“It’s 2019, Madam President.” This is the common sentiment expressed in the flood of responses to President Paula-Mae Weekes’ decree that invited guests such as Government members and persons from the diplomatic corps must be married in order for their partner to attend events hosted by the President.
“It’s important for the Office of the President to represent cultural sensitivity, tolerance, justice and inclusivity in all its events, invitations and protocols. The country has long recognised cohabitational and visiting relations as having legal rights and as reflecting a long and diverse history of gender negotiations in intimate partnerships. In other words, the law has already recognised that loving, lasting and legitimate partnerships are broader than those defined by marriage, and the women’s movement over the decades leading to the Cohabitational Relations Act advocated for recognition of this. It’s 2019,