The asylum claim of a man from a country where homosexuality is illegal has been rejected by a UK immigration judge - in part, according to the claimant’s lawyer, because her client didn’t have a gay ‘demeanour’.
The judge refused to accept that the man was homosexual, contrasting his appearance with that of a witness who the judge did accept was gay, and who ‘wore lipstick’, had an ‘effeminate’ manner and was a member of a gay-community organisation.
The Guardian reports that the claimant’s barrister, Rehana Popal, said of the judge: “He has taken a stereotype, used it as a benchmark and compared my client to it. That is totally wrong. You do not need to dress a certain way, carry yourself a certain way or look a certain way to be homosexual. The only thing that makes a person gay is if they are attracted to someone of the same gender.”
Ms Popal described the judge’s comments as being like something “from the 16th century”.
Home Office guidance to asylum caseworkers states that they ‘must not stereotype the behaviour or characteristics of gay or bisexual persons’, and that sexual orientation is about a person’s capacity for “profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction”.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The UK has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution. Each case is considered on its individual merits by experienced caseworkers, with all available evidence carefully and sensitively considered in light of published country information.”
Tell us what you think below...
Join our Newsletter today!
Stay-at-home kids have got creative to the benefit of passers-by
The PM has mild symptoms and will remain in charge of the government
A man in his 20s was subjected to verbal abuse and punched in the face
In these unprecedented times it's vital that we all stay isolated and safe
The festival, due to take place in June, has been indefinitely postponed
Pride events around the world have been badly hit by the Covid-19 crisis
Every gay and bi man is not a high-risk donor, says Stonewall
OUTtv's line-up of programmes includes RuPaul's game show, Gay For Play
Drag collective Fantabulosa! is going live at 1pm each day - for free!
It's finally arrived! The UK’s first ever LGBT-dedicated TV channel to launch WednesdayMore
Birmingham Pride postponed until SeptemberMore
Midlands drag queens join forces to live-stream shows into people's homesMore
Expert issues coronavirus sex warning for couples who don't live togetherMore
Gays to blame for coronavirus pandemic says President Trump’s Bible study ministerMore
Gay Birmingham dancer tells of nightmare lockdown with homophobic Christian parentsMore
Grindr killer sentenced to minimum 24 years for teenager’s brutal murderMore