Raped by her much-older husband, she was forced to bear his children. … ‘When the [Home Office] first refused my asylum claim, they detained me for four hours,’ she said. ‘This man, he told me to change and stop being a lesbian. Is that really allowed? I thought they promoted diversity and equality.
‘This Home Office guy asked me to change. He told me to go to a church and repent and then I will stop claiming I am a lesbian.’ Awori added: ‘He kept intimidating me, yelling: “You’re the people causing problems in this country!” I put my complaint in about it and they refused to investigate it*.’
There is clearly a correlation between the LGBT asylum application refusal accelerating rate and more general LGBT related refused visas and LTR, statistics, and the type of loathsome, vicious and extremely homophobic conduct of the asylum caseworker referred to above. What training these individuals, whose salaries are paid by the British taxpayer, including British LGBT taxpayers have, on diversity, and indeed LGBT safety & safeguarding, and how and by whom that training is monitored are major questions for the Home Office (and by extension the Immigration Tribunal) to answer, and still more if such individuals are ever dismissed.
Recruitment and training, and LGBT specific auditing of performance on LGBT cases decisions and on LGBT related communications and engagement:
This section of the information resource details (two examples to put in context the very important matters considered) UK immigration agencies personnel recruitment, training, and auditing in regard to LGBT engagement competence & safety.
Our first example involves an item of an Asylum Caseworker’s [refusal of application] Decision & Reasons document (September 2018), denying the legal provisions for the LGBT dimensions of the Equality Act 2010 further to her interview of the applicant at the Home Office/UKVI offices in Cardiff in the late summer of 2018. For reference the Immigration Tribunal has made no reference to this very controversial caseworker item, which effectively denies the LGBT dimension of the Equality Act 2010 with its core legal protections for LGBT people:
The above indicates – possibly from an operating mandate section, or stock answers to give LGBT section guide for ECOs and UKVI Caseworkers – that in the Home Office is now effectively stating in such decision & reasons documents that sexual & gender minorities are not visibly different to others, and therefore not Protected Characteristics! An incredible, contemptuous policy towards LGBT equality, safety and the Law!
Also the first sentence of 21. Indicates the complete equality and anti-discrimination illiteracy of this very representative UKVI Caseworker – ‘LGBT is an immutable characteristic’: LGBT is a composite of different/two [sexual minorities and gender minorities] Protected Characteristics COMMUNITIES [i.e. People / Human-beings]. The Tribunal totally failed to note or challenge these significant demonstrations of ignorance and perceived contempt for gay people.
18 to 21 are extremely worrying statements, with their significance being that of flagrant ignoring of key parts of the Equality Act 2010 (making this given UK immigration caseworker, technically and legally-speaking in expressing such views, deliberately/knowingly ignoring and even breaking the legal provisions of said Law / Act of Parliament). The Hostile Environment caseworker in this particular case has, it can reasonably be argued (probably from a required/mandatory guidance point in the Home Office concealed ‘UKVI Operating Mandate’ item, mixed up sexual orientation and gender identity as being the same (they are two very different Protected Characteristics).
As presented according to the very revealing wording in this section (allied to the preparatory related ones on ‘PSG’s in items 18 – 19 according to UKVI caseworkers, on behalf of the HM Home Office / UKVI, as noted above, Protected Characteristics effectively don’t exist on the basis of gay, lesbian, bisexual trans people visibly looking exactly the same as all other members of society – at least for sexual orientation minorities – and as such the UKVI is committed to active operational level non-compliance with the spirit and legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
This UK immigration caseworker has in putting forward such personal views shown contempt for the Law. Again this doubtless directed from a guide on how to refuse genuine applicants from LGBT and other diverse communities using UK immigration services, that takes its direction from within the relevant sections of the withheld from public or elected politicians scrutiny, UKVI Operating Mandate that the highest level Whitehall civil servants will have either helped develop or else utilise in order to implement at operational level, the Hostile Environment.
Our second example, also provides compelling evidence of UK immigration services recruitment and retention of virulently anti-gay & lesbian staff ready, and perhaps even personally excited by the prospect of wielding extreme life imperilling anti-LGBT powers over LGBT UK immigration service users.
A UK government official told a gay asylum seeker to find religion and be ‘cured’ of their sexuality, the seeker has alleged … ‘My dad decided to force me into marriage. Because you’re voiceless, you have no one to defend you or support you.’
As the years past, Awori was living in hell. Raped by her much-older husband, she was forced to bear his children. … ‘When the [Home Office] first refused my asylum claim, they detained me for four hours,’ she said.
‘This man, he told me to change and stop being a lesbian. Is that really allowed? I thought they promoted diversity and equality.
‘This Home Office guy asked me to change. He told me to go to a church and repent and then I will stop claiming I am a lesbian.’
Awori added: ‘He kept intimidating me, yelling: “You’re the people causing problems in this country!” I put my complaint in about it and they refused to investigate it*.’
* Was this UK immigration officer suspended or dismissed? Was he promoted for such ‘work’? Who knows except the very high level officials in the Home Office?
As we have seen from the citation above, it is clear that the Home Office employs caseworkers who reveal in interviews (or in practice, as with this and another case we shall look at, hostile approach interrogations) that they have strong given religious faith derived anti-gay & Lesbian personal values and views. These can be so strong as to be expressed in knowingly making an unjust decision that they very clearly know will place in extreme danger the live of the LGBT person whose application they have just rejected.
We know that the Home Office has never provided any evidence or data on suspension, dismissal, disciplining of caseworkers and ECOs that have been revealed to make extreme and offensive anti-LGBT comments.
This has also been the same record where UK immigration officers under the Hostile Environment have been revealed to have ignored compelling evidence which demonstrated LGBT lives were at very real risk from family members and broader members of the community the applicant came from, with extreme homophobic views (often demonstrated through torture and murder).
Clearly these officials remain in post, which sends out a strong message that from the highest levels of the Hostile Environment agencies & entities in Whitehall, anti-LGBT behaviour and motivations are not only tolerated but welcome. This is a particularly compelling evidence of the UK immigration services having an institutional anti-LGBT strand at the heart of Hostile Environment.
Institutional homophobia in particular is evidenced from responses or often non-responses to formal requests from LGBT human rights and anti-discrimination independent, community respected organisations, and overseas, by leads of respected official national LGBT human rights organisations.
Concerns on non-British / foreign nationals recruited by the FCO as ECOs and ECAs in particular, in regard to belonging to cultures that are still overwhelmingly homophobic. We are aware from UK immigration job adverts in countries for example in South Asia and Africa, that many of these jobs are filled by nationals of those countries, many of which have societies that are commonly and sometimes overwhelmingly homophobic, where LGBT human rights legal protections may often be missing, and records of oppression, high suicide rates of LGBTs exist, blackmail, violent assaults, etc.
What tests are provided by the Home Office & FCO on LGBT matters, for those applying for these very important posts overseas, are simply not know, and require clarity. The same for dedicated real-life frontline immigration services provision LGBT related training (of kinds that the given country’s recognised LGBT human rights organisations are involved in or monitor for effectiveness).
Without these, we do see exactly the types of decision where applications that involve significant LGBT elements – such as a visitor visa to spend time with a British Citizen same sex partner, and definitely settlement visas linked to same-sex married couples or intended same-sex marriage – are routinely refused.
Homophobes are not likely to act in objective professional ways where lesbian or gay applicants for visas, are concerned. The instinct is to make life as difficult, uncomfortable, and even dangerous for gay people.