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Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

Great Britain Rules to Protect Gay Asylum Seekers

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

From theNew York Times:


The British Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the right of gay asylum seekers not to be deported if they could show that they faced persecution in their home countries. The court ruled unanimously in favor of two men -- a Cameroonian who fled his country after being attacked by an angry mob, and an Iranian who was attacked and expelled from school when his sexuality was discovered -- who had lost appeals against deportation in a lower court. The lower court judges had ruled that the men could live "reasonably tolerable" lives in their home countries if they concealed their sexuality. The Supreme Court said that "to compel a homosexual person to pretend" that his sexuality does not exist amounted to denying "his fundamental right to be who he is."


The coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat government embraced the ruling, which reversed the policy of the former Labour government.


According to the Guardian, "Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, said there were 80 UN member countries where consensual homosexual sex was still illegal, including six that imposed the death penalty."  Anti-immigration groups feared that the ruling "could apply to millions of people around the world."  However, (the aptly named) Lord Hope, one of the judges on the panel, stated that the ruling was necessary since anti-gay sentiment had dramatically worsened in some places, fanned by "the rampant homophobic teaching that right-wing evangelical Christian churches indulge in throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa" and "the ultra-conservative interpretation of Islamic law that prevails in Iran."

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