Singing Loudly: They don't need gaydar

Singing Loudly

Saturday, August 13, 2005

They don't need gaydar

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco just ruled that the lower immigration courts were incorrect in not granting asylum to a gay Mexican. I'm going to attempt to get a copy of this opinion because it is a really surprising decision.

Asylum is granted only in the rare cases where you have some sort of a unique persecution. At least that is a simple explanation of how asylum is granted. In proportion to the amount of asylum and refugee applications that are filed, it is rare to have asylum granted in America.

What this means is that in situations where everyone is being persecuted -- nobody will get asylum. It is a bitter pill but the INA is very clear that the persecution has to be targetted and unique. That's why I find it so odd that someone could be granted asylum based on their sexuality. Here is a quote from the opinion:

"Despite his attempts to conceal his sexuality, others could perceive it and Boer-Sedano was ostracised by his family, friends, and co-workers on that basis," the judges wrote in their judgement.

I agree that this is an upsetting thing and probably true, however, I can't believe that doesn't happen to almost every other homosexual in Mexico. For that matter, it happens to homosexuals all over in America too.

Like I say, I'm not upset that Mr. Boer-Sedano was granted asylum, but I'd like to see more of the legal reasoning that prompted the 9th Circuit to overturn the USCIS's determination.


Isn't gender-based discrimination of the sort that routinely results in beating, maiming, and killing of women specifically barred as a ground for the granting of asylum due to a floodgates argument? How is this different? Is this a sign that maybe the gender persecution distinction might be softening?

By Anonymous Alison Grinter, at 12:14 PM, August 14, 2005  

Depends...if the country has discrimination against females then it's going to be very difficult for a female to use that as a reason to need asylum. However, if the female has suffered violence as a result of her gender then she will probably have a good Violence Against Woman Act visa claim. In general, VAWA is a better option for women than asylum.

By Anonymous Curtis, at 12:28 PM, August 14, 2005  

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