Still no answer on gay professor’s appeal

Leonardo Raznovich
Leonardo Raznovich

A gay law professor seeking to be added as a dependent on his husband’s work permit has accused the Immigration Appeal Tribunal of “stalling” over the couple’s application.

Six months after appealing the Immigration Board’s original decision, Leonardo Raznovich says he and his spouse, who works for Maples and Calder, have heard nothing.

Mr. Raznovich said there was no legal basis to reject the appeal, brought by his partner’s employer, under current Cayman Islands law.

Though he would like to see wider recognition of same-sex partnerships in the Cayman Islands, he insists legal changes are not required for his case to be dealt with.

He said, “Our application was simply to add me to my spouse’s work permit, as a dependent. It was not a challenge to the local marriage law.

“Critically, the definition of marriage does not need to be changed to accommodate our application, nor do there need to be any other changes to the law of the Cayman Islands. The law, as it applies and is currently in force today in the Cayman Islands actually requires that our application be granted.”

Mr. Raznovich and his husband were married in Argentina, which allows same-sex marriages. They submitted the marriage certificate along with their initial application to add Mr. Raznovich as a dependent. The application was turned down and six months later the appeal has not been dealt with.

He said the Immigration Appeal Tribunal was effectively permitting discrimination by failing to deal with the application, in breach of international human rights law.

“The result is a clear denial of natural justice, which in itself constitutes further breaches of the rule of law by the Cayman Government. I urge the members of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal to do the honorable thing and resign if they feel unable to reach a decision. If they are fit for duty, they should do their work rather than hide their head in the sand, and correctly apply the laws as they are currently in force today.”

Mr. Raznovich, in a statement released to the media this week, also questioned comments made by U.K. Overseas Territories minister James Duddridge, saying the minister had misled the British parliament about the situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Cayman.

Questioned by MP Crispin Blunt about progress on the issue in the overseas territories during a question time session at the U.K. Parliament in December, Mr. Duddridge said, “He mentions the Cayman Islands, and only this week their Premier reported to their parliament on their recognizing equal marriage, which is a great step forward.”

In fact Mr. McLaughlin simply said that he had instructed the Department of Immigration to seek to identify a way that same-sex partners of work permit holders could be granted a legal right to reside in the islands.