UK minister ‘misled’ Commons about Cayman Islands

| 06/04/2016 | 65 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Premier Alden McLaughlin and Overseas Territories Minister James Duddridge

(CNS): Dr Leonardo Raznovich has accused the UK’s overseas territories minister of misleading the British House of Commons by indicating that the Cayman Islands Government had recognised same-sex marriage. Dr Raznovich, who has challenged a refusal by the local immigration authorities to remain here as a dependent of his legal husband, stated that James Duddridge knew that this was a false statement and knowingly misled the UK Parliament about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) situation in the Cayman Islands.  

According to the House of Commons Hansard (column 530), on Thursday, 3 December, Duddridge was asked by Crispin Blunt MP about progress regarding discrimination of LGBT people in British overseas territories.

The minister, who had spoken to Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin that week, responded, “I thank the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee for raising this issue. Progress has been made. He mentions the Cayman Islands, and only this week their premier reported to their parliament on their recognising equal marriage, which is a great step forward.”

As reported by CNS, on Thursday 26 November 2015, speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Alden McLaughlin has revealed an urgency by the government to address discrimination in immigration legislation impacting same-sex couples but he said the goal was to stave off the need to recognise same-sex unions rather than a step towards them. He said he was doing his best to stop or at least delay any imposition by the UK through an Order in Council to recognize same-sex unions by addressing the immigration problem urgently.

Urgency increases to address same-sex discrimination

McLaughlin also stated that if same-sex legal action, as issued by former law professor Dr  Raznovich, was pursued to the Grand Court, “there will be a finding of incompatibility of the Immigration Law and Bill of Rights”.

When other members raised their concerns that this was tantamount to recognizing same-sex unions, the premier stated that was exactly what government was avoiding by tackling the issue of dependents in general.

He warned, “There is no doubt in my mind this is a train that is not going to stop coming. But if we are able to make suitable amendments to accommodate persons in Dr Raznovich’s category, we may avert, for the time being at least, the pressure to formally recognise same-sex unions and avoid the possibility of being forced to do so by the UK.”

Dr Raznovich noted in a press release Wednesday, “There was no mention of recognition of same-sex couples, let alone equal marriage.”

lumn 530


He maintains that Duddridge knew full well that his statement to the House of Commons was incorrect and therefore misleading because that same day, on 3 December 2015, he had written to Helen Grant MP, referring to the premier’s comments on 26 November and noting simply that McLaughlin had instructed the Department of Immigration to find a way that same-sex partners can be granted a legal right to reside in the Islands.

“There was no mention in his letter of the Cayman Islands recognising same-sex unions, let alone equal marriage,” Dr Raznovich said, noting that he is in possession of a copy of this letter.

“Why did Mr Duddridge use such misleading words in the House of Commons? It is only a matter of speculation at this stage,” he said in his release. “Perhaps to appease MPs of his own party who had raised concerns about the Cayman Islands breaching human rights by discriminating against LGBT people? Perhaps to allow the Foreign Office to use his statement in Parliament as a means to address the diplomatic complaint made by Argentina and to cover up the human right violation in one of its overseas territories?”

Dr Raznovich  stated that a letter had been written to UK MPs and the Argentine government to place them on notice regarding Duddridge’s “misleading words”.

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Comments (65)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nothing is invisible & when you can see it there’s plenty of it around.

  2. just a thought says:

    Ok. Lets see how this plays out.

    So we must accept a law from another country, England, who historicaly have embraced incest, homosexuality and phedophillia as normal and acceptable practice (espeacialy amongst the royalty and upper class citizens). These are facts recorded in the history books.

    We are being forced to do this by a third country, who’s citizen is on the island working. Is there not some law he ommitted when applying for his right to work here that asked him a series of questions to determine if he was desirable to have on the island.

    Also the fact that this third country is on par with some of the worst countries in the world for human rights abuses.

    I think we need to be careful here because these people could be guilty of the destruction of the caymanian culture and heritage. This is also covered under the HR laws.

    Remember the locals are in Cayman. They did not go to England or Argentina and attempt to change their heritage and culture. Others came to Cayman and are trying to change ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Err,,, we are not a country. England is not another country. We are British.

      • Morefya says:

        Did you forget to turn on your brain when you wrote this? British is not a country, Britain is the country. The Cayman Islands is a country, we are a British overseas territory.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I feel physically sick by the pure hatred and intolerance spewed here publicly by these so called Christians. You my fellow islanders are not Christians at all. You do not follow the word of God if you judge and bred intolerance. I’m disgusted by you all. You want everyone else to follow your laws based on your God but what about the people who don’t believe in your God?? I certainly don’t believe in a God that would tell you to condemn people who are different. My love preaches love and tolerance without exception. His love is unconditional.

