Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for March, 2009

Asylum Judge: Gay Man “Was Never Physically Harmed” By Rape

Jim Burroway

March 22nd, 2009

How many women’s groups would remain silent over a case like this?

Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, has asked the Obama administration to grant asylum to a gay man who married an American citizen in Massachusetts and was later forced to return to Brazil.

The man, Genesio Oliveira, has been separated from his husband, Tim Coco, since August 2007, when he left the country after his request for asylum and an appeal were denied.

Mr. Oliveira asked for asylum in 2002, saying he was raped and attacked by a physician as a teenager in Brazil and feared persecution because of his sexuality. The Associated Press does not typically name rape victims, but Mr. Oliveira has spoken openly about his case.

In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Mr. Kerry said that Immigration Judge Francis L. Cramer had found Mr. Oliveira’s testimony to be credible and his fear of living in Brazil genuine. However, the judge denied the asylum claim, saying he “was never physically harmed” by the rape, the letter said. Mr. Kerry called the ruling “outrageous.”

Genesio now lives in a small apartment in Brazil, just blocks away from the man who raped him. He mostly stays in the apartment, afraid to go out.

Sen. Kerry has co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow gays and lesbians from other countries to become permanent residents in the U.S. based on their permanent relationship status with an American citizen.