Britain Paves Way for Gay Refugees

Ruling hailed as victory for LGBT rights
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jul 8, 2010 4:54 AM CDT
A gay rights demonstrator outside the Uganda High Commission in London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – Gay refugees have a right to asylum in Britain, a high court has ruled. The decision, which cites "rampant homophobic teaching" in parts of Africa and "the ultra-conservative interpretation of Islamic law" in Iran, will stop those fearing imprisonment, torture or execution from being shipped back to their home countries. "This gives me hope," a Ugandan asylum seeker tells the Guardian. "I feared for my life in Uganda."

Anti-immigration groups worry the move will flood the country with asylum seekers. "Millions of people around the world" could apply, says a rep from Migrationwatch. But the government reps defended the plan, noting that there are strict conditions and that it is simply "not acceptable" to ask people to hide their sexuality to avoid persecution.

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