The asylum claims of LGBT+ people are less likely to be approved by the UK Home Office than the national average, and claims between 2017 and 2018 of people granted asylum based on their sexual orientation fell from 30 per cent to 22 per cent, according to Pink News.
Campaigners for LGBT+ rights have long complained of a ‘culture of disbelief’ in the Home Office’s handling of LGBT+ asylum seekers. Their complaint is that the government is not giving queer people fair and equal treatment, and this has resulted in a decrease in applications being accepted.
There have been many stories over the past few years that support this claim, such as in this investigation by the BBC. One case highlighted by Pink News was of a man who was rejected due to not having a gay ‘demeanour’.
Two sisters, Samina and Nazia Iqbal, very recently had their deportation delayed at the very least after Sky News confronted the Home Office. However, their status remains unclear, and they have been moved to an immigration centre awaiting bail hearings.
Their initial asylum claim was rejected as the judge did not think it ‘credible’ that they were gay. They would face threats to their lives, should they be forced to return to Pakistan.
The Iqbal’s lawyer alluded to this issue in a statement to Sky News. “There is a trend of rejecting applications for asylum for members of the LGBTQ community who originate from South Asia or Africa,” he noted.
“Judges are basing decisions on how a person looks or acts without giving context to a person’s culture and environment and the stigma attached to one’s sexuality in those communities.”
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