I’ll be that the spineless little toad Little-Willie Hague will not answer the question.
Although knowing Little Willie as we do, I hope that he offers the Iranian teenager a job with the Foreign Office (and one of the terms of the employment is an obligation to share a bedroom with Little Willie when on official business.
Has Hague apologised for his homophobic voting record yet, or explained why he employed somweone so blatantly underqualified for the job; and why said employee was taken on foreign affairs business at taxpayer’s expence even before he was employed.
Perhaps it’s time for Little Willie to give us another description of his wife’s innards to try to stop us asking questions.
I’m always amazed when western leaders praise the “great religion of Islam” claiming it is a peaceful religion. Since when? How many of the worlds islamic leaders have condemned the execution of gays? NOT ONE!
“In June, the coalition government promised that Britain would use its status as a world leader for LGBT rights to lobby other countries to repeal homophobic laws.” Really? Then why haven’t the Tories not supported the homophobic ban on full civil marriage equality in our country? I find it the height of hypocrisy that our government should be attemtping to tell other countries how to behave when it comes to antigay laws yet makes no attempt whatsoever to introduce a bill to end the ban on same-sex marriage which has everything to do with homophobia. Its absolutely astounding!
Over the past decade, the Labour Government has made great progress in dismantling the legal discrimination faced by the gay community. From the equalisation of the age of consent to workplace anti-discrimination legislation Labour’s record on gay rights is a proud one. Unfortunately, the same progress and enlightened leadership has not been shown in extending protection to our oppressed brothers and sisters through the asylum system. Asylum and immigration has always been a highly contentious area of policy for successive British governments. Indeed, until a 1999 House of Lords ruling, persecution due to sexual orientation was not even grounds for being granted refuge in the UK. Today therefore – and forced by the Courts – the Home Office now accepts that if a person does have a well founded – and evidenced – fear of persecution because of their sexual orientation then they can begin to qualify for asylum. However, the Home Office makes it as difficult as possible.
In common with other asylum seekers, the Home Office deploys a ‘robust ‘ approach in determining gay asylum claims. The individual must demonstrate the harm they fear and demonstrate that the fear is justified. Most asylum seekers flee their country without documents, often because their departure is sudden and rushed. Further, accumulation of evidence is often hard to collect and even harder to export. The Home Office issues country-specific guidelines to immigration officers to assist in determining the likelihood of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation in given countries. Whilst there are many countries that publicly persecute gays individuals, the Home Office often fails to acknowledge this real risk in its guidelines. Last year in an infamous case involving an 18 year old asylum seeker from Iran, the Home Office’s own guidance issued to immigration officers conceded that Iran executes homosexual men but, unaccountably, rejected the claim that there is a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians.
Where the Home Office issue guidelines, the Courts held that gay asylum seekers – from Iran, – should be returned to their country of origin. The Court argued that the decision to grant refugee status depended on the social context in which homosexuality was viewed in their home countries, with one of the judges stating that “a degree of respect for social norms and religious beliefs in other states was appropriate.” It was ruled that theapplications for asylum should be denied on the basis that they would not face persecution in Iran if they carried out their lives “with a tolerable level of discretion.”
Quite what those judges deem to be tolerable is unclear. Iran has a highly disturbing record on LGBT rights. As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed there were “no homosexuals in Iran”, Human Rights Watch reported the execution of two more men for ‘homosexual conduct.’ That the United Kingdom should deem it acceptable for our LGBT brothers and sisters to face persecution daily and then to compound that insult with the admonishment that they should “be discreet” when rejecting their asylum claims is shameful.
It seems the present government is taking the same stand, unfortunately.