Gay couple begin appeal over permit refusal

| 05/10/2015 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dr Leonardo Razonovich

(CNS): A former professor from the law school who was denied the right to remain in the Cayman Islands as a dependent of his lawful husband has said the couple have begun their appeal process. Dr Leonardo Raznovich and his husband, who are the first to begin a legal challenge relating to the rights of same-sex couples, have filed appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal requesting that the immigration department provide an appeal statement detailing the reasons for the refusal by the Business Staffing Plan Board to add Raznovich to his husband’s work permit as his dependent.  

The department should respond to the gay couple within the next two weeks, when they will submit their appeal and begin the process to what could become the first case of its kind in the local courts.

In the meantime, Raznovich will be revealing the details of the case on the global stage this week as he has been invited to speak at the International Bar Association’s annual conference in Vienna, Austria.

“This is the largest legal conference in the world and will be attended by legal professionals, academics, among others,” Raznovich said.  “I have been invited to present our case.”

The former law professor will make his presentation on Thursday, when he will also talk about the UK’s role and responsibilities in regards to the Cayman Islands, focusing on the breach by the Cayman Islands of its local laws and international obligations under the ECHR in relation to incitement to sexual hatred and violence against LGBT people here. Raznovich will also be analysing the possible consequences for Cayman of not rectifying those violations.

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Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does CIG really believe they will win this? They have a few attorneys in Cabinet and Council, and together (through, and in combination with, the Office of the Attorney General) they probably couldn’t successfully compete against one “big firm” attorney. This is an international legal issue and Cayman has no eligibility to address international issues – all must be addressed through the UK. That’s where this issue will get shut down in favour of the appellants – if it gets that far!

    Anthony Eden’s tirade didn’t help to display any sense of an educated or 21st century perspective on the matter but the lack of any official distancing by the Government at large to those views surely helped to show its position. Going into this lawsuit, how can they now avoid the perception of prejudice?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Get a job. Permit issue solved, case closed.

  3. Rp says:

    CIG, please backtrack, issue the doc his residence. Pls amend the immigration law as well. No way you can win this case in court so please save us, the tax payer the legal fees!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good luck Dr. Raznovich, all the best to you and your husband in this fight!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Now watch Cayman’s name get bandied around the world, for the wrong reasons again, and lets hope the UK imposes direct rule for 2 minutes to force that legislative change through, and therefore comply with international law that Cayman has obligations to implement. We can end the story there.

    • SSM345 says:

      No one to blame but ourselves on this making it into the media; both locally and internationally. That’s what happens when you still live by law / rules brought about in the Stone Age.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Way to go guys! If the Cayman government won’t act, the international community will force them to!

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      Is that what you really think? Well I am sure that many who have came through our gates realize that the days of intimidating Caymanians are done.

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Which is why Cayman has signed all those TIEAs, right. Why CIG apologised to the gay couple arrested for kissing at Royal Palms. Why homosexuality was legalised back in 2000. Why CIMA shut down Caledonian even though the bank was solvent. Why the last Premier was deselected by his own party. Why Cayman granted all those driftwood status back in 2004. Why money transfer has stopped. Because Cayman has no concern over international opinion or pressure. Got you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you trying to intimidate us 4.33? You are the law breakers

      • Fred says:

        Going by the press today, some young Caymanian men do quite a good job of intimidating others.

      • Anonymous says:

        I doubt it.

  7. SAM says:

    I just love these people! way to go guys!

  8. Let it go already says:

    CNS Raznovich needs to clarify a point here. He was invited to speak by the LGBT chapter of the International Association. There is a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regardless on your views about LGBT rights, please have enough respect to address Dr. Raznovich by his correct title.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dr Raznovich, good luck. I strongly suggest you engage with lobbying groups in New York and London and approach the major banks and law firms that use Cayman pointing out that using the jurisdiction is likely to be inconsistent with their diversity policies. There is one thing that talks more than the Bible in Cayman, it is the Dollar.

    • Anonymous says:

      please you really think that is worth more to them that the tax benefits they get from using this jurisdiction. YES it is about the dollar and they spend less by ‘investing’ here.

    • Anonymous says:

      God, I hope so. I hope the financial industry tanks here in Cayman, so you and all your poncy folk can leave us in peace to enjoy our beach just the way it was before you washed up here. Take your dollars with you. Doubloons, mate! Doubloons.

