Flamers, Flaunting and Permissible Persecution: R.G. (Colombia) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] E.W.C.A. Civ. 57


Johnson, Toni A. M. 2007. “Flamers, Flaunting and Permissible Persecution: R.G. (Colombia) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] E.W.C.A. Civ. 57.” Feminist Legal Studies 15 (1): 99–111.

Author: Toni A. M. Johnson


This note analyses a recent case of the English Court of Appeal in which the applicant, R.G., a gay, H.I.V. positive Colombian claimed asylum on grounds of persecution due to his sexuality. Both the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and the Court of Appeal rejected R.G.'s claim for asylum. The Court of Appeal's first and most significant reason was that the alleged persecution was not sufficiently serious or life threatening, since R.G. had not suffered actual physical violence throughout the 13 years that he had lived as a closeted gay man in Colombia. Secondly, the court considered the real reason for R.G.'s seeking asylum was his desire to access free health care in order to manage his H.I.V. His allegations of persecution on the grounds of sexuality were viewed as a sham. This note is critical of the approach taken by the Court, which, it is argued, displays an insensitivity to the complexity of sexual identity and its performance and has the effect of perpetuating and legitimating discrimination against lesbians and gay men. 

Keywords: asylum, discretion, gay, H.I.V., medical treatment, persecution, refugee

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

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