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Czech Republic uses ‘gay tests’ on asylum seekers

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  1. paul canning 6 Dec 2010, 3:25pm

    You can read the FRA report and more about the state of LGBT asylum in Europe here.

  2. Taking for granted that anyone just claiming to be gay to obtain residence in en Europe country will only harm the real LGBT people. It wouldn’t be fair that the same norm used to protect those being persecuted on those disgraced countries is taken so lightly that even homophobic or fundamentalist wackos can fool the “stupid westerners” into giving them a free pass to come to seed their evil ideals in the Western world. If the person doesn’t want to take the test there are plenty of questions that can be asked by a prepared psychologists to dig into the mind of the asylum seeker, but I don’t see how a test that may be similar to slight medical procedure under private and cared conditions can be troubling compared with the lashes and other barbaric tortures that the seeker may have suffered on those countries.

  3. martyn notman 6 Dec 2010, 3:47pm

    why dont they just base it on whether they know all the words to “secret love” and can croquet?? Once again its narrowing “gay” down to stupid stereotypes…ie show us some porn and we all turn into raving satyrs…stupidity beyond belief!

  4. I have a friend who processes asylum seekers (he is gay himself) who says that it is quite common for people to claim to be fleeing homophobic persecution, but that their stories simply don’t add up.

    Asylum should always be granted to genuine cases, but the system is open to abuse, by economic migrants who claim to be gay as it’s an easy claim to make and cannot be verified.

  5. How very ignorant of how sexuality woks. Isn’t possible to imagine gay people being turned on by straight porn (just like apparently some lesbians like to watch gay male porn)? and how about the fact that people may not get turned on when being in the stressful situation those test no doubt represent?

  6. paul canning 6 Dec 2010, 4:54pm

    Stonewall in their report found Border Agents who thought asylum seekers should have read Oscar Wilde and other such hilarities.

    To answer Lexxs – there are perfectly good ways to test whether someone is gay from evidence offered. The same as it would be to test (‘beyond reasonable doubt’) political affiliations or religion.

    No one is taking it lightly but it is simply wrong to think it is ‘impossible’ to prove that you are gay. Put yourself in their shoes. If forced to, how would you prove it?

    David, your Border Agent friend is trained to pull stories apart. Of course he’s going to think they ‘don’t add up’. What they *aren’t trained to do is recognise genuine claims and understand the backgrounds people might flee from, making them distrust authority or be reluctant to talk about gay sex for example.

  7. Gay guys might be turned on by the guy in straight porn so that’s a stupid gay test and i’m bi, how are they going to prove that?

  8. Aren’t they doing the test backwards? They aught to show full on gay porn and test for a reaction. That way it wouldn’t matter if they were gay/bi/whatever their identify.

  9. Sundancer 6 Dec 2010, 6:39pm

    Doesn’t straight porn involve naked men? Sheesh! Why not show gay porn? According to my straight male friends nothing would turn them off faster …

  10. Paul Canning – you do accept I hope that some asylum seekers who are claiming asylum based on homophobic persecution may be lying, don’t you?

  11. paul canning 6 Dec 2010, 8:16pm

    @David

    yes they exist but agents are trained to assume lying. I know of five current cases, all gay or lesbian, where Home Office says they’re not despite mass of evidence supplied. One was being victimised by fellow Nigerians in detention and was put in solitary – yet they still say he’s not gay!

    See the Stonewall report for solid evidence on unfair dealing for LGBT asylum seekers.

  12. Jock S. Trap 7 Dec 2010, 6:56am

    This is wrong. There are lots of gay men who enjoy straight porn just because the men ‘perform’ better so this is a very inaccurate and unfair test.

  13. Breederboy 7 Dec 2010, 10:29am

    Nobody is suggesting that those seeking to claim asylum NEVER lie about being gay. It is just that this is a stupid ´test´ in order to ´prove´ whether someone is or is not gay!

    A lot of gay men also get turned-on by watching straight porn… (if the guy is fit!), so what does it prove? “Oh he must be straight because the sight of a fit-male performing in a straight film turns him on!” I don´t think so! What numb-nut thought THAT one up?

    I am only thankful that I am not fleeing persecution because of my sexuality, and that the answer as to whether I can safely live my life or not is dependent on such a ridiculous ´test´…

    “There but for the grace…..” and all that.

  14. I have a solution. All Border Agents should be required to be hunks. If the asylum seeker isn’t willing to go down on a same sex Border Agent, they can be rejected :-) But if the Border Agent isn’t willing to co-operate…

  15. Mark, that would be even more demeaning than the phallometric test itself. Though I sense you are joking.

  16. Sister Mary Clarance 7 Dec 2010, 3:33pm

    So can any people on here concerned about people lying about being gay when coming from countries that persecute gay people, talk us through why they would lie about their sexuality, when if rejected they would be returned to their home (homophobic) countries identifiable as a failed gay asylum seeker …. the consequences of this being the potential torture and death they had been telling the immigration officials they were in fear of.

  17. Why all the tests?
    Just get them to bake a quiche.

  18. TheSuburbanBi 8 Dec 2010, 12:36am

    “In addition, bisexual people are unlikely to pass the test.” — and it also buys into the notion that bi people who would react to straight porn (assuming for a moment that these test were even valid indicators) would somehow still be safe to be returned. Tell that to the two bi men in Iran last year, one who was beaten near to death and one who mysteriously died in custody.

    But honestly, are there people still relying on these strap-electrodes-to-me-privates type tests to detect something as complex as sexuality or sexual orientation? How desperate and stupid. The efficacy of these tests, particularly when used to test reaction to porn films is seriously contested (the instrument itself and the person’s reaction to being tested can variously produce or discourage a reaction). Far too much doubt about their reliability to rely on them.

    As Paul Canning has said above: “there are perfectly good ways to test whether someone is gay from evidence offered. The same as it would be to test (‘beyond reasonable doubt’) political affiliations or religion.”

    (p.s. — oh and can all my fellow LGBT folk, those who wanted to rely on this exact same type of test to ‘prove’ that bisexual men didn’t exist because of how they supposedly reacted to porn… can you see why bi people were so pissed off now!)

  19. Benny Rees 9 Dec 2010, 12:13pm

    I think that the article is misleading… In reality, those tests are done by medical professionals (sexologists) in a clinical setting, and in fact, they are being shown gay porn. The apparatus measures minute responses to visual stimuli in bloodflow and pressure using straps. The asylum seekers are not the only group where the technique is used — it used to be used in determining whether someone seeking to avoid compulsory national military service (conscription before the Czech military became professional) on grounds of being gay was really gay… These days it’s used to diagnose someone who has problems identifying himself with any of sexual orientations. If you’re denied asylum and returned back, I really don’t believe that the reason why you sought asylum is made known to your home country’s authorities. In Iraq, it’s not the state authorities that is a problem per se, it is various religious-led militias etc. As far as state is concerned, it is just too weak to protect gays from those militias…

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