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UK rejects call for same-sex marriage in overseas territories

UK rejects call for same-sex marriage in overseas territories

Chantelle Day, Vickie Bodden and their legal team | Photo: Judy Canseco

The UK will not protect marriage equality in overseas territories, the government has said.

The Cayman Islands is in uproar over after a surprise ruling found a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in March.

But the ruling is now in flux as the island nation government has filed an appeal.

The final appeal will be heard in August this year.

UK rejects call for same-sex marriage in overseas territories

Theresa May’s government has said it will not intervene in ‘domestic matters’ in British overseas territories.

It said: ‘Policy on marriage law is an area of devolved responsibility it should be for the territories to decide and legislate on.’

It also said: ‘The Territories’ justice mechanisms and processes should be allowed the space to address these matters.

‘We are working to encourage those Territories that have not put in place arrangements to recognize and protect same sex relationships, to do so, and continue to engage with all the Overseas Territories to ensure that their legislation is compliant with their international human rights obligations.’

‘We have no plans to introduce an Order-in-Council on this issue,’ the response also stated.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the UK’s response is ‘clear-headed’.

He also said: ‘In the 21st Century, there can be no justification for people 5,000 miles away, most of whom have never even visited these Islands, thinking they know better than we do how we should run our own affairs.’

Last year, couple Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden applied to get married but were turned down.

Since then they have fought to have their relationship recognized and union protected.

LGBTI rights in the Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean Sea. Three islands make up the territory — Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

About 60,000 people live there. It is the second-most populated British territory after Bermuda, which legalized same-sex marriage last year.

Britain’s Caribbean Territories (Criminal Law) Order, 2000 decriminalized same-sex sexual activity in 2001.

See also

Cayman Islands legalizes same-sex marriage in landmark decision 

Cayman Islands denial of legal status to gay couples to be challenged in court 

Cayman Islands reaffirms ban on gay marriage in wake of European court verdict