Brit Court reverses decisions to send gay men back into the closet
By Aaron Hicklin
Britain's Supreme Court announced that a gay men from Cameroon and another from Iran who sought asylum in the UK could stay, overturning the decision of a lower court that they could avoid persecution in their own countries by going back into the closet. One of the men, known as HT, had been attacked by a mob in Cameroon after he was seen kissing a male partner. Lord Hope, who read out the unanimous judgment, said: "To compel a homosexual
person to pretend that his sexuality does not exist or suppress the
behavior by which to manifest itself is to deny his fundamental right
to be who he is." The verdict was welcomed by Britain's new coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat government which reiterated a promise to stop the removal of asylum seekers whose sexual orientation or gender
identification puts them at risk of imprisonment, torture or
execution. A recent report by the LGBT rights group, Stonewall, suggested that between 2005 and 2009, the UK's Home Office had initially
refused 98% of all gay or lesbian asylum claims.
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