IAT finds in gay couple’s favour

| 22/07/2016 | 110 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dr Leonardo Raznovich

(CNS): Two expat lawyers who are in a legal same-sex marriage have won their immigration appeal. Dr Leo Raznovich is now a legal dependent on his husband’s work permit, settling the question once and for all that the Cayman Islands law provides for legally married people, regardless of gender, to be dependents, provided the usual qualifying criteria is met. The Immigration Appeals Tribunal (IAT) found that the Cayman Islands Constitution leaves no room to discriminate against same-sex married couples and the current legislation already provides room to grant the application made by Raznovich’s husband, who works for Maples and Calder.

Since the application was made more than a year ago, Raznovich made it clear that he believed the law provided for him to be a dependent because the couple is lawfully married in their respective countries of Argentina and Great Britain.

Delighted with the outcome, the former law school professor said Friday that had the IAT found otherwise, it would have been undue discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, which it is prohibited by the Constitution.

“We recognise this is a very important moment for the Cayman Islands,” Raznovich said. “While we are personally delighted with the decision, we do not wish for the focus any longer to be on our specific circumstances or case. This is a triumph of natural justice and reflects a profound respect for the rule of law.”

Raznovich said the tribunal members should be commended for “courageously discharging their legal duties”, applying the existing law without discriminating and without succumbing to considerable political and social pressures to do otherwise.

“Love and equality have prevailed,” Raznovich added, as he also apologized to the members over some of the comments he had made over the last year, driven by frustration over “the upsetting and destabilising circumstances” surrounding the case.

The findings of the IAT uphold existing legislation and have not caused any law to be changed, nor does the decision change anything regarding the legal definition in Cayman of marriage as an institution between people of different genders.

While the implications of the decision are limited, they are very significant. All same-sex couples now have basic immigration rights recognised, meaning people can settle here with their loved ones without fear of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

“These are rights that opposite-sex married couples have always enjoyed and taken for granted, but until now have been inaccessible to same-sex couples in Cayman,” Raznovich said.

The decision paves the way for other same-sex ex-pat married couples in Cayman to apply for their partners to become dependents. For years it has been a poorly veiled secret that the work permit system has been used to enable same-sex couples to reside here together, even when only one has a job, by taking out domestic workers’ permits for their partners.

Raznovich said that while the IAT decision reflects the sophisticated nature of the Cayman Islands jurisdiction, its respect for the rule of law above anything and the advancement in the right to family and private life for all individuals, it only applies to immigration rights.

As important as the decision is from an immigration perspective, it now means the discrimination in Cayman against local same-sex couples is even more stark, since they cannot be legally married or have their partnerships recognised for any purpose, even for pension or other fundamental financial, parental or inheritance rights. The definition of marriage under the marriage law and the Constitution has not changed.

There is still a long way to go but the decision by the IAT is, at the very least, a first step towards a more positive environment for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community here and it will provide a leading example for the rest of the overseas territories and the Caribbean region.

Raznovich pointed to the words of the new overseas territories minister, Baroness Anelay, a human rights expert, who recently stated, “The strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those that value diversity and strive to address all forms of discrimination against all people, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Confident that the decision is final, he said there was no room for the Business Staffing Plan Board to challenge the outcome as it was a lawful decision, and following the finding by the IAT, the board has already effected the decision.

Although opposition politicians had pressed the attorney general during Finance Committee to commit to fighting the IAT or the Business Staffing Plan Board if they found in the couple’s favour, there are simply no legal grounds for a fight.

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Category: Government oversight, Laws, Politics

Comments (110)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Praise God. Equal rights for all. God bless equal rights. Amen.

