent. You are going places. Keep it up.

  4. No way!!! says:

    Keep
    that sh*t away from the BVI

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  5. CW says:

    With all the problems the BVI needs to DESPERATELY FIX and you strupes are worried about who SOMEBODY ELSE loves or sleeps with? STRUPES. THE BIBLE DOESNT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY. THATS THE OLD TESTAMENT- GET YOUR BOOKS STRAIGHT. ALSO THE OLD TESTAMENT SAYS TO NOT EAT SHELLFISH-NO LOBSTER FOR YOU STRUPES. BIBLE SAYS TO NOT JUDGE. HERE YOU STRUPES ARE JUDGING. BIBLE SAYS KILL ALL NON-BELIEVERS. BETTER GET STARTED STRUPES.

    YOUR HYPOCRISY AND MISPLACED FOCUS IS WHY TUE BVI ISNT RECOVERING VERY WELL. YOU WANT TOURISM DOLLARS? TRY BEING OPEN TO EVERYBODY.
    STRUPES ARE ALWAYS STRUPES SMH.

    YOU’RE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY AND LOSING ANYWAYS. HAVE FUN WITH NO TOURISM BECAUSE YOU DISCRIMINATE

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    • Bruce says:

      Next will be the transgendes. It’s all a plot to destroy our culture.

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    • Actually says:

      It is arguable that it is not the case that simply loving someone or something entitles you to have legal sex with them. The love between a man and a woman is not the same as between a woman and a pet, a grandmother and grandchild, a man and a bowl of fruit or a man with a man. They may all love these things as homosexuals love each other but the argument is that it’s not the same love as a man and a woman so they shouldn’t be able to marry.

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    • Bruce says:

      So only homosexual people have money and travel? That’s news to me.

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    • Useless says:

      Ok. I’ll stop eating lobster if you stop b*******g men. FYI, fewer than 30 of the countries of the world allow homosexual marriage. There are 195 countries. So who is on the wrong side of history?

  6. Don't be fooled! says:

    Why should cayman islands legalisation of same sex marriage affect BVI? That was their choice. Gay marriage is not a fundamental human right and cannot be imposed on the states. What is protected is one’s right not to be discriminated against because of their homosexual marriage or union. The last time I checked, the BVI does not discriminate against homosexual couples. Don’t be fooled people..

    World court ruling – https://www.icirnigeria.org/homosexual-marriage-is-not-a-human-right-world-court-rules/

    European courts of human rights ruling-https://eclj.org/marriage/the-echr-unanimously-confirms-the-non-existence-of-a-right-to-gay-marriage

    Another European courts of human rights ruling –
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/jun/24/european-court-of-human-rights-civil-partnerships

    Yet, another European Courts of Human Rights ruling – https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/european-human-rights-court-rejects-gay-marriage

    And another – https://www.bbc.com/news/10421628

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  7. People says:

    The ruling does not mean gays can get married in the church! they will go to the registry etc.

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  8. TurtleDove says:

    This is not a religious thing for me, it truly is the meaning of the word. All my life a marriage was between a man and a woman. Now I am to tell myself that it is between two people even if the same sex? really. I will never refer to it as a marriage if the sexees are the same. The law should not be changing the meaning of words. I have no problems with extending the benefits of marriage to same sex. But I will never accept it as a marriage.

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  9. SB says:

    In the world today I read a MOTHER stabbed her GAY son to death because the HITMAN she hired failed. WOW that is a strong woman. That was a hard decision for her.

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  10. Smurf says:

    A few years ago a calypsonian sang a song
    “A legal it legal”. Some thought it was just humor because some of us can’t see no further than our noses.
    There are bible believing pastors who’ve been marrying Adam and Steve and Eve and Evelyn on the beaches and on resorts compound for exorbitant fees one of them even called it “mint of money”, those hypocrites now going on radio saying they speaking out against it, Sodom and Gomorrah, formerly known as the Caribbean.

  11. HMmmm says:

    Personally I love to see two hot chicks go at it. Big Funky Hairy Dudes Naw, Sweet Looking Chicks Yeah Boy.

