Officials should not be too personal questioning gay refugees, court says

european court of justiceGovernments may check if refugees who claim to be homosexual really are but may not make demands which are too intimate or personal, the European Court of Justice said on Tuesday.

The court was reacting to the case of three asylum seekers who were refused asylum in the Netherlands because of doubts about their sexual orientation.

The Dutch Council of State had asked the European court to decide how far officials can go in questioning refugees about their sexual preferences. The court said officials must keep within EU law, ‘such as the right to respect for human dignity and the right to respect for private and family life.

Nor is it acceptable to conclude someone is not gay because they do not fit known stereotypes, the court said in a statement. In addition, claims of homosexuality do not have to be made immediately, the court said, because of the intimate nature of the revelations.

The Netherlands grants asylum to gay men and women from some countries where they fear persecution, including Uganda, Iran and Iraq.

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