The case was brought by lesbian couple Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush.
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has ruled that defining marriage as just between a man and a woman is unconstitutional, and has legalised same-sex marriage.
In his ruling, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said: “This Court is… bound not to allow the violation of the Petitioners’ rights to continue without redress.
“The Constitution, in its mandatory requirement that the Law be brought into conformity, must prevail. 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.”
The case was brought in by lesbian couple Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush, who wished to marry in the country but were unable. The pair set up a GoFundMe page to raise legal costs.
Speaking to the Cayman Compass following the ruling, Chantelle said: “It shows that love wins and I am really happy that the right result was received today.”
And their attorney, Ben Tonner, said: “Chantelle and Vickie are delighted that their relationship has been recognised at long last. The Chief Justice’s decision demonstrates in unequivocal terms that the rule of law and the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom are alive and well in the Cayman Islands.”
However, the country’s Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, simply described the ruling as “very interesting.” Speaking to reporters as he left the court, he said: “Understandably, the government will have to take some time to consider it and think about how to move forward.”
This is concerning because following a parliamentary report that called on British Overseas Territories that hadn’t legalised same-sex marriage to do so, the representative from the Cayman Islands wouldn’t commit to doing so.
Last November, after it was legalised, and then taken away again, Bermuda’s Court of Appeal ruled that same-sex marriage would remain legal.
Maryellen Jackson and Roderick Ferguson, who fought the ruling, said in a joint statement: “Speaking for ourselves and on behalf of gay and lesbian Bermudians, we are grateful for the court’s decision, and its recognition of the significance of marriage in supporting and protecting our families.
“Equality under the law is every Bermudian’s birthright. Bermuda’s LGBTQ community is strong and proud. When our voices join together, we will be heard, and we will continue to make progress.”