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Panton says Christian group threatens Civil Partnerships Act

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton has said the ruling by the Privy Council in the Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush same-sex marriage case may have established that the Cayman Islands Constitution does not provide a right for gay couples to marry but this does not prevent Parliament from introducing a law to provide for it.

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But the country’s leader, who has been a strong advocate for the LGBT community, did not commit to making that happen, nor did he say how he would respond if a legal challenge to the Civil Partnership Act succeeds.

In a statement about the judgment from the UK court, which is Britain’s highest court of appeal for its overseas territories, Panton pointed out that times are changing, but did not say if he will be the leader to make that change happen.

“Many of the younger generations of Caymanians have different views on the issue of marriage and this may become an issue of social justice in time to come,” he said.

“In the meantime, as premier I have an obligation under the law to ensure that all people, especially any minority group, are treated fairly and without discrimination. The Constitution provides clear guidance on the matter of non-discrimination and the Civil Partnerships Law Act provides for legal recognition of same-sex unions.”

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Wayne Panton noted that the Civil Partnerships Law Act is under threat and if the conservative Christian group led by Kattina Anglin is successful, Cayman will be back in violation of its obligations.

“Unfortunately, the enactment of this act is being challenged by way of a judicial review. Should that succeed, government will be in breach of its obligations to provide a mechanism for a union with functional equivalence to marriage and will be required to respond,” he said.

However, the premier did not state what that response would be, even though it presents an opportunity to amend the Marriage Law to allow for full marriage equivalency.

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“The issue of same-sex marriage is an emotive one in our Islands, with strong views held by those in support of and those against same-sex marriages,” he said. “As we process the Privy Council’s ruling, we must remember to conduct ourselves with respect and civility… No matter your view on the issue of same-sex marriage, I ask that you discuss your views respectfully and with due consideration to the feelings and emotions of others.”

Panton evades same-sex marriage question – Cayman Islands Headline News  Cayman News Service

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