Dr Leonardo Raznovich, a prominent QPer of the first hour, is faced with the possibility of deportation from the Caymans, since an application filed by his 16 year partner, Dr James Reeve with whom he is married and also has a civil partnership, to add Dr Raznovich as his spouse and therefore a ‘dependant’ to his work permit, as any heterosexual married couple may do, has been rejected by the Immigration Authority. The Authority has declined to recognise their marriage or their civil partnership even though last year they recognised a polygamous marriage for the purpose of determining the legitimacy of the couple’s children for inheritance purposes Shiu Pak Nin v HSBC International Trustee Limited (11 February 2014) (1) CILR 173 [para 119].
Despite the Cayman Islands being a British Overseas Territory, meaning Caymanians in many ways are treated as British, including rights to UK passports and free movement to live and work in the UK and EU and to receive welfare benefits, the territory does not have any legal framework in place for the protection of LGBT people.
Earlier this year Dr Leonardo Raznovich helped students of the Truman Bodden law School, a government entity, to organise a series of free public lectures in the Cayman Islands last January about “Misogyny and homophobia: What is the Cayman Islands doing to promote gender and LGBT equality?”
The lectures were a success with the auditorium packed (and Dr Raznovich was asked to repeat his lecture for TED Talks https://youtu.be/zAwVSn5pCfk) but as a consequence of his ongoing support of the LGBT-themed series of lectures, the government did not renew his contract.
LGBT people in the Cayman Islands, whether visiting or living there, face discrimination from private and public authorities and there is no legal framework to protect them.
Dr Raznovich and Dr Reeve are having to fight for the right to remain together on the island at great cost and despite the very clear breaches of their human rights. The Foreign Commonwealth Office of the UK (with jurisdiction over the Cayman Islands) and the Office of the Premier of the Cayman Islands have not issued any statement yet.
UPDATE 10 September 2015: