The Cayman Islands legalises same-sex marriage


The couple with their legal team. Pic: Jonathan Cooper / Twitter

A lesbian couple and their daughter have won their landmark case to legalise same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands on Friday.

Chantelle Day, 32, and her fiancée, Vickie Bodden Bush, 44, who are raising a five-year-old daughter, were refused the right to marry in April last year.

They took the matter to the courts, leading to Grand Court Chief Justice Anthony Smellie ruling that the definition of marriage as only being between a man and a woman is unconstitutional and violated their rights.

Smellie ordered the modification of the Marriage Law in the Cayman Islands with immediate effect so that marriage now means “the union between two people as one another’s spouses.”

“This court is bound not to allow the violation of the petitioners’ rights to continue without redress,” said the Chief Justice. “The petitioners and their daughter are entitled to the indignities to which they have been subjected being put to an immediate end by the court.”

Speaking to The Telegraph after the ruling, Day said: “This is our dream come true! We’ve just got the ruling that changes the definition of marriage. It’s a massive relief and just incredible, I just can’t express it enough.”

She and Bush plan to marry “on the beach somewhere in Cayman.”

Human rights barrister Peter Laverack, who represented the couple in court, told the Evening Standard: “Chantelle’s and Vickie’s relationship finally has been recognised. For too long they and their daughter were denied what loving couples and ordinary families take for granted.”

The Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea, consisting of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It is internally self-governing but the UK is responsible for defence and foreign relations.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office welcomed the ruling. “The UK believes that the strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which all citizens can play a full, equal and active part,” said a spokesperson.

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