  2. Soldier Crab says:

    Just as an application for extradition can only be entertained if the purported offence would also have been an offence if it had been committed in the Cayman Islands, so recognition of a marriage conducted in another country should only be possible if that marriage conformed to Cayman law.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the wrong analogy. Criminal law is territorial, hence you are right as a matter of principle only if it’s crimal here the request for extradition should be considered. Marriage, like judgments of a court law, like contracts regulate private matters and may have extra-territorial effect. In these circumstances the principle is very simple if it was legally effected in a foreign country in principle the foreign marriage, the judgment of the foreign court, etc are considered valid in the Caymam Islands. This is a very old principle of common law, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal did not invent the wheel here, it just applied the current law of the Cayman Islands to this gent’s application and did so as they would do with any other foreign marriage. It was not their choice, the Cayman constitution requires not to discriminate on any grounds including sexual orientation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Awesome news! Those of you that protest or say asinine things about gender equality really need to get a life. No one is forcing you to live that lifestyle. You are so righteous in your everyday life spouting the words of “jesus” but not living by his actual word. If you believe in a god so much, let him be the judge and you go about your life doing you. As an atheist I don’t go around telling you to live the same as me cause I DON’T CARE what you do. Well, until you try to make me live by your standards then I care. BTW – that is what ISIS is all about you tw@+$!

    • T. says:

      turning the issue into a god versus atheist one, doesn’t cover facts. i could care less if you don’t believe in god. we are talking here about “gays who believe in god” along with your stupid self, pushing this country into huge expense so to enforce laws against what is considered traditional family laws establish here for over a hundred years

    • Anonymous says:

      Angry somewhat?

    • Babee Shine says:

      Yes 731am aint it funny how your lickle deprave mind works?.You are the very same folks who validate those same very sick people who fill up their ranks. Goweh !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Personally I am totally against discrimination on all levels and I am glad for this decision; however I do agree with the definition of marriage in the Constitution.
      But my posts concerns the imbalance and unfairness of what we react to and focus on in this society. News articles requiring input on saving our environment is not a hot topic of the day neither is paedophilia or adultery and u could name so much more. Where is a collective response from our churches on paedophilia and adultery which seems to be rife in our society? Where is communication from the churches and our opinionated bloggers on this scourge and sin in our society? Thou shall NOT commit adultery! Ever heard of that? Why are we so selective in what we preach on and against when our innocents and entire families are being violated and decimated. Yet we make a coordinated effort to discriminate against law abiding loving people! Shame on the church! Shame on you reader and shame on me!

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly but they can’t say anything because they are all fornicating. Apparently, they can’t see the 10 commandments, they only see 9 or for a certain church, they only see 1. I told someone who came to me inviting me to church, “clean up your church. Committing adultery every day isn’t a mistake or a small sin, it’s in the 10 commandments and it’s a big sin. You all should be setting examples for the people to want to join the church. You can’t be inviting people to your church when you have a cancer within eating it from the inside out. I don’t want to be a part of it. I’ll stay home and worship.”

  4. Unison says:

    IF THIS IS A SIGN OF A TIDAL WAVE HITTING US, THIS IS ONE INDEED:

    Even good Caymanian folk don’t know the legal implications this ruling from the Appeals Tribunal could lead us.

    Once we make into law that a same-sex partner is defined as a “dependent”, once we amend an iota of our law to suit the LGBTIQ community, that would mean amending a whole host of other laws!

    Controversial changes like what’s happening in the United States, all in the name of anti-discrimination measures. Laws Cayman will have to follow. The change of the Childrens and Family laws here ( where two gays and their household could be considered a family). Changes in our marriage laws where ministers “must” marry same-sex people or else they could be charged for discrimination. Changes to the law regarding the adoption of children where children (who can speak for themselves) will have the right of a father and a mother taken away from them. I can go on … Changes in our education system where it must be taught in our classrooms LGBTIQ tenets.

    So everybody is cheering now, saying great! This is equality and Cayman growing up! Oh yeah! … consequences do follow as well. One simple Immigration appeal ruling being approved could open up a can of worms like what’s happening in the United States. I think the religious Eden saw this coming, but because he is so demonized by the LGBTIQ and an uneducated public, all of what he says is considered immaterial. It seems like some of our MLAs know the impact this ruling will have on our small society and so they oppose it. Now they are being branded as “haters” by the LGBTIQ.

    Hmmm … it will be interesting to see what laws now will have to be crafted. I guess Alden will be spearheading such laws to be made. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you don’t get it: there was no need to change any laws mate! The tribunal simply applied the current laws of the Cayman Islands.

      • Unison says:

        Dumb response! How you think the Constitution is going to be enforced??? The cost it entails and more laws …

        • Anonymous says:

          The dumb seems you mate, not the response. The decision was reached because of the constitution that prohibits discrimination and furthermore no need to modify the definition of marriage either. What part of this you can’t understand?

