Photo Credit: Feeling My Age / https://www.flickr.com/photos/feelingmyage/
Demonstration supporting gay refugees.

Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set new policy this week dealing with security concerns about the 25,000 Syrian refugees entering Canada. One major policy change allows single gay men to seek refugee status, but rejects single straight men, because the latter are more likely to be terrorists, according to the Ottawa Citizen. Overall, the Canadian plan focuses mostly on families, single women, and children, but officials have now acknowledged that gay men should also receive a preference in admittance, because they face violence and persecution in their Muslim home countries. At least for this coming group of asylum seekers, straight males are automatically disqualified.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a “Resettlement Assessment Tool for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Refugees,” suggesting that “Due to the discrimination and abuse they experience, many LGBTI individuals flee their home countries and seek protection abroad. LGBTI individuals may be under a continuous threat of human rights abuses due to discriminatory laws and hostile societal attitudes in the countries of asylum.”

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The UNHCR concludes that “resettlement may be the only viable durable solution for LGBTI refugees facing specific protection risks due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. In some cases emergency processing or evacuation may be required as lengthy processing can exacerbate the security risks. It is important for UNHCR staff to develop a thorough understanding of the multiple forms of harm and discrimination experienced by LGBTI refugees, and to ensure that LGBTI refugees have fair access to the resettlement process and that their resettlement needs are assessed on a nondiscriminatory basis.”

The Trudeau government’s anticipated move is meeting some resistance in Canada. “While security concerns remain of vital importance, will a young man, who lost both parents, be excluded from the refugee program?” NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked reporters this week. “Will a widower who is fleeing [ISIS] after having seen his family killed be excluded? This is not the Canadian way.”

And Gerard Van Kessel, a former director of Canadian refugee programs, wished to know, “What do they mean by families? If you have an 18-year-old son that’s part of a family, is that person coming in? Also, the husband? What’s going to be done there?”

Canada has already accepted 3,000 Syrian refugees, and plans to spend about $678 million over the next six years resettling the 25,000 new arrivals.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. This is about escaping persecution not about political correctness. Yes, if anyone is to be allowed in priority should be given to those who’s lives are in immediate danger and that includes gays, yazidis and christians. Straight mslm. males live for the most part in refugee camps around the middle east and are not in mortal danger

  2. I’m a Canadian, and nowhere is the gov’t saying Gay Males are going to be allowed into Canada, what is being said is that women and children, men who have families, all those refugees are going to be allowed into Canada, 10,000 by the end of the year, and more next year, as well they will be coming from Lebanon and surrounding countries near Syria, not Turkey or Europe. For now single males will not be a priority, due to security concerns.

  3. Wake up people. These are not the ordinary refugees ur so intent on fighting for. Please screen them carefully. Muslims are willing to blow themselves up for the cause. Let's not expose the good people of Canada to that type of mentality. Protect ur families. There oare plenty of good people among them to help. Just screen them for ur safety and those running for their lives.

  4. Our pathetically naive citizens just don't get it. It is only non-muslims that are persecuted by Muslims. Of course there are other muslims that are killing each other like shiites vs sunnis but they are both terrorists and deserve eachother. I'm all for helping true refugees that are dying from either terrorists, starvation, etc. but not at any cost. Our government's first priority is to protect us. If we are too blind and dumb to take note of what is happening in Europe then we deserve what we get. This absurd idea of protecting us by only letting in gay males vs straight males is a story right out of an insane assylum. How in the world are you going to prove who's gay? Letting in moslems from Syria is going to get us killed. How many times must we get hit on the head before we get it?

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