The timing of a trip to Massachusetts proved fortunate for a prominent Ugandan gay rights advocate. According to reports, the man was visiting the state to spread word about the persecution of the LGBT community in his home country when the Ugandan government passed draconian legislation outlawing homosexuality. While the advocate had not intended to remain in the United States, the new law convinced him to apply for asylum. A gay rights advocacy group later announced in September that his application had been approved by immigration authorities pending a routine background check.
Individuals may be granted asylum in the United States if they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home countries based factors such as race or religion. There is expected to be a surge in the number of people seeking asylum from countries that have passed anti-homosexuality laws. Approximately 80 nations have adopted such legislation.