The Underground Railroad for Queer Refugees


More help is needed in foreign countries

LGBT people are severely persecuted and still face an uphill battle to gain legal asylum as refugees in many countries. A few victories such as the cases of Mahdi Kazemi and Prossy Kakooza featured on these pages recently seem to be the exception.
Immigration judges many times have revealed a level of insensitivity in their decisions that can only be characterized as homophobic. Added to this is official ignorance by many countries that accepts the bland assurances of foreign governments that no persecution exists. This acceptance is in disregard of countless reports by human rights organizations, videos of executions and hundreds of eyewitness accounts.

Lin Homer, head of the UK Border Agency and in charge of applying England’s border policies, told The Scotsman that “a ban on homosexuality in a home country was not in itself a reason not to deport asylum seekers who fear persecution because they are gay.” Nonetheless, LGBT people with no place else to go continue to find their way to the British Isles.