Spain’s National Court (Audencia Nacional) has denied the asylum claim of a transgender Colombian national. The individual, whose identifying details were not reported in the original story by Spain’s El Diaro De Cádiz, had been living in Spain since 2000 but entered deportation proceedings in March 2011. Despite urging from no less an advocate than the UN High Commissioner on Refugees to grant asylum in this case, the Court denied the application because the person only made the asylum claim based on sexual identity after deportation proceedings had begun.
Although LGBT rights in Colombia are slowly improving, including the Supreme Court’s two-year deadline (set to expire June 20, 2013) for the legislature to pass a same-sex marriage law, and the recent appointment of a transgender person to public office in Bogotá, violence against LGBT people remains a serious concern. In this context, the Spanish legal system may have protected itself from perceived abuse and upheld the “letter of the law,” but it has possibly left this person in real danger.