A gay couple seeking asylum in Australia were asked intrusive questions about their sex life, including whether they consumed each other’s semen, a BuzzFeed investigation has found.
The Bangladeshi couple, who were seeking refuge in Australia, were asked the personal questions in interviews with a government case officer in 2012.
“Why was drinking his cum a problem?”
—An Australian government case officer in 2012
BuzzFeed revealed the list of questions the gay asylum seekers were asked in their separate interviews at the then-Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Sydney headquarters.
Gay Bangladeshi couple asked when they last had sex
In one interview, one of the men, called Applicant A, was asked about when he had last had sex with his boyfriend, known as Applicant B.
“Was it all over within minutes? Or a longer period? 30 minutes to one hour,” one of the men was asked.
He then interrogated Applicant A further, asking: “So you gave him oral sex. Did he ejaculate? Ejaculate … Did he reach a climax? Did he come?”
Other questions asked to the men included: “Why was drinking his cum a problem?”
Applicant A was also quizzed about going to get a sexual health check-up with his boyfriend.
“So when you were having oral sex, did you usually use a condom?” the officer asked.
In another interview, Applicant B was questioned about whether he had got a vaccination for HIV, and about a trip to Mardi Gras.
The pair’s protection visa applications were rejected by Australian authorities.
Later ruling finds gay asylum seeker questioning “very intimate”
The Refugee Review Tribunal later overturned the ruling in 2014, remarking that the questions were “very intimate” in its ruling.
However, authorities refused to tell BuzzFeed whether the couple were granted protection visas.
A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told BuzzFeed that parts of the interviews were “inappropriate and insensitive,” adding that “appropriate action was taken in relation to this case.”
Anna Brown, the incoming CEO of LGBT+ rights group Equality Australia, told BuzzFeed: “There are numerous examples of inappropriate sexually explicit and stereotypical lines of questioning in Australian tribunals and courts.”
In the freedom of information request response to BuzzFeed, authorities noted that the department’s interview methods for LGBT+ asylum seekers had “shifted significantly” since 2012.