Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden’s years of service to the church and staunch defence of traditional heterosexual marriage have earned him a community service award at Sunday (01 May) night’s Savannah Seventh Day Adventist Church awards gala.
Mr. Eden, and other politicians in attendance, used the forum to reiterate their commitment to protecting Cayman’s traditional Christian values from foreign encroachment.
“We’ve brought Mr. Eden here tonight to laud him for his defense of traditional orthodox Christian marriage, as the bedrock of an ideal society,” said UCCI Professor Dr. Livingston Smith.
Members of the church showing their support with a warm round of applause for the veteran lawmaker, who thanked his family and the church before continuing.
“I want to say a special thank you to [fellow Bodden Town MLA] Alva [Suckoo] as he was the gentleman that seconded my motion in the legislative assembly,” said Mr. Eden.
Last August, Mr. Eden’s motion to reaffirm the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, and his remarks on same-sex marriage in the chamber generated a firestorm of criticism from human rights advocates and the LGBT community.
“Jesus says I’m his judge, his jury, and executioner,” said Mr. Eden, quoting a Bible passage before making his point. “This type of lifestyle will keep you out of eternal life.”
Amid the criticism and backlash from his August remarks, Mr. Eden hasn’t altered his stance. He even parted ways with the Progressives, the political party he helped found, over the same-sex marriage issue.
“I won’t bring you into this, or into the politics, as all my colleagues know I’m not politically correct in anything I say or do,” said Mr. Eden.
Opposition leader McKeeva Bush, speaking at the same event, called Mr. Eden an honourable man, and said he also intends to stand firm for Cayman’s traditional values.
“As a legislator, I will not do anything to change our law, our regulations, to comply or to change culturally, our way of life,” said Mr. Bush.
The issue of same-sex marriage is not going away.
Former Truman Bodden Law School lecturer Leonardo Raznovich’s petition to be added to his same-sex spouse’s work permit has not yet been addressed.
Government has indicated it’s working to amend immigration regulations to comply with its international human rights obligations on same-sex couples, but without making same-sex marriage the law of the land.