We are appalled to hear that the Home Secretary is questioning the legitimacy of LGBTQI+ people claiming asylum in the UK. Many LGBTQI+ people that we support every day tell us how they faced life-threatening situations back home.

For example, we have worked with Adams, who was violently attacked in the street on several occasions by members of his community in Ghana because he was bisexual, and his partner was killed. We also supported Miki whose brother threatened to kill him when he came out as a gay man in Azerbaijan.

The government’s own statistics suggest that only 2% of all asylum claims in 2022 included sexual orientation as a reason for needing protection. It is already the case that LGBTQI+ people must face a well-founded fear of persecution to qualify for refugee protection in the UK.

They also face the enormous challenge of having to “prove” their sexual orientation or gender identity to get refugee status.

Most of us welcome refugees and want to help people who are fleeing for their lives. The Home Secretary should stop her cruel rhetoric and instead create an asylum system that treats people with dignity and compassion.