Gay Guide

International Day Against Homophobia 2006

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International Day Against Homophobia 2006

Wednesday, 17 May 2006
12 noon - 2 pm
The Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1

Protest against the abuse of LGBT asylum seekers

and

Friday 19 May 2006
7 - 9 pm
Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London WC1 (nearest tube Holborn)

Women, Gays & Secularism in Post-War Iraq
Public meeting with Iraqi gay and feminist speakers

More details of both events follow below:

Protest: against the abuse of LGBT asylum seekers

Date: Wednesday, 17 May 2006
Time: 12 noon - 2 pm
Place: The Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1

Nearest Tube: Westminster

To mark the second International Day Against Homophobia, LGBT people
will protest outside the Home Office to highlight the plight of LGBT
asylum seekers who have fled homophobic persecution in countries like
Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, Jamaica, Iran, Belarus, Algeria, Iraq, Nigeria and Egypt.

The Home Office is being called to account for its five failings:

- No training on sexual orientation issues for asylum staff and
adjudicators
- No official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum
on the grounds of sexual orientation
- No action to stamp out the abuse of LGBT refugees in UK asylum
detention camps
- No accurate, up-to-date information on the victimisation of LGBT
people in violently homophobic countries
- No adequate access to proper legal representation for LGBT asylum
applicants

"On this International Day Against Homophobia, we want to express support for LGBT people in other countries who are suffering arrest, imprisonment, torture and murder. We are demanding that the UK
government offers refuge from persecution," said Derek Lennard, UK
coordinator of IDAHO.

Research by OutRage!, based on its work with LGBT asylum claimants,
shows that the Home Office is failing lesbian and gay asylum seekers.

"The Home Office does not explicitly accept persecution on the grounds
of sexual orientation as a legitimate basis for gaining asylum," said
Brett Lock of OutRage!, who is currently documenting a major expose of
homophobic bias in the asylum system.

"Low legal aid funding means most LGBT asylum applicants fail because
they have sub-standard representation at their asylum hearings. The Home Office information on homophobic persecution around the globe is poorly researched and often downplays the true scale of anti-gay victimisation.

"The shocking stories of homophobic abuse and inhumane conditions inside the UK?s asylum detention centres are a national scandal," said Mr Lock.

and

Women, Gays & Secularism in Post-War Iraq

Solidarity with Iraqi gays, feminists, democrats and socialists

Public meeting - Panel discussion, with Qs and As

Friday 19 May 2006
7 - 9 pm
Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London WC1 (nearest tube Holborn)
All Welcome

Panellists include: Ali Hili of the Iraqi LGBT- UK group, Houzan
Mahmoud
of the Organisation for Women's Freedom in Iraq and Peter Tatchell of
OutRage!

This event is a part of the International Day of Action Against
Homophobia programme organised by GALHA, with the support of OutRage!
and other LGBT groups.

"We hated Saddam's tyranny, but the situation for gay people in Iraq is now even worse, with the rise of Islamic fundamentalist death squads that are assassinating homosexuals and unchaste women," said
keynote speaker, exiled gay Iraqi, Ali Hili, coordinator of Iraqi LGBT UK.

"The radical Shia Islamists want to turn Iraq into a theocratic dictatorship like Iran. That would spell disaster for LGBT people, and for every Iraqi who loves liberty," he said.

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