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Update: Gov’t to appeal same-sex marriage ruling

FCO disappointed by appeal, Governor distanced from legal action.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin says Government will appeal Chief Justice Hon. Anthony Smellie’s ruling legalising same-sex marriages in the Cayman Islands.

It will also seek a stay of execution of Mr. Smellie’s judgment which re-wrote the Marriage Law. Government will have 14 days in which to file the legal action.

However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has registered its displeasure with this decision.

In a brief statement, an FCO spokesperson said, “The court judgment permitting same–sex marriage in the Cayman Islands puts the territory among the most progressive societies in the region in terms of LGBT equality. The UK Government is committed to equal rights, including LGBT rights, and welcomes the judgment. We are therefore disappointed by the decision of the Cayman Islands Government to appeal.”

The FCO said it would not be appropriate to comment further given the ongoing legal proceedings.

It added that the Governor will not be involved in the Government’s appeal.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday (3 April) morning Premier McLaughlin said yesterday (2 April) Cabinet instructed the Attorney General to pursue both legal avenues to challenge the Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden-Bush ruling.

He said Government believes the Hon. Chief Justice “may have exceeded the scope of the powers conferred on the Court by the Constitution and in doing so, some have argued, assumed the role of this Legislative Assembly in deciding on what should be public policy and then legislating for it.”

Premier McLaughlin said, “If left unchallenged, the implications for the Cayman Islands Constitution are significant and potentially far-reaching and go well beyond the rights of same-sex couples.”

Legislators are currently debating a motion on pursuing the appeal.

Cayman 27 will continue to follow this breaking story and provide further details on the Premier’s statement tonight at 6 p.m.

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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