LGBT+ Qataris Need Asylum Protections Now

LGBT+ Qataris deserve equal protection under international asylum laws.

Qatar, although it projects itself as a modern nation, is a dangerous place to be LGBT+. Most of the country's LGBT+ community lives in the shadows, out of fear for their health, safety, and even their lives. Although Qatari society isn't particularly accepting of the LGBT+ community, it's the government's own laws that make life so difficult for queer people in the country. 

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar under Article 296 of the penal code with punishment ranging from imprisonment of 3-5 years, and even the death penalty. Meanwhile, forced disappearances, "corrective" rape as a form of torture, state-sanctioned violence, and honor killings are commonplace. Because of these homophobic laws and the daily social and legal obstacles that exist in Qatari society, many have no other choice but to flee their homes and country in search of a better life.

And the international community has a responsibility to protect those fleeing Qatar. 

The U.S. State Department has stated, "LGBTQI+ persons should have equal access to protection, assistance, and solutions in global humanitarian response," yet far too often asylum applications based on sexual orientation or gender identity are denied. Sometimes, applications are asked difficult questions like naming popular gay bars or organizations in their home country. However, many applicants who have been forced to live in the shadows will not know the answers to these impossible questions, often resulting in their application being denied.

For too long, countries like the U.S. have sat on the sidelines as LGBT+ asylum seekers face uncertain futures. Will you speak up and demand action? Will you demand legal protections for LGBT+ asylum seekers?

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Goal: 5,000

To U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes:

LGBT+ people in Qatar are under attack. As American leaders descend on the country to celebrate football, LGBT+ Qataris will be in the shadows fearing for their lives. Not only is homosexuality criminalized by the Qatari government, but there are frequent reports of LGBT+ Qataris being abducted, raped, tortured, and even killed. All of this LGBTphobia is happening while officials in the United States celebrate Qatar as a pillar of modernity in the region. This must stop now!

It is time that Global North nations (like the U.S) live up to their own standards regarding asylum applications. The LGBT+ community in Qatar faces legitimate persecution related to their sexual orientation and/or gender identities: they need your protection now!

Therefore, we demand that the U.S. State Department:

1.) Ensure all LGBT+ people are covered and protected under relevant asylum guidelines. (Current U.S. asylum legislation does not explicitly include the grounds of gender expression and sex characteristics);
2.) Guarantee access to safe accommodation for LGBT+ asylum seekers while they await their asylum claims;

The world is watching! Which side of history will you be on? Please, step up and ensure your countries are leading the world with inclusive and equitable asylum policies for all!

0people have signed
Goal: 5,000