Such prejudice and discrimination has to go in our world and so we here at this site support the work of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Asylum Support Task Force.
V-Day Supports LGBT Asylum Support Task Force
V-Day, May 24, 2013, by email
V-Day is proud to be supporting the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force of Hadwen Park Church in Worcester, MA with a $5000 grant. A group of dedicated volunteers in Central Massachusetts who provide support to any LGBT asylum seeker who is pursuing a legal case, the Task Force has supported more than 62 LGBTQ persons from 15 countries.
The V-Day grant goes towards supporting JK and Magi, two Ugandan women who were tortured, jailed and “correctively raped,” because they were lesbians. Corrective rape is a horrific practice in which it is believed that rape can “cure” a woman of their homosexuality, leading them to marry men and have children. Because being openly gay in Ugandan society is so dangerous, these women fled the country, leaving their children behind. The V-Day grant helps to support them in the United States while they pursue a legal battle for asylum.
Supporting New Beginnings
Update: This month, we will receive two new Ugandan women to the state of Massachusetts. Your continued support is greatly appreciated. For information about how you can help, visit our Get Involved page. Thank you!
Did You Know…
- There are laws against homosexuality in 87 countries around the world?
- In 72 countries, you could be imprisoned if you are part of the LGBT community?
- In 7 of those countries, the punishment is the death penalty?
- In some of those countries “corrective rape” is common and sometimes committed by government officials?
Fortunately, There is Help
The LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is a group of dedicated volunteers in Central Massachusetts who provide support to clients of the LGBT Human Rights Protection Project of Lutheran Social Services who are seeking political asylum in the U.S. based on their sexual orientation. As of October 2012, the Task Force has supported more than 50 individuals.
Asylum seekers are vulnerable and traumatized individuals who have fled to the U.S. in fear of being killed or harmed in their countries of origin due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The violence resulting from homophobia and anti-homosexuality laws in many countries in the world is rampant.
Because most asylum seekers are not permitted to work during their legal process, they do not have the means to support themselves. They often arrive in the U.S. with nothing but the clothes on their backs having used all of their resources getting here. Moreover, they remain particularly isolated because frequently they cannot turn to people from their own country in the U.S. for assistance or support as it is their fellow countrymen from whom they are fleeing.
The volunteers of LGBT Asylum Support Task Force contribute to the financial, housing, social, and spiritual needs of asylum seekers in many ways:
- raising money to help pay rent and bills,
- recruiting volunteers to host asylum seekers to live in their homes,
- donating clothing, toiletries, and household items,
- driving them to appointments, and
- providing a safe and supportive social environment.
This is often the first time they have been able to publicly express their sexual orientation and it is incredibly empowering. For many, this is the first time they have been able to witness same sex couples and families living normal everyday lives and it gives them great hope for their futures.