    In years to come, you will remembered with deep shame and judged the same way as we now judge the people years ago who considered black people inferior and agreed with slavery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are you to judge?

    • oj jackson says:

      please look into what God says about same sex marriage study the words written by God himself. man has taken it upon himself and think it’s ok it’s not!.
      then we wonder why do so much hurricanes comes and destroys everything… study the bible carefully and then you will understand… man on man so not right. .. man & WOMAN creates. man on man does not.

    • oj jackson says:

      please study your bible and see what god says about same sex marriege we didn’t write it jesus did. study and understand.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Most of the people in the Cayman Islands support equal rights for same sex couples and are adult enough to realize that this is a issue that has been hijacked by the bigoted few who shout the loudest, just as we see in the UK, the US and others. That minority should not stop the Cayman Islands Government from doing what is right, not just morally, but also in line with our own Bill of Rights and international law.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As stated previously, until I see my fellow Caymanians who happen to be homosexual calling for changes and rights in the Cayman Islands – this fella and his fella can go fly a damn kite.

    Every society or culture must be allowed to progress and develop at their own pace as it concerns homosexuality. My gay and lesbian cousins are embraced in our wider family circle equal to the straight ones.

    Lastly, I reiterate the implementation and utilisation of a legal civil partnership as a means to address the particular grievance in this case.

    *If we begin to tinker with the “rights” of each and every person that “loves” another and the definition of marriage we will create far greater problems that already exist.
    E.g. Polygamous bisexual unions whereby 11 individuals; claim to love one another, wish to marry, and must therefore be granted equal treatment under the immigration laws of every country.

    Far-fetched you say? Ok. I am open to hear a sound legal argument against the above scenario (subsequent to proposed / probable changes).

    – Who

    • Anonymous says:

      Like a broken record.

      • Anonymous says:

        Truth and correctness tends to come across that way.

        – Who

        • Anonymous says:

          You really are a narcissist of the highest order.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not really, I just know when and what buttons to press to have a little fun.

            Anyway, do you wish to forward your legal challenge to the previously outlined scenario?

            (I’m surprised you and your friends didn’t jump at the opportunity to shut me down in all my non-glory. You’re obviously playing close attention …)

            – Who

  6. Anonymous says:

    Look at what has happened to all the places that have allowed gay marriage. Society has broken down, heterosexual married couples have wailed at feeling less married, riots in the streets etc etc. Terrible. The only thing that seems to have happened is that florists and upscale wedding venues are making more money and an odd crazy lady in America spent a night in jail.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a load of old ignorant rubbish. What about Cayman society: murder, robbery, child abuse, drug and gun crimes etc? And that is in a place where people are “God fearing”! Riots about homosexuality? Where? Less married? You are either married or you are not! Society has broken down? Society is the same as has been and always will be! I am horrified that someone can even think this!

      • Anonymous says:

        A mind untouched by the concept of sarcasm.

      • oj jackson says:

        also we as caymanians cannot go anywhere in the world and change your laws we have to respect your laws… we would be sent jail or locked up… please don’t come here and try to change our way of life.

    • I MISS MARIUS says:

      The Caliphate of ISIL (ISIS) does not allow gay marriage. How is that working out?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I can understand a man being attracted to a woman and a woman being attracted to a man but I do find it hard to understand how a man can be sexually attracted to another man or a woman being sexually attracted to another woman. If homosexuality had been practiced by a high percentage of people, the population of the earth would have diminished centuries ago. Since people continue to multiply, it is obvious that the greater percentage of people do not practice homosexuality. Homosexual people should therefore not be trying to force the majority to accept the practice as being normal.

    • John Lewis says:

      And if it was normal for persons of African heritage and European heritage to marry, the races would have disappeared long ago. The vast majority of couples are of the same race, and should not have to put up with the minority.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow …racist AND homophobic. CNS, I can’t believe you are publishing this kind of detestable hatred.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you could not have misunderstood the poster any more. Literalism is a tragic condition.

      • Anonymous says:

        And it we were to believe the Adam and Eve story then we would all be having sex with our brothers, sisters, children etc afterall mankind started from 2 people alledgedly….therefore incest must have been rife!

    • Anonymous says:

      10:28. I agree. How many of them have increased the worlds population? Where is the statistics?

    • Anony says:

      I am hopeful that these are your real reasons for objecting to homosexuality and or same sex marriage – if they are then i am hopeful that we can use some logic to show why these arguments are flawed – which should in turn help you understand why you have been mistaken.

      1. You are not being asked to have a sexual attraction to someone of the same sex – you do not need to understand it you just need to understand that some people are attracted to the same sex. I am willing to bet that their are people you have met of the opposite sex that you are also not attracted to and find it hard to understand how anyone else is attracted to them – would you therefore try and legally bar that person from getting married?

