Church ministers deny mean-spirited sentiment

| 09/03/2009

(CNS) The debate regarding the limitation of the non-discrimination right in the proposed Constitution’s Bill of Rights continued this weekend when the Cayman Minister Association (CMA) issued a statement denying that its support for the narrowing of Section 16 had been based upon unjustifiable or mean-spirited sentiment. The church representatives said that their objection was based on concerns about judicial activism.

CMA Chair Pastor Al Ebanks released a statement about the Human Rights Committee’s recent accusation that in their desire to deny rights to gays and lesbians the church representatives had also denied rights to the wider community. The religious association denied this was the case. 

“CMA rejects allegations that our support for the narrowing of the BOR Section 16 (1) is based upon unjustifiable or mean-spirited sentiment. Our objection to the so called ‘free-standing clause’ reflects our understanding that a free standing right leaves open the door for wide-ranging judicial activism in the future and also for other abuses of Cayman’s legal and financial systems,” the CMA statement said.

The CMA also criticized the HRC for what it described as personal attacks and said that the behavior of members could undermine the future participation of NGOs political level talks.

“We are deeply disappointed that the HRC has chosen to once again make personal attacks against the character of a fellow member of the negotiating team, as they did during the final round of talks in London against the CMA and Seventh Day Adventists,” CMA said. “We are also deeply concerned that some of the actions of the HRC as a member of the Cayman negotiating team may have inadvertently ensured that no NGOs will ever be invited to participate in future talks at this level, and in our opinion this would be a most unfortunate tragedy, as throughout the talks the presence and participation of the NGOs have been applauded as positive towards the final outcome by our elected representatives as well as the UK negotiators and minister.”

CMA stated that the UK Minister Gillian Merron made it clear that the UK would not accept any draft document that would unjustifiably exclude the rights of any category of persons.CMA said it was in full agreement with that, adding that Section 16 (2) of the new draft Constitution is widely based on Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), and provides even greater protection for all, in that it specifically names age and mental or physical disabilities, both of which are not mentioned in the ECHR.

“The CMA does not support including sexual orientation in the constitution as we believe this would  allow the specific claim to rights that other (unnamed) groups are not afforded,” the church representatives said. “What the HRC has advocated, and what we have objected to, is the specific inclusion of sexual orientation in a list of protected rights, as we believe that everyone is currently covered on the basis of ‘Sex’ or ‘Other Status’ regardless of their sexual orientation.”

CMA cited Professor Jeffery Jowell’s comments that the proposed bill of rights goes beyond the Human Rights Act (HRA) in the UK, fulfils treaty obligations which were all very carefully scrutinized, and includes additional rights that don’t appear in the HRA or in the constitutions of a number of countries. 

The HRC had recently noted that the church had not put forward any justification for limiting Section 16 apart from the expression of “vague concerns” about conferring rights on gays and lesbians in our community

However, CMA said it had put forward recommendations and reasons throughout the talks which were much more than vague concerns.  “The concerns of the CMA have always been much broader than the HRC has recognized and cannot be accurately described as ‘vague concerns’ about ‘gays and lesbians’.  As it stands we believe that Section 16 preserves existing benefits for Caymanians, e.g. financial assistance from social services; affordable housing loans; stamp duty reduced rate and exemption for first time buyers,” CMA said in its statement.

The church group also stated that because the Bill of Rights applies to everyone, regardless of nationality it believed that programmes such as college scholarships and government guaranteed home assistance would either have to be abandonedfor Caymanians or provided equally to all other residents if Section 16 (1) was made free standing.

The HRC has however noted on several occasions that this is not the case as preferential treatment for Caymanians is protected in other areas of the bill.

CMA said that believes that the Bill of Rights clearly affirms the rule of law and the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom for all. “This assures every individual person of their human rights and includes protection for the mentally and physically disabled. The CMA would not support any effort to deny any person their rights of equality before God and the law,” it said.

