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Austria has rejected a gay asylum seeker for being too ‘girlish’

Josh Jackman August 24, 2018
Austrian citizens and asylum seekers march during a pro-refugee protest called "Let them stay" in Vienna, Austria on November 26, 2016. Austria will hold the postponed second round of the presidential elections on December 4, 2016. / AFP / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters march in a pro-refugee rally in Vienna (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty)

Austria has turned away another gay asylum seeker – this time because he was too “girlish.”

Last week, a gay Afghan teenager was reportedly rejected for asylum after Austrian officials said he did not “walk, act or dress” like a gay person.

In this latest case, a 27-year-old from Iraq was refused a home in Austria despite telling immigration officials about his work with local LGBT+ group RosaLila Pantherinnen since he fled his home country in 2015.

Protesters gather to demonstrate against ill-treatment of migrants after the bodies of 71 refugees were found in an abandoned truck last week in Vienna on August 31, 2015. Around 20,000 people demonstrated police said. The banner reads 'Muslims and refugees welcome'. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK DOMINGO        (Photo credit should read PATRICK DOMINGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate against the ill-treatment of migrants (PATRICK DOMINGO/AFP/Getty)

Homosexuality is technically legal in Iraq, but openly queer people face attacks in public and executions in Sharia courts.

A report released in June found that 96 percent of LGBT+ Iraqis have faced physical or verbal violence because of their sexuality or gender identity.

Since arriving in the southern city of Graz, the asylum seeker said he has translated a booklet on coming out into Arabic and attended LGBT+ events in the capital of Vienna, such as the Tuntenball and Pride parade.

Austrian citizens and asylum seekers march during a pro-refugee protest called "Let them stay" in Vienna, Austria on November 26, 2016.  Austria will hold the postponed second round of the presidential elections on December 4, 2016. / AFP / JOE KLAMAR        (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Austria is now governed by a coalition of conservatives and far-right parties (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty)

He explained that he had accepted he was gay when he was 16, but had to hide his sexuality from his family and the public in general.

He spoke about Iraq, telling authorities: “The problem for homosexuals is that they are killed, because this is against the religion and ideas of society,” according to Austrian news outlet kurier.at.

Despite this testimony, the immigration official did not believe him.

In their ruling, they wrote: “Particularly striking… was the fact that until the concrete questions about your homosexuality, you did not increase your stereotypical, at least exaggerated, girlish behaviour.”

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 03: Demonstrators participate in what organizers call the first "F*ck Hofer" protest march through the city center to voice their opposition to Austrian right-wing populist presidential candidate Norbert Hofer on December 3, 2016 in Vienna, Austria. Voters in Austria are scheduled to take to the polls tomorrow to choose between Hofer and independent, social-liberal candidate Alexander van der Bellen as Austria's next president. Hofer, the candidate of the right-wing Austria Freedom Party (FPOe), has run on a nationalist campaign that has included attacks against Islam, Muslim immigrants and refugees. At least two leading members of his party have had passed association with neo-Nazi groups. (Photo by Alex Domanski/Getty Images)
Anti-LGBT far-right candidate Norbert Hofer lost Austria’s presidential election in 2016, but only in the final round of voting (Alex Domanski/Getty)

The official accused him of using facial expressions and gestures “of a differently sexually oriented person,” but said this was him “acting and putting it on.”

They added: “You did not act authentically,” stating that it was “unbelievable” and “not credible that you are sexually different (gay) oriented.”

The government department responsible for accepting or rejecting asylum seeker pushed back against criticism of the decision today (August 24), denying the “serious allegations” of “degrading behaviour” by the officials.

Earlier this month, Austrian lawmakers called for far-right politician Bruno Weber to resign after the Freedom Party councillor called a gay couple “faggots” and “a negro.”

Bruno Weber (far-right) is a councillor in Amstetten (fpo/amstetten)

Weber is a representative of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), the governing coalition’s junior partner whose anti-LGBT candidate Norbert Hofer lost the 2016 presidential election in the final round of voting.

His fellow party member Manfred Pühringer, who sits on the Linz council, posted an advert – which states that a new family railcard is “for a mother, father, partner or friends travelling with children” – on Facebook.

He captioned the post: “It’s not nice, is it?” below which Weber wrote: “That’s not normal! 2 alleged fagots [and a] baby and of them one is a negro. I’m afraid…”

“That’s not normal! 2 alleged fagots [and a] baby and of them one is a negro. I’m afraid…” (fpo fails/facebook)

The councillor said that the ad meant he would “definitely not renew” his railcard, adding that he would use a privately run competitor instead.

More: asylum seekers, Austria, Austria, Europe, Europe, Gay, Government, Iraq, Politics, refugees

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