BVI News

Cultural imperialism at heart of same-sex referendum — Premier

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has revealed that the concerning issue of cultural imperialism lies firmly behind his call for a referendum on same-sex marriage in the territory.

Dr Wheatley gave that indication at a forum held yesterday, March 12 for Seventh and Eighth District candidates contesting the upcoming general elections.

“One thing that I’m certainly against in our community is what we call cultural imperialism,” Premier Wheatley said in response to a question on why he called for that referendum. 

He continued: “This is where one culture wants to force their culture on somebody else’s culture. And we in the Virgin Islands have a strong culture. We have a strong belief in God. We assert that we are a Christian community, and while we accept others, and while we certainly don’t advocate for violence or discrimination against others, we are certainly firm in what we believe and what we want our culture to be.”

Premier Wheatley announced late last year that a referendum will be called on the issue and said residents will be educated on the topic ahead of that referendum.

At the time, he said the referendum was being proposed because of an ongoing case involving a same-sex Virgin Islands couple who got married in the United Kingdom then mounted a challenge in the Virgin Islands High Court to have their union legally recognised in the BVI.

“If they were to be successful, Section 13(1c) of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act, which provides that marriage is void unless the parties are respectively male and female, would be declared unconstitutional and therefore be null and void. As a result, same-sex marriage would become legal in the Virgin Islands,” Premier Wheatley stated at the time.

Premier Wheatley said yesterday, that the couple wants to force the government to recognise their marriage and are asserting that the BVI’s marriage Act violates the constitution.

“So what has been recommended to me, as a means of strengthening our case, is to be able to allow the people of the Virgin Islands to make their views known and clear as it pertains to their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” the premier said.

He argued that the referendum now allows residents to send a clear message “to the court system, to the United Kingdom and to whoever else in terms of what we want to see our community to be”. 

“We don’t want the United Kingdom, or anyone else, or the courts to get into the business of making laws for the Virgin Islands,” he added.

No further announcements have since been made about an expected date for the announced referendum.


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  1. Think about it says:

    Well, if the local community is Christian in culture, its leadership seems blisfully unaware of the ten commandments. You know the bits about bearing false witness and stealing (aka cronyism and corruption). Adultery too is common place hereabouts.

    The notion that cultural imperialism is foisting gay marriage onto the BVIs is nonsense. There are, have been and will be plenty of gay belongers. It’s part of humanity. Or, is Mr. Whetley saying they are imperial agents of cultural destruction? If the latter, can we please have some facts (rather than opinion) as to the basis for this assertion? Allowing gay marriage is about allowing gay people the same civil rights as others, but then again BVIs history on civil rights is murky at best,

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  2. Resident says:

    This is another example of why residents who are in good standing with their taxes and NHI should have the vote. The result of any referendum will not be representative of the adult population of the BVI if it goes ahead on the current franchise.

    We are talking about human rights not BVIislander rights!

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  3. Christian Community says:

    Seriously? You actually dare to say this kind of nonsense? Drug lords, child abuse, adultery, theft, corruption..Christians ALL THE WAY!

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  4. Jim says:

    Just shows the world how utterly incompetent and rac**t our unelected “leader” is.

    How sad for BVI

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  5. Jim says:

    And he is a ra**st, narci**ist, and megalomaniac

    God can’t help us

    Please UK take us back over

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  6. Rubber Duck says:

    Every time he opens his mouth he digs hi self deeper.

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  7. Aunty Susan says:

    Isn’t forcing your own beliefs onto others cultural imperialism?

    Isn’t that exactly what you are trying to do Wheatley?

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  8. BS says:

    What a load of shhh……

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  9. Nonsense says:

    The people in the comments need to be quiet. UK take over for what? To force the load of crap they wanted to put in place as amendments to the police bill without any push back? Did they know about human rights when they were trying to push through that bill? Marriage between same sex is not the culture in the bvi and may it never be. Same way marrying more than one spouse of the opposite sex in the bvi is not the culture. Society is identified by its culture. Now, if there was an issue to say the same sex married folk being discriminated in the work place, in the community, I would understand. That is not the case. The same sex ladies want to be recognized. I see you. You are married. Ok. Now go away from looking attention when there are more important issues that need to be dealt with. Next thing they will want the nastiness to be part of my child’s education. Away with the foolishness. Enough is enough and well done to the premier for having the courage to take a stand.

