In order to better inform himself of the views of his constituents, George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan has written to the Premier and the Governor to ask for more time than is normally permitted before the Government-proposed Bill on same-sex partnerships is discussed in the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Bryan wrote: “In the last sitting of the Legislative Assembly (Nov. 2019), the Honourable Premier indicated the Government’s intention to bring a bill in the first quarter of 2020 to address the request by the Court of Appeal to create “legal protections” “functionally equivalent to marriage” for persons of the same sex. The normal notice period is the minimum of 21 days. However, due to the gravity of such a new law, I am hereby requesting that the notice be released at least 28 days before the debate in the Legislative Assembly.”
In his New Year’s address to the nation, Premier Alden McLaughlin outlined the necessity for dealing with this important human rights issue.
“Regarding ‘same sex partnerships’, as I have said previously it is important that legislators determine the best way forward for our Islands and find a solution that works for Caymanians. If we abrogate our responsibility to do so, we must accept that the UK will legislate for these islands as the Court of Appeal has suggested they do. That would be the worst possible result for these Islands, not just with regard to same-sex partnerships, but more generally,” he said.
As a result, it is anticipated that the issue will be debated by lawmakers early this year.
Mr Bryan said that he believed his request was justified and reasonable considering the sensitivity of the topic and stated that, in the spirit of the recent Constitutional approved amendments in the Legislative Assembly, it was his hope that this request be seen as “fitting and reasonable”.
He went on to say that he believed that, as the elected representative of George Town Central, a 28 day notice would afford him ample time to discuss, review and seek directions from the people on any legislation that relates to same-sex relationships, so that he could be in a better and more informed position to represent them.