BVI News

No judge should decide our same-sex marriage law

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has argued that any changes made to the territory’s same-sex marriage laws should be made by Virgin Islanders and not any court of law.

He touched on the controversial topic because of a recent same-sex marriage ceremony on Necker Island and an upcoming court case involving a same-sex couple married outside of the territory.

“It’s become topical,” Premier Wheatley stated while contributing to the constitutional review debate in the House of Assembly yesterday. “Of course, at this event at Necker Island there were no issuances of marriage licenses here in the Virgin Islands. But of course, they were able to have these this event, just as a celebration, ceremony, etcetera,” Dr Wheatley said.

“Also, later this month, there will be a court case. [I’m] not sure how well known it is here in the Virgin Islands, but we have a same-sex couple who was married outside of the Virgin Islands, and they are challenging our court system; challenging our laws, whether our laws are constitutional in not recognizing their marriage,” the Premier added.

Dr Wheatley noted that he does not want to say too much while the matter is before the court. However, he argued: “We have the opportunity to make those changes [about same sex marriage] through our constitutional review or through our own local legislature. Any change — or whether the law remains the same — is a matter, in my view, for the people of the Virgin Islands; not for a judge and not for any other government to impose on us.”

“… [It’s] not for anyone to impose on the people of the Virgin Islands their particular views whether from the bench or whether from another government and certainly this is an issue and a matter I believe that the people should make their views known. And we have the mechanism that people can speak directly to their views on any topic. We have a referendum law where persons can express their very clear views on any matter,” he added.

While the Premier confessed he was not certain if the Referendum Act was ever used, he agreed that if there was ever a time it should be used, it should be on the matter of same-sex marriage.

“And for me, it speaks to the importance of the process we are going through now with our constitution. Our constitution very much should be a document that reflects the worldview, the culture, the perspective, the aspiration, the desires of the Virgin Islands people,” the Premier said.


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  1. BLONDIE says:


  2. ........... says:

    Whether you are for or against same sex marriage is none of my business.

    Despite it being a very hot topic, all I got from this article is a deep irritation for this man every time he opens his damn mouth. I am so, so, so, sick of this guy.
    This country is on its knees and the lack of leadership and direction is terrifying!

    Like 26
    Dislike 8
  3. Hmm says:

    I don’t personally care too much about this topic but my objective view is that if same sex relationships are legal then they should also be allowed to get married… I find it funny that he would say that if anything required the referendum act to be used it’s this… these man was preaching independence; something that would affect every single one of us and wasn’t talking about no referendum for that.

    Like 20
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  4. No says:

    We dont want it here period!

    Like 13
    Dislike 14
  5. East says:

    Fire ? for that burn that not in the bvi fire

    Like 14
    Dislike 7
  6. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the Premier’s position on this issue.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  7. Racist & homofobic says:

    Is what the BVI is. Also pretending to live according to the ‘word of god’ and at the same time sleeping with anything that is related or unrelated..

    Like 10
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  8. Secret Bear says:

    Sorry, but sometimes the court system is the only way anything ever changes. This place will be stuck in the Dark Ages forever unless a judge does something.

    Like 19
    Dislike 10
  9. Oh well says:

    Law or not it has been a practice for ages and I’m sure it will continue. Many feel it is their right to love who they want and are willing to die for such a belief….and many have been put to death for their sexuality.

    Like 3
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  10. The TRUTH says:

    Judges decided to overturn Roe vs. Wade. How’s that working out?

  11. How stupid is this guy? says:

    Premier, the couple are not “challenging our court system; challenging our laws”. They are going to our court system and saying that the law preventing same sex marriage violates our law. You have a fundamental misconception of how law works if you think someone challenging something in the court of laws is “challenging our laws”. Rather one law may be inconsistent with another law, being the constitution, and if true then the constitution prevails.

    Could you please understand how law works please, as it fairly important to understand this when acting as an (unelected) Premier.

    Like 10
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  12. Public Disclosure says:

    MR unelected Premier is in desperate need of a makeover,inside out,top to bottom.
    His appearance gives the impression of a mumu irregardless.

