Here on Cayman’s shores, the same-sex marriage debate has split opinions among the public.
Some say it goes against the core of traditional Caymanian values. Others say freedom to marry who you love is a basic human right.
One self-described Christian Caymanian told Cayman 27 she looked to her faith for the answer.
“For years I’ve been hearing that this island is a God fearing place, so why, what is the hatred, why do you hate these people, why? You cannot hate,” said Velma Herod
She told Cayman 27 discrimination against the LGBT community, and hatred of any sort, is out of step with the words of her savior.
“Jesus Christ himself said, you have to love everybody, and forgive everybody. But Cayman, you know, the West Indian people, they’re into church, joining church. The scripture tells me join Christ,” she said.
Before her attendance at the Queering Paradigms conference held over the weekend (11-12 June), Ms. Herod said she never met an LGBT person. She urged her fellow Caymanians to open their minds and hearts.
“The message from me to my Caymanians is this: get to know the truth. You have to know the truth,” said Ms. Herod.
She said it’s possible churches could be putting political interests of the institution ahead of the core values of Christianity.
“It’s control,” she said. “God gives you freedom but man wants to control you and put you into their mold.”
Ms. Herod said she comes away from queering paradigms with a better understanding of why same-sex marriage is such an important human rights issue.
“By coming here I found the rights are for everything, you know, for everything, not just for you know, man marrying man and woman marrying woman, not for that, it’s for everything,” she said.
She said words from her bible back her up.
“You must love your neighbor, no matter, you must, you must, according to Jesus,” she said.
Ms. Herod said she came to the event expecting more Caymanian participation, perhaps even some protests or arguments. She said the conversation on LGBT issues in Cayman must continue.