Change to definition of marriage not needed for appeal

| 07/04/2016 | 49 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dr Leonardo Raznovich

(CNS): Although there are apparently no grounds to reject the appeal, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal has still made no decision in the case of Dr Leonardo Raznovich and his husband, a lawyer with Maples and Calder, six months after the couple appealed an immigration decision not to allow Dr Raznovich to be listed a dependent of his spouse. They have now accused the IAT of stalling and failing to apply the principles of natural justice.

Clarifying what the issue actually is in the face of public misconception, Dr Raznovich explained in a release that the initial application was simply to add him to his spouse’s work permit as a dependent.

“It was not a challenge to the local marriage law,” he stated. “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.”

Dr Raznovich maintained that the law actually requires that the application be granted.

“We understand that the attorney general has advised the government of the Cayman Islands that there are no legal grounds to reject our appeal,” he said. “It is the failure of the Cayman Islands to apply the laws of the Cayman Islands in our case that constitutes the discriminatory act and breaches of the Bill of Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The former lecturer at the Truman Bodden Law School noted that in November last year, Premier Alden McLaughlin “rightly and courageously publicly acknowledged discrimination (and hence, a human rights violation) exists in our case and that when considered by the Grand Court, he expects there will be a finding of incompatibility of the Immigration Law and Bill of Rights.”

He described the original decision of the Immigration Board as “a travesty of natural justice” due to a “profound procedural error”.

In coming to its decision, he said, the board relied on their civil partnership certificate, which had only been submitted to supplement the application a day or so prior to the board’s meeting in August on the advice of their lawyers at Maples, who suggested that it would provide additional scope for the board to approve the application.

However, he said, the application was, and always had been, based upon the Argentine marriage certificate filed on 12 May 2015 with the application, which the board decided not to consider.

“Let’s put this in very simple terms, the board, in consultation with the attorney general, had over three months to consider an application based on a marriage certificate, but the board’s final decision overlooked such certificate’s existence,” he stated, adding that the board also claimed that no marriage certificate had been presented to them, even though they followed legally flawed advice from the attorney general that referred to the marriage certificate.

“Ironically, our marriage certificate was included in the pack of information provided by the board itself to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal when the board disclosed all material that it had considered for the purposes of reaching its decision,” Dr Raznovich said. “This is a demonstration of the utterly disgraceful unfairness with which we were, and continue to be, treated, let alone the ongoing discrimination issue, as acknowledged by the premier.”

He added, “I urge the members of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal to do the honourable 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.”

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Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just because a person or a group of people ‘believe’ discrimination to be okay does not actually make it okay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like Immigration has the authority to decide who can come in to the country based on Caymanian culture, people who want the same gender can choose to do so in the privacy of their home and in cases where a permit is needed for a relationship to work, then foreigners can apply for a job like Caymanians and if they aren’t successful, then enjoy skype or have the person with residency in Cayman move to their home country and live happily ever after. If you want to get into the legality of UK law applying to Cayman etc. Then force homosexuality on Cayman. Rape our country and you will see that you are not the only one who can stand.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Considering how badly heterosexuals handle marriage and family, does it really matter if some gays give it a try?

    • Anonymous says:

      Heterosexual and gay men both have no respect for woman . I would never ever condone gay marriages. The queen has boldly said that marriage is between a man and a woman. I wonder what Cayman is going to do about that. There are many sins but please remember Sodom and Gomorrah . I am trusting that for our own sake the law makers will up hold the culture of these islands . If one want to be gay, that’s their business but please keep it to yourself and stop forcing the government to pass such sinful law which will bring sorrow to our land. If you are a athesis that your business, I am a Christian and not because I do not go against the word of God means I don’t like you. I love everyone but not everything everyone advice to all you people who came to these islands is to abide by the laws of the land and stop forcing the government to change its jaws to suit your habitats. I pray
      that the Lord will bless you by opening your eyes, heart and soul to his word.

      • Whisky Bravo says:

        I would like this a thousand times but cns said no.

      • Lil Jenny Taylor says:

        The opinion of the queen is no more or less valid than anyone else. She has no actual law making powers, she is just a figurehead.

