The Cayman Islands legalises Same-Sex Marriage
The Historic Ruling May Have Implications For TCI
The Cayman Islands has legalised same-sex marriage after a judge ruled prohibitions on such relationships was unconstitutional as reported by the Independent.
The decision marked a personal victory - and the end of a tough legal battle - for Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, who had last year applied to get married in the islands but were turned down.
But activists say Friday’s ruling could also have implications for LGBT+ rights on other British overseas territories like the Turks & Caicos, which have their own legal systems.
Around 80 people were present in the court in George Town on Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands making up the territory, to hear the ruling by chief justice Anthony Smellie, the Cayman Compass reported.
After the decision, Ms Day, a lawyer, said: “It shows that love wins and I am really happy that the right result was received today.”
Jonathan Cooper, one of a team of British barristers who represented the women, said the ruling had widespread implications, not just for LGBT+ rights in other overseas territories, especially in the Caribbean, but also in Britain.
He said the situation now was that same-sex marriage would be legal across Britain and its territories, with the exception of North Ireland, where it remains illegal. He said it was outrageous the couple had been forced to fight a legal battle with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which had opposed the couple’s application to marry.
“Chantelle and Vickie should not have been forced to litigate in order to have their relationship recognised in law,” said Mr Cooper. “It’s a scandal that the FCO made them do this. When will this Government put its money where its mouth is and mainstream LGBT equality across the board?”