(CMR) As the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation gets ready to host its Pride Parade on Saturday, Colours Caribbean has clearly stated it is not in agreement with some of the rules the Foundation has set for the parade.
One such rule is the restriction on the public display of affection. In a list of rules for the parade posted on Facebook, the LGBTQ Foundation said participants must refrain from improper conduct and public indecency, including public displays of affection, whining or gyrating, exposing private parts, and public urination/defecation.
However, Colours Cayman said while it supports the parade, it was not in agreement with restrictions on the public display of affection. In a release, Colours Cayman stated:
“While we urge everyone to participate respectfully and with decency, restrictions on public displays of affection among consenting adults of any gender identity or sexual orientation is not something that our organization can, or should, ever endorse. “
“‘Pride' events such as this one are rare and significant opportunities to demonstrate that the LGBTQIA+ community are not ashamed of expressing their identities or sexual orientation in public by showing love for their partners by holding hands and kissing in the parade; they participate in a spirit of pride and respect for each other and the communities in which we all co-exist with one another.”
Colours Caribbean called on the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation to clarify the legal source used to conclude that “public display of affection” is prohibited on Saturday amongst participants and to say who will enforce such a prohibition.
Meantime, for the first time, Government officials have agreed to take part in the Cayman Pride Parade. The Cayman LGBTQ Foundation announced that it has officially invited H.E. Governor Martyn Roper, Premier Hon Wayne Panton, and Member of Parliament Barbara Conolly to the event.
“We are proud to see that for the first time, the Government has agreed to take part in any parade being held in the Cayman Islands,” the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation stated on its Facebook page.
One Facebook user asked if Minister of Education Julianna O'Connor-Connolly would be invited to the parade. The Foundation responded, “Not this year”. O'Connor-Connolly had made it clear in the past that she does not support the LGBTQ lifestyle, which she has said goes against Christian principles.
The Cayman LGBTQ Foundation Facebook page also outlined the following rules for Saturday's event:
-All participants must have received their second vaccination dose no later than Saturday 17th July 2021 in order to participate in the parade.
-There will be no carnival-type costumes; this means no exposed midriffs, no exposed chest areas, no exposed private parts, no short-shorts, no beads, no bikinis or swimwear, no indecent/obscene graphics or writing on clothing. Only approved pride-related accessories will be appropriate for the parade. Any accessories which are deemed inappropriate must be removed, or the individual will not be permitted to participate in the parade.
-There will be no physical interaction between registered participants and spectators. All registered participants in the parade must remain in the parade for its duration. There will be no room for discretion – any registered person who leaves the parade will not be permitted to rejoin the parade. According to the Facebook post, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is the final authority and has the right to remove/arrest anyone in violation of this rule.
-Registered participants are not allowed to accept any articles from spectators or throw articles to spectators. Anyone who fails to comply commits an offense and will be removed from the parade as well as be liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years.
-There will be no alcohol prior to or during the parade. Any inebriated persons will be asked to leave the parade.
The Health Services Authority (HSA) will be located at the Public Beach on the 31st of July 2021 at 8:30 am to tag all participants. All registered participants must present their identification and vaccination cards to HSA to be tagged prior to the Parade. Individuals may go to be tagged early.
Persons who have been tagged will meet at 2 pm prior to the Parade, where they are checked for the tags prior to entering the area and March.
As per regulations from the Ministries of Health and Tourism, children below the age of 12 are not permitted to participate in the parade, the Foundation said. Children 12 years of age and above will need to be vaccinated in order to participate in the Parade and must be accompanied by a parent who is registered for the parade.