In re Y.S.
Y.S. is a gay man seeking asylum in the United States to avoid persecution in his native country on the basis of his sexual orientation. Y.S. was denied asylum in a lower court after an immigration judge decided that Y.S. did not come out of the closet quickly enough and should have informed the court earlier of his sexual orientation. Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Second Circuit court of Appeals in support of Y.S. The brief focuses on the dynamics of coming out, and why it is common and reasonable for gay people to struggle with revealing their sexual orientation in the face of pervasive societal discrimination.
Since 1994, U.S. immigration law has recognized persecution based on sexual orientation as a ground for asylum. Applicants must prove that they are unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to past persecution or well-founded fears of future persecution based on their sexual orientation.
Lambda Legal's Impact
LGBT people who escape persecution in their homeland need strong precedents supporting their right to asylum in the United States. This case is one of the latest in Lambda Legal’s decades of work on behalf of LGBT immigrants.
- August 2009 The Board of Immigration Appeals sends the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.
- February 2009 Lambda Legal files an amicus brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals to help it reconsider the sexual orientation issues in the case.
- December 2008 The Board of Immigration Appeals, a mid-level immigration appellate court, accepts the case for further review.
- January 2007 Y.S.'s appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is sent back to the Board of Immigration Appeals, a mid-level immigration appellate court, at the request of both parties.
- August 2006 Lambda Legal files amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Y.S., a gay man seeking asylum in the United States.