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  10. Faith says:

    Who the h**l cares what individuals do with their own lives? Every tub has to sit on its own bottom. Stop the discrimination. Every person matter: gay or straight; black -or white; male or female.

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  11. Common sense says:

    Wake up BVI. The US, UK and all of Europe accept gay marriage by law, it’s all about civil rights, not religion. The BVI is the outcast here and there is only one ending for territories that step out of line with the rest of the civilized world, isolation.

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  12. SMH! says:

    This is what pisses me off! Why when foreigners come here expect the same rights as VIslanders. Can you go to the US, hold a green card, and be allowed to vote? Friggin idiot!

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  13. No lies says:

    Gay marriage is not a human right.

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  14. Nonsense Indeed says:

    Who are these bloggers? They are definitely not from the BVI. Same-sex marriage is not part of our cultural norms or moral belief systems in the BVI. I will dear say that it is not the cultural norm in the Caribbean. Take this same-sex thing somewhere else. You, bloggers, are really showing yourself for who you are. Go elsewhere with that piddle. your cultural belief systems are not universal laws.

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  15. Youth says:

    This article is so misleading. It takes what was said based on what was asked in the church event with the candidates totally out of context, but nothing is new with this news site when it comes to this government. His answer in totality was a million times better than what Marlon responded but this story doesn’t portray that at all.

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  16. Great says:

    Referendum is the answer, not all this bulls**t blogging.

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  17. sigh says:

    To me this topic don’t even matter allowing the gays to marry makes your straight marriage mean less to you!? The whole argument for denying them is pure nonsense based purely on religious dogma. What’s important is we have an agreement with the UK to make certain reforms else our constitution will be suspended and we seem to be ignoring the fact that our constitution can and will be suspended if we don’t start paying some attention to what’s actually important. Cause guess what’s gonna happen if the white people running the place they not going to force the same gay marriage and everything else you don’t want down your throat anyway?

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  18. Go(o)d vs (D)evil says:

    All of you know in your heart what is right and what is wrong. You were commanded to be fruitful and multiply but the ungodly now says marry same sex. Having more than one wife will get you imprisoned because that is too much multiplication. It is clear to me that same sex relationship is the devil’s strategy to control reproduction. He would prefer to clone so that he will have the power of creation. This is the culmination of the warning “The day that thou eat thereof thou shall surely die.” Why are you vexed with Natalio for having the vision to see that this is cultural imperialism. As a people the Black Race is out of their mind they have taken on the mind of their oppressors with all their getting. They are sadly lacking when it comes to understanding. SOME PEOPLE EAGER FOR MONEY HAVE WANDERED FROM THE TRUTH AND PIERCED THEMSELVES WITH MANY GRIEFS.

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  19. Lodger says:

    The two ladies are Bvislanders. Allowing gay marriage does not force it on the rest of the population. The number of gay couples wanting to marry will be minute. That is unless some of our local worthies see a way to make money out of it. And changing the law does not force religious organisations to perform weddings. They will have their own moral standards to consider. Maybe a civil ceremony and a religious blessing will do.

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  20. Get serious. says:

    Put it on the ballot for the upcoming election.Simple.

  21. illegal practice says:

    Is the body shop still open? I need a liposuction and a Butt lift

  22. Christian Values says:

    If the BVI truly believed in Christian Values, then there would be no more sex before marriage and all those children currently born to unwed mothers would actually have a father present in their lives!

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  23. W.E. Man says:

    We should drop any notion that the BVI is a Christian territory or actually practices Christian values. We go to church and worship materialism, nepotism, cronyism. We let the needy suffer, and we care about ourselves. Our economy is supported by four pillars, prostitution/people trafficking, drug smuggling, financial services, and tourism.

