The Supreme Court has just allowed an appeal by two homosexuals who faced persecution in Iran and Cameroon. The men had earlier been refused asylum in the UK on the basis they could have kept their sexuality secret by behaving discreetly if deported.
Here is a passage by Lord Rodger that leaps from the page. It shows that even judges who lapse naturally into Latin are not unfamiliar with modern society.
In short, what is protected is the applicant’s right to live freely and openly as a gay man. That involves a wide spectrum of conduct, going well beyond conduct designed to attract sexual partners and maintain relationships with them. To illustrate the point with trivial stereotypical examples from British society: just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates. Mutatis mutandis – and in many cases the adaptations would obviously be great – the same must apply to other societies. In other words, gay men are to be as free as their straight equivalents in the society concerned to live their lives in the way that is natural to them as gay men, without the fear of persecution.
So that’s what gay men do…