Cayman Islands Approves Gay Couple’s Marriage In Immigration Battle

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Gay rights activists and allies of both same-sex marriage and love are celebrating a win in the Cayman Islands.

According to the Cayman Compass, a Cayman Islands couple has won the right to have their same-sex marriage, which took place abroad, recognized by the immigration authorities. Paul Pearson and Randall Pinder legally married in Ireland. Developer Pearson then applied to have Pinder acknowledged as a “spouse of permanent residency holder” to help with Pearson’s immigration. Originally, that application was denied by the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board because the Cayman’s Constitution defines marriage as between a man and woman. The couple then took the case to court.


Last week, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal ruled to overturn the board’s earlier decision. The appeals tribunal did so with the understanding that failing to allow the application would be an act of discrimination. The tribunal then ordered that Pinder be granted “spouse of a PR holder” status, which grants him the right to remain on the island with Pearson without a separate work permit. The Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman office was also ordered to pay the couple’s $6,000 legal bill.

“Recognizing opposite-sex foreign marriages and failing to recognize same-sex foreign marriages would be affording different and unjustifiable treatment to different persons on the grounds of sexual orientation,” stated the ruling.

The couple then said in the statement after the ruling, “While it is sad and unnecessary that this fight had to happen, we are extremely grateful that right has prevailed and going forward there should never be a question about the rights of all people in the Cayman Islands to have their love recognised. Love Wins.”

Again, the British territory’s constitution states that marriage is between a man and a woman. In 2019, Cayman Islands Grand Court Chief Justice Anthony Smellie attempted to remove the territory’s same-sex marriage ban, which was a holdover from British colonialism. Unfortunately, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal then overturned the ruling a few months later. To compensate, the territory’s Civil Partnership Law took effect this past September.

Source: Cayman Compass,

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