Immigration Follies: Faulty Gaydar Edition

by matttbastard

Via Slap Upside the Head: The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada queer-eyes a gay refugee from Nicaragua, refusing to grant him asylum apparently because he’s not gay enough:

Alvaro Orozco, 21, says he was just 12 when he fled Nicaragua – a country where homosexuality is considered a crime punishable by up to four years in prison – because his father beat him for being gay.


After fleeing his homeland, Orozco hitchhiked his way to the U.S. and, after five years living as an illegal immigrant, eventually made it to Canada in January 2005.

He applied for asylum on the basis of his sexual orientation, but Deborah Lamont – the IRB member who heard his case in February – didn’t believe he was gay because he wasn’t sexually active during his teen years and his sexual orientation wasn’t clear when he left Nicaragua.


Orozco, who wasn’t at Thursday’s news conference, said in a statement that he fears for his safety if he returns to Nicaragua.

“I’m concerned about the risk I face if they send me back to Nicaragua, where I can face persecution by the government and the Catholic community, who judge gay life as sodomy,” he said.

“I feel fear for my life in Nicaragua.”

Time to brush up on your bath house etiquette and the Judy Garland songbook, Alvaro. Maybe then you’ll register on Lamont’s (very selective) gaydar.

Related: The Georgia Straight has more on Canada’s record of providing asylum to gay refugees fleeing persecution for their orientation, noting that although we’re not as bad as the Yanks, there is little hope once a claimant has been denied by the IRB:

Colleen French, a communications coordinator for the Canadian Council on Refugees, told the Straight from Montreal that Canada has a very good reputation abroad for accepting refugee claims made by gays and lesbians escaping persecution. “Particularly if we compare with other countries,” she noted.

“But the problem in Canada is that the decision-making is very uneven,” French added, “largely due to the fact the government has not put into place the IRB Refugee Appeal Division.

Hughes explained that the appeal division should have been implemented in June 2002, when the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect. “But the government of the day said they needed a year to implement the provisions,” Hughes said. “Well, it’s been five years.” As things stand now, once an individual’s refugee claim is denied, there is little hope he or she will be able to remain in Canada.

What you can do to help, via Orozco’s homepage:


At this point, my lawyer is working on convincing the minister of citizenship and immigration to grant me a “stay”, which would mean allowing me to stay in the country and NOT be deported on February 13th.

The minister is very busy, and my voice and my lawyer’s efforts alone might not be loud enough for them to hear it in Ottawa. and that’s where your help can be most valuable.

What you need to do when you contact the Minister of Immigration or your MP is to ask them in their capacity to order (the minister) a stay of removal for Alvaro Orozco and to grant him the right to remain in Canada. or to use their influence (the MPs) with the minister to make that decision.

Contact the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley.
Important note: The Minister of Immigration, Diane Finely, has the final say on deportation matters. She has the authority to give me permission to stay in Canada.
Despite the deferral, supporters should keep contacting Minister Diane Finley’s office to keep the pressure and attention up. At this point, the CIC/IRB can reopen his case, grant my H&C (Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds stay), or accept my PRRA (preremoval risk assessment) (once we file the latter two). Now it’s up to her. PLEASE keep sending in your support. It’s only the beginning! I still has a removal date for mid August and no status yet.


Click Here for a Sample Letter to Minister Finley Word Doc.

Minister Diane Finley
Immigration Office: 613-954-1064

Parliament Hill
Room 707, Confederation Bldg House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Ph:(613) 996-4974
Toll Free:None
Fx:(613) 996-9749

Contact a Toronto MP
1. Hon. Bill Graham
I have been living in the constituency of MP Bill Graham, he has connections in Ottawa and what he says and thinks counts. Please contact him and ask him to help me. his contact info are:

Click Here for a Sample Letter to the Honorable Bill Graham Word Doc.

(call first) Constituency Office:
The Honourable Bill Graham, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
365 Bloor Street East, Suite 1805
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3L4
Telephone: (416) 954-2222
Fax: (416) 954-9649


Parliament Hill Office:
The Honourable Bill Graham, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Room 904, Justice Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-5234
Fax: (613) 996-9607

2. Hon. Jim Flaherty

Constituency Offices
204-701 Rossland Road East (Main Office)
Whitby, Ontario L1N 8Y9
Telephone: (905) 665-8182
Fax: (905) 665-8124

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-6344
Fax: (613) 992-8320

Contacting other MPs from Toronto will also be very helpful. click here for a full list of the MPs and their contact info.

HRC/LOGO VisibleVote08 Forum.

by Isabel LaCoeur

First, the highlights:

9:03 –Obama is welcomed to the forum. He shakes approximately 6 people’s hands before approaching the stage. The moderators then refer to him as a rock star.

9:06 – Obama claims that all Americans should be treated equally … however, this doesn’t apply to marriage, apparently. The separation of church and state denies use of the word “marriage”, in his view, due to the religious connotations that have been applied to the word. So, the straight people get to marry, and the gay people get to civilly unionize. Have I mentioned that I really dislike these “equal, but different” spiels?

9:11 – I heart Melissa Etheridge <3 Sorry, just having a fangirl moment.