          • Unison says:

            Yes … But I am picking bone to what u said about NO NEED to change any laws!!! What makes u think this will not create more laws and bring huge cost to this country?!

            • Anonymous says:

              Thanks for the clarification. It is correct that there is NO NEED to change the law as a result of this decision, unless the Cayman Islands government and its people deem it desirable to do so. It is illegal for the Cayman Islands to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation under its own Constitution. The Cayman Islands is legally obliged to provide a framework for registration of same-sex relationships in some shape or form, so that will inevitably need to be addressed at some point. These obligations to provide a legal framework for registration of same-sex relationships in Cayman, however, DO NOT flow from this decision, they are completely unrelated and must be distinguished. Rather, they flow from legal obligations of the Cayman Islands under the European Convention on Human Rights and decisions of the European Court. The Cayman Islands own Human Rights Commission has explained all this in various statements recently that are accessible on their website.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Unison doth protest too much, methinks”

      No one will force minsters to marry gay couples! Call us ignorant, I think you should check the mirror.

      I find it funny you think gay couples raising children are a threat. You do realize those children wouldn’t need adopted if heterosexuals would do their job and raise the children they are free to have at a rate that should be criminal.

      USA is going in the right direction and Cayman would be smart to follow the laws that have been passed.

    • Anonymous says:

      How prophetic. I have it on the highest authority an announcement will be made later this year that will enable Cayman to add another feather to its tourism cap.
      The current government will run a law through enabling our gay friends to come here to get married essentially making Cayman the premier gay wedding destination of the Caribbean.
      There will be no referendum or public consultation based on the fact that in today’s legal atmosphere, resistance is futile.
      Get ready everyone. “These times are a changin'”.
      If you are on the Rock, stand strong and if you are on the sand, well, you know what happens.

      • last days .. says:

        They are primary customers for Kempis hotel built by Dart. So yes, Cayman, the pearl of the Caribbean, will be making alot of money, because these people do have it. And you better not oppose them. They are a powerful group of people. It is prophetic – they will rule and no one can stop them. 🙂

    • Joe B says:

      Its not a tidal wave hitting us……Its ignorance.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s a good thing they weren’t of respective Polish and Lithuanian descent and living in the ‘civilised’ United Kingdom with hopes to bring this same action.

    That Brexit referendum would have been the end of that dream.

    Good ol’ UK. Still leading the global charge of human rights, equality and righteousness – but just don’t try to live in and amongst their society.

    Oh, the irony …

    🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      This is incorrect. A Polish citizen who is legally married to, e.g., a US citizen of the same-sex who holds a UK work permit, can still obtain a marriage visa and continue to reside in the UK. Brexit doesn’t change that.

      • Anonymous says:

        You completely missed the gist of my post. Feel free to try again tho.
        So far you are 0 for 3.

        We await your resit results.

        • Anonymous says:

          Feel free to explain your point with an analogy that correctly applies the laws of the jurisdictions you reference.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was not aware that the UK was Polish or Lithuanian territory ….

      • Anonymous says:

        The point is that they don’t need to be. The UK respects foreign-law same-sex marriages for immigration purposes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kicking and Screaming into the 21st Century …… To Funny!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please stop beating up on Mr Eden a real Caymanian man from the old Caymanian school. We hughly respect him. What a difference with the decisions on decent poor black people living here for over 27 years and have to return to Jamaica . Living in a Country for that length of time and obeying the laws of the land one would think that tenure would be offered to them. Time longer dan rope.

  8. Anonymous says:

    equality seems to be an issue for the caymanian christians……..strange……..

    • Unison says:

      equality is also used by communists and socialists … not everything should be treated equally. Christianity teach that when Jesus comes again and judge the world, people will be judged differently according to their works.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally do not care what Raznovich wants to do in his bedroom but I do not think our laws should bend to him. For the person who so cleverly explained that ” the Constitution does not say that it shall not respect the fight of persons of the opposite sex to get married” — I can guarantee that the drafters of the Constitution never intended any such inference. The framers of the Constitution very arbitrarily defined marriage between a man and a woman.

      And, by the way, a recent decision by a European came to this same conclusion. I don’t have the details, but I will get back on this.