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  24. Hmm says:

    Being Christian is not a requirement for living, working nor visiting the BVI… So to turn around and say you denying a particular demographic “gays” the same civil rights and liberties as others based on “It’s a Christian community” is retarded… my question is this not also you imposing your will upon these people that don’t subscribe to your belief system or ideologies?; To me lawmakers should consider everyone not just the Christians because the entire population is not Christian and besides who out here sinning more than them!?… who could a call god name more than head coach!?… please separate religion and lawmaking

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  25. WELL SAH says:

    As I see it, we should not discriminate, gays should be allowed the rights to marry, BUT let it be that a gay man and a gay woman marry each other. Problem solved.

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  26. Nature's Little Secrets says:

    For several years our Tourism Marketing slogan was Yes, we are different. Sometime in the 90s it was changed to “Nature’s Little Secrets” and has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions…and may I say, it seems to have worked. And 9ver those many years since the 6/s when tourism took hold in the BVI, I’m sure there have been quite of persons who fit the Lgbq+++ description visiting and enjoying what we offer.
    Being different is actually a selling point in differentating one’s self, business or offering.
    On a different note the UN is not in the business of compelling countries to do like every other country; except to Free countries from slavery and allowing them to be Self Determined or Independent.
    In America, the Gay lifestyle becoming accepted and lawful was merely a politician maneuver. First legalized by the Democrats, the Republicans hopped on the bandwagon in order to be competitive withe the Dems. It was and continues to be a political maneuver.
    In the animal kingdom we see the animals and birds practicing the same opposite sex togetherness. Occasionally a bull would play around with another bull, or rams do likewise; but they go back to what they instinctly know to be the Norm.
    In Genetics, a male and a female each contribute a Chromosome to the creation of the new organism. Any other way is against the laws of Nature: Unconventional; as our former Premier used to boast his brand of leadership: Unconventional

  27. Christian Values are Imperialist says:

    If I recall my history correctly, the religions of the kidnapped and enslaved African peoples were banned and the enslaved were forced to practice a version of Christianity that supports slavery.

    Isn’t that imperialism?

    (6 Ephesians, 1 Corinthians)

    What makes those Biblical passages which exhort the slave to gladly serve the master wrong while passages decrying homosexuality are upheld? Someone please explain.

  28. hmmm says:

    The irony of it all- colonialists brainwash enslaved africans to believe in Christianity, colonialists believing their race is superior, we use this same colonialist religion and thinking against gays and calling out cultural imperialism- the koolaid was drunk along time ago

  29. Blah Blah Blah says:

    And y’all clueless to the real deal with the LGBTQ agenda. Afropeans need to find themselves.

  30. Blog says:

    all you want but same sex marriage is coming to the BVI whether the inhabitants like it or not. The only remedy is independence from the UK which will cripple the BVI for a few centuries.

  31. Paid bloggers strike again says:

    The paid bloggers never cease to amaze me!! Stop spreading false information because the European Court of Human Rights has never decided that same-sex marriage is a right. What has consistently been decided is that each state has the right to legislate the question if and when it wishes. Also, the UK has never said it would legislate the issue for any of the Overseas Territories. Instead what they have consistently said is that it is a matter devolved to locally elected Governments. Misinformation is dangerous, but clearly it suits a particular agenda. What’s next? Children transitioning from one gender to another? Polygamy? No we in the BVI do not want it and we will make sure that message is sent loud and clear in the referendum!!! The BVI has the right to take a stand against same sex marriage if it wishes and for those that dont like it, the airports and seaports are operational!!

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  32. @Good v devil says:

    so dumb it sadden. Blacks discriminated against for how we born, pulling the Same card on our gay brothers and sisters. If you don’t know that , proof of low education here. Are we serious ?!?
    Culture. You miss granddaddy’s belt ? Culture? Strupes. Bury urself. Put your smartphone up your a— 1/4 the engineers invent them gay.
    Only the devil cherry pick the vices. Go this way. We back to hand mouth livin. Fools.

