Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Case Summary & History

Asylum & Immigration

Case: W.K. v. Gonzales

STATUS: Loss, Zimbabwe

The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for reconsideration of its prior decision denying asylum to W.K., a gay man from Zimbabwe. As a teenager in Zimbabwe, W.K. was imprisoned for being gay and suffered harassment and abuse from local authorities and neighbors, including being shocked with an electric wire. Robert Mugabe, the current President of Zimbabwe, is one of the most notoriously anti-gay leaders in the world. He has called lesbians and gay men “worse than dogs and pigs” and promised that he will do “everything he can” to eliminate them from Zimbabwean society. An immigration judge denied W.K.’s petition for asylum and ordered him removed to Zimbabwe. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the decision. On January 31, 2006, NCLR and co-counsel David Chapman and Benjamin Casper petitioned the court to reconsider its decision. On March 23, 2006, the Court denied W.K’s petition for reconsideration, making his order of removal to Zimbabwe final.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Immigration Equality, the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Heartland Alliance Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center, and Lambda Legal filed amicus briefs supporting W.K.’s petition.

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