In Re Anthony
Lambda Legal and the Center for HIV Law & Policy (CHLP), joined by eight other civil rights organizations, have submitted a friend-of-the-court brief asking the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to overturn an immigration judge’s ruling denying a Jamaican immigrant’s application for deferral of removal to Jamaica under the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT).
The brief concerns the case of Anthony, who immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. He explained to the judge that he realized he was gay when he was 25 but—like many other LGB people—continued to struggle for years to come to terms with his sexual orientation, both because of homophobia in his family and community, and reinforced by the antigay religious views of his family. He explained that while navigating his coming out process, he fathered two children. He also presented testimony from both a former and current romantic partner to support his own testimony about his sexual orientation.
“Anthony” is a pseudonym, because the immigrant seeking relief has requested anonymity based on his fear that if he is identified as a gay man, he will be tortured and killed if he is removed to Jamaica.
In the ruling, the judge concluded that Anthony had not proved he was gay, pointing to the children, Anthony’s earlier relationships with women, and to testimony that Anthony had not told his children or their mothers that he is gay. However, in the friend-of-the-court brief, Lambda Legal and CHLP cite several studies documenting that for many LGB individuals, acknowledging that one is lesbian, gay or bisexual is often a prolonged process.