December 13, 2019

The Editor speaks: Both sides win and lose

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Colin Wilson

I don’t suppose either side of the court battle over same-sex marriage will be one hundred per cent pleased with the verdict from the Court of Appeal in favour of the Government who were against the Chief Justice’s decision to allow them.

Within minutes of the decision announced today by the Appeal Judges chief campaigner for same sex marriages, Dr Leonardo J Raznovich, issued a Press Release that you can read in full on our website.

His opening paragraph reads:

“It is a sad day for Caymanians because their constitution has not been properly upheld by their own courts, and for this reason a sad day for the jurisdiction and its future and I would express my utter disgust at the politicised judgement and epic and inexcusable failure of the Court of Appeal to apply correctly the law and find appropriate and adequate constitutional remedy for Chantelle and Vickie.  

He further blasts the judges on their decision – “these judges do not deserve the title of judges, let alone of jurists”.

Raznovich also warns the churches not to be “clapping too loud” (my words) :

The conclusion is so absurd that in fact all churches in the Cayman Islands have today lost the constitutional protection to marry people in that if the constitutional right to marriage can only be derived from section 14, then churches in the jurisdictions could not complain if in the future a government were to take away their right to conduct religious marriages legally binding. Nowhere in section 14 the word religion is mentioned; such a right could only derive from section 10 but after today’s judgment that section cannot be engaged to imply a right to marry under the constitution.”

He believes the Court of Appeal’s decision is “not based in law, but it is based in politics”.

He also gave notice that he will be going to England and gives his reasons for why the Court of Appeal will be reverted in London by a “court of law’ applying the law and restating Chief Justice Smellie’s judgment as to what the constitution of the Cayman Islands requires.”

He concludes with “The stupidity and indecency of the German and American courts of those times is what the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands has dastardly followed today with its judgment.”

And, the Court of Appeal ruling for the government also bashed them. They concluded:

“In recognition of the longstanding and continuing failure of the Legislative Assembly to comply with its legal obligations…….

“Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush are entitled expeditiously to legal protection in the Cayman Islands, which is functionally equivalent to marriage.”

However, the Court of Appeal did not give any time line within which the Government have to comply.

The government have been sitting on this for some time already. They have not said they won’t nor have they said they will. Don’t expect that is going to change quickly.

Same sex marriages must be recognized here but they can’t be married here.

The outcome – both sides are unhappy and happy. Can we demonstrate against that?

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