If passed, this bill would be a landmark moment for LGBTQI equality


Today, UK Parliament has seen the introduction of a bill that would legalise equal marriage for all Caribbean British Overseas Territories. The preliminary draft was introduced by House of Lords Peer, Michael Cashman, a lifelong LGBTQI campaigner, in support of Colours Caribbean‘s longstanding efforts to introduce this legislation in the Cayman Islands. Professor Paul Johnson, Executive Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Leeds, both advised and drafted the bill alongside Lord Cashman.

If passed, local governors appointed by Her Majesty The Queen would be empowered to introduce this legislation, rendering Caribbean British Overseas Territories equal with all countries guided by the Inter-American Convention On Human Rights. This new bill includes Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands, and is a landmark moment for global LGBTQI equality.

Dr Leonardo Raznovich is a leading barrister specialising in the laws of British Overseas Territories and has spoken out in support of this preliminary bill. “The decisions of the Privy Council against equal marriage for Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, while disappointing must be accepted on the understanding that the UK Parliament, which was responsible for the implementation of their constitutions, failed to protect vulnerable minorities properly. Further, the Privy Council made it clear that it recognised the historical background of stigmatisation, denigration and victimisation of gay people and that its decisions would create among them a sense of exclusion and stigma. The Privy Council, hence, saw force in the policy argument of equal marriage, which indeed they expressly stated in the decision for Bermuda.”

Colours Caribbean is a locally operated non-profit aiming to foster a safe and comfortable social environment for LGBTQI communities across the Caribbean and Latin America. It builds networks of regional businesses and public venues absent of discrimination and harassment, advocating for LGBTQI rights as human rights. To keep up with their work, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit their website.

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