Monday, January 31, 2011

Keep up the pressure to save Brenda Namigadde from deportation

Last Friday I wrote about how Ugandan lesbian Brenda Namigadde faced deportation because a Court had ruled that there was no evidence that she was in fact homosexual.

I really don't want to see us going down the route of the Courts making arbitrary judgements over someone's sexuality.

Political Scrapbook had a story yesterday which alleged that the judgement had been made at least in part because Brenda had no literature relating to her sexual orientation.  How ridiculous! And if she had have done, how would that have proved that she was a lesbian?  It's just irrelevant, and I find it unacceptable that Judges' subjective view of how lesbians "should" behave, when there is a fair chance they have no idea of any such thing, form the basis of a decision which could lead to someone's death.

Thankfully, Brenda was given a last minute reprieve - apparently after she had been put on the plane to take her to Uganda. Her case will now go to judicial review.

I hope that that comes out in her favour. However, if not, she'll face deportation again. That's why it's important to do what we can to raise awareness of her situation and encourage people to write to Theresa May. She could end this by looking at her case and using the discretion we know she has to allow Brenda to stay.

Chicken Yoghurt has a more comprehensive list of e-mail addresses for the Home Office in his blog post about Brenda.

As an aside, I see in the BBC report that Labour Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper says:
 "LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people in Uganda have faced arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention and ill treatment, and the new plans for even more homophobic laws are deeply worrying."
That's all very well, but I'm not sure I can ever forgive (actually, I am sure, I can't) Yvette Cooper, or anyone else who was in the last Labour Cabinet responsible for a policy of deporting gay people and telling them to be discreet. By their deeds you shall know them and all that. 

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