Sebastian Rocca, Executive Director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) has branded Home Secretary Jacqui Smith as ‘offensive and ill-informed’, following her outright refusal to institute a moratorium on deportations of lesbian and gay asylum seekers to Iran. Her continuing insistence that gay men and lesbians who are ‘discreet’ face no danger at the same time both justifies Iran’s persecution of gay people, and isn’t borne out by the facts. Rocca continued:
“Being gay is not just about sex, it is about being able to express who you are, walking the way you like, not having to change the tone of your voice, being able to talk about the things that interest you, be that interior design and not football.
“Asking gay men to go back to Iran and be “discreet,” that is persecution in itself.”
He said that the Home Secretary had not thought about what discreet means in this context.
“If you are a gay man and you go back, you have to get married to a woman – it’s not acceptable to not be married.
“If you do not, that is one of the reasons why they can decide not to employ you or rent you an apartment – they will ask questions.
“I had a case where they keep refusing to get married and their family sent them to a psychiatrist.”
Mr Rocha added that being “discreet” is effectively someone to be alone for the rest of their life.
“We have an obligation to protect lesbians and gay men,” he added.
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