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  13. 21st Century says:

    It’s 2023.
    Same-sex marriage is not compulsory.
    Can we make more effort to stamp out child abuse instead?

    Like 7
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  14. ???? says:

    Just follow the many African President’s lead and say NO that’s not what we’re about. Stop entertaining this nastiness.

    Like 7
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  15. controversial says:

    The VI does not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples but it is not illegal to perform a wedding ceremony between same sex couples. So the same sex couple probably got their license in the US but is just having the ceremony in the VI.
    Branson, a billionaire businessman understands this and is taking advantage. I estimate that with guests staying for at least 2-3 days, Branson is probably grossing $200,000-$300,000 from this single ceremony. Branson does not care about the gender of the couple, just the colour of the money and he knows he is not doing anything illegal.
    As a community, the VI needs to decides where it stands on the issue of gay marriage licenses and gay marriage ceremonies, and the ceremonies will happen whether the VI issues licenses or not. Do we follow Branson and take the money, or do we continue down the path of ignoring it.
    A point to note, the UK will impose gay marriage on the VI, at some point.

    Like 4
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  16. Really says:

    Sowande speaks. Do you also agree sir that the position of premier should also be left to the people. The people never elected a unity government. So how come you be premier. Asking for the masses.

    Like 5
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  17. lol says:

    To fe fair… god also dont like that homo stuff

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  18. Oh please says:

    It is so funny that the majority is against same sex marriage. How about the dirty nastiness that is going here in the BVI. IE; you dirty married men and women that is sleeping with each other be it on a office desk or somewhere on WC UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS, FAMILY MEMBERS SLEEPING WITH COUSINS AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, BIG NASTY LOOKING STINK MOUTH MEN LUSTING AFTER LITTLE UNDERAGE GIRLS AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. I’M SURPRISE THIS ISLAND IS NOT CALLED SYPHILIS OR STD ISLAND.

    Like 6
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  19. Man please says:

    Just shut up you pompous, opportunist useless J%#£%##. I swear my dog Bentley and my cat Newman have more common sense than this guy.

    Like 1
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  20. My take says:

    When you come in another man’s country, whether you buy an island, or a plot of land, or you rent or lease, you should respect the culture of the other man’s country.

    The St Ja**s islands brought undue headache to our next door neighbours. We can do without the unnecessary drama here.

    I hope we harness the horse before it bolts out of the stable uncontrollably.

    Just my two cents.

    Like 4
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  21. EXACTLY says:

    EXACTLY!!So church, court, people, it won’t make one iota of difference. It will happen.

  22. @ph please says:

    Thank you so kindly for your comment. To me, incest, sleeping with a family member is worst and more nasty than two same sex couple. It is mostly the older men that was born and raised in Tortola, the I born here ones 50 and older is the true closet freak perverts. I have a family member who is pushing 60 approach me and start trying to touch on me and saying come go to the beach with him because his wife is not into freaking off with him then he was like, don’t tell my wife. Honestly, I had to restrain myself from committing a murder that day. I DON’T PLAY THAT S**T. He knows if he so much as say a word to me or look at me side ways I am going to F**K him up in the worse way possible. That family thing is just plain out nasty and dirty.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This whole thing about nobody electing the unity government is just one of the stupid things people say. Every single member was elected by their constituents. This isn’t a case where unelected politicians joined to form the government. You vote for the members of government. They decide if they continue with their party or not. Choose who you give your vote to wisely.

  24. @ Mytake says:

    Your analogy comparing Necker with St. James Island is erroneous. For one, minors were not involved. No one was coerced to go to Necker. The parties involved at Necker were consenting adults.

    It’s hard to understand why people here appear so homophobic. It’s not as if there are no gay BVIslanders, and it’s not against the law to be thusly oriented. Instead, one should consider that many gay people have significant disposable income that they could be spending here. A wedding in Necker does not come cheap.

    Supposedly this is a Christian territory, so should we discriminate against those who are not? We already tried that by sending back people sporting dreadlocks until the mid 90s until the UK said no can do.

  25. Licher and Sticher says:

    Not a supporter of gay marriage but this guy makes the people sound unsophisticated. Slow Wande is over his head.

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