Contrary to the utter garbage spouted by dishonest conservatives that the Refugee Review Tribunal is somehow biased towards refugee claims, comes the revelation that it has been treating applications by gay people fleeing persecution with unbelievable contempt:
In one case a gay refugee couple who had experienced violence and harassment in their Bangladeshi homeland were told that they would be safe to return home provided they “conducted themselves in a discreet manner”. The tribunal noted that “men [in Bangladesh] who conform outwardly to social norms, most importantly by marrying and having children, can get away with male to male sex provided it is kept secret”.
And that’s not even the stupidest and most offensive example.
According to the tribunal, all gays, even non-English speaking ones, should instinctively know trivial details of western “gay” pop culture:
In a separate case, the tribunal attempted to determine the veracity of a claimant’s homosexuality by asking him to describe the “art, literature, song lyrics [and] popular cultural icons [that] spoke to him in his isolation from the rest of society”. It was indicated that they were looking for examples such as Madonna, Oscar Wilde, Greco-Roman wrestling and Bette Midler. The court added that the line of questioning was justified and comparable to quizzing Catholics on the Bible.
Time limit for being gay expired:
Another claimant was rejected in 2007 on the grounds that because his first homosexual experiences had occurred while in detention, his homosexuality was not real, but “situational”.
Just man up about it:
That same year, a Fijian homosexual who had been physically and sexually assaulted was ordered home and told to simply ignore the verbal abuse and derogatory treatment he experienced.
What, you’ve only got one example? Might have been a one-off:
Another homosexual who had been arrested and assaulted, first by the Fijian police and then by the militia for having gay sex, was told that while the court accepted his homosexuality and his story, they were not satisfied that he faced any further persecution.
Not promiscuous enough for our help:
Then in 2008 a court expressed concern over the fact that a Pakistani man only had a single “one night stand” to show for the “many months” he had spent in Australia.
Don’t look gay enough:
Still others have been rejected on the basis that because of their conservative dress or appearance, they are likely to be able to “pass” as heterosexual and therefore are not at risk of facing persecution.
Don’t worry, though, it’s not as if these odd examples of a system that has bizarre and unfathomable prejudices about gay people actually caused serious lasting harm to people’s lives and resulted in them being sent back into real danger. No, wait, that’s exactly what happened.
This is a disgrace, and the Minister should be answering serious questions about it in Parliament.