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Privy Council in London blocks same-sex marriage in Bermuda and Cayman Islands
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Privy Council in London blocks same-sex marriage in Bermuda and Cayman Islands

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LGBT rights in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda were dealt a devastating blow from the UK on Monday after London's highest court of appeal, the Privy Council, sided with opponents of marital equality.

The British Privy Council is the final court of appeal for the British territories. The judges of the Privy Council, the Advocate reports, supported not only the authorities of Bermuda, which declared same-sex marriage illegal for the third time, but also stated that LGBT people in the Caymans do not have the right to enter into same-sex marriages based on the constitution of the islands.

However, in their ruling in the Bermuda case, the Privy Council judges pointed out that the history of marriage is "a path of denigration and victimization of gays, and that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples can cause gays to feel stigmatized." But, alas, the judges delivered a verdict: "International documents and constitutions of other countries cannot be used to interpret the constitution of Bermuda and the right to legal recognition of same-sex marriages."

In the Cayman Islands case, the judges ruled that marriage is a matter for legislators, not a constitutional right.

The Cayman Islands case has been pending since 2018, when authorities denied two women the right to marry. The couple sued. In 2019, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ruled in their favor. The court ordered the authorities to adopt norms on partnership tantamount to marriage, but this did not happen. The decision was not enforced, citing that the Constitution of the Cayman Islands prohibits same-sex marriage.

LGBT activists in the Cayman and Bermuda have vowed to challenge the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

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15.03.2022

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