....Since 1994, sexual orientation has been grounds for asylum in the United States. That's when former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno ruled in a case that persecution based on sexual orientation could be given consideration.
Until recently, that reason was used rarely, and such cases represent only a fraction of all asylum cases.
But now immigrant and gay activists say more asylum seekers from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are citing sexual orientation as reasons for seeking asylum.
Activists say the asylum seekers are escaping rape, persecution, violence and threats of death in places where homosexuality is either outlawed or strongly, socially shunned.
Last year, Immigration Equality, a New York-based nonprofit group that helps gay clients with immigration cases, won 55 asylum cases using sexual orientation as grounds -- a record for the organization, said the group's legal director Victoria Neilson.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Posted by De Sube at 11/01/2009 08:06:00 AM