BVI News

Christian Council loses appeal bid in same-sex marriage case

The building that houses the High Court in Road Town, Tortola.

The BVI Christian Council has lost a proposed appeal before the High Court about a matter involving a same-sex couple in the BVI. 

The Council sought permission to appeal against case-management orders issued by Justice Adrian Jack. Justice Jack’s orders were in relation to evidence and the date of the next hearing for the matter. 

The matter concerns the validity of the marriage between Kinisha Forbes and Kirsten Lettsome – both of whom are women – and whether any prohibition against same-sex marriage in the BVI is contrary to the constitution of the Virgin Islands.

The couple entered a civil partnership in 2011 in the United Kingdom (UK), and was issued a marriage certificate once the UK’s same-sex couples law came into effect. 

After being added as an interested party in the matter, the Christian Council wanted time to gather certain evidence and to determine certain fact-based issues about the matter. Among other things, the Council sought to ascertain whether the marriage was actually considered valid in the UK. 

But Judge Jack noted in his latest ruling that he had ordered the Christian Council — when they were added to the case as an interested party — not to pursue factual issues that touched on impediments to the validity of the couple’s marriage. 

The judge ruled that the proposed appeal had no realistic prospect of success after considering the various arguments that the Council’s attorney had put forward.

“Given the pressure on the judiciary in this territory, it is important to make the best use of its resources,” Judge Jack said in his ruling.

Background 

The couple, among other things, is asking that the court declares their marriage as valid under BVI law and that it rules that prohibiting same-sex marriage in the territory is unconstitutional.  

The matter, which was brought on June 9, 2021, but was stayed pending the outcome of appeals to the Privy Council – the highest court of appeal for Overseas Territories – in two cases involving Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The Privy Council gave its advice on March 14, 2022, and found that the prohibitions on same-sex marriage in Bermuda and Cayman were compliant with the constitutions of those territories.

Same-sex marriage has been a notoriously controversial issue in the Virgin Islands and the issue has seen a resurgence of late with a recent Private Member’s bill being laid in the House of Lords

Lorraine LaRose appeared for the Christian Council while Karlene Thomas-Lucien appeared for the couple. The Attorney General was unrepresented at the hearing.

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47 Comments

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  1. Here goes says:

    I don’t get why some of us get worked up over what other people do with their life. So,you want to tell me with the numerous problems that has plagued our society, THIS WAS THE BEST THING THE COUNCIL COULD DO?? Why wasn’t this so-called Council in an uproar about gun violence, domestic violence or even poverty???? How come we never heard of this Council before??? Why have they crawled out of their cave now???? Well if the Council can get worked up over someone else’s “vagjayjay” and “peen” , but not the killing of our people …..then something is very wrong.

    Like 100
    Dislike 8
  2. Dear Christian Council says:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord ( Lev 1:9 ). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7 . In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness ( Lev 15:19-24 ). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination ( Lev 11:10 ), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27 . How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? ( Lev 24:10-16 ) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? ( Lev. 20:14 )

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Like 164
    Dislike 11
  3. lol says:

    You are the best! That should hold them…then again logic and reason don’t really come into play with these people

    Like 34
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  4. Please tell says:

    Why were they prohibited from pursuing factual issues that dealt with the impediments to validity of the marriage?

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  5. Okay says:

    Thank God you believe in the Lord Jesus.

    I could assist with all your concerns except that it would be useless. I say that because it is obvious which denomination you follow. We are under Grace not the Law….when you understand this all your questions will be answered.

    May God help us all.

    Like 16
    Dislike 17
  6. .lodger says:

    Love it!

    Like 11
  7. Interested says:

    These subjects call for deep Bible study,comparing scripture with scripture,considering context and so on. Trust me there are answers to your questions.

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  8. @Dear Christian Council says:

    You obviously have not read the Bible correctly…those were laws given to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL…the JEWISH PEOPLE…ARE YOU JEWISH???? Why haven’t you taken us to the New Testament where in Acts 10 God placed an unclean animals before Peter (a Jew) and told him to kill and eat and then said what God has cleansed call not thou unclean. Those Levitical laws were for a time and a season…the prohibition against same-sex union was from the beginning and was re-enforced by Jesus in Matthew 19. RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF GOD! And if you are unsure…you have direct access to God the Father thru Jesus Christ His Son…you don’t even need to go to the priests any more as you did…

    Like 18
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  9. nasty boys says:

    The must lose if most of them in the justice system are gays

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  10. ReX FeRaL says:

    Legal……still nasty.