CMA acknowledged that the HRC is not determined to campaign against the Bill of Rights. And said it agreed with the committee’s position that the alternative is worse if the alternative is nothing.

“We are heartened by this promise and trust that all parties to the constitutional talks will now focus on continued meaningful education regarding the benefits of what is contained in the current draft,” CMA stated. “We have a UK approved final draft Constitution, and the government and opposition as the duly elected representatives of the people have made their decision to accept this final negotiated  document and have rightfully put its final destiny in the hands of the people for a referendum vote on May 20. We therefore encourage the people of the Cayman Islands to educate themselves on its contents, ask pertinent questions, and make decisions that are well informed,” CMA added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m sick and tired of the negetive people (mainly the elderly people and expats ( who was given status)  )  IF you have a problem about The Cayman Islands Government being educated for once about accepting gay people in this society then leave! go some where that supports your belief. i am a homosexual Caymanianin the Cayman Islands trying to fight for my freedom whilst your here by a piece of paper…. just stay out of it!!!!!!!  

    i have a question for you Ministers of the Cayman islands Government and YOU PASTORS, if you had a son/daughter that you loved out of this world, they were the most precious thing to you, that made you proud thier whole life. And you were more than a parent but thier best FRIEND.  They trusted to tell you a dark secret, if one day they said mom/dad i’m not exactly what you think i am. and they told you their DEEP SECRET!, what would you say or do?

    i have known people to neglect their child becuase of a secret. people this is sad.

    I have another question for you, have your kid changed ? No! he/she is the same person you loved out of this world 1 minute prior to you knowing the truth. Accept your child because obvesouly they want you to know< 1. it makes it easier for them to live thier life.                                                         2. they love you and trust you wont disown them.

    People i know a certain ploitian who has a son that is gay, and she accepts him, yet she has a BEST FRIEND that is a lesbian, but when it comes to politics and elections this individual is the first to point fingers and say that they are going to hell!

    guys wake up! they discriminate against gays and lesbians becuase they know that Majority of the voters are the elderly caymanians and they know that they have thier support when it comes to elections because the older people of this country only has or will ever know about their ways and what was, and as such young people get out their and vote! We have the power to change our country by signing our name and a little tick in a box.

     

    we know better, we have expreienced it.

    I thank Sara Collins and her members for giving me hope for my freedom someday, along with all other persons that this constitution affects…..

    • Anonymous says:

      "i have a question for you Ministers of the Cayman islands Government and YOU PASTORS, if you had a son/daughter that you loved out of this world, they were the most precious thing to you, that made you proud thier whole life. And you were more than a parent but thier best FRIEND.  They trusted to tell you a dark secret, if one day they said mom/dad i’m not exactly what you think i am. and they told you their DEEP SECRET!, what would you say or do?"

      We would continue to love them and care for them. However, love does not equal permissiveness. It would be a complete lack of integrity to abandon your moral principles because your son/daughter is involved in a lifestyle contrary to them.   

  2. Good luck says:

    The dispute as to Section 16 is squarely and almost exclsuively about the gay issue because it was the CMA and CIG’s desperate attempts to ensure that there was not even the risk of implied gay rights in Section 16 that lead to the re-drafting of the Section to harm the future rights of Cayman’s elderly, ill and young,  The narrow minded bigotry of these negotiators made it easy for them to sacrifice the rights other groups that needed protection.

    What is it about giving a gay couple the right to access their ill partner in hospital or avoiding being forced to live apart on immigration grounds simply for being gay that is contrary to the Christian way of living?

    • Anonymous says:

      "The dispute as to Section 16 is squarely and almost exclusively about the gay issue because it was the CMA and CIG’s desperate attempts to ensure that there was not even the risk of implied gay rights in Section 16 that lead to the re-drafting of the Section to harm the future rights of Cayman’s elderly, ill and young,  The narrow minded bigotry of these negotiatorsmade it easy for them to sacrifice the rights other groups that needed protection".

