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Immigration Law

Senator Requests Asylum for Gay Man in Same-Sex Marriage

Posted Mar 20, 2009 1:13 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Sen. John Kerry has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to grant asylum to a gay man married in Massachusetts who was deported despite his rape in Brazil.

Oliveira had sought asylum because he was raped as a teenager and feared additional attacks if he returned to the country, the Associated Press reports. Oliveira is married to a Massachusetts businessman, but gays cannot sponsor their spouses for residence, the Boston Globe reported in an October story.

Kerry says a judge made an “outrageous" decision that Oliveira wasn’t harmed by the rape, the AP story says. The Globe says the judge noted that Brazil bans discrimination against gays and Oliveira has twice returned to the country without incident.

The Globe featured Oliveira’s case in a story about the growth in asylum requests based on a fear of persecution due to sexual preference. A U.S. State Department report found that 116 gays, lesbians and transvestites were killed in Brazil in 2007. In India, Uganda and Jamaica, homosexuality is illegal and carries a 10-year prison term, the story says.

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