    Like 7
    Dislike 10
  11. confused says:

    Re “Dear Christian Council” above, Leviticus is quite specific about what you are allowed to eat.
    You will see below that the Hyrax is taboo as are many types bird like ravens..I am wondering what the council members actually eat? Can’t be spare ribs!

    The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,“Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

    ‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

    “‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.

    ‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle,[a] the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

    ‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

    Like 5
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  12. Judith Charles says:

    I’m not here for the scriptures. I am too old to have them memorized and if I did remember all of the laws of the bible I might be expected to live up to all of them and I confess to being a simple human being. I am here for the Christian Counsel. There is a Domestic Violence Law. The chosen method of educating the public to the meaning of this law was to visit EVERY church and explain to the congregants. As I was on the committee charged with assisting in this education I can say with certainty it was done. Loroli Connor and I faced a lot of irate pastors who quoted parts of Bible verses to us in defense of why we should not be in their church telling their congregants anything about domestic violence or the law that pertained to it. So tell me where was this lofty Christian Counsel when women were maimed or murdered? Where was their voice when children are being raped and the act is being described as “sexual intercourse”? Where are they on the subject of things like gun violence or violence on the whole? So far we’ve heard from them on UK takeover, they are against it apparently. Now we hear they are against two people who want their union legalized. In that case there is only one bible verse being quoted. What about the part where it talks about all of us being God’s children? In my opinion the Christian Counsel is a self serving, sometimish, irrelevant organization. They need to reel and come again, and then get real. Educate us on the things that are really affecting our lives, our mental health for one after the years of neglect and abuse by various governments, especially since 2017. Most of us may not even be aware that we need counseling after being gas lighted by governments over the past at least 20 years, then layer on hurricanes and Covid. Most of us busy trying to figure out rent, electricity, food and water. The life of two young women who love each other is NOT impacting our lives. I mean this with all due respect to the learned MEN who make up this group of “Christians” who supposedly are meant to lead us in our spiritual lives. It would be refreshing if they could treat us with respect and some semblance of dignity as they expect to be treated. So far all I see is a bunch of guys.

    Like 48
    Dislike 1
  13. Haha says:

    I ain’t religious and I ain’t a Christian but to the person that listed all of the old laws from the Old Testament I’m almost sure that those stuff were changed when the New Testament began. At least that’s how I understand it from Sunday school decades ago. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

    Like 14
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    • Shakeema says:

      Dem preacherman does”backslide” to the Old Testament teachings when it suits their purpose.

      True Christians should abide by the New Testament which says nothing about homosexuality.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
  14. Sigh* says:

    lmao love it!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  15. @ Here Goes says:

    You are so right, the Christian Council is a disgrace in my opinion and should be disbanded. All the problems in this country with corruption, victimization, and crime and not a peep from this so called Christian council. This is what they want to get involved in something that is quite frankly none of their business. As a country I really think we need to rethink our religious leaders and the people we follow. Or do like Rwanda and only allow people that have a proper degree in theology from a RECOGNIZED and ACCREDITED INSTUTION to be leaders of churches, that would be a good start

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
  16. @@Dear Christian Council says:

    So, I should believe what is written or I should not believe what is written?
    Also – just to be clear – God thinks it’s ok to sell Jewish daughters??? Well sah – not a God that I would follow.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  17. @Ha Ha says:

    Exactly so it is not the word of God at all just something written by a man. Its all pure fairytales

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  18. All Scripture for a purpose says:

    You made a valid point ecxept 2 Tim 2:15 says study to shew yourself approved unto God and it seems you have not done so thus providing a broad way to descrtuction for lost souls and an excuse to excuse and justify the sins and ungodliness of others. And please stop playing both sides of the fence, there is NO COMPROMISE that will enter the Kingdom of God.

    Now touching the topic of the LAW which you mentioned, the Jews in Acts 15 shared your sentiments that we the Gentiles should and MUST follow the Law of Moses inclusive of the law of circumcision.