      • Anonymous says:

        The constitution prohibits discrimination on any ground including sexual orientation. Do you understand what this means? The tribunal simply said that they can’t be treated differently from any foreign married couple. Is this a problem for you? In addition, do you understand that this decision does not change (nor does it require a change) of marriage as defined by the constitution. If you don’t care about what they do in their bedroom, what part of this decision affects you?

        • M McLaughlin says:

          It prohibits discrimination but it doesn’t say we should recognize same sex marriage. Stop shitting on our constitution.

          • Anonymous says:

            The simple answer is that the existing laws the Cayman Islands, both the common law (i.e. court decisions) and certain legislation (e.g. the Matrimonial Causes Law), prescribe that foreign marriages must be recognised as valid in the Cayman Islands if they are valid in the country where they were celebrated. There are exceptions to this (such as if the marriage is bigamous), but there is no prohibition as regards recognising valid foreign same-sex marriages. The legal principles as to recognising foreign marriages apply to ALL foreign marriages because the Constitution prohibits unequal treatment on any grounds, including sexual orientation/gender. This is not defecating on your Constitution, as you suggest. Rather it is upholding your Constitution. If you don’t like that, then try to change it to permit discrimination.

        • Ted says:

          The Cayman Islands Constitution is contradictory!

      • Anonymous says:

        And that’s what happens when amateur politicians are allowed to form law . How many more times do you need to be shown that your legislature is incompetent and impotent?

      • Anonymous says:

        Regarding posting at 5:18 am, 25/07, here is the link to the matter referred to — that the ECHR confirms that there is no constitutional right to same sex marriage:

        http://eclj.org/Releases/Read.aspx?GUID=70fd9433-d3ac-46db-944d-6aaee71041a3&s=eur

        The effect is that a signatory state cannot be coerced by the European Convention into having same sex marriage laws.

        • Anonymous says:

          And how is this decision coercing Cayman to have same sex marriage law?

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s a start, that’s the point. One foot in the door then the other eventually gets through too.

          • M McLaughlin says:

            It is as people are trampling on our constitution the highest law of the land. It not about discriminating against gays, it’s about Cayman not allowing its laws to be interpreted out of context to suit a few. We have to stand our ground on this.

          • Anonymous says:

            9:11 — a little silly a question — here is what happened : the ECHR confirmed that there was no right to gay marriage under the European Convention, and referred the party bringing the case back to the laws of his own country — in this case, France.

            The intention of the case was to coerce the French court and government to recognise the right of the plaintiff in his own country to gay marriage.

            This holds implications for how an appeal traveling up from Cayman from the courts and the government here to recognize gay marriage under our laws, as a basic human right, would fare.

            Quite an interesting development. You can follow the link.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is a distinction here that some people seem to be missing between whether a country is required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and whether the laws of a country can discriminate against same-sex couples. These are two different things.

      • Anonymous says:

        The framers were not a united on their views about marriage when drafting the Constitution, and they absolutely drafted Article 14 as a compromise. They included a reference to marriage as being between a man and a woman, without actually making it a definitional requirement of the law, leaving room to make future changes without requiring a Constitutional amendment.

        Compare the language of Cayman’s Constitution, for example, to the text of the much more explicit constitutional restrictions on the definitions of marriage that some U.S. states tried to enact. The drafters of Cayman’s Constitution could have used much more restrictive language, but they didn’t. To think that was anything other than intentional is myopic.

        To be clear, the Marriage Law (as opposed to the Constitution) currently defines “marriage” as “the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife” for purposes of determining who can get married *in the Cayman Islands*. The IAT’s ruling doesn’t change that definition. It merely extends recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions for purposes of Cayman’s immigration laws.

        But to say that the IAT’s ruling contravenes the Caymanian Constitution and thus need not be followed (as the prior poster did) is simply incorrect.

        • Anonymous says:

          Spot on! Thanks for explaining it so clearly.

        • Anonymous says:

          to 25/07, at 9:03 am: I simply do not buy your implication that same sex marriage was in the minds of the drafters of the Constitutional drafters — THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON AND ACCEPTANCE OF THAT ISSUE AMONG THE POPULACE. That issue was never raised. There is no public record to that effect — no newspaper reports, Legislative Assebly debates. Fortunately the process of drafting the Constitution and amendments has always been very public and based on wide public discussion. It was not arrived at in secret by a minority of individuals who had their own agenda.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m not suggesting that there was a secret plot to write a loophole permitting same-sex marriage into the Caymanian Constitution. What I’m saying is that there was a difference of opinion amongst Constitutional drafters, as well as amongst the populace, on these issues and that the final language of the Constitution reflects a compromise between both sides of that debate.

