Gay law professor can apply for visitor permit

A law professor fighting to have his same-sex marriage recognized by Immigration officials so he can stay in Cayman says he has been told he can apply for a visitor’s permit as an interim measure. 

Leonardo Raznovich lost his job at the Truman Bodden Law School in June and is facing the prospect of being deported. His British partner of 16 years has submitted an application to have him listed as a dependent on his work permit. 

The Immigration Board indicated it did not have the power to accommodate the request, routinely approved for married couples of a different sex. 

Mr. Raznovich, who married his partner in Argentina in 2012, has said the couple plan to appeal that response, which they believe amounts to rejection of the request. They believe the differing treatment of same-sex couples is discriminatory and that established human rights legislation will ultimately compel the Cayman Islands to introduce polices recognizing rights conferred by such partnerships, including immigration rights. 

He said Thursday that he had been informed by the Immigration Department that it would consider an application from him for a visa to remain on the island as a visitor.  

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Mr. Raznovich ultimately hopes the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, or a higher court, will allow him to be added to his husband’s work permit. He said his lawyers were seeking clarification of the Immigration Board’s offer on Thursday. 

“This is about what happens between now and the time when the appeal is resolved,” he said. “We are seeing what the implications are because the appeal process could last for a couple of years.” 

Mr. Raznovich

Mr. Raznovich
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  1. This has become a grave concern for the Caymanian population. I know we have both STUDS and STEWARDESS here on our Island. "get the drift?" However I believe the larger public of Caymanians has taken offence here because a person on a work permit is doing the very thing the people-public feels is out-of-order. "Street talk" is that if some of these arguments were presented by one of our own NATIVE OR STATUS HOLDER it would not have been so exposed; but a person who is on a work permit to CALL DOWN JUDGEMENT DAY UPON US is way off limits.
    I would like to hear from Caymanians STUDS or STEWARDESS how many of them would have been so bold, I tell my self that it is required of me by nature and the WORD, to love everyone, but that does not mean I must love the things every one do.

  2. Twyla,since the challenge in this case is to immigration law, it was only ever going to be made by an expat.
    He is not seeking the right to a gay marriage here in Cayman – that will no doubt happen at some point when a gay Caymanian chooses to pursue it. He is asking for a foreign marriage to be recognised by the Cayman immigration dept.

  3. John, answer me this one question, why is it that only in Cayman newspaper and now on talk shows that you find people who are not from here wanting to change from the very food we eat. Whether you live here or not, I believe you need to know that is the EXPAT vs CAYMAN problem. Everybody who comes here think that we should be wearing grass skirts, barefoot with straw hat and a tinkle bell around our neck. Stop it. Don’t dictate to our Immigration department, and get up in our face telling us that your way is the right way. In fact most people that do this and clearly do not see that the Island don’t like it, don’t have any shame.
    If I went to a person’s country and CALL DOWN JUDGEMENT ON THEM the way this is happening; and the backlash this is getting, I would put my tail between my leg and go like a scald dog. Cayman have gays, and have had them as long as I can remember, but never in my lifetime have I heard anything like this happening. Just like being the DAN of the village; does he go around with a banner on his head advertising? I have many friends who are gay, and they are nice people, but they do not go on the roof top of immigration department and stomp their feet.
    About at some point a gay Caymanian chooses to pursue it. I will bet you my last dollar you will not see two born and bred Caymanians, grass root Caymanians take this adventure, and I love my people, no matter whether they are Gay or not.

  4. @twyla

    This "adventure" you speak of is called equal rights And the only reason that there is so much media coverage on this incident is because that’s what needs to happen in order to garner support for this cause and make some real changes.

    I am willing to take you up on that bet of yours. I know a few Gaymanians who, if put in the same situation, would fight tooth and nail to have their significant other remain on island, media coverage or not.

  5. Steve yes, I would not doubt that as you say correctly "Would fight tooth and nail to have their significant other remain on island. Remember you said "Remain on Island" What does that tell you?
    I said that I would bet two born, bred grass root Caymanians take on this adventure. Read again.

  6. I agree with Twyla. I’m sure when the professor came here with his partner they were both aware of the law here regarding marriage. They came here on separate work permits, the same way an unmarried hetero couple would come here.
    If there is going to be an argument about the definition of marriage (and that’s exactly what this will turn into) then it should start with Caymanians and not a law savy professor that’s here on a work permit or visa.

  7. Some problems are difficult to solve and some are easy. This would can be a piece of cake… If Cayman is unfriendly or unsympathetic to any visitor or resident, then hop on a plane and head to another jurisdiction who is willing to change their culture, morals and way of believing to suit the new kid on the block. Hope this helps with this Dilemma.