15th April 2010: In its latest report, a leading UK charity for lesbian and gay asylum seekers has brought to the fore disproportionate levels of rejection for homosexual applicants.
The study of 50 Home Office reason for refusal letters issued from 2005 to 2009 to claimants from 19 different countries claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual identity was conducted by the `UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group’.
The charity promotes equality and dignity by supporting lesbians and gays seeking asylum in the UK
After looking at the decisions of UK Border Agency at interview stage, the group found that although refusal at this stage was high for all asylum applicants, it was much higher for lesbian and gay applicants
In fact, the refusal rate hovered around 73 per cent in 2009, while the refusal of lesbian and gay applicants between 2004 and 2009 was between 98 and 99 per cent.
The group was of the view lesbian and gay asylum seekers already experiencing persecution could face discrimination in the own country.
The report comes at a time when gay refugees from Africa have found a supporter in Tory leader David Cameron. He is not averse to the idea of granting them asylum in the UK.
Gays are often sent back to countries with homophobic regimes and advised to keep their sexuality a secret to prevent attack from local police.
But in an interview with gay magazine Attitude at a time when political parties are gearing up for general elections, Cameron has suggested the rules should be changed to protect homosexuals fleeing maltreatment and harassment.
The Tory leader insisted homosexuals should be allowed to stay in Britain, if there was a possibility of their lives being put to danger upon return.
Cameron asserted he would take that extra step to stop rappers from crooning songs with homophobic lyrics in Britain; and insisted rappers inciting violence against gays through their songs too should be banned.
The Tory leader further insisted he would compel faith schools to preach there was nothing wrong with being gay. Cameron said he was not in favour of having a legislation to protect homosexuals, but called for lifting the ban on gays giving blood.
Cameron said he now thought they could look gay people in the eye and say you can back `us’ as `we’ support gay equality