            While many individuals were opposed to same-sex marriage in any form and wanted the Constitution to explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage, not everyone was in favor of writing discrimination into Cayman’s Constitution. While some voices in the debate were louder than others, there absolutely was disagreement. The fact that there was public dialogue on the issue confirms this fact — people don’t debate issues on which they agree.

            As a result of this disagreement, the language of the Constitution was carefully drafted to strike a balance. In fact, the Reporter confirmed this in an article on July 31 of last year, reporting that “A Caymanian community activist who was involved in the constitutional reform process and negotiations, but who prefers not to be named, told the Cayman Reporter that the wording chosen to define what a ‘marriage’ is in the Cayman Islands was very carefully framed, and purposely so.”

            Ultimately, the text of the Constitution made concessions to both sides of the debate. The text reaffirms opposite-sex marriage by explicitly granting opposite-sex couples the right to marry in Article 14(1). At the same time, Article 14(3) was intentionally included to allow the bodies responsible for writing and interpreting Cayman’s laws to “regulate… the procedures and modalities of marriage” and to “protect the rights and freedoms of others” without those rules or interpretations being held to be in Contravention of the explicit grant of marriage rights to opposite-sex couples in Article 14(1).

            The language in Article 14(3) is broad enough to allow Cayman’s authorities to write, amend or interpret laws that would provide for same-sex marriages, civil unions or other legal recognitions of same-sex couples, without those laws being held to violate the Constitution. For the record, the language in Article 14(3) is also what lets Cayman’s law-making and law-interpreting bodies to place reasonable restrictions on the rights of opposite-sex couples to get married — for example, restrictions on polygamous marriages, which might be said to be reasonably necessary to “protect the rights and freedoms” of individuals who might otherwise be unduly pressured into polygamy.

            Part of the broader compromise reflected in the language of Article 14 of the Constitution was a separate revision to the Marriage Law enacted around the same time, which added an explicit definition of marriage as “the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife.” Together, the changes to the Constitution and the Marriage Law allowed conservatives to proclaim that they had “won” and memorialized “traditional” marriage in Cayman’s laws.

            But, the Constitution and the Marriage Law are two different things. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, while the Marriage Law (and its explicit definition of “marriage”) applies only to those matters governed by the Marriage Law (e.g., the procedures for establishing who can be married in the Cayman Islands). The IAT’s ruling violates neither.

            Because the Marriage Law does not extend to immigration matters, the IAT’s ruling does not violate the explicit definition of “marriage” in the Marriage Law. Because the Caymanian Constitution does not contain an explicit definition of “marriage” and because the exercise of the IAT’s authority to interpret immigration laws cannot by virtue of Article 14(3) be said to violate Article 14(1), the IAT’s decision doesn’t violate the Constitution either.

            In fact, the IAT’s ruling upholds the Constitution, in that it prevents Cayman’s laws from being applied in a discriminatory manner, which would violate the non-discrimination requirements contained in Article 16.

            • Anonymous says:

              To 26/7, 12:49 pm : I was not implying or inferring a “secret plot” either — what I was trying to say was that regardless of how you parse the language of the constitution, there is no evidence from the times that the framers were not “United” and so felt a need to reflect “compromise” in their language. I did get that you are clearly trying to make the case that there was a difference of opinion among drafters.

              The intention of Underscoring constitutional drafting not being “secret” was merely to say that how you determine what was in the minds of the drafters is to look at the public discourse at the time. There is simply no evidence in what is always a very public consultative exercise that a divergence among framers on same sex marriage was driving the parsing of the language. And, by the way, that is not surprising — those were very different times. No one even forty years ago even imagined that Cayman today would be engaged in this very public debate of same sex marriage. It was a non-issue then, and that is easily deduced from examining all the reports from the process — newspaper reports on public meetings, editorial commentaries, and LA Hansards. This would have been way too sensitive a subject to have been missed in records. And, by the way, I lived through that process.

              So say what you want, but do not try to suggest that the framers deliberately left a loophole.

