Friday, 5 March 2010

Tell DHS to Recognize Sexual Orientation as Grounds for Asylum

Seal of the United States Department of Homela...Image via Wikipedia

Targeting: Elliott Williams (Director, Congressional Relations and GAO/OIG Audit Liaison Office) and Janet Napolitano (Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security)

In December, the Department of Homeland Security noted an increase in asylum requests based on gender and sexual orientation.

Proving that membership in a certain social group causes an asylum seeker fear of persecution back home can be grounds for granting asylum. DHS revised its guidelines to state that "gender can be a basis for membership in a certain social group."

However, DHS makes no statement on sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving queer asylum seekers out to dry. This despite Uganda's "kill the gays" bill, homosexuality being illegal in 80 countries, teenage men facing execution in Iran for sodomy, " sexual orientation as grounds for an "honor killing" in Turkey, and South Africa's epidemic of "corrective rape" against lesbians.

Tell the Department of Homeland Security to recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as a basis for membership in a social group that can be grounds for asylum.

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