The UK Home Office — the government department responsible for processing asylum cases as well as other immigration matters — has rejected an asylum application from Aderonke Apata, a lesbian from Nigeria, because they don’t believe she is really gay.
The reasoning? That Apata — who is seeking asylum because she fears she will be persecuted in Nigeria over her sexuality — can’t be a lesbian, because she has children.
Apparently, in the Home Office’s view, “lesbian” is a status akin to virginity: one step off the path of homosexuality and one’s lesbianism is gone forever, never to be regained.
The Telegraph reports that Andrew Bird, the lawyer who represented the Home Office in Apata’s case, argued that Apata couldn’t be considered a part of the “social group known as lesbians,” even though she had “indulged in same-sex activity.”
“You can’t be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next day. Just as you can’t change your race,” Bird claimed at her hearing…story continues below…