Save lesbian activist Aderonke Apata from deportation to Nigeria
In her home town, Nigeria, Aderonke Apata was reported to police for living with her girlfriend, and was imprisoned for being a lesbian. Some of her family members and her ex-girlfriend were killed in recrimination. She fled to the UK, where she has applied twice for asylum.
A few days ago her case to stay in the UK as a refugee was heard in the High Court. Despite the risk to her life if she returns, The Home Office wants to deport her to Nigeria. Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, (through her barrister, Andrew Bird) argued at the hearing that: "one can’t be a heterosexual one day and a homosexual another". Mr Bird suggested she is not a lesbian because she has a daughter.
This shows a deeply flawed and outdated understanding of sexuality - which is based on desire not sexual experiences. Furthermore, the fact remains that due to Nigerian authorities being aware that she is a lesbian, her safety is at risk. She needs to be given refugee status in the UK so that she can stay safe, stay with her fiancée, and continue fighting for human rights.
The court is currently considering the evidence given at her hearing. They have promised to make a decision by the end of this month. Please sign my petition now to tell the Home Office that Aderonke needs to stay in the UK. If enough people sign, the Home Office will see that if they deport Aderonke they are condemning her to persecution.
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Dear Theresa May, Aderonke Apata is an award winning LGBT rights activist who fled persecution in Nigeria after she was arrested for being a lesbian. In her hearing at the High Court a few days ago, your barrister, Andrew Bird, made some shocking accusations about her sexuality. These included a suggestion that a woman cannot be a lesbian if she has children, or if she has had sexual relationships with men in the past. This indicates a major lack of understanding of sexuality and the majority of LGBTQ+ people's sexual histories. Aside from this, however the Home Office perceives Aderonke's sexuality, the fact remains that the Nigerian authorities regard her to be a lesbian. This is compounded by the LGBT rights activism she has participated in, for which she would also be persecuted for in Nigeria. As such, if you deport her she faces 14 years imprisonment and a high risk to her life in Nigeria. This is the main factor which should be considered in granting her asylum in the UK. [Your comment] We urge you to give Aderonke Apata refugee status, and allow her to remain in the UK, where she plans to marry her fiancée Happiness Agboro. Sincerely, [Your name]