Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Arwen Swink


More than 80 countries around the world have laws criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex. Physical and sexual abuse, harassment, detention, and extortion by police are common means of enforcing these laws. For many LGBT people who have been subjected to or who rightly fear persecution, political asylum may offer hope of protection, but the asylum process is not without its pitfalls. This article seeks to explore some of the difficulties the asylum adjudication process may pose for LGBT people seeking refuge from persecution. Specifically, this article addresses the various ways in which asylum adjudicators in Canada, Australia and the United States analyze the conditions faced by members of sexual minorities in their countries of origin.