Christian and former Mrs BVI, Angelle A. Cameron says the value systems in the Virgin Islands will set the agenda on a number of issues facing the Territory, including whether the Territory adopts or rejects the idea of same-sex marriages.
"The values that you have as a family within your household affects the rest of the Territory and we have got to be aligned in that area because no nation is built unless it starts with a family. Families build communities, communities build nations, so strong values are important," she said on the Tuesday, January 21, 2020, edition of the MyBVI radio show.
Values determine where we stand - Mrs Cameron
According to Mrs Cameron, "Our values are what we stand on, whether we want to bring our walls down to decide that we will have same-sex marriages or whether we will take a stand and take the high road and say, that is not acceptable for us."
The former Mrs BVI noted that values will also determine a number of economic factors, such as adopting fuel-efficient cars.
"We have got to set our values... our forefathers that have come aeons before us, they had some values... our people have always been a resilient people. I agree with that!" she said.
"VI always stood up against Ills!'
In juxtaposing the VI's value systems to accepting international standards, she said, "We have also been a people who are able to stand up against ills, wrongs or things that we do not believe is in the best interest of our Territory."
She said for decades, locals were not afraid to say, "No is no" and or whether to agree with something and just "leave it at that".
In February 2019, the VI had previously faced external pressures to legalise same-sex marriages in the Territory via a United Kingdom (UK) parliamentary committee report. under then Theresa M. May-led administration.
She said is standing up against wrongs, Bvislanders are the type of people to say, "We're not going to stand for this, this isn't who we are and we won't entertain or condone this."
OT’s could be pressured to legalise same-sex marriage
The United Kingdom’s House of Commons and it’s Foreign Affairs Committee had recommended in its Fifteenth Report of Session 2017–19, on ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship’, published February 21, 2019, that the UK Government sets a date by which it expects all British Overseas Territories (OTs) to have legalised same-sex marriage.
The report had even recommended that if that deadline is not met, “the Government should intervene through legislation or an Order in Council.”
This was interpreted to mean imposing sanctions on the defaulting OTs, including the Virgin Islands (VI) where same-sex marriage has not been legalised.
The then UK Government of Theresa M. May had said; however, it would not force the Overseas Territories) to legalise same-sex marriage but would continue to engage them, to ensure their legislation is compliant with their international human rights obligations.
This was revealed in the new report “Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship: Government response to the Committee’s Fifteenth Report” published May 13, 2019.
The UK Government in its response had said it is committed to equal rights, including LGBT rights but it would not force the OTs to legalise same-sex marriage.
“We believe that the strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which all citizens can live freely without fear of discrimination, and where all citizens, including LGBT people, can play a full and active part in society,” the report had noted.
Leaders of OTs have expressed concern; however, that this matter may arise again, with more pressure on the OTs to legalise same-sex marriage.