November 16, 2014 – Reported by TheStar.com – All they knew about him came in his 12-sentence refugee profile. He was an Iranian Kurd. He’d been caught with a man and imprisoned for three months. He’d been tortured. His family had kicked him out. He’d escaped to Turkey.
Last summer, sitting on a back porch in Riverdale, seven gay professionals decided they’d offer 30-year-old Iraj Moezi a new life in Canada, where he could be openly gay and safe.
Then, 10 days ago, they got the email: he was coming. They quickly divided up the tasks — housing, logistics, clothing, airport pickup.
“We don’t know anything about him,” said Kate Lazier, the group’s quarterback. How fluent is his English? Is he outgoing? What’s his profession?
They were saving a life. Now they were going to find out whose.
Four summers ago, Jason Kenney — then Canada’s immigration minister — threw down a gauntlet before the country’s GBLT community. Many had approached him about particular refugee cases — gay Iranians facing state executions; lesbian Jamaicans attacked with machetes.
“It’s time,” Kenney said, for gay organizations to “step up” and start sponsoring these refugees themselves…