        As for respecting the laws of this land…hahaha I see that every day…people dropping litter, smoking weed, poisoning dogs, making corrupt deals, robbing people, driving with kids in cars completely unsecured etc. etc. etc. I think there are enough people flouting laws here already.

        You are also implying that if a law is ridiculous, it should still be respected. So…what if a law changed to encompass something you didn’t like?

        Lastly, you don’t choose to be gay.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whats the meaning of justice and equality when everyone is free and doesnt want to face reality.

  4. Monty says:

    When is all this going to stop? Are we saying that it’s not ok for the Muslim to bring his 10 wives to our shores or the Amish guy to bring his 15 wives and 30 children who are supposed to marry when they turn 16? Wouldn’t we be discreminating these people beliefs too? What next ISIS to our shores?

    When in Rome……

    • Anonymous says:

      What did the poor Amish do to be dragged into this? I think you are confusing them with some other religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      “isis” is already here, forcing shops to be closed on sundays and teaching us how to hate gay people.
      What’s your point.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish I could like your comment 50,000 more time 6:33. Bravo!

      • Anonymous says:

        We are christians not isis, we dont go marching through other countries saying oh stop this because of my belief, if i dont like what a country is doing im not gona try to get a work permit there and kick up a stink. Just go home please and call it a day.

    • Anonymous says:

      You just suggested that allowing gay marriage will lead us to ISIS next. Did you reread that after typing it? You sound ridiculous.

  5. Whisky Bravo says:

    Alright everybody hush n go home.

    • Anonymous says:

      “I cannot arguably justify my discrimination so please go home”

      • Anonymous says:

        Its simple, im giving you a break, we dont want you here but hey have a good day.

      • Anonymous says:

        No apology. We’re not apologizing to you because of your life style and we’re not accepting you. If you want acceptance, go ask your mother. We’re not asking you to please go home…Cayman is not a free for all…if we say go, it means go! So called first world countries do it all the time…it’s called border control. If you’re a gay Caymanian…praise the Lord you live in a safe prosperous country withs lots of tourists to choose from and direct flights to many hot spots including Miami with its famous Miami beach scene. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    He states “that the board also claimed that no marriage certificate had been presented to them, even though they followed legally flawed advice from the attorney general that referred to the marriage certificate” But then he also states earlier “We understand that the attorney general has advised the government of the Cayman Islands that there are no legal grounds to reject our appeal,” . Why does this not surprise me. The AG gives bad advice to the Board and then advises the IAT and the Govt something completely different. What kind of system is this anyway where the AG gets to advise both the board and then the Board that you are appealing to about the Board’s decision. At what point will govt realise they need a new legal adviser and for goodness sakes lets not have both the board and its appeal board advised by the same guy!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Never thought this type of behavior would end up on our shores.

    • Anonymous says:

      What type of behavior…breaching human rights? If you are referring to homosexuality then I am afraid you are deluded as it has been going on here for a very long time!

      • Anonymous says:

        What is a human right? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) was created in 1948 by the Human Rights Commission and accepted by the United Nations.  The Member States of the United Nations pledged to work together to promote the thirty Articles of human rights that, for the first time in history, had been assembled and codified into a single document. Cayman was not then and is not now a member of the United Nations. We are labeled a dependent or overseas territory of the United Kingdom. We have survived under these conditions and have built the infrastructure that affords you the life style you enjoy in Cayman today. We don’t agree with the gay lifestyle and won’t change our ways for gays. Do like what people in Dubai do…build your own island…call it gay paradise. We won’t apply for permits or visas to go there.

  8. Anonymous says:

    the Premier is always tripping up himself with his motor mouth!! Puny and spineless!! He better start doing something for Caymanians? He didn’t lose any time spouting off about discrimination- why is it taking so long to amend the immigration law?. He is so afraid of the opposition and independents that he cannot even get back to the L.A.