  33. Absolute Rights says:

    There is only one absolute right. That is tge right to death. We all have to die. All other rights have limits. I have the right to free speech,but I cannot say I don’t like gays, its discrimination and homophobia. I have freedom of movement but I need a visa to go to St. THOMAS next door. I have free speech but i can be charge for purgery, libel and slander. Throughout the ages laws were guided by culture and natural acts of nature. No one have the right yo force their belief system and values on me. Regardless of how powerful or rich they are. The world is being systematically hijacked by a powerful few who have power but now yearns for full acceptance and control of our values and beliefs. Love who you want but don’t force me to accept your lifestyle. At this rate murder will soon become someone else’s human rights.

  34. Jello says:

    God wills it

  35. BLACK SAM says:

    Tell those British BULLDOGS nobody care if they married and what size of hard plastic rubber they using. You can scissors, rake your gina cross coal if you want. WE DON’T RECOGNIZE YOUR UNION MS FOH B. No married couple rights for you weirdos.

  36. Ha says:

    A good portion of the BVI is gay and a bunch of them are in unhappy marriages to appear straight. There are several high up in Government/ Politics that are which makes this so ridiculous.

    If you are going to be ‘Christian’ stop having sex with trillions of side chicks / men and the multiple children with single parents because the dad has 4 or more baby mama’s. This is BVI men and ladies doing this.
    Stop stealing.
    Stop running drugs.
    Stop with the cash money
    Pay your taxes and SS.

    Even our Premier has led a less than stellar life meeting all the values. You can’t cherry pick.

  37. @@Good vs Evil says:

    In the African village at a certain age all boys were sent out into the forest for two weeks on their own. The men returned. Now keep blogging sh.t because you live in a depraved society.

  38. @nonsense indeed says:

    Our VI Constitution guarantees civil rights to people regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. IF WE DONT WANT RIGHTS GUARANTEED to everyone, we must change the constitution and remove those rights. This whole discussion os ridiculous- a referendum won’t matter, those rights are enshrined.

    9. Whereas every person in the Virgin Islands is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms
    of the individual;
    Whereas those fundamental rights and freedoms are enjoyed without distinction of any kind, such
    as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin,
    association with a national minority, property, family relations, economic status, disability, age,
    birth, sexual orientation, marital or other status, subject only to prescribed limitations;
    Whereas it is recognised that those fundamental rights and freedoms apply, subject to respect for
    the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following,
    (a) life, equality, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
    (b) freedom of conscience, expression, movement, assembly and association; and
    (c) protection for private and family life, the privacy of the home and other property and
    from deprivation of property save in the public interest and on payment of fair

    Honestly, we are such a podunk, small minded place, we don’t even understnd that a Constitution is a binding agreement between citizens…this is just a stupid discussion. Under the constitution, Homosexual marriage is legal. We don’t like it, change the constitution- remove the rights of gay people – but a referendum won’t change the words of our adopted ruling document.

  39. BVIGURL says:

    I couldn’t have said it better.

  40. BVI4Lf says:

    They went somewhere else to get married do they should have stayed there. Not in the BVI. Take that culture right where you found it.

  41. CommonSense says:

    The same ones condemning Christianity is the same ones filling up the church every Easter and old years. Don’t mind them. They ignorant. Slaves who didn’t have a quarter of the education some people today have, could see that God was going to save them. Because you see, what the slave master meant for evil, God intended for good. These people today lost like the Israelites…wandering like lost sheep. In the end, they will see. Elected officials do not give in to this ignorance of these people or any other power that be.

  42. Secret Bear says:

    Could this man be making himself look any more foolish? Is he aware that it’s two female BVIslanders currently suing for the right to get married? How the **** is that “cultural imperialism?”

  43. Secret Bear says:

    Denial of human rights is not “culture.” And that applies to MUCH more than same-sex marriage.

  44. ... says:

    Its crazy how they’re like its coming whether you want it or not. Yet they continue locking up people for cannabis. No one is locking up gay people while it is also illegal.

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