Monday, November 23, 2009

Canada considers refugee statues for lesbian who fled U.S. Army

Two years ago, Bethany Smith was outed by fellow soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., after they saw her holding hands with a girlfriend at a local shopping mall. What followed was a barrage of physical attacks and threatening notes, at which point Smith figured that being dismissed with an honorable discharge under the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy would be just as well. However, her sargeant told her she would not be dismissed and that she would be deployed to Afghanistan with the same soldiers who were currently threatening her life.

Smith went AWOL and fled to Canada, took a new name, and is going through the Canadian courts trying to win asylum after the country's Immigration and Refugee Board rejected her claim. On Friday, a Canadian federal judge ordered the board to reconsider Smith's case because it had failed to consider the discrimination and harassment she faced in the military.

For more information:
Lesbian US war deserter wins stay of deportation - La Crosse Tribune
Pte. Bethany Smith Fled to Canada to Avoid Soldiers' Death Threats. Will They Let Her Stay? - Queerty

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