      • Anonymous says:

        You can leave with the rest of them. We don’t need you here either. Clearly you are one of those hypocrites that are here smiling in our faces and just here to make money to send back to whatever pig pen you are running from trying to use us to make a better life. Be gone if you hate it that much and make sure you never return

      • Anonymous says:

        Its going to move as soon as direct taxation is implemented so our Govt. can pay for these monster projects they have decided to do all at once i.e. airport, dump, cruise piers and port, because there is no other way we can pay for it.

        • Anonymous says:

          And we will go when they do that and you still won’t be able to afford it!

        • Anonymous says:

          Taxation is un economic with a population of under 80,000 and would be better set when the population is around 100,000. Otherwise it costs more to implement than is collected or the taxes would have to be higher than most other jurisdictions.
          So when you see that construction is occurring almost everywhere, permits are issued without any restriction and residency numbers increase, you know what’s coming.

    • Anonymous says:

      How interesting that you should actually encourage someone to harm the Islands financial industry because of a dispute that has nothing to do with the Islands financial industry. It confirms that there are in fact persons who work in these Islands who could care less about the Islands or the people that live here and yet get upset when they are denied PR or a permit. This speaks volumes about why there is such a divide between the people who live here and call it home and those who are here for one thing only…a job.

      • Anonymous says:

        So a top attorney faces having his spouse kicked off the island for being gay and it this is not about the financial services industry? This an important point in a fight against bigotry and discrimination, and to fight your bigotry pressure must be exerted at the vulnerable pressure points. Your reaction shows how effective such campaigning could be.

        • Anonymous says:

          This has nothing to do with the finance industry. You don’t believe what youre saying and nor does anyone else here. And I’m not sure what basis you have for accusing me of being a bigot. I simply called you out on the fact that this has nothing to do with our industry. Doubt anyone in the finance industry is losing a moment’s sleep over this other than the so called ‘top attorney’ to which you refer. Your argument seems irrational. It sounds like someone who is unable to look at this objectively and is prepared to slash and burn everyone and everything because of your personal agenda and bitterness. Very sad indeed. It’s clear Cayman is not your home. I’m not sure where you would or could be happy.

          • Anonymous says:

            If ending bigotry and discrimination needs some slashing and burning then count me in.

          • Anonymous says:

            Apartheid in South Africa wasn’t about finance either. But it was morally repugnant and unacceptable to the international community leading to a boycott of South Africa until it changed its ways.

            Putting economic pressure on a nation through sanctions etc is a perfectly legitimate method of dragging it into the 21st century. The parallels here are obvious.

            • Anonymous says:

              Well said. The dollar is the only thing that they listen to. See the dock approval for details.

            • Anonymous says:

              It’s unacceptable to equate this issue with apartheid in South Africa!! It really is. These two men were here living and working here without issue. One of them lost their job and wants to stay as his husbands partner and the current laws do not recognise the union as a marriage. How on earth can you in all good conscience equate that situation to the struggles of what occurred in SA! You belittle the plight of those persons in SA, the decades of brutality and suffering that those people went through when you somehow find it acceptable to equate it to this situation. And to then call for a slash and burn to bring harm to everyone that lives here, expatriates as well as Caymanians, of all backgrounds and nationalities, speaks volumes to just who you are. Very sad indeed. SA had a minority that prospered on the hardship of a majority. Economic sanctions was appropriate. This is a far cry from the case at hand here. In fact it is quite the opposite. Again you need to step back and be objective and put your bitterness behind you….

              • Anonymous says:

                This issue is part of a wider state-sponsored discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. Apartheid was state-sponsored discrimination based on skin colour. Both are nasty, bullying, irrational and contrary to international law.

                In SA the situation was clearly much worse for those discriminated against, but you are in denial if you don’t see the verbal abuse, bullying, physical violence, suicide and even murder that have been consequences of that discrimination in Cayman. The rest of the world does, and that is why economic sanctions will eventually follow whether you like it or not. Probably, the latter, and for that exact reason!

                • Anonymous says:

                  the scale by which verbal abuse, bullying, physical violence, suicide and murder is caused by discrimination of homosexuals in Cayman is negligible in relation to all of the other heinous reasons that drive such extreme behaviour. To somehow try to suggest that bias against same sex is sufficient to equate us to apartheid in SA or to call for economic sanctions is beyond ridiculous. Your points aren’t rational or logical. Its like calling for economic sanctions because kids here are being bullied in school. Its wrong yes, but its a problem that happens everywhere but its certainly not apartheid or the brutality that followed from it. As with all of the other heinous reasons that drive extreme behaviour they should be addressed properly (domestic violence and bullying in schools have campaigns to expose, prevent, educate and prosecute if necessary).

