Man Granted Asylum on Basis of Sexual Identity

A federal appeals court granted asylum to a cross-dressing Mexican gay man who, because of his sexuality, was persecuted by his family, school officials and police. The man, Geovanni Hernandez-Montiel, applied for asylum in 1995, but was denied. During his appeal, a Latin American History expert testified that Mexican police and citizens do heavily persecute gay men with female sexuality identities, and that Hernandez-Montiel would definitely face discrimination and harassment if he was deported to Mexico. The decision by the federal court to grant asylum to persecuted gay men broadened the circumstances of persecution that will be considered during asylum hearings in the future.


AP - August 25, 2000

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