(CMR) Cayman Islands government officials have contacted the Cayman Islands National Gallery about a private celebratory event that took place there on December 23, 2017 between two gentlemen.
Christopher Bryan and James Webb celebrated their nuptials recently but apparently it has not sit well with some persons in the Cayman Islands. Bryan is from the Cayman Islands and Webb is from New York.
According to CMR sources there was some concern by some government officials as to the legitimacy of the ceremony and they felt it necessary to contact the gallery. Over the past week the photographs and a YouTube video have been heavily circulated within the Cayman Islands with people from both sides of the same sex debate weighing in.
We understand that the couple actually got married on December 20, 2017 in New York where one of the grooms is resident and had a private celebration at the gallery several days later to invite their Cayman friends and family. One exclusive source said that visitors enjoyed the beautiful Cayman Islands and had a fantastic time at the ceremony.
New York’s Marriage Equality Act was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on June 24, 2011, allowing same-sex couples to marry legally in New York for the first time.
Same sex marriages in the Cayman Islands remain illegal and the discussion garnished a lot of debate with the LGBT community pushing for greater rights and legal equality. Despite that In July 2016, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal ruled in favour of a gay man who wished to be added to his spouse’s work permit as a dependent. The two men's application was made 14 months prior to the ruling and was rejected, they subsequently filed a lawsuit. A July 2016 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights had significant implications for the lawsuit. The ECHR found that a refusal to grant a residence permit to a same-sex couple in Italy on family grounds was unjustified discrimination.
All same-sex couples now have immigration rights recognised, meaning same-sex couples can settle in the Cayman Islands without fear of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
In 2009, the draft constitution for the Government of the Cayman Islands excluded LGBT rights. The British Foreign Affairs Committee described the decision to exclude sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination as “deplorable” and raised concerns that it breached human rights laws. It raised the possibility that Cayman Islands residents could be afforded less than the full protection to which they are entitled, under the European Convention on Human Rights.
By contract, earlier this month Bermuda has legally recognized gay couples and will allow them to register as “domestic partnerships”.
The controversial bill was seen as a compromised after the Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriages after a test case last year.
Walton Brown, Bermuda’s Home Affairs Minister, said the The Domestic Partnership bill provided same-sex couples with a raft of legal rights similar to marriage – but not the title.
CMR has reached out to government officials for comment but there were none willing to do so by press time.
One friend of the grooms stated:
I cannot believe that with all the issues government is facing they are concerned about two adult males celebrating love and friendship. They really need to prioritize and leave personal affairs where they belong.