...In denying Yaser refugee status, the IRB ruled the Iranian court documents weren’t genuine because they bore a court clerk’s seal rather than a judge’s seal, says Chris Morrissey of the Rainbow Refugee Committee.
The board also questioned why it took Yaser so long to leave Iran if he knew “as a gay man” that he was in danger, Morrissey says.It rather sounds as if the IRB is, you should pardon the expression, stereotyping. That is, that gays are those--and only those--who march in the Pride Parade, and that if you don't parade you ipso facto cannot be gay. Clearly, some reeducation (for insensitive IRB members) is in order.
Moreover, the immigration minister’s representative at the hearing found Yaser’s inability to recognize the rainbow flag and Pride parades as gay cultural markers incredible.
Morrissey says that’s a very presumptuous judgment.
“Oftentimes, there’s an assumption on the part of board members that someone from another country, being gay or lesbian or trans, is equal to being gay, lesbian, trans here in Vancouver,” she notes.
“So for a board member not believing that Yaser is gay because he hadn’t participated in the 2008 Pride parade, [that] he should have known about the Pride parade, because of all the rainbow flags — if you’re living in a country like Iran there’s no such thing as a Pride parade and certainly they’re not flying rainbow flags,” Morrissey points out...