Some things I didn’t know, gay couples are not allowed to sponser each other in the same way that hetrosexual couples are.
One major barrier is U.S. refusal to recognize same-sex relationships for immigration purposes, which means that U.S. lesbians are unable to sponsor foreign partners as hundreds of thousands of heterosexuals do. In 2006 about 27 percent of the total grants of permanent residency were awarded to members of a heterosexual couple.
“If someone is straight and in a relationship, boom-boom-boom and they’re done,” says private attorney Noemi Masliah in New York. “Same-sex partners have to jump through the hoops and find different ways. Or some just give up . . . It’s not fair that a lesbian’s status is employment-based and the other (straight) piece is family-based. I think it’s very sad and very dismal and very unfair.”
Lesbians seek political asylum at a much lower rate then gay males.
Far fewer lesbians apply for asylum than gay men. Although exact statistics are unavailable, “a huge discrepancy” exists, said Dusty Araujo, coordinator of the San Francisco-based Asylum Documentation Program of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The group informally tracks gay and lesbian asylum cases by calls that it receives for information and follow-up. Since 1994 it found 62 lesbians permitted to stay in the United States out of 435 inquiries, compared to 643 gay men among 4,134 inquiries. In other words, only one lesbian woman applies for every 10 gay men.
The Department of Homeland Security does not categorize asylum cases by reasons. In general, only 37 percent of asylum seekers are female.
And lesbians often have trouble proving their need as they are forced into hetro marriages.
Many cases of lesbians pose legal challenges because the persecution occurs in private–at the hands of family members or others–and is similar to domestic violence. Most gay men, by contrast, flee persecution at the hands of authorities, in fear of arrest or confinement.
Lesbians, like other women, also face economic and cultural barriers in escaping from many countries. Many women have been forced into marriages, a factor that some judges weigh against a claim of homosexuality.
Stepping away from the topic slightly, dealing with the bolded text. “Domestic violence” is really a form of torture. Every day may bring another beating, each beating may be the one that kills you, you have to walk on eggshells around your abuser, never knowing what might set him off next. “Domestic violence” often includes, rape, forcible confinement, lack of medical treatment for illness or injury, seclusion from those who might help, threats to children or other family members. It’s called “Domestic Violence” and treated as a non issue. It has been an incredibly successful way to cover up the torture and abuse of so many within the “one man, one woman union”.
Suffering “domestic violence” should carry weight. Women are not born wired to accept being beaten and abused and it’s time that mindset was changed.
The article recounts the horrors that Olivia Nabulwala suffered and yet she was originally refused asylum.
A recent court opinion involving a lesbian named Olivia Nabulwala may help. She suffered private horrors in her native Uganda: She was beaten by her father when he learned of her sexual orientation and her family set up a man to rape her.
Because the Ugandan government was not directly involved in the persecution, an immigration judge denied her request for asylum, but in March, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that asylum should be available if the government were unable or unwilling to control the harmful actions of private parties. It is only the second published opinion from a federal court on lesbians and asylum. An immigration court is now reviewing her case in light of these new standards.
The same old thought processes at work here. All she needs is a good fuck to turn her around. How many times have women heard that here? Never mind in places where “equality” is given even shorter shrift.
Nothing says I love you, like hiring someone to rape a family member.
Further information is available here
The Canadian angle
The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) acknowledges same-sex marriages contracted in Canada between immigration applicants and Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Canadians may also sponsor their same-sex common-law or civil union partners for family-class immigration, provided they meet various requirements, including proof of legitimacy, and co-habitation for at least one year.
After the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act, CIC adopted an interim immigration policy which did not recognize same-sex marriages which took place outside Canada. For example, a Canadian citizen, legally married in The Netherlands to his same-sex Dutch partner, might not sponsor his Dutch partner for immigration as a spouse, despite the fact that both Dutch law and Canadian law made no distinction between opposite-sex and same-sex civil marriages, and despite the fact that CIC did recognise a Dutch opposite-sex marriage.
On December 12, 2006, New Democratic Party MP Bill Siksay introduced a motion in Parliament calling on the CIC to immediately rescind the interim policy and “recognize legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed in jurisdictions outside Canada for purposes of immigration in exactly the same way as the legal marriages of heterosexual couples are recognized”; the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration voted to recommend that the government do this. In late January 2007, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley informed the committee that this would be done.
In February of 2007, the CIC website was updated to reflect the fact that the policy has been updated. See Sponsoring your same-sex partner as a spouse. While same-sex marriages performed in other countries are now recognised, they included the conditions that, “the marriage is legally recognized according to both the law of the place where the marriage ceremony occurred and under Canadian law”. Despite the fact that there was a lengthy discussion within the Standing Committee as a result of a motion introduced by a Conservative member from Alberta, whereby the Committee voted not to include these conditions (as an amendment to the original motion), since it was already the case with Canadian Immigration law that an opposite-sex marriage had to be legal and recognised, the civil servants within the CIC apparently decided to include it against the elected members’ collective will
Gay and Lesbian Immigration to Canada
Married or Not, Same-sex Families Find Equality in Canada
The very fact that Canada offers gay men and lesbians the opportunity to be sponsored by their same-sex partners, or to get asylum on the basis of being homosexual, makes the country a great beacon for sexual minorities everywhere. It has a much more welcoming immigration policy than the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain – the other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. And it has the most progressive gay rights laws of all the countries that do have open immigration policies. Gay and lesbian immigrants still have to face many trials and tribulations as they claim legal status in Canada; but, strengthened by the progressive laws and the inclusive culture of Canada, they have a much better chance of succeeding here than anywhere else.
A Nicaraguan man facing deportation next week says the Immigration and Refugee Board denied him asylum in Canada because they didn’t believe he’s gay.
Alvaro Orozco, who has lived in Toronto for two years, based his refugee claim on fears of returning to his home country where sodomy is illegal. He says his family beat him because of his sexual orientation.
“My father told me, ‘If one of my sons became gay one day, I will kill him with my hands,'” said Orozco. “I was so scared. And that is why I escaped.”
Orozco, now 21, ran away from home at age 12, hitchhiked across Central America and Mexico, and then swam across the Rio Grande into the United States, where he was arrested and put into a detention centre for a year.