The Daily Mail reports on probably one of the most bizarre deportation hearings I’ve ever read about.
An anonymous woman referred to in court only as “A” has been threatened with extradition because of a dispute over her sexual identity. In essence, the Home Office (a UK government agency which oversees immigration, the rough equivalent of the US ICE) does not believe the woman is really a lesbian.
The complicating issues are that A appears to have become a lesbian while imprisoned on drug charges, and she faces persecution in Jamaica as a lesbian if deported.
A quote from the article:
Overturning that ruling today, Lord Justice Goldring said: ‘A has now been in a series of exclusively lesbian sexual relationships over some four years. That is, on its face, cogent evidence that she is a lesbian, or predominantly a lesbian, by sexual identity.
‘What might have begun as sexual experimentation with lesbianism could have ended with it being her sole or predominant sexual orientation. That does not appear to have been adequately considered or, at least, explained by the tribunal’.
Goldring goes on to order a fresh consideration of A’s case by another tribunal.
My take on the whole thing:
First, I think it’s ridiculously invasive and rather silly to expect someone to attempt to prove, in court, a matter as sensitive and private as sexual preference. I further consider the fact that A’s deportation to Jamaica carries the consequences it does rather tragic.
Second, how can four years of exclusively lesbian relationships not be enough to establish that maybe, just maybe, A is now exclusively batting for the other team? If not, what does the Home Office expect? I would certainly hope that the Home Office comes to their senses about this.
Third, whatever happened in prison happened, and once one has completed the sentence assessed by the courts, one is still a human being. If the responsibility of the rest of society to someone like A to treat her like a human being ended upon her conviction of whatever crime, then there really is no sense in handing out anything but life sentences without possibility of parole (“throw away the key”) or the death penalty. The fact that A has been released says she has been sanctioned enough for her crimes.
Even if A wasn’t a lesbian before, she should probably be considered one now, and to just ship her back to Jamaica is at best negligent and at worst downright reckless and a flagrant violation of the standards by which decent people live. I’m not saying necessarily that she should be allowed to stay in the UK; maybe another country will let her live there.
The comments, not surprisingly, blast the Home Office and mostly say “ship her back already.” To which I respond: I’m so glad I don’t live in the UK.