Thursday, 8 July 2010

"Gay illegals" to stay.

Compared to the Express and Star, as covered so amply elsewhere, the Sun's coverage of yesterday's ruling by the supreme court that gay asylum seekers cannot be sent back to their home countries on the basis that they won't be persecuted if they're "discreet" about their sexuality was mild.

The headline to their article however is dead wrong. Not only were the two appellants not illegal immigrants, having applied for asylum when they entered the country, but they are most certainly not going to be "illegal" in any shape or form as the ruling almost certainly means they will be given asylum. They were never illegal immigrants; if your asylum application is rejected then you're a failed asylum seeker, not a "bogus" asylum seeker, as they were often previously referred to or an illegal immigrant.

While I'm here, let's also clear up the much quoted paragraph about gay people having the right to enjoy Kylie and multi-coloured cocktails. The judge was in fact being deliberately stereotypical to make his point, probably not a good idea when you can be so wilfully misquoted:

In short, what is protected is the applicant's right to live freely and openly as a gay man. That involves a wide spectrum of conduct, going well beyond conduct designed to attract sexual partners and maintain relationships with them. To illustrate the point with trivial stereotypical examples from British society: just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates. Mutatis mutandis – and in many cases the adaptations would obviously be great – the same must apply to other societies. In other words, gay men are to be as free as their straight equivalents in the society concerned to live their lives in the way that is natural to them as gay men, without the fear of persecution.

Which is actually a brilliantly argued and concise summary of the entire ruling.

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