European Court: Threat of Imprisonment for Gay Refugees Grounds for Asylum

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 7 2013 9:15 PM

European Court: Threat of Imprisonment for Gay Refugees Grounds for Asylum

Gay campaigners rally outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

Photo by ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union’s highest court ruled on Thursday that refugees who are gay and face imprisonment in their home countries for their sexual orientation may have a case for being granted asylum. The European Court of Justice’s judgment, the Wall Street Journal reports, was “triggered by a request from the Dutch ministry of immigration for guidance on how to deal with the applications of three asylum seekers from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda, where homosexuality carries heavy fines and prison sentences.”

Some EU countries, including the Netherlands, already accept sexual orientation as grounds for granting asylum, but, the Associated Press reports, “the European Court of Justice's ruling clarifies that policy and makes it binding for all 28 EU nations.” The court said that criminalization of homosexuality, however, was insufficient to justify asylum status. To meet the standard for asylum, the court ruled there had to be evidence of cases of routine imprisonment. It also stated, however, that “a homosexual cannot be expected to conceal his sexual orientation in his home country to avoid persecution since that would amount to renouncing a ‘characteristic fundamental to a person's identity,’” according to the AP.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.