A Jamaican man living in Toronto faces deportation to his homeland after being convicted of assault with a weapon. Twenty-eight-year-old Nickaldo Smith lost his bid to stay in Canada after claiming he would be "persecuted" for his newly-discovered bisexuality, reports the Toronto Sun.
“The applicant asserted that he feared persecution in Jamaica due to his sexual orientation,” Judge Michel Beaudry wrote in a Feb. 11 decision. “The applicant discovered he was bisexual after (girlfriend) Karen encouraged him to explore his sexuality.” Court heard Smith began dating Karen in 2005. He then began a “sexual relationship” with John, a friend of Karen, whom he is still dating. His relationship with John was short-lived because Smith was placed in detention in April 2007, Beaudry said. An immigration officer who initially refused Smith’s application said he’s not likely to be persecuted in Jamaica because he “doesn’t fit the profile of a gay man.” “The applicant has been in a serious heterosexual relationship for four years,” the officer said. The officer said Smith provided “insufficient evidence to show he would not receive protection from Jamaican authorities as a bisexual man or deportee.” The officer said Smith did not show his life was in danger and would more than likely not face torture or death if sent back.
There are escalating numbers of violence against gay men and lesbians in Jamaica, including fatal attacks of anti-gay mob violence. In February 2008, a mob of up to 20 men attacked the home of four gay men in Mandeville—three were seriously injured and one was killed. Canada and the United States have granted asylum to a number of Jamaican gay men and lesbians who feared persecution if they returned home. One of the police officers who responded to that mob attack was forcibly outed as gay, fled to Canada and applied for asylum.
The relationship with "John" has been Smith's only reported sexual relationship with a man. Authorities say he will be deported as soon as travel arrangements can be made.
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