Tags: euopea | africa | gays | asylum

EU Court: African Gays Have Grounds for Europe Asylum

By    |   Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 08:19 AM

One of Europe’s most powerful courts has ruled that gays living in countries where people are jailed for homosexuality may obtain asylum in European Union (EU) member nations, the BBC reported Thursday.
 
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) — the EU’s highest court — issued the opinion in response to a query from the Dutch Council of State, an advisory body.
 
The council requested the ECJ’s opinion in the case of three gay citizens of Uganda, Senegal, and Sierra Leone who were seeking asylum in Europe. At issue was whether laws in their home nations barring homosexuality and subjecting them to possible incarceration constituted persecution.  
 
Dutch authorities had ruled that homosexuals could "exercise restraint" to avoid legal penalties. But the ECJ rejected that view, holding that someone’s “sexual orientation is a characteristic so fundamental to his identity that he should not be forced to renounce it,” according to Deutche Welle.
 
The ECJ also said that the mere existence of a ban on homosexuality does not in and of itself determine whether an asylum request is approved, according to the BBC.
 
The court ruled that it is up to the authorities in each country to decide "whether, in the applicant's country of origin, the term of imprisonment . . . is applied in practice."
 
 
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One of Europe’s most powerful courts has ruled that gays living in countries where people are jailed for homosexuality may obtain asylum in European Union member nations, the BBC reported Thursday.
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2013-19-07
Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 08:19 AM
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