Lesbian couple challenge same-sex marriage ban in British Overseas Territory

Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden are taking legal action against the government of the Cayman Islands


Chantelle, right, with her partner Vickie


An engaged lesbian couple are challenging the Cayman Islands government’s refusal to recognise same-sex unions, it has emerged, and are asking the UK government to intervene.


Chantelle Day, who holds British and Caymanian citizenship, and British national Vickie Bodden want to live on the Cayman Islands, but are facing difficulties due to Vickie’s immigration status and Cayman's refusal to recognise same-sex marriage.


Despite being a British Overseas Territory, Caymanian law does not recognise same-sex marriage, meaning the only way Vickie would be able to reside in the country is through a work permit.


Last month, the couple put forth the application to the current Governor of the Cayman Islands to issue a licence of marriage. Four days later, their application was denied.



Now the pair, who currently live in London with their four-year-old daughter, are taking legal action to challenge the Caymanian government’s stance.


“We didn’t want to get married and have to fight for recognition of the most special commitment we will ever make to each other,” Chantelle told DIVA. “Such a special and ceremonious day should be nothing but celebrated and we shouldn’t have to stand up in court to attest to its validity and recognition.” 


Chantelle added: “Love is love and we will make a stand for equal rights in the eyes of the law as there’s nothing more worthy of fighting for.”


A spokesperson from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Offices told DIVA: “The UK is absolutely committed to promoting LGBT equality rights.


“Ministers have been clear with British Overseas Territory governments that they must respect their international obligations and will continue to encourage and engage with all of the Overseas Territories on these matters, so they can drive their own lasting legislative change.”


A GoFundMe page to help the couple cover their legal costs has so far raised just over £4,000.


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