- Legislator goes on bizarre rant blaming Coronavirus, earthquakes and SARS on same-sex marriage.
A legislator in the Cayman Islands has gone on a bizarre rant blaming same-sex couples for natural disasters.
Anthony Eden told the Cayman Islands’ Legislative Assembly that natural disasters and disease are warnings against giving rights to same-sex couples.
Eden said: ‘Mr Speaker, once the floodgates are opened, what will happen in Cayman? How are we going to stop it? A little population of less than 70,000 built on Christian values. We have been warned over the years.
He then listed hurricanes Gilbert, Ivan and Paloma as having been such warnings.
And in particular he blamed LGBT+ people for an earthquake on 29 January, which hit the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica.
‘Mr Speaker, an earthquake – the strongest tremor that I’ve known in my 75 years – hit these islands. There’s SARS. AIDS has been there over the years, gradually taking out many people.
‘And now we hear of the coronavirus, recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.
‘You’ve seen what’s happened. We better take warning of what’s going on.’
LGBT+ rights in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands have hit an impasse after their Chief Justice ruled on 29 March last year that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
However, the ruling was stayed and then overturned by the Court of Appeal on 7 November 2019.
Meanwhile, LGBT+ people in the western Caribbean Sea islands have few rights.
Gay sex is legal. However, there is not an equal age of consent, LGBT+ people can be fired from work or refused service by businesses and same-sex couples can’t adopt. Moreover, trans people have no legal right to change gender.
The gay scene in the Cayman Islands is limited, with no specific gay nightclubs or beaches. However, several hotels and tourist areas cater to gay clientele.
The country’s constitution guarantees equality and non-discrimination. But politicians have been fiercely homophobic.
In 1998 they turned away a gay cruise with 900 passengers. And in 2008, police arrested a Massachusetts gay man after he kissed his partner on a nightclub dancefloor. He was later released.
Eden has moved a motion in the Legislative Assembly to promote what he calls ‘Christian values’.
His motion says Christians have a constitutional right to comment on issues. Eden believes the courts will otherwise outlaw these as hate speech.
He added: ‘Christian preachers [abroad] are not allowed to refer to the biblical teaching as not supporting same-sex marriage and LGBTQ lifestyles.’
But he claimed it is not hate speech to promote hate against LGBT+ people.
‘It’s not “hate speech”, Mr Speaker. It comes from the Bible that I read frequently.’