Imagine for a moment you’ve been in a long-term relationship with your partner for 6 years. You’ve moved in together. Have a beautiful child. And you want to take the next step and make a life-long commitment. Now imagine you can’t, because your government won’t allow it.
That’s the reality my fiancée and I face every day, as second-class British citizens.
Doesn’t the UK have equal marriage?
It does. But not for everyone. The Cayman Islands – a British Overseas Territory – bans same-sex unions. In any form. No marriage. No civil partnerships. I’m a British citizen, but my relationship simply doesn’t exist in the eyes of the government. Even if we married elsewhere, Cayman would not recognise the union. Vickie would not be allowed to live in Cayman as my legal spouse.
Which is why we now live abroad in London, in self-exile. We would dearly love to return to Cayman, to raise our daughter amongst friends and family that we miss greatly. But we cannot do so until the law changes.
The government should say “I do” so we can too
We’ve pleaded with the Cayman government to act, to say “I do” to equal marriage. But it continues to ignore its own constitution. The British government won’t help either – it could mandate equal rights, like it did in 2001 when it decriminalized homosexuality in all of its overseas territories. But its silence and disregard for international human rights law is deafening.
If they won’t act, we must
Both governments are acting illegally. They won’t act to ensure all British citizens are treated equally. So now the burden – both financial and emotional - falls on our shoulders to do what’s right. We’ve pulled together an incredible legal team to take the case to court. And we will win. The law is clear.
How you can help
As you can imagine, legal costs are expensive. Although we’ve had some generous individuals assisting us in the fight for equality, ours and their pockets are not bottomless. With your help we will be able to bring Cayman into the 21st Century, and set an example for all of the UK’s overseas territories, so that no more British citizens need to go to court to marry the person they love.
In April we requested a marriage license in Cayman which was rejected. Now our legal team have filed legal proceedings with the courts in the Cayman Islands where we are fighting for equality!
So the clock is ticking.
Help us, and you’ll help thousands more.
Here’s some of our news coverage:
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#loveislove #Equalmarriage #caymanislands
- Colin & Lyn West
- Jennifer Black
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- Allan Holdsworth
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