      2. All that is required for the population of the earth to grow is that couples average more than 2 children. My parents had 11 which more than made up for my aunt’s choice not to have children. Taking those 3 people a generation later they had increased by 7.

      3. Do you think homosexuals are sterile and that procreation requires a deep sexual attraction? Ask a female friend if she has ever faked an orgasm for the answer to part two of that question. It is fully possible for homosexuals to have children – its just not likely that those children will come out of a relationship of romantic love which is something our society places great value on.

      If these answers have not changed your mind i would ask that you look deep within yourself to try to understand and then articulate why you object? If when you look you find that your objections come from a place of illogical hatred or prejudice then i would ask that you try very hard to suppress that and become a better person. If you are a christian then you may recognize that darkness in you as the devil tempting you to be a bad person – dont give in to that side of yourself and try and open your heart and mind to the pain and trauma that the continued stigmatization of homosexuality has to our community, to our brothers and sisters who are born this way. Its the right thing to do.

  8. Allar says:

    I am so sick of this entire subject if they wants to make love to each other go get a room I need not see. We will never in these islands accept same sex unions period full stop. Now let’s get on with our lives and focus on good not evil. All you haters of Mr. Eden he is a noble man

  9. Anonymous says:

    what happened to cannibalizing shipwreck survivors years ago what made you give up that belief???

    • Anonymous says:

      Haven’t you heard that two wrongs does not make it right? The sick among us is always coming up with comparing one sin to another. Cannibalizing was wrong and homosexual is also wrong as is murder. Should we legalize that as well.we will never accept it in Cayman and we will fight it all the way. I don’t care how you all try to twist it and compare it. If you want to go have sex with the same sex go right away but we will never agree to it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much Dr. Raznovich for standing up to this totally unwarranted and backward discrimination by too many in my / our Cayman Islands in the 21st century.

    Each person deserves the right to live his / her life without discrimination.
    I’m happy to see this change on it’s way

    Hetero Caymanian (not that this should matter!)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who knows, perhaps our own Premier led the OT Minister to believe what he presented to Commons. Hmmm?

  12. Anonymous says:

    It may be a memorial of some sort, I agree.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t like same sex unions don’t marry someone of the same sex.

  14. 345 says:

    Our politicians are all holding out on this issue, hoping the next election comes soon and they can run on an anti same-sex marriage platform. Then it will be imposed by the UK or the Court, and they can claim they did their best, but can no longer be held accountable.

    • Anonymous says:


      Cayman politicians held accountable???

      What fool’s paradise are you living in?? Can I get some of your Kool Aid?

    • Just Sayin' says:

      While they are unlikely to bend over backwards in support of the issue, it would be wise of them to remove the bit from between their teeth and just grin and bear it before it gets messy.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What goes on between two people in their private life is nothing to do with anyone else, if we can have religious freedoms (such as respecting Muslims & Jewish people right to practice their religion) why can’t the same be extended to people with different lifestyle choices, They are not barging into your living room and demanding you watch, so leave people to live their lives in the way in which they will find happiness.

    • Anonymous says:

      @2:27 Can you see the irony in your statement ” leave people to live their lives in the way in which they will find happiness.”So why should this only apply to homosexuals.So I will ask Why not leave us alone to live our lives in a way that makes us happy,(that includes not recognizing same sex marriage). Maybe you should talk about the fact that forcing same sex marriage recognition on the majority of Caymanians is true discrimination The fact that even if a referendum was held in Cayman and the vote was totally against same sex marriage, we would be discriminated against by the UK and forced to accept gay marriage.Now that is discrimination at the highest, but will the United Nations defend our rights ? No because they are in favour of that type of discrimination.But what can we do , after all we are just a tiny dot in the Ocean,and oh yeah we are keeping all those high tax countries from fleecing their citizens. Alden was right, it is inevitable but we will be discriminated against and forced to accept same sex marriages because the so called civilized countries of the world want it.

      • a concern Caymanian says:

        Well said. No need to add any more to what you said. Great answer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell me, what does it hurt you, who loves someone else in the privacy of their own home.

        Nobody is “forcing” anyone to believe in or accept or…. dare I say? JUDGE anyone else.

        Here’s an idea. You live your life as you choose. I am already doing that. God made us all, in His image. People are born with this or that proclivity toward their own or another gender. You don’t believe that? Okay. Let’s have a little experiment.

        Think back upon the time when you chose your sexual orientation. Did you measure the pros and cons? Catcher or pitcher? Did you make a list? No, of course you didn’t. You just knew. Just like virtually everyone else.

        The world has not changed. Our awareness has changed. LGBT have always been here and everyone else. Watch out! They are all around you!! Listen, they are folk just like everyone else. They simply want the right to love whom they choose, just exactly like you. Who are you to set parameters on their love and life?

