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In a time marked by dramatic global change, women and men persecuted because they are lesbian or gay form part of the growing pool of international refugees. Their persecution takes the form of police harassment an assault, involuntary institutionalization and electroshock and drug "treatments," punishment under laws that impose extreme penalties including death for consensual lesbian or gay sexual relations, murder by paramilitary death squads, and government inaction in response to criminal assaults against lesbians and gay men. The survival of these women and men, like the survival of all refugees, depends on obtaining asylum outside the home country. Yet, to date there have been few published decisions internationally and only one in the United States that grant asylum to people in these situations.

To illustrate the eligibility of lesbians and gay men under the legal standard for asylum, this Article argues the hypothetical case of Tatiana, a Romanian lesbian seeking asylum in the United States. As part of its argument, this Article reviews and analyzes the epidemic persecution of lesbians and gay men worldwide.


Immigration Law | Law | Law and Gender | Sexuality and the Law