    • P&L says:

      Oh he wasted no time in amending the Immigration Law which was done with haste and reckless disregard for any long term strategic vision that is balanced and fair. They knew who they wanted and didn’t want and made the necessary changes to influence it as such. Problem is they are so fool they can’t even implement what they passed. Before you know it everyone who has applied since the law changed will just slide right in on default because of their total incompetence. Eeediayuts :-/

  9. Just saying... says:

    Why don’t the government let this go and let God be the judge. Grant the permit as a family member applying for another family member. Am a Christian and while I do not condone this lifestyle, I believe everyone should be left alone to live their lives as they wish as long as it does not harm anyone else. At the end of the day they will be judged by the judge of this universe. These two individuals do not pose any harm to society nor are they introducing some strange lifestyle to the Cayman Islands. Albeit, our LGBT brothers and sisters are not marrying and being given in marriage does not mean they are not living the same way. This lifestyle has been in our society for as long as I can remember and will continue for as long as we exist, but as usual, in the Cayman Islands, once you can do it in secret everything is great in paradise. I believe what the government should look into that definitely has an adverse effect on our society is the women and men coming in from all these third world countries and destroying marriages and ultimately the children of these marriages. There should be laws put in place for this epidemic in the Cayman Islands.One might say, well should we let this go then we will have to let those that come after go also. I agree, however, if the government can put laws in place to punish those people indulging in this lifestyle, then so be it but until then lets live and let live. We have much bigger problems as it relates to the destructive path in which Cayman is heading as it relates to the higest judgement and that is the people who are emigrating here and bringing their gods and are free to worship them in the Cayman Islands.

    • Jotnar says:

      You say “everyone should be left alone to live their lives as they wish as long as it does not harm anyone else”, but then add ” if the government can put laws in place to punish those people indulging in this lifestyle, then so be it ” and “We have much bigger problems … and that is the people who are emigrating here and bringing their gods and are free to worship them”. Seems a little inconsistent, no?

    • Judge Judy says:

      Who is God to judge me?

  10. Anonymous says:

    As long as an individual has the money to support a dependent it shouldn’t matter whether that person is related, married, just in a relationship or something else as long as they have committed to supporting that person.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perfect response. Sexuality has nothing to do with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do we have to constantly change our laws to accomadate everyone else’s culture and lifestyle??? Caymanians are verg hospitable, but we need to stick by our beliefs and morals as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because your culture is stuck in the dark ages!

        • Anonymous says:

          Well go somewhere else that the culture is more modern! Its that simple!

        • Anonymous says:

          Because what purports to be culture is stuck in the dark ages.

        • Anonymous says:

          So how come everyone is desperate to live here? Seems we’ve been “holding fast that which is good” and it is proving to be wildly popular. Can you explain why so many people worldwide want to live here? Go on, have a go!

          • Anonymous says:

            There used to be promise of a good wage and a nice country….things have changed and that’s no longer the case, people are slowly realizing that and leaving again…it’s hard to relocate, hence it’s ‘slowly’ happening.

      • JG says:

        I’m sorry but most of my gay friends are born and bred Caymanians so enough with the “our culture” nonsense, I so look forward to the day when The Caymanian LGBT citizens say enough is enough and take a stand, it is not far away I can tell you that! There are plenty married Caymanians with men and women on the side so don’t preach to us about morals my dear.

      • Real Christian says:

        The first problem was abolishing slavery just because the British said to do so. Cayman should have stuck with tradition and kept slavery going.

        • Anonymous says:

          To poster 4.10p Does not surprise me, after all some of you still come here and try to practice it .This is well illustrated by the fact that right now you are trying to force us to do something against our will.

      • Anonymous says:

        So true.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, but that would have to apply to absolutely everyone, including heterosexual married couples and both expats and Caymanians. Marriage or other family relationship then becomes irrelevant for everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      And what happens when the relationship is over and the person with the money no longer wants to pay to play? Just ship off the person that’s not a spouse? Just asking.

      • Jotnar says:

        Isn’t that what happens with heterosexual expat spouses without their own work permits anyway? Just asking.

        • Anonymous says:

          since you asked, to a degree yes as it should be. But any rights to stay and work here were through that marriage because the spouse if Caymanian. If they are married with a child for the Caymanian they can apply to stay until the child reaches age of majority.

    • Anonymous says:

      now that’s a stupid comment! thank god we are monitoring this otherwise we would have huge amounts of dependents that are not properly supported! Look up definition of dependent in the Immi Law. Then argue your case.

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