        For what it’s worth (and it shouldn’t matter) I am a heterosexual, married Caymanian.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody is trying to stop them, we are simply saying we will not agree to changing the marriage laws to suit them. Why should we change our way of life to suit them?

          • Anonymous says:

            How is recognition of same sex marriage going to make you “change your way of life?” If you’re not gay, nothing will change for you!!!

        • Robert says:

          idk man , i aint no catcher or pitcher , i never made the team so i sit in the stands , its hard to be ugly , no team wants ya ,

      • John Lewis says:

        What does same sex marriage force you to do?

        A majority of persons in the state of Alabama do not believe inter-racial marriages should be legal. But what are they being forced to do?

      • Anonymous says:

        So if you “own room” you agree to maintain a system that perpetrates prejudice and discrimination about something that by your “own room” test will not affect you in any way whatsoever that is, on your tortured logic OK to maintain it? John Stuart Mill has an heir.

      • Anony says:

        If the majority of caymanians voted to re-introduce slavery would that be acceptable? If they voted to remove women’s rights would that be acceptable? Do you think when the majority of southern white slave owners in the US voted to maintain slavery that it was wrong for the North to force them through a civil war to abandon that vile practice? Were southern white slave owners being descriminated against?

        • Ben Dover says:

          Slavery is alive and well in the Cayman Islands my friend. Here we call them “Helpers” though.

  16. Anonymous says:

    When the Argentinians clean up their human rights act they can start lecturing others. This has nothing to do with equality or human rights it’s just a cheap political stunt linked to the their on-going claims over the Falkland Islands.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anthony Eden and his stupid “satanic confusion” crap have merely drawn attention to an issue which will be forceably resolved by the UK imposing an Order in Council or whatever the heck it’s called. Satisfied now, Eden?

    • Tony Toni Tone says:

      Eden will one day be recognized for the great service he has done for the LGBT Community in Cayman. A statue in Heroes Square I’d say. Something phallic preferably.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are probably right, Tony Toni Tone. His statue could be alongside the man he most admires, Jim Bodden, who personally demolished, by driving a backhoe, the only genuine Cayman historical site, Fort George, about 100 yards from his statue. And then we make him our first National Hero although his exploits with the backhoe (and many other questionable matters) nearly always have a veil of silence drawn over them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody is saying that these two or any other two men/ women who wants to get married or live together that they cannot. They can go ahead but some of us will never agree to the changing of the marriage laws in Cayman. No referendum, or any other method will force us to accept it. If the Uk wants to go ahead and impose it, then they should go ahead. Those of us who does not agree should speak up and do not let the gay lovers or the UK, the premier or the governor or any one else force us to take a stand against our principles to allow this . I realise tthe Cayman Islands are a crown colony but that does not mean that we have to accept this. WE have a constitution that states that marriage should be between a man and a woman. THe governor and the premier needs to stop allowing others who have been given the opportunity to live and work among us to try to change our way of life. We have enough problems as it is . While some states in America that is much more liberal than we are are now scrabbling to change the laws that were created in a Paris to allow gay marriage we are sitting back and allowing these people to come here and make this decision for us. It is time for us to stand up and be counted. The majority of us do not want our marriage laws changed and we will not bow to it. Today is gay marriage- what will it be tomorrow. I didn’t ever think we would live to see the day when the leaders of Cayman would be so weak and wimpy. For God sake try to see this for what it is. A departure from our Christian principles and morals. Just chiseling away, piece by piece. Shame on all of you who are too wimpy to speak up. By the way, all of you can go ahead and call me whatever names/ labels you choose, don’t really matter, I know who I am and I know what I believe , so go ahead and have your say, but remember I have a right to say and believe what I want just like all of you have a right to say what you want to. But no one has the right to change the entire culture of an entire territory to accommodate those who come on here to live and feel that they have to force their way on us.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, our Constitution does NOT state that. You only wish it did. Politicians garnering votes state that. Not the same thing.

          • Anonymous says:

            For clarity Please not a correction- replace “PARIS” with “PANIC, (typo)

          • Anonymous says:

            Wow you need to open your eyes and look at the country you are from and living in. Caymanian Christian values only exist in a building on a Sunday, The rest of the week you fellow countrymen have sold themselves for the love of money, sex and any other vice they can find, and that includes sex with the same gender. Perhaps it is time we remove the vale of ignorance and start calling these people out for there wicked ways. Oh but no, let us sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn’t happen, that is The Caymanian Christian way is it not. I can only assume you have this view point because you have not walked the streets of your island and seen it all first hand. I have found over the years that the ones that make the most noise against something generally have a something to hide when it comes to that matter. Shame on you for not fighting against the culture of denial and ignorance.

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