    Paul in communication with Peter under the influence of the Holy Precious Spirit told us Gentiles what we must do,
    1. Abstain from meats sacrificed to idols (which include those Chinese fry rice many love cause unless we are in denial they do display their gods at the counter)
    2. From things stangled
    3. From blood (blood sacrifice, blood pudding, blood in the meat)
    4. From sexual immorality (lust, fornication, homosexuality, adultery, child molestation)

    Part B

    When many of the Jews asked Jesus, “What must we do to be saved?” He said,

    1. Keep the commandments (old testament-we know them)
    2. Love your the Lord your God with all your soul, heart and mind
    3. Love your neighbour as youself

    God did and will do again, and destroy this nation if we do what the people of Sodom did in Genesis 19 or look back like Lot’s wife.

    Please repent. God does not hate you. He hates wickedness because He sees that sex out of His will is sex with demons. Hell is real repent for Jesus is coming to judge the world. God bless you.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  19. Lord A F says:

    You along with your supporters have absolute right to your opinion. As long as you don’t blame others for the outcome. We agree with your perspective as seen through the eyes of the law. We can see clearly what you see but can you see what we see. This five letter word F_ i_h is what our perspective is based. You nor I nor any other have any power to determine who has the F_i_h to believe in the Living Words you referenced. Ahhh and we are anticipating times like this when the M go with the M and the F join with the F. Your comment only reinforces our. F_i_h the Word you can’t see.

  20. More than one wife says:

    When will I be able to marry more than one wife.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
  21. Cry harder christialibans says:

    Religious tears… ahh beautiful. It brightens my day to see religious fanatics loosing and crying. It’s like poetry. It’s beautiful.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  22. Partly says:

    Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus Christ the same yesterday and forever.
    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction and sorvtràimg in righteousness.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, I’m off for a bit of sanctioned smiting…

  24. WRATH OF YAHWEH (YHWH) says:

    @ Rebuttal to Christian Council:
    Many of us here take the opportunity to mock the word of YHWH. Making smart rebuttals, philosophical arguments and the like…but remember YHWH is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. YHWH’s wrath will continue to fall upon the inhabitants of earth because of our rebellion. Read the scripture for salvation and to know the love of YHWH, not to amuse yourself and mock like as in the days of Noah. Tortola, my beloved Virgin Islands you are warned….”Prepare to meet your (LORD) Shaddai.
    REPENT!! REPENT!! REPENT!! OH BEAUTIFUL VIRGIN ISLANDS!!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
  25. Harold says:

    Why all the fuss? Jesus had 2 dads, wore a dress and hung out all day with his homies.

    Like 9
    Dislike 7
  26. Hmmm says:

    Well you have your wife along with Palm Mary and her 5 sisters. Is that polygamous enough for you?

  27. Ava and Eve says:

    Homosexuality is unnatural! If we were all to become homosexuals, the human race would cease to exist. There is nothing in it that deserves to be celebrated. It is sinful. Like adultry and fornication, it is not criminally wrong but there is no need for it to be legalized. If they choose to live their lives that way, it is entirely up to them but the rest of the society should not be forced to recognize their union.

    Like 11
    Dislike 10
  28. Dave Mac says:

    Don’t worry about religion. It’s all made up nonsense. Who has he time. Why try and stop people being happy falling in love and marrying people of the same sex. Silly really, but some people are so fixed in their made up beliefs and rules they create such a fuss.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  29. Welsah says:

    The two are already married why is this Christian Council business. They have their papers to prove it. Leave the people alone. Go worry about the sham many of you put on every Sunday and during the week you are devils.

    Like 12
    Dislike 4
  30. My Country says:

    I agree with Judith Charles Comments.

    Many times I got up in Church Crying about the Sexual Abuse of Children in this and other communities as well as Domestic Violence. However
    I was ostracized, criticized or pushed aside by the same Church People or Christian People and I was told that the Church is not the place to discussed those kind of things.

    I was even told that it is the little girls who is up and down giving their bodies to the man them and this subject have not been addressed.

