Toronto group reaches out to help gay refugees start new lives in Canada

Canada 1November 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…

via Toronto group reaches out to help gay refugees start new lives in Canada | Toronto Star.

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