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Monday, 19 October 2009

Scottish National Party passes resolution supporting LGBT asylum

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The UK Government was accused 18 October by the Scottish National Party (SNP) of turning a blind eye to the “persecution” of asylum-seeking lesbians and gays in their home countries.

The party’s conference in Inverness passed a resolution criticising the Government for sending back lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers to countries where they faced harsh laws or execution.

The resolution criticised an “unresponsive UK Government that has consistently turned a blind eye to homophobic persecution abroad”.

Delegate Anne McLaughlin, SNP MSP for Glasgow region, told the conference decisions on asylum-seekers were taken without regard to the treatment they would receive in their home countries - which could include jail or execution.

“We are not talking here about people having the right to have sex in the street, for goodness sake,” she said.

“We are just talking about them having the right to say ‘This is who I am’.”

She went on: “But how do you get there if because of your sexuality you are forced to live a life where your government requires you to hide behind closed doors, and this British Government backs them up by sending you back.”

And delegate Esther Sassasman told the conference: “When we pass this motion we are making a statement to the world that Scotland is a land of hope, promise and opportunity.

“Even though I am a respectable married lady, I am indeed a bisexual person.

“We are everywhere - all over the world, in every country, in every walk of life and we should be proud and holding this light up for the future.”

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