      Good Luck, a number of posts have demonstrated that the section 16 issue is not "almost exclusively" about the gay issue although clearly the CMA has concerns about this and I do not read their statement to be saying anything different. They are also citing wider concerns. A number of issues have been cited and these are very real concerns for Caymanians that, for me at least, outweigh the gay issue.

      On the other hand, all of the chat about the elderly, ill and young is simply a smoke-screen for  gay rights. The fact of the matter is that  the young, elderly and disabled are covered by Section 16(2) – "age, mental or physical disability" – (whether or not it is free-standing) whereas sexual orientation is not covered by Section 16(2) whether or not it is free-standing. "Age, mental or physical disability" is also covered in the Labour Law.         

  3. Anonymous says:

    I find it hard to believe that the CMA’s sole intent was to mitigate potential judicial activism. Purportedly, that was already the concern that the Caymanian Government had. Why then, would both the CMA and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (both RELIGIOUS entities) need to be included in discussions just to make sure that the Constitution and Bill of Rights was written in such a way so as to prevent something (judicial activism) the Government was already trying to prevent? Please tell me. Am I missing something here?

    If we were going to allow religious entities to actively be involved in the drafting of the Constitution, why not have other entities such as the Women’s Resource Center speak on behalf of women, and Social Service speak on behalf of children, and so on? So why didn’t we do that? Because it would have been extremely cumbersome. Religion shouldn’t shape the Constitution (though I make a distinction between religion and Christianity. Religion is to be like Baptists or Catholics or Jews or Seventh-Day Adventists. Christianity is to be like Christ and should supersede religion in any form or fashion. Jesus was not Catholic, he was not Seventh-Day Adventist. Religion as we know it, did not exist). In any case, the churches’ involvement skews the Constitution and Bill of Rights to reflect religious views, which are not always Christian views. Sometimes, it is simply doctrine.

    I would like to point out here that I am a Seventh-Day Adventist and I found it extremely appalling that the SDA church spoke on my behalf representing a view that was not mine.This is something I took great offense to.

    To me, human rights supersede religion, government, private sector, the HRC, etc. Humanity is what we are left with when we strip all the frills away. What it all boils down to is a very basic Christian principle known as the Golden Rule: do to others as you would have them do to you. No one is saying that gays and lesbians should be allowed to get married. That is a whole other can of worms that I won’t touch on. However, like everyone else, homosexuals are entitled to rights–to live, to be educated, to work, to own houses, etc, not on the basis that they are homosexual but simply because they are human beings. How can churches now expect to create a welcoming atmosphere for homosexuals or anyone damned in society’s eyes?

    When Jesus came to earth, the very people that he came to reach were those society condemned. If you want to argue that homosexuality is wrong and immoral, how do you intend to reach those people now? And for those who want to believe the CMA and SDA church about the spin they are putting on this now, please recall (for those of you who attended or tuned in by radio) that the question was posed to the panel as to why the churches were so against homosexuals having rights in the Constitution and Pastor Shian O’Connor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church vehemently responded by saying that the other parties weren’t lobbying for rights. The church was meant to be a sanctuary for all those who had no sanctuary elsewhere. Instead, the church has been at the heart of modern-day persecution against anyone who does not line up with religious ideal. How can the church be involved politically and remain neutral and offer sanctuary to those who need it most? WAKE UP PEOPLE. Judicial activism? Please.

  4. anonymous says:

     I’m confused.

    Is the Cayman Ministers Association seriously claiming that they concern about gays having rights was not behind their push to weaken the constitution? That their fear of gay people had nothing to do with their vigorous opposition to a real bill of rights?

    They are not "mean spirited"?  I wonder how gay Caymanians will react to that claim. Geez.

    This is incredible because they are on record saying that very thing over and over in the press. One only has to review their quotes in media reports over the past few months.

    It is clear that the ministers worked to sacrifice rights and protections for all of us because of their bizarre infatuation with gays. 

