Bishop John Cline has expressed his willingness to resist the United Kingdom once more if they push for the territory to legalise same-sex marriage.
“They (the UK) have not come down on us [yet] but it is coming, and they are expecting us to comply with that also… [But] that is not the will of the people of the BVI,” Bishop Cline has said.
“We believe that marriage is, as the bible states, between a man and a woman and not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or a woman and a dog. We will not roll over on this one. [It] would undermine our moral standing of the BVI and the family,” Bishop Cline added.
The British government legalised same-sex marriages in the UK around March 2014. Some four years later, Lord Tariq Ahmad — the UK Minister responsible for Overseas Territories (OTs) — said Britain had plans to make it mandatory for its OTs to legalise same-sex marriage too.
When asked if he was willing to lead the charge to challenge the UK if the need arose, Cline said “absolutely”.
The outspoken clergyman had placed himself between the UK and the BVI once before when he formed a committee that organised a massive territorial protest against Britain as it relates to their highly-controversial public registers of company beneficial ownership policy.
Cline along with others led a protest and a widescale anti-public registers petition in May 2018. He and his committee had also threatened to involve the United Nations in the matter.
Those actions were part of a series of events involving other players, such as government, that led the UK to consider something of a reprieve as it relates to the registers.
The UK’s Sanction’s and Anti-Money Laundering Act mandates that the BVI must implement public registers by the year 2020. But in a recent statement, Britain’s minister responsible for Overseas Territory’s Lord Tariq Ahmad said an order mandating that the BVI implement the registers by 2023 will be imposed if the territory misses the 2020 deadline. This means the BVI has the option of going a significant three additional years without implementing the dreaded public registers.
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