Jamaican lesbian can stay in UK, tribunal rules

(BBC) A Jamaican lesbian has won the right to stay in the UK after immigration judges ruled she risks persecution if she returns to her home country.

The woman, who cannot be identified but lives in Stoke-on-Trent, was originally refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office.

She asked to stay on the basis she was an “out” lesbian and her home country is “deeply homophobic”.

A tribunal has now ruled she can remain in the UK.

Aware as girl

Her case was reconsidered by the Upper Tribunal’s Immigration and Asylum Chamber in London where senior immigration judges said she was “entitled to refugee protection”.

The case was identified by the judges as one of potential “country guidance” on the issue of the risks to lesbians returning to Jamaica.

The tribunal heard the woman became aware of her sexuality as a young girl.

Unable to be open, she had lived as a “discreet lesbian”, socialising with a select group of women who organised meetings via an internet chatroom.

She told the tribunal that while out with this group on one occasion they were identified as possible lesbians because they were dancing together, rather than with men, and the DJ began playing hostile songs with anti-gay lyrics.

A group of men then threatened to “convert them” – implying they would rape them – and followed them out of the bar.

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