    It is ridiculous for these ministers to now claim that their prejudice and eagerness to discriminate against gays has nothing to do with their fight against rights for all Caymanians.

    This is getting weird. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wake up WOULD BE CAYMAN CHRISTIANS  and ALL others,and STOP the talk on GAYS. Its the twenty first century,so LIVE accordingly. AS a born Caymanian,  I am aware that  there has ALWAYS been and still is  BORN CAYMAN GAYS. So you are only descriminating  against your own fellow men. Or would you rather have them LIVE IN THE CLOSET as in the past years? REMEMBER  the bible says LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Needless to say some of the GAYS are your finest people and most hold HIGH RESPECTFUL JOBS etc. So extend your CHRISTIAN teachings in ALL WAYS. There is WORSE things than being GAY. AND THEY ARE GODS CREATION as any other human being. If you were reading the CAYMAN papers living abroad,  just maybe you all would realize how IGNORANT it all seems.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What seems ignorant is to type every other phrase in caps and say nothing.

      We are not talking about the gay issue. Please read the posts so that you can understand the points being raised.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hello! People!  The Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Connor have publicly admitted that the changes were to protect our "morals" against gay rights. END OF STORY. so WHY does Pastor Al insist that it it something else??

    As they say "throw a rock in a pig pen and the one that squeals is the one that got hit" so the HRC are ruffling the CMA feathers and the best response the CMA gives is some vague, unsubstantiated nonsense. Tsk Tsk! 

    I can atleast on some level, respect the 7th day for honesty. But Pastor Al is still trying to fool people and its embarrassing.

    Try again please, Pastor Al. 

    • Anonymous says:

      All of the speculation about the motives of the CMA and the angst whether the church is or should be a part of Government are completely irrelevant to the issue. The issue for Caymanians is whether they can be reasonably assured that their right to preferential treatment will be protected in respect of the various issues – scholarships for tertiary education, government guaranteed home assistance and government assistance for overseas emergency medical treatment. The answer is undoubtedly no. A number of the HRC members are attorneys, yet I am confident that not one of them would give an unqualified opinion of certitude, or even likelihood, to a client that their rights are protected under these provisions. The opinion would have regard to decided case authorities and at best say "it is arguable that…". They cannot truthfully say otherwise. Now that is THE END OF STORY.

      Give it up HRC.     

  7. All of the New Testament or None at All! says:

    The only things in the New Testament it says about pertaining to Christianity (the Church) and Government is that we are to pay our taxes that is due to the Government, and that we are to pray for our Government Leaders, and that we are to submit to the Government Authorities and their Laws.

    It says nothing that Church and State are to be as One.  It implies absolutely the Church and State are completely separate.

    Churches are not to be a Department of Government.

    Any Pastor who knows his Bible and submits to it (and they all claim they do) knows this.  They blatantly ignore many parts of the New Testament as can be proved by the way they run their churches as opposed to the way the New Testament instructs on how to run the churches.

    If they had even given the public their voice and input along the way instead of shrouding the drafting in secret, then as another writer said, and let the chips fall where it may, it wouldn’t have been so wrong.  But the strange secrecy and hidden ways in which they went about it, showed blatant disregard for what the Public wants or has to say.  Our Government and Country is a Democracy, the way in which they went about it was as one of Dictatorship and not Democracy.

    What is Wrong is Wrong and will forever be Wrong.  Actions speak louder than eloquent charming words.  The Bible says charm is deceptive.

  8. Proud of the CMA says:

    I happy the CMA published this- I was hoping that they would not let the personal bashing published by Sara Collins in the Compass last week go unrefuted.  It is ovious to me that despite HRC’s comments to the contrary, they do have an agenda. Caymanians- don’t be confused by the eloquent speeches by Ms. Collins- foolishness is still foolishness no matter how "fluffy" it sounds.  An open Bill of Rights will NOT protect Caymanians in our own country. 

