Immigration Law

Persecuted Gays Winning Asylum

Legal advocacy groups have won dozens of cases on behalf of gay men and lesbians seeking asylum here for persecution in their home countries.

Harassment because of sexual orientation is increasingly accepted as a ground for asylum, the Washington Post reports, although such cases are by no means a slam dunk. Asylum seekers must prove that authorities either abused them or failed to protect them because they are gay, the newspaper says.

Gramoz Prestreshi is among those who succeeded. He was severely beaten on the streets of Kosovo, yet police laughed about the crime and called him names. Prestreshi photographed his injuries and complained to the media, keeping copies of the articles.

Prestreshi won asylum this spring. “I am happy because I don’t have to live like a prisoner anymore in a society where no one is allowed to be different,” he told the Post.

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