gay_asylum_seekers_in_uk_submit_sex_tapes_to_prove_they_are_gayIt’s come to light that some gay and lesbian asylum seekers in the UK have had to present footage of themselves having sex to the authorities to prove their sexuality.

The shocking revelation is included in a report by the UK’s Home Affairs Committee which slams the asylum system for being based on a ‘culture of disbelief’ that assumes that asylum seekers are not telling the truth.

This means that gays and lesbians fleeing from homophobic persecution must sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they are in fact gay or lesbian.

The report said that this has included “the submission of photographic and video evidence of highly personal sexual activity to caseworkers, presenting officers and the judiciary”.

The committee went on to say: “We were concerned to hear that the decision making process for LGBTI applicants relies so heavily on anecdotal evidence and ‘proving that they are gay’.

“It is not appropriate to force people to prove their sexuality if there is a perception that they are gay. The assessment of credibility is an area of weakness within the British asylum system.

The committee added: “Furthermore, the fact that credibility issues disproportionately affect the most vulnerable applicants – victims of domestic and sexual violence, victims of torture and persecution because of their sexuality – makes improvement all the more necessary.”

Richard Lane, spokesman for British LGBT rights group Stonewall, told BBC News: “Being gay isn’t about what nightclubs you go to; it is a fundamental part of who you are.

“Sadly, in far too many cases, valuable time is spent attempting to ‘prove’ a claimant is gay in this way rather than establishing whether they have a legitimate fear of persecution.

“This is not only a waste of time and resources but can be deeply distressing to asylum seekers, many of who have fled for fear of their lives,” said Lane.

Around 76 countries punish homosexuality, with penalties including fines, short and lifelong prison sentences, hard labour, forced psychiatric treatment, whippings, and execution.

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