The gay law professor at the center of an immigration test case challenging the unequal treatment of homosexuals in the Cayman Islands has been invited to make a presentation on the issue to the International Bar Association.
Leonardo Raznovich will speak before the association of lawyers from across the world at its annual conference in Vienna in October.
He said he would highlight the situation in the Cayman Islands to the world’s legal fraternity.
“We have a decision at the moment in which the jurisdiction is in clear breach of the European Convention on Human Rights,” he said. “Nobody is talking about same-sex marriage here; we are talking about basic rights – equal age of consent, protection in employment, equal immigration rights.”
He said a legal framework for some sort of registration of same-sex partnerships is also now required by the European Court of Human Rights. The court’s decisions ultimately extend to Cayman because of its territorial relationship with the U.K.
“It is time for the jurisdiction to adopt the right rules to comply with its international obligations. I’m really grateful to have the chance to present the case of what is going on here to the International Bar Association.”
Mr. Raznovich, who helped students organize a series of public lectures on the issue earlier this year, was told in June that his contract with the Truman Bodden Law School was not being renewed.
His British partner of 16 years has submitted an application to have him listed as a dependent on his work permit. The Immigration Board refused the application, indicating it did not have the power to accommodate the request. Now the lecturer has been given a visitor’s permit pending his appeal.
He said he had not sought to be an activist on the issue.
“I am not comfortable with it,” he said. “What I’d really like is for the government to take action and to understand that the only thing I’m asking for is compliance with the rule of law.”