Britain’s New PM Supports Gay Refugees

Photo by Flickr user trishca2

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Britain’s got a new prime minister, and today I learned one cool thing about him: In February, David Cameron said that the UK should grant gay African refugees asylum.

Indeed. Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi; some Kenyans have recently formed lynch mobs; Uganda’s got a bill proposing to punish gays with life imprisonment or the death penalty. Obviously, people who become refugees because they’re gay are dangerously disenfranchised in their home country. (And then there are refugees who are already refugees and are also gay, who, between their geographical/political exile and their sexual exile within their own exile communities, are possibly the most disenfranchised population on the planet. The Karen refugees from Burma I lived with were so homophobic that they claimed homosexuality didn’t even exist in their culture, though gay Karen activists would certainly take issue with that claim. See also this great 2002 New Republic article about gay Palestinian refugees.)

In the United States, sexual orientation has been grounds for asylum since 1994 (though plenty of applicants encounter obstacles in the granting process). Hopefully Cameron will use his position to actually follow through on his rhetoric. After he broadens the scope of it—Africa is certainly not the only continent on which gays are persecuted.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate