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Jamaican Lesbian
Granted Asylum in Florida

Jamaican Lesbian
Granted Asylum in Florida

A Jamaican woman living in Sunrise, Fla., has avoided deportation back to her home country after a judge ruled that her sexual orientation could lead to violence against her in Jamaica, TheMiami Herald reported Friday.

A Jamaican woman living in Sunrise, Fla., has avoided deportation back to her home country after a judge ruled that her sexual orientation could lead to violence against her in Jamaica, TheMiami Herald reported Friday.

The 29-year-old woman, going by her middle name Nichole, was initially ordered to be deported after two drug convictions. In the same ruling, immigration judge Irma Lopez-Defillo deferred the order because of Jamaica's criminalization of homosexuality.

Being gay "is the worst thing you can be stricken with [in Jamaica],'' Nichole said in the article. "You basically have to live undercover."

The judge's decision is a rare one, as the case was handled under the United Nations' convention against torture, which prevents immigrants from being deported if it is highly probably they will face torture upon their return to their home country. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 28,130 cases were filed under this statute, but only 449 asylum seekers were allowed to stay. Ninety-two cases were granted a deferred removal.

At age 10, Nichole and her familiy moved from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, to the United States. When she was a teenager, her parents, Seventh-day Adventists, tried to convert her once her sexual orientation became apparent. They moved her back to Jamaica to live with family members when she was 14, but the stay lasted just two months -- Nichole's involvement with another girl in her class angered her family. Her parents returned to Jamaica to retrieve her shortly afterward. (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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