Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lesbian Granted Temporary Reprieve from UK Deportation to Uganda; How "Gay" Someone Needs to Be to Seek Asylum Is Also a U.S. Issue

     Here's an update on my last post.  The BBC reports:
     A Ugandan woman who says she is a lesbian has been granted an injunction temporarily preventing her deportation.  Brenda Namiggade says she fears for her life if she is returned from the UK to Uganda, where gay sex is illegal.  Her initial asylum application had been refused. The Home Office said a court had ruled she was "not homosexual" and therefore did not have a genuine claim....  Ms Namiggade's case will now go to judicial review.
     Ms Namiggade's legal team asked a judge to grant an injunction against her deportation, which was due to take place on Friday evening.  The 29-year-old's lawyer told the BBC his client had already boarded her flight at Heathrow airport when the injunction was granted.  Her lawyer, Abdulrahman Jafar, said he would argue that Ms Namiggade should be allowed to remain in the UK regardless of her sexuality.  "The press coverage about her activities certainly expose her to a real risk if she is to be returned to Uganda," he said.
     Ms Namiggade, who was held at a detention centre just outside London, has told the BBC's Network Africa programme she was "shaking" with fear at the prospect of returning to Uganda.  She said she fled to the UK in 2002 after being beaten and victimised because of her sexuality.
     Before you conclude that the United States treats homosexuals, who seek asylum from their native states where LGBT persons are murdered or imprisoned, any better than the UK, read on.  The New York Times reports:
     Amid international outcry over news of the Czech Republic’s testing the veracity of claims of purportedly gay asylum seekers by attaching genital cuffs to monitor their arousal while they watched pornography, some gay refugees and their advocates in New York are complaining that they can be penalized for not outwardly expressing their sexuality. While asylum-seekers and rights groups here expressed relief that use of the so-called erotic lie detector is impossible to imagine in the United States, some lamented in recent interviews that here too, homosexuals seeking asylum may risk being dismissed as not being gay enough. 
     The very notion of “gay enough,” of course, or proving one’s sexuality through appearance, dress and demeanor, can be offensive — and increasingly androgynous fashions and the social trend known as metrosexuality have blurred identities in many people’s minds.
     “Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.”
     So basically, U.S. policy is if you can pass by lying about who you are and living in the closet, then you should.  So much for equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

1 comments:

FDeF said...

Don't ask, don't tell lives on.