9:15 – Obama is a hope-monger! The way that he delivers this line kind of makes me want to give him a hug, or at least a plush teddy bear.

9:17 – Obama highlights the use of LGBT issues as a political football. He is then questioned as to how he can claim to be so supportive of gay rights while denying them the right to marry. Obama pulls out his dancing shoes. Is it just me, or does he have two left feet when it comes to this issue?

Continue reading

Sinking the Ship

by matttbastard

Liberal Interventionist Anne-Marie Slaughter received a bit of roasting from the Yankee left-o-sphere the other day in response to this followup-to-a-followup after Slaughter published a much-derided paean to reflexive bipartisanship.

Said Slaughter in her latest round of hole-digging:

Here is my nightmare. The Cheneyites succeed in creating a situation in which Bush does decide to bomb Iran. Iran retaliates, as they openly threaten to do, with terrorist attacks against us on U.S. soil. That tilts the election. I can imagine a Karl Rove political calculation that would buttress a Cheney-Addington national security calculation, probably with Eliot Abrams’ support.

Now, Slaughter is one of those Serious™ foreign policy wonks who, after much agonizing and no little consultation with ‘my friend, the Iraqi exile’, decided to support the invasion of Iraq (on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.) So it came as a surprise to see someone of her refined pedigree joining forces with the Prison Planet set:

Presidential candidate Ron Paul says the U.S. is in “great danger” of a staged terror attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation while also warning that a major collapse of the American economy is on the horizon and could be precipitated by the bombing of Iran and the closure of the Persian Gulf.

Speaking to The Alex Jones Show, the Texas Congressman was asked his opinion on Cindy Sheehan’s recent comments that the U.S. is in danger of a staged terror attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation that will validate the Neo-Con agenda and lead to the implementation of the infrastructure of martial law that Bush recently signed into law via executive order, as well as public pronouncements from prominent officials that the West needs terrorism to save a doomed foreign policy.

“I think we’re in great danger of it,” responded the Congressman, “We’re in danger in many ways, the attack on our civil liberties here at home, the foreign policy that’s in shambles and our obligations overseas and commitment which endangers our troops and our national defense.”

Hopefully Paul takes pity on Slaughter and shares some of his tinfoil (or offers her a Cabinet-level position).


Update 08/11: I somehow neglected including this link from Libby Spencer, who makes the point that 6 years of Bush extremism has made even moderates like Slaughter open to the possibility of a neocon coup:

Those of us who have lived through ten or so presidencies have never seen anything approaching the wilful malfeasance of this administration and are reluctantly willing to believe they’re capable of normally implausible acts. That’s not paranoia. It’s historical perspective.

Although I took quite a lot of delight in tweaking Slaughter for her not-so-Serious™ scenario, this should in no way imply that I believe it to be impossible, nor implausible. More from Brian Beutler.

(edited slightly for clarity)

I Checked the Byline and the Source. It’s Neither Stephen Colbert nor The Onion.

by matttbastard

Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky is totally hot for another 9/11. Srsly:


ONE MONTH from The Anniversary, I’m thinking another 9/11 would help America. What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically – thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq – that we have forgotten who the enemy is.

It is not Bush and it is not Hillary and it is not Daily Kos or Bill O’Reilly or Giuliani or Barack. It is global terrorists who use Islam to justify their hideous sins, including blowing up women and children.

Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.


We knew who the enemy was shortly after 9/11.

Because we have mislaid 9/11, we have endless sideshow squabbles about whether the surge is working, if we are “safer” now, whether the FBI should listen in on foreign phone calls, whether cops should detain odd-acting “flying imams,” whether those plotting alleged attacks on Fort Dix or Kennedy airport are serious threats or amateur bumblers. We bicker over the trees while the forest is ablaze.

America’s fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.


If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America’s righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.


Yeah, I for one sure do miss the good old days of flag pins, Orange Alerts, duct tape as anti-bioterror device, ‘this is not the time for [x]’, etc. When men were men, brown folks were The Enemy and fries stood for freedom, not France. That Bin Laden fella deserves the Medal of Freedom Honor for bringing the nation together, unlike those ‘chattering chipmunks’ who rudely keep pointing out the emperor’s lack of clothing.

Oh, yeah. 3000+ dead people. Shame, that.

Shaun Mullen, who worked with Bykofsky for 21 years (my sincere condolences), says that the Daily News columnist is “an asshole whose ability to upset people far exceeds his abilities.” Mullen further notes that Bykofsky’s desire for Islamic extremists to once again attack teh homelands (and kill a lot more people) is “[s]hortsighted by a mile, deeply hurtful and ultimately self-defeating in acknowledging that if his brain fart is realized it will fuel a rage that will be merely transitory and result in exponentially more bad than good.

Larisa Alexandrovna, who both worked and lived at in the vicinity of Ground Zero at the time of the WTC attacks, is (understandably and justifiably) far less charitable to Bykofsky than Mullen is:

Do tell us Stu, just who would you volunteer to die this heroic death to bring unity to the country? Would you be willing? Tell us, would you be? Only cowards pray for tragedy because they are too frightened to actually fight their own battles.

I’m with Atrios. Exercise your free speech, just like this “sick bastard” did.

Via Will Bunch.