MLAs push AG to deport gay lawyer

| 24/11/2019 | 194 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dr Leonardo Raznovich

(CNS): Several members of the Legislative Assembly, led by Anthony Eden (SAV), who has made a number of homophobic statements in the past, were pushing the attorney general on Friday to deport Dr Leo Raznovich, who is a legal resident in the Cayman Islands.

The members questioned why he was still in Cayman and made unsubstantiated allegations about the lawyer that he was causing pain to people here by advocating for gay rights and that he had no right to criticise the recent appeal court decision.

Raznovich, who was a professor at the Truman Bodden Law School, is a human rights specialists, and advocating for the LGBT community is one of his jobs as a senior research fellow at the Intersectional Centre for Inclusion and Social Justice.

Eden said that Raznovich should not be allowed to criticise the traditions of this country on the international stage, and along with Ezzard Miller called for the attorney general to have him deported. While Raznovich no longer works at the law school, he is a legal dependent of his husband, who is a lawyer at Maples.

But the MLAs all criticised Raznovich’s outspoken support for the LGBT community in Cayman and his appearance in court at the lawyers’ table with Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, the couple who have been fighting for recognition of their relationship and right to a family life here for some four years.

In addition to offering pro bono assistance on that case, Raznovich has supported and provided advice for free to Colours Cayman, the only LGBT organisation that represents the community in Cayman and fights for its rights.

As lawmakers began examining the money allocated to the Attorney General’s Chambers in the 2020/21 budget, they asked AG Samuel Bulgin to update them on the Day and Bodden case. The attorney general explained that they are currently discussing costs because government is trying to make the couple pay its costs, even though the court found that the government has been breaching several of their human rights.

Bulgin said he did not yet know if Day and Bodden were planning on taking the case to the Privy Council and he would await instructions from government if they did. But during the discussion about the case, Opposition Leader Arden McLean began implying that foreigners who oppose the court’s decision should not be allowed to speak.

Shortly afterwards, Eden said that same-sex marriage was not a human right, and yet every time he turned around “this individual” was abusing his place here. He accused Raznovich of “inflicting so much pain on so many of our people in Cayman” and asked, “Why are they rubbing dirt in our face?” He again claimed that no gay people who had chosen this lifestyle had ever been injured or harassed, as he again perpetrated the myth of a foreign agenda by the LGBT community.

Eden told the attorney general to talk to him about how he was still here and “bad mouthing people”. He also attacked Governor Martyn Roper, who had supported the chief justice’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage (which had been appealed by the government).

Miller asked the attorney general whether the border control law allows Cabinet to deport someone if they don’t like what they are doing. He then asked Bulgin to discuss the matter with Cabinet or the wider public to write in and ask for deportation of anyone they feel is abusing their place here.

However, Premier Alden McLaughlin again warned members that the Legislative Assembly must deal with the court’s direction to create a legal framework to recognise same-sex unions that would afford those couples the same legal rights as marriage. He said that if the legislature does not deal with the issue promptly in the New Year, he had no doubt that if the UK had to step in, it would not just impose civil unions or partnerships, but same-sex marriage.

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Category: Politics

Comments (194)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We need to stop pretending Cayman is for everyone who wants to come and live here. When I go to a country and I don’t like their values, morals etc I move on, because when in Rome you should do as the Romans do.

    This is a fundamental problem we now have in the society that is not restricted only to the topic of gay rights. We didn’t ask a lot of people who come here to come in the first instance, so why are they trying to change our way of life to suit what they are used to back home.

    The uniqueness of Cayman is what brought people here in the first place. We see now for example rampant construction on Sundays even next to churches – this was unheard of before.

    Our leaders need to stop such madness and put in place policies to properly orient people who come here to work so that they can appreciate our culture and value systems we have enjoyed for centuries.
    Otherwise all will soon be lost in the quest for greed.
    How much is enough??

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are more comments here expressing hatred for religious people than any thing else. I don’t see not one hate comment directed at gay people. Thank God for Cayman Islands. Anywhere else these handful of cns trolls wouldn’t be this free to spew their hatred, hiding behind the keyboard.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People write this drivel in the name of the Lord? The Lord I love cares for all his people, all creatures great and small. All, you hear? What do you want to do, give all gay people yellow badges to wear?? Somebody did that in Germany once, to Jews, gays, gipsies, political opponents. Did not end well for anyone. Those people were called Nazis. That’s what you are, essentially, you want to silence people opinions and right to live. What kind of lynch mob society do you want to live in? All you old fogies like Eden are dying, so do us all a favour and hurry up so we can spread the love of the good Lord as he intended and not the hatred you turned it into all on your little minded own.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is so awful for elected officials to do! OMG! Is this a joke?! They are inciting potential danger to this man and openly disregarding his humanity simply because he has a different view?! What about all the Caymanians that are gay and see his voice as a ray of sunshine for equality?! I am floored by this level of vitriol.

  5. Anonymous says:

    William Somerset Maugham “Rain”. I don’t recall a better story that demonstrates exactly what 3:16 am said. You can listen to it on YouTube.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Christians are the most hateful people. Except, THOSE ones aren’t Christian, because hating someone because of their sexuality is not the Christianity I know! God said don’t judge, leave that to him.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the comment above

      With all of these hypocrites around, remember this. Christians have been only bullies to me. The church had only fed me hatred growing up. The ones who practise love were those I knew who were non religious. Now I left the church and abandoned that hate. Now, if you wish to prove my own personal experience wrong, you have a chance. Otherwise, leave it be, because if there is a God, then he is not present here.


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