    HRC STOP PLAYING ON EMOTIONS TO CONFUSE AND PUSH YOUR OWN AGENDA.  As far as I am concerned you have overstepped the boundaries of your government-given mandate.  The time for debating is over- educate the people on what is in the draft consitution and get to work lobbying for laws to protect the vulnerable. 

  9. A Proud Caymanian says:

    It is so frustrating to hear all these negative comments towards the CMA. Why anyone would believe that the CMA has some agenda to take away people’s rights or support a law that wont protect some is beyond me. Yes I agree that there may be other areas in the community that the CMA could’ve spoke out on and have’nt got involved in, but I’m sure glad that their involved with this process. Get your head out of the sand and forget about your own religous thoughts and beliefs. Look at the facts and stop speaking with emotion. 

    To pass the constitution the way the HRC suggests would be a detriment to these islands and change Cayman I believe for the worse. This is NOT the USA or Canada or any other "First World" country that could handle a free standing non-discrimination right in our constitution. To compare us to these countries is like comparing apples and oranges. We are unique and different . And even though our high standard of living and visibility in the Financial world make persons believe that we are on par with the rest of these countries we are not. 

    From what I understand there are certain discriminatory aspects that can be covered through legislation. Lets tackle it this way people. We need our scholarships and public school and free health care for our people, we cant afford to support people from other countries when its a struggle sometimes to even support our own. 

  10. Green Hornet says:

    As usual, Shakespeare said it all:

    "It seems (s)he doth protest too much"

  11. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the Ministers Association and Pastor Al feel the need to spin a more positive light on their position after the community has responded with a fairly negative view of their "Christian charity".

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    On whose authority and on what basis is the Ministers Association qualified to comment on the issues of legality within the proposed Constitution? Surely we would have been better served relying on a body such as the Cayman Bar Assocation for such advice…What exactly was the Ministers Associations remit with respect to thse talks? Further proof that they had no business being included in the first place. Maybe they should stick to the moral highground and stop trying to backtrack to cover their hypocritical tracks…

  13. Anonymous says:

     

    It is very interesting that the CMA feels that they are qualified to protect the judicial systems by narrowing section 16 of the constitution. It’s scary to think that our judicial review system has fallen to the savior of the CMA.
    Do they really think that our judicial review system can not set precedents to avoid or even protect structure of the government or even society?
    The meaning and structure of the constitution is to give guidance on the courts and to give a check and balance to government by the courts. If we take out the rights of checks and balances the government will have no reigns and therefore can become a dictatorship.
    Sorry I forgot that the CMA has spent years studying the legal systems and has years ofexperience of judicial reviews…
    Come on CMA stick to what you suppose to do best, confuse the innocent on what “you feel” the bible is saying.
  14. Twyla M Vargas says:

    SIN IS SIN  NO MATTER WHAT

    I am confused, and if I am wrong in my comments, I stand to be corrected.   Concernings of Gays and Lesbians in our community.  I would like to know if God will frown on them any different than those church members who are committing adultry and fornication, stealing lying and hating your neighbour, not keeping the sabbath and the others.

    Why dont the churches preach hard about what is taking place right under their roofs.   I believe that if the church or anyone else have enough information on the facts surrounding the wrong doings of Gays and lesbians, they should take a different approach.  Like opening up a Gay and lesbian church and preaching Against it.  In this way  you will be able to get them all together and educate them on the facts.  Also you will have the opportunity of finding out whether some persons were born with that crave in them or developed it afterward for different reasons.

    I will tell you something, Some of the best people on this planet is Gays and Lesbians.  They are hard ambicious workers.  They are funny and will make you laugh at times, They always have money, and are very progressive.   Majority of them are very passive and helpful.  They will give you a job quicker than a hetrosexual.  When they set out to do a task they seldom fail, and if they do, they are so supportive of each other it is unbelieveable.   Maybe we make laws against them but I do not think it is fair.  I think we should get to know them better, hear their story.  You may be surprised.

