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Wednesday, 7 September 2005

Homosexual? You're out

Source: The Guardian

By Ben Summerskill

News that Peter Mandelson's long-term partner Reinaldo da Silva has taken British citizenship is greeted with predictable disdain by Christian Tory MP Gerald Howarth. Dismissing da Silva as an "escort", Howarth asks why citizenship can't be granted to England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher, a Zimbabwean, instead. Now Howarth's admirers are asking if the answer is that Fletcher is heterosexual.

Anyone quaintly requiring re-assurance that Britain's immigration system is not biased in favour of homosexuals need only study a recent ruling from John Freeman, senior judge at the asylum and immigration tribunal. Deporting a gay man to Iran, where two homosexuals were executed the other day in a public square, Freeman describes him as engaging in "buggery", as having "predilections" and belonging to a "coterie" that made a video showing "unseemly activity" (they were kissing). In defence of his belittling approach, Freeman then queries whether, when it comes to public displays of homosexual affection, the man "has a core right to go in for that sort of thing". He adds: "We cannot claim any knowledge of the ways of homosexuals."

With Freeman on a piffling annual stipend of £125,803, is it any surprise that the lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, can't find the staff?
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