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LGBT rights activist faces deportation from the Cayman Islands

Joe Williams September 7, 2015

A law lecturer who gave was sacked after giving a series of free LGBT lectures on the Cayman Islands is facing deportation.

Dr Leonardo Raznovich previously helped organise a series of free public lectures in the Cayman Islands last January, titled: ‘Misogyny and Homophobia: What is the Cayman Islands doing to promote gender and LGBT equality?’

However, Dr Raznovich is now facing deportation – since an application filed by his partner, Dr James Reeve, to add Dr Raznovich as his spouse to his work permit has been rejected by the Immigration Authority.

As Dr Raznovich is now unemployed, he cannot remain on the Cayman Islands as his work permit is void – unless he is married to a citizen of the island, or another work permit holder.

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.

Due to this lack of legal recognition and protection, Dr Raznovich and his partner Dr James Reeve now face separation, as they have no legal rights and cannot remain on the island as a married couple.

Earlier this year, students in the Cayman Islands – supported by the Governor and Premier – hosted a series of debates, opening up a dialogue about LGBT rights in the Cayman Island. The debates came in the form of a number of free public lectures, to address the lack of representation of LGBT people in their society.

The lectures were organised by the Student Society of the Truman Bodden Law School – however, Dr Raznovich, was later sacked for his ongoing support of LGBT equality.

Catch Dr Raznovich giving a Tedx Talk on the subject on LGBT rights below.

More: cayman islands, LGBT rights, UK

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