Cayman Islands anti-gay laws to be challenged in court

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A gay lecturer who faces deportation from the Cayman Islands aims to challenge the territory’s anti-gay legislation in court.

Leonardo Raznovich recently lost his job lecturing law at the Truman Bodden Law School in The Cayman Islands.

He believes this was because of his participation in a series of lectures aimed at tackling LGBT rights in the Caymans that took place in January – and drew criticism from some lawmakers in the country.

Now unemployed, the educator is no longer allowed to remain on the island on a working permit.

However, his husband can – meaning that if the Caymans recognised the legal status of same-sex marriage, then he could stay.

Raznovich now hopes an earlier European Court of Human Rights verdict in Italy – which found legal recognition of same-sex relationships to be a fundamental human right – will help force the government to allow him to stay in the country on his husband’s work visa.

“We are very happy living here, so we are going to take this as far as it’s needed because we know the law is on our side,” he told Cayman 27.

“There’s no doubt about this. The law is on our side from whichever angle you want to see it.

“We’re going to take it all the way that is needed until we get a formal seal of approval to us living here as a family unit.”

Raznovich has been given two weeks to remain in the country, as he prepares to begin the legal process of challenging the law.

Despite the Cayman Islands being a British Overseas Territory – meaning residents in many ways are treated as British, including passports, access to the UK and EU – the territory does not have many of the protections for LGBT people.

Some issues faced by LGBT people in the Cayman Islands – whether visiting or living there – include a lack of discrimination protections, no legal recognition of relationships, with gay cruise ships often being picketed when they dock.