Don’t ask, don’t tell – in fact, stay firmly in the closet…

…if you’re seeking asylum in Britain after facing homophobic violence in Cameroon, that is.

Last year the UK Court of Appeal decided it was fine to deny asylum to a gay man on the grounds that, if sent back to Cameroon, he could live somewhere else in the country (where he hasn’t been outed) and ‘exercise a certain amount of discretion’.  Apparently, it is reasonable to expect him to tolerate having to ‘be discreet’ in order to stay safe.

What’s that you say?  What does it mean to be discreet?  Well, there might be  a clue in what led to the violence against him in the first place – he and his partner were apparently kissing in the garden and were seen by a neighbour.  The immigration tribunal felt this couldn’t be described as discreet.

Judgement is now awaited from the UK Supreme Court….

(Thanks to HP!)

**UPDATE** From my limited knowledge, I think that if the UKSC overturns the Court of Appeal ruling, it could mean the decision in Kiana Firouz’s case will have to be reconsidered.  Because the UKSC is looking at two appeals together – one the case I described, about someone from Cameroon, the other about someone from Iran.

**UPDATE 2** Stonewall (the UK’s principal LGBT campaigning organisation) has published a research report into homophobia in the UK asylum system.

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