              In the absence of the presence of any evidence, the “loophole” as you put it, if it does exist other than in your mind, could only have been there because, in fact, of said secret rogue plot. Which I don’t actually believe, but if it is, it would only have been engineered by an external so-called “expert”, with their hidden agenda, that the authorities that be inevitably bring in. It would have had nothing to do with the prevailing will and intention of the people, which is what a constitution is supposed to reflect.

              In that far-fetched scenario, it would be neither here nor there to argue that there is a constitutional basis for same sex marriage.

              Please, the framers would be turning over in their graves.

              • Anonymous says:

                I think we are talking about two very different sets of framers here.

                To be clear, Article 14 of the Constitution was written in *2009* as part of the Constitutional Modernisation process, not more than forty years ago. I lived through that process myself, and I can tell you that there was MUCH lively and public debate about same-sex marriage during this time. The debate, and the compromises that were made in drafting the Constitution, are, in fact, well-documented in the public record.

                The framers of the modern Constitution included the members of the Human Rights Committee, who were specifically tasked with addressing the fundamental rights that the Constitution should include and were directly involved in the drafting and formal negotiations with respect to the modern Constitution.

                In their publication “The 2008 Constitutional Modernisation Proposals and their Human Rights Implications” (7 April 2008), the HRC suggested that the Constitution should be worded to state that “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right”, and went on to comment that, “if the principle of equality is to be recognized, the HRC advocates that there should not be discrimination against other types of legal union, which may eventually be recognized in Cayman law. Accordingly, any civil rights to be granted to the parties of any form of legal union will remain a matter for the legislators, provided these are not discriminatory. The HRC recognises that the right to marry can be defined under domestic law; but it would be a matter for each individual religion as to which marriage ceremony it chooses to sanction or perform.”

                From the beginning of the Constitutional Modernisation process, the HRC advocated for the marriage right to be broad, but to be a matter for the ordinary laws, not the Constitution.

                In connection with the the First Formal Negotiations on a New Cayman Islands Constitution, the HRC issued comments on the 2008 Constitutional Modernisation Proposals (29 September 2008), in which they outlined the following two specific proposals:

                “9. Upholding the basic principles of equality, the Constitution should not seek to discriminate against any person or group on any basis, including sexual orientation. Human rights are based on the notion that all human beings have dignity and value. Accordingly, rights should be secured without discrimination.

                10. In relation to the right to marry, if the principle of equality is to be recognized, the HRC takes the view that there should not be discrimination against other types of legal union, which may eventually be recognized in Cayman law. Any civil rights (such as healthcare benefits, inheritance) to be granted to any form of legal union to be recognised under Cayman law will remain a matter for the legislature, but should not be discriminatory.”

                Ms. Melanie McLaughlin reiterated these proposals, nearly verbatim, in her address to the UK delegation on that same day.

                In reflecting on the Constitutional Modernisation process during the third round of Formal Negotiations, Ms. Sara Collins told the UK delegation: “It’s helpful also to consider the background to this process, because we also have made compromises, and we made these compromises designed specifically to address, we hoped, the concerns of the churches associations, which were to ensure that no right to marry would be conferred on gays and lesbians and to ensure that no rights would be applied horizontally. For those reasons, those matters are dealt with specifically and comprehensively in the constitution. Those concerns have been addressed. They do not remain and there is therefore no remaining concern to which anyone can point which suggests that this further compromise is necessary or reasonable.”

                Transcripts of both these Formal Negotiations are available on the governments’ website. History simply does not reflect unanimity on this issue. What it reflects is a series of compromises designed to appease both sides.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Praise the Lord. Amen.

