January 19, 2022

Colours Caribbean to intervene in historic case against the Governor of the Cayman Islands to dismantle Same-Sex Civil Partnerships

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Following our organisation’s application to act as intervenor in the upcoming hearing on 2–3 December 2021 of Kattina Anglin vs. The Governor Of The Cayman Islands, Hon. Justice Richard Williams permitted the intervention of Colours Caribbean, stating, “… I am satisfied that they do have the expertise which will be of assistance to the Court. Colours Caribbean, likely more than any other group in the Cayman Islands, is aware of the potential consequences for those who interests and rights it seeks to represent and protect. Colours Caribbean has also played an active role in the development of relevant legislation by its contributions at the consultative stages.”

We would like to thank our excellent legal team, Alex Potts QC, partner of Conyers; Caroline Edwards, partner of Travers Smith; and Sarah Hannett QC, of Matrix for bolstering our efforts towards achieving marriage equality for the LGBTQIA+ community by ensuring our involvement in this historic case.

See below:

Marriage Equality Matters

GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1 December 2021:

Beginning tomorrow, 2 December 2020 at 9:00AM, in Courtroom 5 and continuing 3 December 2020 at 9:00AM, non-profit organisation Colours Caribbean—represented by Dr Leonardo Raznovich, with Alex Potts QC and Sarah McLennan of Conyers Dill & Pearlman LLP as legal counsel, working pro bono—will be appearing as intervener in the case of Kattina Anglin vs. The Governor Of The Cayman Islands.

Kattina Anglin, with support from the Christian Association For Civics, seeks to abolish the Civil Partnership Law which came into effect last year following the draft of the Domestic Partnership Bill earlier in 2020, which was defeated by the Cayman Islands Parliament (then Legislative Assembly) only to ultimately be passed by Governor Martyn Roper via Section 81 of the Cayman Islands Constitution.

The Civil Partnership Act 2020 and its consequential legislation were instituted only after Colours Caribbean took legal action by threatening the Secretary of State for Justice of the United Kingdom, Dominic Raab. Colours Caribbean argues that “…the [Civil Partnership Act 2020] was enacted against the background of a longstanding failure by the governments and public authorities of both the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom to provide same-sex couples in the Cayman Islands, and their children, with legal protection for their relationships of functional equivalence to marriage, in breach of Section 9 of the Bill Of Rights, and Article 8 of the [European Court Of Human Rights].”

Justice Richard Williams of the Grand Court ruled that the organisation’s involvement “…may well assist the Court’s understanding of the wider impact that the case might have and the interests of justice will be promoted by allowing the wider intervention they seek.” Colours Caribbean is the leading LGBTQIA+ organisation in the Cayman Islands, representing the interests of those who stand to be most affected by these judicial review proceedings, being same-sex couples and their children who have relied on the Civil Partnership Act 2020.

Members of the public, including activists and allies alike with a vested interest in human rights are strongly encouraged to attend the proceedings, particularly those identifying as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

In light of the recent threats to undermine or entirely abolish marriage equality in the British Overseas Territories and the Caribbean as a whole, Colours Caribbean is also conducting an essay contest targeted at teenagers and adolescents aged 13 to 21, with prizes of KYD$1,000 awarded to two successful entrants in two separate age categories. Entrants are encouraged to highlight the importance of the legalisation of same-sex marriage in their respective jurisdictions as well as the Caribbean region as a whole, with a focus on the impact on familial relationships and the youth.

Colours Caribbean wants to thank the invaluable pro bono assistance from UK law firm Travers Smith LLP, Sarah Hannett QC and Katy Sheridan of Matrix Chambers in London.

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