Lawyers have called on the UK Foreign Office to step in after the Government of the Cayman Islands is appealing the landmark judgement which legalised same-sex marriage.
Last week a judge ruled that the Cayman Islands Constitution requires that same-sex couples have the right to get married and that couples who are married overseas should have their marriage legally recognised.
The ruling was supposed to have immediate effect but the Court of Appeal agreed this week to delay the rollout of the judgement and will hear the government’s appeal in August.
Chantelle Day and her fiancée Vickie Bodden Bush who brought the case to the courts had been celebrating the victory. They had plans to marry this week but will now have to delay the wedding due to the appeal.
Human rights barrister Jonatha Cooper condemned the treatment of the lesbian couple who he said were being “demeaned and shamed” and “treated like pawns in a chess game”.
“Cayman is a British Overseas Territory. Caymanians are UK citizens. The foreign secretary is responsible for good government in the Caymans,” he said.
Mr Cooper is calling on ministers to fight for the couple’s right to marry:
“We look now to Jeremy Hunt as foreign secretary to offer the leadership on LGBT equality, as well as compassion, that [his predecessor] Boris Johnson lacked.
“Jeremy Hunt needs to stand firm and ensure that Chantelle and Vickie’s ordeal is over.”
Last week when the ruling was announced, campaigners for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland said the LGBT+ community should be “encouraged” by a landmark legal judgement in the Cayman Islands which legalised same-sex marriage in the British Overseas Territory (BOT).
It was hoped that it would have knock-on events for Northern Ireland. The coalition believes it brings into sharp focus the UK government’s refusal to remedy this human rights issue.
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