London to become the queer capital of the world. Get set for a flood of welfare-dependant Africans heading to England

Gay asylum seekers must be ‘free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts and drinking exotically coloured cocktails’ without fear of persecution, a senior judge declared yesterday.

Lord Rodger’s extraordinary comments came in a judgment which could allow thousands of homosexuals to claim asylum in Britain. He said they should have the same rights to display their sexuality as straight men who ‘play rugby, drink beer and talk about girls with their mates’.

The Home Office has been refusing asylum claims by gay men on the grounds they could hide their sexuality – and therefore avoid persecution at home – by behaving discreetly. But, in test cases brought by men from Cameroon and Iran, three Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled the policy was a breach of the UN Convention on Refugees. It sets the precedent that no gay man should be returned to a country which treats homosexuality harshly on the expectation they will ‘act straight’. Lord Rodger, one of the most senior judges in Britain, said gay men had a right to ‘live openly and freely’.

The Government – which had already promised to review its treatment of homosexual asylum seekers – welcomed the ruling, as did gay rights and refugee groups. Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘We have already promised to stop the removal of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution. ‘I do not believe it is acceptable to send people home and expect them to hide their sexuality to avoid persecution.’

But critics warned it could lead to the UK – which is among the first nations to take such a position – becoming a leading destination for asylum seekers who are claiming to be gay.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: ‘This could lead to a potentially massive expansion of asylum claims as it could apply to literally millions of people around the world. ‘An applicant has now only to show that he – or she – is homosexual and intends to return and live openly in one of the many countries where it is illegal to be granted asylum in the UK.

‘The judges are no doubt interpreting the letter of the international convention correctly but the consequences are potentially huge. ‘The principle of asylum is, rightly, widely supported but it should be a matter of domestic law.’ …

There are more than 75 countries where homosexuality is illegal.This can range from the outlawing of gay sex to – in the most hardline countries – the banning of holding hands, kissing or any other public act of affection. This makes it inevitable, as Lord Hope said yesterday, that ‘more and more’ gay asylum seekers would seek protection in the UK.

The judge, who sat alongside Lord Rodger on the Supreme Court panel, predicted they would come from countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, where evangelical Christian churches engage in ‘rampant homophobic teaching’. He added that homosexual men and women are also certain to flee here from Muslim nations where there is an ‘ ultraconservative interpretation of Islamic law’, such as Iran. Other countries singled out by the judgment included Malawi and Uganda….

The Home Office says it does not log how many asylum claims – there were 24,550 last year – were based on sexual persecution-But Stonewall, the gay rights group, says the refusal rate for gay claimants was 97 per cent – compared with 77 per cent for applications as a whole.

What is certain is this 97 per cent figure will now plummet. But the danger, Migrationwatch claims, is that not all of the thousands of beneficiaries will be genuine. Rather, the group says, they will be claiming to be gay in the knowledge that – if they are from a country where homosexuality is persecuted – they will not be sent home.