Same-sex couple wins immigration rights battle

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12/23/2020

A Cayman Islands couple have won the right to have their same-sex marriage recognised by the island’s immigration authorities. Developer Paul Pearson and his partner Randall Pinder, who were legally married in Ireland, applied to have Pinder acknowledged as a ‘spouse of a permanent residency holder’ for immigration purposes. The application was denied by the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board on the grounds that Cayman’s Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. That was overturned by the Immigration Appeals Tribunal in a ruling published this week. The tribunal decided that the original decision was in breach of the couple’s human rights, guaranteed by the Constitution. The ruling notes that failing to allow the application – commonly granted to opposite-sex couples – would have amounted to discrimination. “Recognising opposite-sex foreign marriages and failing to recognise same-sex foreign marriages would be affording different and unjustifiable treatment to different persons on the grounds of sexual orientation,” the ruling states.

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