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    • Mother says:

      You need to stop playing with that thing, draw back the curtains, leave your stinking room and get a job/girlfriend. Oh, and pay me some rent. It wouldn’t kill you to shower, too.

  12. WORD says:

    It’s time that the churches get involved to stop such nonsense entering the BVI

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  13. Gordon says:

    Good luck to them over there.He- goat will not go and pair up with he goat.If animals understand the right thing I see no reason why human being should reason in a way lower than animals or goat by deceiving people with human right.
    It not right to impose immoral act on communities or countries with normal moral standard.
    God’s will is going reign on this land which is His.

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  14. Leviticus 20:13 says:

    I know that Christ paid the price for all sins so the consequences spoken of in the old testament may not literally apply under the new covenant. However, the creator’s intention is clear in several areas of the Bible, including Leviticus 20:13

    “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.”

    Anything that asks one to go against Christ is the anti-Christ. Na so it go??

    The good Lord keeps this land. Let us not do the detestable to lose our protection. We can love and respect everyone without having to condone the practice of gay marriage rituals. There are gay couples in the BVI and we love them the same way, no one is bothered about that. Every country has their own right to decide on this topic of gay marriage and the bullies that be know this is true. As a Christian nation, we are compelled by the Word of God (which protects us) and not by the man made system (which can be destructive).

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  15. Getoverit says:

    For the people who are selectively well versed in the scriptures that suit them, there may be no point trying to have a logical discussion. But consider the fact that religious liberty means separation of church and state. If you are willing to throw that concept out the window be careful what you wish for.
    For those invoking European judgements on the rights of states here’s a newsflash. The BVI is a British colony not a state.
    It may score political points to distract the community with these futile arguments but the writing is on the wall. It’s only a matter of time before same sex unions are legalized in all OTs. We have bigger issues to contend with.

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  16. Logic says:

    If you’re against homosexuality then don’t be a homosexual. Simple.
    If you’re against terrorism then don’t threaten violence to people who don’t share your religious convictions.
    Being a Christian isn’t about forcing others to live by your principals.
    Get over yourselves already.

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    • Reply says:

      Also..if you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex. Simple. How hard is that? No one is forcing anyone to engage in a gay marriage, or to perform a gay marriage ceremony.

      Your choice, unlike gay people who did not choose to be gay.

      Throughout these arguments surrounding gay marriage, I don’t understand why some people get all bent out of shape over it. It’s none of their business what these adults chose to do.

      When I get up each day, I am thankful to have lived to see another day. What other people are doing in their lives is not even on my mind.

      I’m thinking about a host of other things such as getting to work, paying my bills, and just getting thru my day. Gay marriage or any ones marriage is not even on my radar. To hell with that.

      Some people need to mind their own business and live and let live. No matter their protestations, people are still going to live theirs. It’s hard to control a young child today least adults.

      They need to get over themselves indeed.

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      • CW says:

        Finally some common sense talk!!! Run for office I will vote for you! Fix problems with the country FIRST and stay out of people’s bedrooms😖

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    • Rayn says:

      Call a spade a spade.WHAT IS BAD IS BAD. Sodomy is abomination and same sex marriage and transgender are mentally sex deviance. any of these should not be welcome in a normal and cultured community or country.
      God’s will abound on this land.

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  17. You lot are hilarious says:

    Bringing the church into it is funny.
    In a land of rife child rape and children born out of wedlock and women dressed so often like streetwalkers, wife-beating, corruption. All that’s fine but not the legal denial of oppressing two consenting adults who love each other and have nothing to do with you or affecting your culture, even those who are from here and hidden.
    The same church that has rich pastors doing nothing for the community but handing out some scraps of the loot they take from you to keep up the facade.
    The same church that has a history of sexual misconduct of its leaders.
    Hypocrisy doesn’t begin to describe it. If the tiny minority had the legal right to have their relationships legally recognised (nothing to do with you church) so that they are not denied the same rights as a couple such as in respect of their assets and taxation, your daily life and your community will not change one bit other than some people will have a bit less daily fear and oppression.
    Try looking at this as Jesus would rather than your loudmouth, millionaire “pastors”.

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