Thursday, July 8, 2010

UK Supreme Court Judge says homosexual asylum seekers should be allowed to stay because 'gays must be free to enjoy Kylie concerts and cocktails'

Gay asylum seekers must be 'free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts and drinking exotically coloured cocktails' without fear of persecution, a senior judge declared yesterday.

Lord Rodger's extraordinary comments came in a judgment which could allow thousands of homosexuals to claim asylum in Britain.

He said they should have the same rights to display their sexuality as straight men who 'play rugby, drink beer and talk about girls with their mates'.

The Home Office has been refusing asylum claims by gay men on the grounds they could hide their sexuality - and therefore avoid persecution at home - by behaving discreetly.

But, in test cases brought by men from Cameroon and Iran, three Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled the policy was a breach of the UN Convention on Refugees.

It sets the precedent that no gay man should be returned to a country which treats homosexuality harshly on the expectation they will 'act straight'.

Lord Rodger, one of the most senior judges in Britain, said gay men had a right to 'live openly and freely'.

The Government - which had already promised to review its treatment of homosexual asylum seekers - welcomed the ruling, as did gay rights and refugee groups.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'We have already promised to stop the removal of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.

'I do not believe it is acceptable to send people home and expect them to hide their sexuality to avoid persecution.'

But critics warned it could lead to the UK - which is among the first nations to take such a position - becoming a leading destination for asylum seekers who are claiming to be gay.

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