  10. anonymous says:

    Satire in Mark Twain’s letters from Earth(from letter viii):
    “Man is without any doubt the most interesting fool there is. Also the most eccentric. He hasn’t a single written law, in his Bible or out of it, which has any but just one purpose and intention — to limit or defeat the law of God. — let us consider these curiosities…..
    ..
    Temperament (Disposition)
    Take two extremes of temperament — the goat and the tortoise.
    Neither of these creatures makes its own temperament, but is born with it, like man, and can no more change it than can man.
    Temperament is the law of God written in the heart of every creature by God’s own hand, and must be obeyed, and will be obeyed in spite of all restricting or forbidding statutes, let them emanate whence they may.
    Very well, lust is the dominant feature of the goat’s temperament, the law of God is in its heart, and it must obey it and will obey it the whole day long in the rutting season, without stopping to eat or drink. If the Bible said to the goat, “Thou shalt not fornicate, thou shalt not commit adultery,” even Man — sap-headed man — would recognize the foolishness of the prohibition, and would grant that the goat ought not to be punished for obeying the law of his Maker. Yet he thinks it right and just that man should be put under the prohibition. All men. All alike.”…… “It allows no distinction between goat and tortoise — the excitable goat, the emotional goat, that has to have some adultery every day or fade and die; and the tortoise, that cold calm puritan, that takes a treat only once in two years and then goes to sleep in the midst of it and doesn’t wake up for sixty days.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congrats!!!! The decision made had been done in the sake of equality and within the law. However, I trust that the result will be the same when the situation involves a Caymanian and a Non-Caymanian of lesser social status.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. No wonder some quarters fought so hard against a bill of rights. They wanted to continue discriminating and imposing religious norms on a cosmopolitan society that, to borrow from Jon Stewart, THEY DON’T OWN. The sweetest part of this is that they will all grow old watching the world abandon their intolerance and be better for it. Maybe they will die at peace. But we’ll have the society we want either way.

  13. George Ebanks says:

    When viewed against the Marriage Law (and its underlying definition of “marriage”; this particular decision by the IAT would be equated (if done in the USA by the Supreme Court); as being “activist” and “making law”.
    This matter requires urgent action by our own Parliament to rectify!

  14. Beaumont says:

    It’s about time; equal rights for all under the law. Nothing more.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Anthony Eden must be having a cow. Actually nearly all MLA’s LOL
    Thanks IAT, Mr. Premier and Minister Panton for supporting Human Rights…And helping our Cayman Islands towards the 21st century.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh, God no!! Next thing you know there will be gay accountants, gay bankers, gay bar staff. This thing is catching, like zika.

    Thank Heaven there are no gay Caymanians.

  17. Donkey caymanian says:

    Dat wha ua get!!! Stupid immigration policies.

    Now some one need to address the policy were expats can’t hire Jamaicans as domestic helpers!!!

  18. Unison says:

    O well … now let’s say I am a Muslim who follow Abrahamic traditions, and so I legally married 3 wives. You know 3 for the moon, sun, and myself…

    Just what can I do to have them with me? In Raznovich words, this is a matter of “love and equality” prevailing. :/

    • Anonymous says:

      The laws here already prohibit the recognition polygamous marriage, so that isn’t going to happen.

    • anonymous says:

      Load of Hobnob 8:42.

      Think about it….Cayman is not the first nor the only country allowing this.

      Can Muslims have three wives on their papers whilst working in the US or UK where same sex union and marriage is legal?

      In Muslim countries same sex unions are not allowed under any circumstance from what I am made to understand. If its change I am not aware.

      Far as I recall a woman cannot even frequent the same places men do, or drive nor have sex before marriage, they are beaten and killed by family members in some countries.

      Your argument does not compare.

      About time Cayman stopped discriminating.

      Great job IAT, Premiere Alden and Minister Panton!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully now they will contribute to being positive models in the community and get involved in volunteering like visiting the old people’s homes, reading to our young etc. There’s a lot to be done positively as we try to move from negative.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Awesome news! Now immigration will be flooded with more applications with this same request. I have had my best friend rolled over but now we have decided to be a gay couple, marrying in California, and then back live in Cayman. Yeepie!

    • Anonymous says:

      You both have to be legally married in your respective countries, so if you’re Caymanian, how are you going to do that?

    • Anonymous says:

      8:18 you are so delusional.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except this is whats called a “marriage of convenience”, which is illegal in most places (including Cayman). You cannot marry someone simply to contravene other laws. That’s called marriage fraud and is criminal.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Congrats. Let’s not allow biblical law to determine how we live.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I respect the courage these men show in fighting for what is right. The bible thumpers pretend they know the will of God on this issue but they are sorely mistaken.

  23. Anonymous says:

    OMG Anthony Eden is going to have a stroke!!! Take that holy than thou people!!!!
    One Law in the Cayman Islands that was enforced!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    hahahahahah…….take that caymankind!!!!