    Remember what ever they may have become, there is a reason for it, and I say we educate them in a kind way.  They have a heart and a mind just like me and you, so I would suggest we go about it in a different way.  We should not call them names in public places.    They make the best cooks, we cant clean house like them, You talk about running a business…….. you cant touch them on that.   I could go on and on and on with positive things to say about Gays and Lesbians.    Dont think that because I am saying so much supportive things about them that I am Gay or Lesbian, No.  But I just cannot find it in my heart to hate them  

    I do hope who ever read my comments will not feel anyway about it, and if you do not agree with anything I have said, please, yes I stand to be corrected and be educated myself.  Blessed.

  15. Anonymous says:

    To remind ourselves of what the HRC has explained about protections for Caymanians that would not be jeopordized by a free standing right.

    (From: http://www.caycompass.com/cgi-bin/CFPnews.cgi?ID=1037819 )

    “The inclusion of a free–standing right would not mean that the government would be prevented from acting to protect Caymanians where it is justified to do so,” the HRC said. “Section 16 will only prevent unjustifiable discrimination. Section 16 will not prevent government acting in favour of Caymanians or giving Caymanians preferential treatment where there is reasonable and objective justification for doing so.”

    The HRC pointed out that Section 16 (4) of the proposed constitution ensures Caymanians’ rights are protected.

    “It says that no law passed by the government will be discriminatory simply because it discriminates in favour of Caymanians in relation to employment, business, any profession or movement within the Cayman Islands,” the HRC response stated.

    “It is simply wrong to say that we will lose control of our immigration law as a result [of a free–standing right against discrimination].”

    HRC Chair Sara Collins said her group understands the need for discrimination in certain cases.

    “Our position is that the constitution allows justifiable discrimination,” she said. “Otherwise you wouldn’t have any immigration controls.”

    With regard to education, the HRC pointed out that Section 20 of the constitution contains an aspirational right to education that the government agreed should be included.

    “It obliges the government to take reasonable steps, within its resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the goal of providing every child with primary and secondary education,” the HRC’s response said. “Even if section 16 were removed entirely, the government would still have that obligation.”

    The HRC said Section 16 did not impose an obligation to provide free healthcare or free education.

    “It does not prevent the government giving preference to Caymanian nationals for these things,” the HRC said. “However, it could and should prevent the government from discriminating where it is not reasonable to do so.”

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The inclusion of a free–standing right would not mean that the government would be prevented from acting to protect Caymanians where it is justified to do so,” the HRC said. “Section 16 will only prevent unjustifiable discrimination. Section 16 will not prevent government acting in favour of Caymanians or giving Caymanians preferential treatment where there is reasonable and objective justification for doing so.”

      That is simply the HRC’s overly-sanguine opinion of how it could be interpreted. The Bill of Rights will be subject to interpretation by the courts, not the HRC, and we do have some guidance as to the likely approach of the courts. The Privy Council in Thompson v. Bermuda Dental Board has demonstated that it will interpret any such protections very restrictively.  That decision, which interpreted the Bermuda Human Rights Act, reversed the rulings of the Bermuda High Court and Court of Appeal and ruled that where protections were provided in respect of employment (for Bermudians in that case) it would not cover discrimination in respect of being licensed to enter into a profession (which may or may not involve being employed). (The Bermuda Human Rights Act also provided for justifiable discrimination). While that particular issue has been addressed in the draft Constitution, the decision is instructive to note the court’s attitude to these issues. That is all the more so, where certain areas have been selected as covered by special protection – employment, residence etc. but have clearly not included the particular areas under discussion.  

      Further, Section 16(4)(d) may have to be read in light of Section 16(3) gives some indication of the parameters of the reasonable justification exception:

      "No law or decision of any public official shall contravene this section if it has an objective and reasonable justification and is reasonably proportionate to its aim in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health". 

      Perhaps the HRC can explain under which head the granting of scholarships will fall under.        

      "The HRC said Section 16 did not impose an obligation to provide free healthcare or free education".

