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Mexican Gay Man Granted Asylum in The U.S.

After considering evidence that Jorge Soto Vega "was beaten by police with a 'metal baton or flashlight' and then robbed, called 'anti-gay slurs' and told that he would be killed if he was ever seen again" while living in Guadalajara, a U.S. immigration judge has granted Soto Vega asylum. He has been living in the U.S. since being smuggled into the country in 1988, according to the L.A. Times.

GuadalajaraSoto Vega had applied for asylum once before, in 2003, but was turned down by judge John D. Taylor "who said he could return to Mexico since 'it would not be obvious that he was homosexual unless he made it obvious himself.'"

Jon W. Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, told the LAT that at the hearing on Tuesday, which was once again held in front of judge Taylor, "the judge agreed that a person should not have to conceal his or her sexual orientation in order to be free from persecution."

Davidson told the Associated Press: "It seemed to us this is a real double standard. Courts don't deny asylum to someone based on their political beliefs by saying, 'If you just didn't tell other people what you believed, you would be fine.'"

Said Soto Vega following the decision: "It's been a long, long wait to get to this point where I feel today, secure and happy."

Citing persecution, judge grants gay Mexican immigrant asylum in U.S [la times]
Gay Man From Mexico Wins U.S. Asylum [ap]

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  1. Doesn't make sense to me, why the US would grant asylum to a gay Mexican? When Mexico is more progressive in terms of gay marriage and such, if that's how it works I would seek asylum in Canada for being discriminated against in the US?

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 31, 2007 9:09:13 AM

  2. It's not about the respective legal systems, it's about the social norms; if violence against gays is more socially acceptable in Mexico, despite the perceived legal liberalism on the subject there, that's plenty of reason take to him in.

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 31, 2007 9:56:17 AM

  3. an avenue to get your main man back

    Posted by: ross | Jan 31, 2007 10:52:15 AM

  4. God I wish I lived in Mexico then. I live in Canada and have a boyfriend in the USA, but the legal immigration system in the States doesn't allow me to emigrate lawfully, and I can't marry my partner for a green card, for obvious reasons. Makes me wish a bunch of Canuck cops would kick the shit out of me! Persecution now!

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 31, 2007 11:38:16 AM

  5. In response to Sam's comment, I keep waiting for a gay US couple (or a single person) to seek asylum in Canada. I expect the day will come. It would be an interesting case.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 31, 2007 3:41:52 PM

  6. "[he] was turned down by judge John D. Taylor "who said he could return to Mexico since 'it would not be obvious that he was homosexual unless he made it obvious himself.'"

    lol, no way.

    What an ignorant bigoted ass ruling.

    Posted by: Da | Jan 31, 2007 7:01:52 PM

  7. Come to America, where you'll no doubt be beaten up by one of our many respectful citizens. At least the police here will investigate your murder. God bless the united states of consumerism...

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 1, 2007 12:32:48 PM

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