  25. M McLaughlin says:

    Our constitution says the following about Marriage, remember this is the law of our land that supersedes all.

    Quote

    Marriage
    14.—(1) Government shall respect the right of every unmarried man and woman of
    marriageable age (as determined by law) freely to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family.
    (2) No person shall be compelled to marry without his or her free and full consent.
    (3) Nothing in any law or done under its authority shall be held to contravene subsection (1) to
    the extent that the law makes provision that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society—
    (a) in the interests of public order, public morality or public health;
    (b) for regulating, in the public interest, the procedures and modalities of marriage; or
    (c) for protecting the rights and freedoms of others.
    (4) Spouses shall be entitled to equal rights and shall be subject to equal responsibilities as between themselves and as regards their children both during and after marriage, but this equality of rights and responsibilities shall be subject to such arrangements or measures as may be agreed, or as may be ordered by a court, in the interests of their children.

    Unqote

    Ok if by definition marriage is between the “opposite sex” then the attorney general has to do his job and challenge the IAP as they clearly acted outside our constitution when making this decision.

    We can not be compelled to accept this decision as it stands.

    Finally, for the record I have no issues against LGBTQ. I have a issue when some appointed arbitrators in Immigration believe they can overide our constitution for the self serving reasons of a few.

    Change the constitution if necessary but dont squat on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a common misreading and misunderstanding of the text of the Constitution.

      14(1) of the Constitution merely says that the Government shall respect the right of opposite sex persons to get married. It does not say that the Government shall not respect the right of same-sex persons to get married.

      In fact, Article 14(3) allows the Government to make reasonably justifiable laws that regulate the procedures and modalities of marriage and that protect the rights and freedoms of others, and prevents such laws from being held to be in contravention of 14(1).

      Nothing in Article 14 defines marriage or spouse as between opposite sex persons.

    • Benjy says:

      Noe: “freely to marry a person of the opposite sex” implies if the couple wishes to marry. However, the difference is related to those that are ALREADY married – whether under Caymanian law or not. Cayman will eventually realize what century of human rights were in and it’s not the 18th.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought that provision was there to preserve the fundamental right to in-breed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman law means didly s### when it directly crosses accepted human rights law. We don’t care what your playtime politicians have come up, the fact is the law discriminates and it is being put right.
      This isn’t something that Cayman can do anything about until it goes independent, even then, the pressure from other governments to accept it would be huge. If you have any ideas about making your own way in the world, then you need to join the rest of the civilised planet and become a tolerant and loving country. Not a place eating itself up with hate, envy and bigotry.
      Surely 30k+ people can get their heads around that?
      But I suppose you’ve got to be good at something.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on the win guys we got a long road ahead of us “s.King “

  28. Anonymous says:

    Amen. Praise the Lord. About time Cayman starts getting with the program. Still a long way to go for full same-sex rights to be recognized in Cayman. Hopefully, Cayman can play catch up before the lawsuits come in against the government. My sincerest congratulations to the two lawyers.

  29. Biblical Scholar says:

    Outstanding. Progress finally being made.

  30. Revelations 3:45 says:

    So how are you a spouse if the marriage between the same sex couple isn’t recognized in the Cayman Islands?

    • anonymous says:

      8:04…think it is more that they will now recognize and allow the partner (spouse) of the person who reside here.

      Or is here in Cayman on a work permit, to live here as a dependent of a person. Once they are legally married elsewhere.

  31. Anonymous says:

    By 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be about 200 posts on this matter, most of them lecturing us again on that mythological document called the bible which contradicts itself so often it allows people of limited intelligence to pick and choose whichever parts of it they want to support their case.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Great decision.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations!!!

  34. Shibli says:

    As a straight person, this is great news to see that we’ve progressed forward past unnecessary ridicule towards other human beings.

    • David Shibli says:

      This is a poster going by the name of Shibli. To remove any doubt and as the original David Shibli, I would agree with the poster that we do not “ridicule” other human beings.
      If the poster wishes to clarify his/her position, then please do so with an additional name that clearly identifies who you are.
      Respectfully,

      David Shibli

  35. Anonymous says:

    Finally mr eden can concentrate on more important issues like crime.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Good decision. Small steps. Now this couple can put this behind them and get on with their lives.

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