Canada’s new government has made specific provisions to take in gay refugees.
The news comes as the country’s new Liberal government sets out its commitments to resettlement amid the Syria crisis.
The party has pledged to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees – and confirmed today the majority of refugees will be women, children and families.
Amid security concerns, the country does not plan to accept unaccompanied males – but it will make an exception for gay people, who face persecution in Syria from both the government and the terrorist group known as Islamic State.
Unaccompanied males will also be eligible for private sponsorships.
ISIS has staged hundreds of public executions for men accused of homosexuality, though they provide little proof the men are actually gay.
The Ottowa Citizen reports: “The government is aware that gays could be persecuted, and therefore plans to include them in the selection process aimed at rescuing some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees.”
The pledge to accept refugees was a cornerstone of the commitments by new PM Justin Trudeau. The keen LGBT ally also demonstrated his commitment to equality by naming a diverse, gender-balanced cabinet.
In the UK, Labour MP Mary Creagh has previously called for the government’s focus on resettling refugees from Syria to include LGBT people.
Writing for PinkNews, she said: “Countries like the UK should be doing more to assist LGBTI refugees in particular.
“In this country we pride ourselves on the progress we have made on sexual equality. We should be reaching out to assist those being persecuted for their sexuality or gender orientation abroad.
“The UK should accept a number of these particularly vulnerable refugees. I know they would be welcomed and supported by the UK LGBTI community, and by the wider community.”