Cayman Islands Government Minister Defends Ban on Gay Sex
Associated Press, March 29, 1999
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman IslandsA government minister said the
Cayman Islands has a "mandate from God" to maintain its ban on gay sex in the
face of British demands it eliminate it in return for United Kingdom citizenship.
Community Affairs Minister Julianna OConnor-Connolly said the Caribbean British
territory should complain to London about the requirement, which was outlined two weeks
ago by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.
"We have a mandate from God that we are to love homosexuals but not condone their
acts," OConnor-Connolly said. "If we dont decide at this stage in
our history to stand for what is right, then I submit that we will fall for
OConnor-Connolly made the comments during debate Friday in the territorys
legislative assembly. She said the government would soon issue a statement giving its
official position on the matter.
The Cayman Islands outlaws sex between people of the same gender. Although there is no
record of anyone being charged, last year the country turned away cruise liners chartered
by gays because authorities feared some of the passengers might have sex illegally.
On March 17, Cook presented a proposal to the British Parliament returning full
citizenship rights revoked in 1981 to its remaining possessions, most of them in the
Caribbean. In return, the territories would have to bring their laws in line with
international agreements London has signed.
Cook said Britain wanted the territories to erase statutes against homosexuality and
loosen secretive banking practices, and for Bermuda to abolish the death penalty.
The proposal has been approved by the British Cabinet and must be passed by the entire