    So I do not care who man wants to marry to another man – or woman marrying to another woman or a man marrying to his daughter, sister or brother as long as they are not marrying to me it does not matter

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  31. Doll says:

    @Dear Christian Council, thanks for the Bible lesson but best of all thanks for giving us a haughty laugh. I am a Christian and found this very enlightening. Yes, too many of us (Believers) forget there are all types of sin and there is forgiveness for all but more importantly we should not judge but love eachother. I must say you are well versed in the book of Leviticus. LOL!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  32. Wow says:

    Remarkable how the subject of God, the Bible and all come up when the issue of same sex relations come up, but when it’s an issue of sexual abuse with minors, thievery. and oppression of outsiders, people here turn a blind eye. Why do people here feel so threatened by this? It’s not a contagious disease. Live and let live.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Christianity is unnatural. If we all, God forbid, choose to become Christian priests, the world would end and the human race would cease!! Not to mention, who would the priests attempt to abuse and molest if they are no children around anymore? There is nothing in Christianity that deserves to be celebrated. It is sinful. It is an ABOMINATION! Like adultry and fornication, it is not criminally wrong but there is no need for it to be legalized. If Christians choose to live their lives that way, it is entirely up to them but the rest of the society should not be forced to recognize their disgusting lifestyle.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  34. Accountant says:

    I only blame the Council for showing up in court regarding the people private affairs. The same bible in Corinthians and Timothy admonishes Christian’s re court matters.

    If the Pastors dont wish to perform marriage of same sex they can’t be forced. The registrar can get them married. Leave it so. Gods work is to teach people about God.

    End of story.
    System and church will never come together..EVER.
    Water and gas will never mix..EVER
    Oil and water will never mix..EVER
    Air and water will never mix..EVER

  35. Sad says:

    Some people in the community who all up rotary etc there representing the CC. Shameful bigots.

  36. Rubber Duck says:

    Post of the year. Brilliant.

  37. Robbie says:

    In the Book of Samuel 1:15-21 David and Jonathan were gay lovers.

    David went on to become King David of Israel.

    God did not “smite” them.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  38. God stans are a plague says:

    You toxic adam x eve shippers are a plague upon this Earth. You have no boundaries. You force your religious fanfiction upon society and use it to dictate how others should live their own lives. Stop it! Stop forcing your miserable religious lifestyle onto society!

  39. Disgusted says:

    Why a man would want to be with another man or a woman with a woman is beyond me. It’s just not what God intended. It’s sick

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  40. People’s Choice says:

    Please read 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 (in the New Testament). The New Testament does mention how the God of the heavens feels about persons who choose to continue practicing homosexuality. Continue on to 6:11, you see that some chose to leave those practices. Everything in life is a choice. The church should be teaching others exactly what the Bible teaches and then allow each person to make their own decisions. Many practices that are not pleasing to God are changed as a person really comes to know and love God and his ways. Change does not come from religions poking their noses where it does not belong. As religions continue to carry on as they see fit, I hope they pay attention to the judgment that is outlined for them as well in God’s written word. Indeed, God is not one to be mocked.

  41. @disgusted says:

    It’s love, actually.
    You may find it disgusting but look at where you and other bigots insert yourself into this equation – despite all your loud talk about God, it’s you spreading hate, while they’re expressing love.
    Think about that.

  42. Late to the Party.... says:

    or ‘What We’re All Missing’

    Most couples do not enter into the bond of Marriage casually. They do so out of love, yes- but also a commitment to grow that love by building a life and a family together (which may or may not include children).

    In ANY marriage that is not legally recognized, the partner may not act on their partner’s behalf should the partner be incapacitated. The partner has no right to confer with medical or insurance on their behalf. That right belongs to next of kin.

    In any marriage that is not legally recognized, the remaining partner has reduced or no rights to act as either partner or parent in the case of death.

    Some rights of unrecognized committed partnership can be mitigated with legal documentation, but not all.

    Yes, this is about the social recognition of the love and commitment between two married people- but it is ultimately a human rights issue.

    And since when has the ‘Christian Counsel’ ever cared about human rights? They don’t even represent our Christian Community; some of our Christian churches have nothing to do with this band of political oppressors.

  43. The god stans at it again says:

    Nature created homosexuality. Gay people are gay because nature created them so. Sexual orientation is a result of genetic and developmental factors. It is innate. And also, no one cares about your sky daddy and his pedo priests.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  44. Secret Bear says:

    Go back to praying for drug traffickers.

  45. Future says:

    This is the problem that I have, and why the LGBTQ…. community and their way of doing things becomes a nuisance. Different religions believe and follow different things. Why get married and tell a church that they have to accept you? If an organization does not agree to recognize your union and you can’t be a member, create your own church.
    One does not have to change their values to accept you. If I have a club and say that no redheads are allowed, that is my prerogative, why get angry over it? Create your own club. If you want someone to recognize you then that is between you and the government. The Christian Council can do what they feel in their rights and under their beliefs as an organization.

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