Published On: Sun, Mar 1st, 2015 on 3:24 pm

Kiss-in protest staged outside immigration court in Leeds

EXCLUSIVE: A kiss-in protest has been staged outside the Home Office Waterside Court in Leeds to show solidarity to gay people seeking asylum.

Kiss In Protest Waterside Court

Image: Sanaz Raji.

Organised by the Queer and Now group, protesters held the kiss-in to highlight those who suffer persecution from countries they are fleeing due to their sexual orientation.

Protesters also called on the Home Office to grant immediate asylum to Orashia Edwards, a bisexual from Jamaica, as well as Aderonke Apata, a lesbian from Nigeria.

Both countries have been criticised by campaigners and human rights groups for applying strict laws and punishments for those who practice same-sex relationships.

“Some people are gay, get over it!”

Emily Jennings of Leeds No Borders said: “As a gay person, I still feel nervous about being open about my sexuality. But I can’t imagine having to hide and even leave my home because I could be killed. But then when people come to the UK, they face massive institutional homophobia within the Home Office and a culture of disbelief.

“No matter how many photos asylum seekers submit to the Home Office to ‘prove’ they are gay, the majority are rejected. So we are bringing as many people as possible to kiss and say ‘Look! Home Office, some people are gay, get over it!’ to highlight the obsurdity of having to ‘prove’ you are gay.

“It’s also to show that a simple kiss is actually illegal and even a death sentence in many of the countries LGBTIQ asylum seekers are fleeing.”

LGBTIQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning.

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  1. Jennifer Neal says:

    For most, myself included the “Q” in LGBTQIA stands for “Queer”.

  2. Biscuits says:

    I think a lot of people would argue that the “Q” in LGBTIQ stands for “queer”, rather than “questioning”.

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