• Friday, May 20, 2022


Asylum seeker told he was not ‘effeminate’ enough to be gay

A man seeking asylum in the UK on the grounds of his sexuality was told by an appeal judge that he did not have a gay “demeanour”. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

By: Keerthi Mohan

A MAN who was denied asylum in the UK because he was not “effeminate” enough will have his case retried, his lawyer has said.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was told by an immigration judge that he did not have a gay “demeanour” and did not “look around the room in an effeminate manner.”

The judge went on to add that “on the gay scene younger men are highly valued.”

His barrister Rehana Popal said that the man’s asylum claim is set to be reheard after a judge in the Upper Tribunal found that the original determination contained a “material error of law,” reported The Independent.

“The system has definitely become harsher in recent years. The quality of decision-making has reduced. You come across decisions that are genuinely absurd. You think, how did anyone write this?” she said.

“One that comes up a lot is when they say to gay Muslim men that being gay is unacceptable in Islam, and therefore it’s implausible that they can be gay and Muslim. Or when they say to a woman who was previously in an arranged marriage with a man that she therefore cannot be gay.

“The Home Office do not abide by their own policy guidance. If they followed them we wouldn’t have a problem. But they don’t.”

Leila Zadeh, executive director of the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG), told Free Movement that this was not the first time a judge has made a decision based on stereotypes.

Zadeh said: “There are other determinations that have included comments about how lesbian women have chosen to style their hair and the extent to which gay men are perceived as camp. There are also examples of judges not believing appellants’ sexual orientation because they had not had multiple sexual partners”.

Describing the case as “appalling”, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Ed Davey highlighted that there was a “culture of disbelief” towards LGBT+ asylum seekers in the UK.

Taking to Twitter, Davey wrote on Thursday (15): “@LibDems demand better for LGBT+ asylum seekers. We will end the culture of disbelief and provide sanctuary to people fleeing persecution because of their sexuality or gender identity.”

Eastern Eye

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