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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Obituary: Lord Rodger

By S. Chelvan

I am sure that all lesbian and gay asylum seekers, and those who work with them, wish to convey our condolences with the family of Lord Rodger of Earlsefield.

His passing marks a sad note to what would have been the first anniversary since his lead judgement in the UK Supreme Court case of HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon), which was handed down on the 7th of July.  His guidelines, provide a required template which recognises the fact the lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers have the right to "live openly and freely", just as straight men and women do in their counties of origin.

The fact that the case will be eternally known as the "Kylie concert case" is with reference to his using the example of a gay man's right in the UK to go to a Kylie concert, drink exotically coloured cocktails and speak about boys with their female mates. I laughed with joy at such an illustration of our right to be different and equal.

His was one voice, in a united Supreme Court, which shows how important it is to have an independent, well-informed judiciary, which we can appeal to, to right a historical wrong, for from 2006 onwards, LGBTI asylum seekers were removed to live a life of eternal lies, in what was termed the "reasonably tolerable discretion test".

So I  now, with countless others, raise my glass, to salute Lord Rodger, who celebrated our right to sing with joy and happiness, and not cry out in pain and fear.
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