      Obviously. Section 16 is the Non-Discrimination provision. That is why the HRC wanted healthcare in as a separate right. Section 20 deals with a Right to Education and does not confine this to Caymanians. The point is that if, for example, government provides scholarships for which only Caymanians are eligible it may be argued that it discriminates against non-Caymanians.  We simply cannot rely upon unelected judges to determine whether it is justifiable to reserve this for Caymanians.     

      In light of the above, it is naive at best and disingenuous at worst to state that the reasonable justification provision means that government will be permitted to give preference to Caymanians on the matters raised.     

  16. Anonymous says:

    It would be one thing if the CMA said – in addition to our concerns about the deterioration of the moral fabric of our society if gays were allowed to get married and adopt / have children (God forbid children with no families get a loving family) – we are ALSO concerned about the judicial activism that could arise from a free standing right to non-discrimination – and the potential loss of preferential treatment for Caymanians.

     

    However, in the absence of such admission which we all know to be the case  – this statement can  be interpreted as nothing more than false representation of thier position (a lie), again,  and further attempts to scare Caymanians through false allegations of the potential dangers of a free standing right.

     

    Considering that these false statements (about the fear of inability of Caymanians to recieve preferential treatment e.g. affordable housing, free education, social services etc) have been CORRECTED and made very clear that they are false by the Human Rights Committee (http://www.caycompass.com/cgi-bin/CFPnews.cgi?ID=1037819) –  LEGAL experts, it is suprising that Pastor Al continues to lie to us, with the hope that his scare tactics will make you forget that in fact, we, Caymanians, have nothing to fear from a free standing right to non-discrimination – the Government will still be able to give preferential treatment to Caymanians in certain areas – not only that, but  a free standing right also ensures that ourselves, children, family and friends – be they blind, otherwise disabled, unable to work due to an accident God forbid,  gay, elderly, pregnant, a woman – that they will recieve adequate protection from the Government, where needed. Unlike what we currently have and unlike the protection that is offered by the currently proposed Bill of Rights.

     

    Were the CMA and SDA not brought in to protect the interests of the moral fabric of Cayman’s Christian society and not to be legal experts? One one think from their statement that Pastor Al thinks he has become the Government’s legal counsel.  In fact, if Pastor Al was doing his job and looking out for the interests of Caymanians and Caymanian society – he would be fighting for the same free standing rights to non-discrimination that he is trying so hard to deprive us of.

    Further more, how dare Pastor Al criticise the HRC – the one party to the negotiations who actually has broad Caymanians interests at heart. Pastor Al – note to self – the way in which the HRC has conducted itself is exemplory, they not only represent an ideal that we as a society and all of humanity should be working towards – they also better and more democratically reflect the will and beliefs of the Caymanian people.

    The HRC’s representation of Caymanian interests throughout the entire constitutional advancement process, from start to present, is to be Praised.

    While you may be worried about not getting a comfy seat at the next round of negotiations for matters of national importance, because the HRC has acted as a fair and objective body – and this would mean objecting to a Government position if their conclusion was that it was an unfair position or  not in the best interest of the people and interests they represent – people and Governments, internally and externally, will think hard about trying to sell the Caymanian people an unfair deal – the next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speak for yourself- the HRC in no way, shape or form, represents my beliefs. They are not a fair an objective body because if they were they would admit to the public that an open non discrimination DOES NOT protect our rights as Caymanians. 

      WE HAVE MUCH TO FEAR FROM WHAT THE HRC IS PROPOSING including losing our rights/access as Caymanians to government scholarships, a space in public schools for our children, access to government assistance for housing etc etc etc…funny how HRC keep saying Caymanians have protection because governent can discriminate under "justifiable" means.  You tell me what is justifiable in the name of human rights? VERY LITTLE.  You know what that means? Government would not be able to say Caymanians have first choice for free public school because all it would take is the first court case to be won in the name of human rights in respect of an expatriate child not given access to public schooling.  I personally cannot afford to send my child to private school maybe you can and thats why you are so willing to jump on the HRC bandwagon.  And that is just one example of the potential danger of an open Bill of Rights.

