Published August, 2013

Matter of Anthony (Board of Immigration Appeals 2013): Brief of The Center for HIV Law and Policy, Lambda Legal, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the National Assoc of Social Workers; the National Assoc of Social Workers, CT Chapter

This friend-of-the-court brief urges the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn an Immigration Judge's ruling denying an immigrant's application for deferral of removal to Jamaica under the U.N Convention Against Torture (CAT).

In this case, Anthony explained to an Immigration Judge that he realized he was gay when he was 25 but – like many other lesbian, gay, and bisexual 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. In the ruling, the immigration judge concluded that Anthony had not proved he was gay.

This brief cite several studies documenting that for many LGB individuals, acknowledging that one is lesbian, gay or bisexual is often a prolonged process. As the brief explains, gay men can face a uniquely intense form of persecution in Jamaica. Homophobia and ignorance about HIV are reflected in, and compounded by, the widely-held perception in Jamaica of gay men as vectors of disease. Gay men are presumed to be HIV positive and treated as dangerous to be around regardless of their actual HIV status.