LGBT rights in the Cayman Islands

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LGBT rights in the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 2001[1]
Gender identity/expression
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
No
Adoption No

The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory. Although the local legislature and courts are independent from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Government deals with all international relations on behalf of the Territory. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office overseas the governance of the Cayman Islands.

LGBT Rights[edit]

Homosexual acts were expressly decriminalized under Britain's Caribbean Territories (Criminal Law) Order, 2000.[2] However Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Cayman Islands may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in the Cayman Islands, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

In 2006 the Cayman "People for Referendum" activist group began protesting against LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, after the Dutch government forced Aruba to recognise same-sex marriages registered in the Netherlands. "People for Referendum" claimed that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) could force legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the Cayman Islands too.[3]

Britain’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights report on its Overseas Territories on Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena and Turks & Caicos in 1999 stated that “The United Kingdom Government is concerned that all Overseas Territories should adopt – as most of them, indeed, already do – substantially the same position as obtains in the United Kingdom itself in respect of capital punishment, judicial corporal punishment and the treatment as criminal offences of homosexual acts between consenting adults in private”.[3]

In 2009 the draft constitution for the government of the Cayman Islands excluded gay rights. The British Foreign Affairs Committee described the decision to exclude sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination as "deplorable" and raised concerns that it breached human rights laws. It raised the possibility that Cayman Islands residents could be afforded less than the full protection to which they are entitled, under the European Convention on Human Rights.[4]

Recognition of same-sex couples[edit]

The new constitution, approved in June 2009, notes the right of opposite-sex couples, who are of marriageable age as defined by law, to have their marriages recognised by the government. The constitution does not explicitly mention same-sex couples.[5]

Living conditions[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (since 2000)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No

See also[edit]

References[edit]