Cayman Islands legislator remains unmoved over reaction to homophobia

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) — Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the Cayman Islands, Anthony Eden, has once again attempted to justify his comments about what he believes are the evils and immorality of homosexuals and the influence of non-Christians on Cayman society.

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Anthony Eden

In yet another personal statement, which the Speaker allowed him to deliver under the privilege of the parliament, he urged Caymanians to stand against gays and atheists. Refusing to resign following calls in the press and other parts of the community, the first elected member for Bodden Town said only God or his constituents would remove him.

The veteran backbencher defended his homophobic position and said it was justified by the constitution, as a result of the preamble to the document upholding Cayman’s traditional Christian heritage, as well as by the people who elected him to office.

Eden claimed that he had first been returned to office some 23 years ago and was elected by people who understood his faith in God and his commitment to upholding the principles from the Bible. But after more than two decades as an MLA, he said, it was not until now that he had had to defend his faith.

However, the criticisms that have been hurled at Eden have not been about his religious sentiments or his Christian faith but what many have said was the hate speech delivered in the Assembly in August against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and again more recently when he berated the chair of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) over his warnings that Cayman would need to address its discriminatory laws.

Eden also dismissed any suggestion that Cayman was bound by secular laws and said he only obeys God.

“It is so sad that jokers and Johnny-come-latelies try to tell us what to do,” Eden said, adding that he believed he had a right to express himself, even though he is a government official whose salary is paid by the public purse.

The MLA also refused to apologise for his stand on homosexuality and denied that gay people were persecuted in the Cayman Islands, despite his own shocking comments, as he once again reiterated his belief that the HRC chair and others were trying to drive Cayman in an “alien direction”. The country, he said, was “being influenced by people of a different persuasion”.

Following his latest statement on the subject, Eden resigned from the ruling People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) and announced that when the parliament returns in the New Year he will be joining the independent members on the opposition benches.

Eden, a founding member of the PPM, indicated his decision to leave was based on the government’s position to allow gay spouses as dependents.

Republished with permission of Cayman News Service

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