A petition submitted by local LGBT advocacy group Colours Cayman earlier this year has been declared admissible by the European Union Parliament. The petition seeks the EU to require the UK government to rectify its non-compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights in regards to LGBT rights in the overseas territories as a prerequisite to post-Brexit trade negotiations.
The UK’s June 2016 decision to leave the European Union sent shock waves throughout the international community.
Cayman Colours says one Brexit ripple effect in particular, namely the potential exit of the UK from the European Convention of Human Rights, could spell a bleak future for LGBT rights in Cayman.
In May of this year, Colours Cayman petitioned the EU parliament to impose human rights pre-conditions on future UK trade agreement negotiations.
“The EU is looking into imposing human rights conditions to the UK, one of which is what Colours Cayman is asking, that the UK makes sure that it is fully compliant with the European Convention of Human Rights in all of its territories including the overseas territories, including the Cayman Islands.
LGBT activist Leonardo Raznovich said despite strong rhetoric from a vocal minority of so-called Brexiteers, the UK will need to strike a trade deal with the union it’s leaving.
“The UK have smart people who are going to remain trading with the EU bloc, and therefore human rights will therefore be an important aspect of it,” said Mr. Raznovich.
Meanwhile, Mr. Raznovich – who successfully fought to be recognised as a dependent on his same-sex spouse’s work permit – said by not extending the legal precedent set in his case to Caymanians, the country is on the wrong side of international law.
“They are basically digging their own graves in that because any Caymanian same-sex couple has the right to go to court, and get a declaratory judgement from the Grand Court, and I bet you the Attorney General would not oppose such a declaration because there is no legal ground for that,” said Mr. Raznovich.
He told Cayman 27 the European Court of Human Rights decision put it clearly: where there is no legal framework for same-sex couples, there can be no denial of immigration rights for bi-national couples.
“I actually encourage gay couples, lesbian couples, they don’t even require to be married, go to the Grand Court, request a declaratory judgment because you have the right to reside in the Cayman Islands,” said Mr. Raznovich.
Cayman 27 reached out to the Premier, the Attorney General, and the acting Chief Immigration Officer for their comments and are awaiting a response.