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Marriage law changes in the works

Changes are in the works to update Cayman’s marriage law.
But those changes will not see the adoption of same-sex marriages or changes to the legal marrying age.
What it will see are changes to who can conduct marriages here and the introduction of a code of conduct for marriage officers, among other things.
Strategic Advisor Peter Gough is helping craft amendments to Cayman’s 40-year-old marriage law. But he says they will not feature controversial changes.

“We are not amending the marriage law to allow for same-sex marriages in the Cayman Islands… I am not considering it in this law,” Mr Gough says.

Also not being considered, changes to Cayman’s marriageable age of sixteen with parental consent. And that’s even though under the Constitution anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child.

“Universally, sixteen is an age can marry and we did not see any reason why Cayman Islands should be different in that respect,” Mr Gough says.

He says the proposed changes are more administrative and will shift appointment of marriage officers from the Governor to a Registrar General.

“It was a matter of streamlining it to give a better service to people who want to get married,” Mr Gough says.

With close to 900 marriages per year in Cayman Mr Gough says its necessary to ensure the law is updated and marriage officers operate under a code of conduct as well.

Mr Gough says these proposed changes will be discussed in caucus shortly before heading to cabinet for approval. However it’s unlikely the changes will make the February 22 sitting of the LA, the last meeting before parliament is dissolved for elections on May 24th.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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