      What  they are proposing is NOT for the greater good of this country!

  17. anonymous says:

    Ridiculous. 

     

    All the double talk in the world can’t change the fact that these people are against the right to non-discrimination for all Caymanians. 

     

    It’s sad that people who would benefit from a modern bill of rights fall for this stuff. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Any person who would expect the truth from the Ministers Association could only be considered naive. Although it is ironic that a group who claim to espouse the truth have become so adept at deception by their knowing that the truth would not achieve their goals, namely the exclusion of equal rights to homosexuals.

    I guess their rationalization must be something like, "the ends justify the means".

    The Ministers Association would have won more respect from me had they simply stated their biblical bias against homosexuals in London and let the chips fall where they may.

  19. noname says:

    Once the fairly naive spin is pu aside "a free standing right leaves open the door for wide-ranging judicial activism in the future and also for other abuses of Cayman’s legal and financial systems" still means "we are opposed to gay rights, and are doing all we can to stop those rights coming to Cayman"   Pure, simple and homophobic. 

    Now we can add dishonest and misleading to the character defects of the CMA.

     

  20. Anonymous says:

     Section 20 (2) of the draft Constitution states that "Government shall seek reasonably to achieve the progressive realisation … of providing every child with primary and secondary education …"

    Does this mean that children in our public schools, who are being deprived of an education because of the loutish and disruptive classroom behaviour of a small minority of their peers, could sue the Government for failing to provide them with an education?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to the Cayman Ministers Association for this detailed explanation. Even the little man on the street could be educated and made to understand the process rather than acting  irresponsible as has been the case recently of the some persons.

    It is so unfortunate the persons that know better and we expect better,  and who is expected to be responsbile citizens  have added to the disappointment seen these last weeks. . This explanation is exactly what most people understood from the very beginning and in the interest of our country please let us all get together and work for the betterment of our country

    I hope it is understood that any other alternative is worse if the alternative is nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The church group also stated that because the Bill of Rights applies to everyone, regardless of nationality it believed that programmes such as college scholarships and government guaranteed home assistance would either have to be abandoned for Caymanians or provided equally to all other residents if Section 16 (1) was made free standing.

      The HRC has however noted on several occasions that this is not the case as preferential treatment for Caymanians is protected in other areas of the bill".
       
      The HRC is wrong about that. Section 20 (Right to Education) does not confine the right to education to Caymanians and does not address the issue of scholarships for tertiary education at all, so no restriction can be read back into Section 16. The only areas of protection for Caymanians are under Section 16 (4)(b) which relate to employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement or residence within Cayman or appointment to any office in the public service or a disciplined force in the service of government.  There are no general provisions that protect Caymanians. It therefore follows that such areas as guaranteed government home assistance, scholarships and overseas emergency medical treatment are not covered by these provisions. The HRC needs to stop spreading disinformation, particularly as it is apparent that many are relying upon it for objectivity.  
      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed! HRC needs to come clean. What many people voting on this bill do not understand is the UK themselves have not included what the HRC is demanding. The impact of this bill on Caymanians is not understood by the majority of the public.

        What does non-discrimination really mean? It means the lack of preferential treatment. No preferential treatment for Caymanians for government grants, scholarships, affordable housing, employment etc. That is the reality of inputting this clause in section 16. The HRC is trying to disguise this by shifting attention to gays and lesbians but they are not making known the true impact of section 16 recommendations. This of course does not impact many of them because many of them are a) not Caymanian or b) Wealthy enough that it will not impact them.

        What will happen if the constitution does not go forth? We will have no say in our constitution, the UK will eventually tire of this process and impose a constitution upon us, and likely one that will benefit them more than us.

        Get informed Caymanians and do not blindly follow the loudest voice!