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t think his husband is being kicked off for being gay, just that the immigration law wasn’t crafted to allow for same sex marriages when it was written, and as such immigration had no authority to consider the application. You can appeal to have the law changed but no matter how strong the feelings of right or wrong under the current law he can’t be a dependent. He might appeal to ECHR but all that will do is potentially point out that the law needs to be changed in order for this to be dealt with. Either way those that had to consider the application have done nothing wrong, nor denied his application through bigotry.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, someone cares more about standing up against bigotry than economics. Sounds quite a Christian approach.

        • Anonymous says:

          Another disjointed response that makes no sense at all. There is nothing morally correct about your position at all. You lost the battle and the war when you clearly do care about destroying (out of anger and misplaced bitterness) more than resolving the overall issue to the benefit of these Islands and everyone collectively. There are many ways that this issue can be addressed but you are far too shrill, bitter and angry to think about how.

          • Cass says:

            Well said 1:22 pm. It is not about whether you “support” gay marriage etc. it is about equal rights. Time to move on from this nonsense, we have bigger fish to fry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since foreign bankers and lawyers are obliged to apprise their Ethical Investment clients regarding this sort of event, the bulletin is probably already out there.

      • Anonymous. says:

        Oh please give me a break. What do all of you supporters of Gay marriage get out of this. No one on island is perturbed by their so call marriage we are merely saying that we are not changing the sanctity of our marriage laws. As to why he did not get added to his partner’s work permit as a dependent is a whole ,different matter.perhaps he bit off more than he can chew this time. what jurisdiction does the bar association in Austria have over Cayman?

        • Anonymous says:

          Sanctity of your marriage laws? What utter sanctimonious crap. It is only sacred when two men or two women in a loving relationship want the same rights and freedoms as their heterosexual counterparts. It is not so sacred when you lie to and cheat on your spouse and have five different “baby mamas” or “baby daddies”. You cannot pick and choose when it suits you. Either it is or it is not.

        • Diogenes says:

          The “international” Bar Association, not the Austrian one. Clue is in the title.

          And you are not merely saying that you are not changing the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. What you are doing is denying people of a different sexuality the same immigration rights as others. Sure, an unmarried hetero couple have the same problem, but arguably they can always get married, and if they are not religious, get married in a civil ceremony, and they will get those rights. That’s exactly what these guys did, but the Cayman Islands wont recognise that marriage. He couldn’t be added as a dependent on his partners permit for one reason, because he is gay. Hell, its no different to doing the same thing because he is black, or Jewish, or Muslim, or different in some other way from the majority.

          If you want to discriminate against a class of people based on their beliefs or practices, at least have the balls to admit it. He doesnt want to change the constitution, he doesnt want to corrupt your religion, he just wants the same rights as every other law abiding citizen. I know you would feel more comfortable thinking its his fault, or someohow its justified by the bible or tradition, but in that there is not really a lot of moral difference between you and the apartheid era government in South Africa.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is really interesting that you want New York and London to be lobbied to support two individuals (expats), while we have thousands of local children whose education is said to be neglected, yet you are not recommending that anyone lobby the major banks and law firms to support local education.Just shows how mixed up some people are.I believe it is time for Caymanians to lobby the UN to protect us from having the UK force things on us against our will.The UK forced us to abolish the death penalty and corporal punishment, and look at the crime rate today. Should the UK insist on bullying us into submission then we should call on the UN to bring their anti-bullying regime to bear on our behalf. Certainly the rights of a majority ,are as “equal” as those of 2 homosexuals who I am sure knew the Cayman laws on marriage before they came here,but obviously planned to make us change all along.Just plain wrong.

      • Diogenes says:

        Good luck with complaining to the UN about being forced to abolish the death penalty and corporal punishment

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone at the UN except the Russians, North Koreans and Venezuelans will be pissing themselves laughing. Good luck with that.

      • Anonymous says:

        You been watching Fox News? Do you really want the death penalty in a place where the justice system is so screwed up? Do you think the UN would support such backward screwed up thinking? UN advocates ending death penalties. UN supports people’s rights to equal rights, whatever flavor you are. Don’t believe Fox News, it’s the fairy tale channel without the fairies. Except the closet ones.

      • Anonymous says:

        Independence is always available for you. Good luck. Thankfully there would be many planes leaving daily and they will be full.

      • Anonymous says:

        I care more about discrimination than the local education system.

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