According to a report from the Home Affairs Committee, in some cases asylum seekers gave photographic and video evidence of “highly personal sexual activity” in an effort to persuade officials of their sexual orientation. The report read, “A major hurdle facing these asylum seekers in an appeal is proving that they are gay. This has led some asylum seekers to feel under pressure to provide degrading video or photographic evidence to support their claims.”
Committee chairman and Labour MP Keith Vaz (pictured), told BBC, “It is absurd for a judge or a caseworker to have to ask an individual to prove that they are lesbian or gay, to ask them what kind of films they watch, what kind of material they read.
“People should accept the statement of sexuality by those who seek asylum. This practice is regrettable and ought to be stopped immediately.”
Richard Lane, spokesperson for UK LGBT charity group Stonewall commented, “Being gay isn’t about what nightclubs you go to; it is a fundamental part of who you are. “Sadly, in far too many cases, valuable time is spent attempting to ‘prove’ a claimant is gay in this way rather than establishing whether they have a legitimate fear of persecution.”
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