“Unless she denies being a lesbian from now on, she had to leave.”
Nuns in the Missionaries of Charity asylum seekers shelter in Amsterdam told a lesbian fleeing persecution in Uganda that her presence would be dangerous to other women and children who slept there.
Last Friday, Justine (whose last name has not been given) moved into a 24-hour shelter hosted by Missionaries of Charity, the Catholic organisation founded by Mother Teresa. That same day she volunteered for the Green Party LGBT+ group, RozeLinks to help set up their Amsterdam Pride canal float.
According to Rozelink’s board member Savana Koolen, when Justine returned to the shelter that evening and told the nuns where she’d been, “she was told that she was not allowed to sleep in the shelter.”
“She was told that her presence would be dangerous to the other women and children who slept there. Unless she denies being a lesbian from now on, she had to leave,” the nuns told Justine, according to Dutch newspaper Het Parool.
When Justine first applied for asylum in the Netherlands she was denied a resident permit for not being “lesbian enough,” according to Rozelinks. She is currently working on a new application and had moved to the shelter while her solicitor worked on it.
Justine, who has been sheltered by a member of Rozelinks, has decided to file official discrimination charges against the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity in Amsterdam, who are one of the 130 such charitable groups in countries around the world, founded by Mother Teresa (pictured above).
Rozelinks plans to demonstrate again the nun’s decision with a lesbian ‘kiss-in’ in front of the shelter. The group is crowdfunding money for train tickets so the asylum seeker’s friends and supporters can attend the kiss-in.
“GroenLinks Amsterdam is shocked that, during the Pride week, a vulnerable lesbian is discriminated in this way. We want to show that we do not accept these expressions of discrimination in Amsterdam [and] that we are a tolerant city, where everyone is free to be themselves,” the group wrote on its Facebook Event page.
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Uganda and Violent and brutal attacks against LGBT people are common, often performed by state officials.
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