Spain, quickly becoming one of the most progressive countries in Europe, has proposed a new law that would grant political asylum to people fleeing from persecution in their home countries based on sexual orientation. If passed, Spain would join those other queer-marrying countries like Holland and Canada, who also grant asylum to persecuted gays.
So does the U.S. offer such asylum? Um, not so much.
Sexuality is not specifically regarded as grounds for asylum in the United States. Last month a gay Zimbabwe man who says he faces persecution at home has had his appeal for asylum rejected by a federal appeals court.
William J. Kimumwe told the court that he fled Zimbabwe and eventually made it to the United States in 2002, settling in Minneapolis where his initial bid for asylum was denied.
In federal court he related to the three judges the situation in Zimbabwe under strongman Robert Mugabe where gays are routinely arrested and often held for months without trial.
Kudos to Spain, the third country to allow full gay marriage. Let’s hope our country gets back in the business of being a world leader in progress and begins granting political asylum to gays that happen to be born in less fortunate places. Are you listening Dubya?