The United States is facing "a small wave of gay Jamaicans" who have fled their homeland for fear of persecution and have been granted asylum in America, the Washington Post reports.
According to the Post, gays and lesbians have been allowed to apply
for asylum in the United States since 1994, and must prove a credible fear of persecution. The federal government doesn't track how many homosexuals are granted asylum annually, but an an immigrant gay-rights group says it helped 92 gays and lesbians win asylum last year. Of those 92, nearly a third -- 28 -- were from Jamaica alone.
Sodomy is a crime in Jamaica, but its government denies that it is a violently homophobic country.
"I don't believe we are more homophobic than anywhere else," Cheryl Gordon, deputy chief of mission at the Jamaican embassy in Washington, told the Post. "I believe we are more tolerant than anywhere else."
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