15 Law & Sexuality: Rev. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Legal Issues 135 (2006)
Not Gay Enough for the Government: Racial and Sexual Stereotypes in Sexual Orientation Asylum Cases

handle is hein.journals/lsex15 and id is 141 raw text is: NLGLA MICHAEL GREENBERG
WRITING COMPETITION
Not Gay Enough for the Government:
Racial and Sexual Stereotypes in Sexual
Orientation Asylum Cases
Deborah A. Morgan*
I.    INTRODUCTION     ................................................................................. 135
II.   B ACKGROUND    ................................................................................... 137
A.    Racism and Homophobia in the Immignation Process ......... 138
B.    The Asylum     Process ............................................................... 139
C     Characteristics ofAsylum    Applicants .................................... 141
D)    Not Gay Enough for the Government. The Case of
'M oham  m ad ......................................................................... 144
III. UNCOVERING BIAS IN SEXUAL ORIENTATION ASYLUM
D ECISION  S ......................................................................................... 147
A.    Racial Stereotypes and Essentalism ...................................... 148
B.    Globalized Gay Stereotypes ................................................... 150
C     Stereotypes i the Asylum    Process ........................................ 153
IV   IMPROVING SEXUAL ORIENTATION ASYLUM            DECISIONS ................. 157
V     C ONCLUSION    .................................................................................... 160
I.    INTRODUCTION
Asylum seekers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) come to the United States to escape persecution including police
abuse,    harsh    penalties   (including    death)    for   consensual    sex,
*    Associate Managing Editor, American University Law Review, Volume 55; J.D.
candidate 2006, American University, Washington College of Law; M.A. 1995, University of
Oregon; B.A. 1989, Sheffield University, England. I would like to thank the National Lesbian &
Gay Law Association for honoring this Article with First Place in the 2005 Michael Greenburg
Student Writing Competition and the staff of the Tulane Journal of Law and Sexuality for
continuing their work despite personal and institutional problems caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Thanks also go to Professor Darren Hutchinson for his guidance during the writing of an earlier
version of this Article as a research paper for his Critical Race Theory seminar. Special thanks go
to Christopher Nugent, Esq., of Holland & Knight L.L.P., for his expert review and helpful
comments and his tireless advocacy on behalf of LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. Finally, I
would especially like to thank my friend Mohammad for his permission to tell his story; my
sincere best wishes to him as he starts his new life in the United States.
135

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