Author- George Martin
A judge stopped an asylum-seeker from gaining entry to the UK from a country where homosexuality is illegal because he didn’t have a gay “demeanour”, it has been reported.
The UK immigration judge rejected the case of the man, who has not been named, as he did not appear “effeminate” enough to be gay, Legal Cheekreported.
Rehana Popal, the lawyer representing the man, drew attention to the case after reading the determination that she “thought must be from the 16th century”.
Writing on Twitter last week, the lawyer said: “The judge finds that LGBTQ asylum seeker not credible because ‘his demeanour’ wasn’t gay and he didn’t ‘look around the room in an effeminate manner’.
‘Shocked, disappointed and disgusted’
She said the judge also commented in the determination that “on the gay scene younger men are highly valued”.
Ms Popal said on Twitter she was “utterly flabbergasted”.
“Shocked, disappointed and disgusted,” she added.
The determination of the judge in the first-tier immigration tribunal has not been made publicly available and the judge remains unidentified.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Popal said her client was concerned for his safety were he were to be deported, adding that his male partner’s asylum claim had been accepted just a month earlier.
“[The judge] has taken a stereotype, used it as a benchmark and compared my client to it,” she told the newspaper. “That is totally wrong.
“You do not need to dress a certain way, carry yourself a certain way or look a certain way to be homosexual. The only thing that makes a person gay is if they are attracted to someone of the same gender.”
Case to be heard again
Ms Popal claimed that after the initial ruling, the man appealed against the decision at a higher court where it was defended by a Home Office representative.
But a tribunal has now decided that the judge’s verdict was incorrect, and the man is now to have his case heard once more, The Independent reported.
A Home Office spokesperson told i: “The UK has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution.
“Each case is considered on its individual merits by experienced caseworkers, with all available evidence carefully and sensitively considered in light of published country information.
“The appeals process and decision of the judges is independent of the Government.”
The Home Office came under fire in June this year after telling another gay man, Kenneth Macharia, he will be deported.
The 39-year-old rugby player lost a lengthy legal battle despite being vulnerable to prosecution for homosexuality in his native Kenya.
He first came to the UK a decade ago on a student visa for engineering but claimed asylum in 2016 after a request for a work permit was denied.
A petition trying to stop his deportation reached 108,500 signatures, while £8,270 was raised through crowdfunding to support his legal fees.
But the Home Office rejected his asylum application and his appeal, reportedly claiming that Kenya was safe for him.