Support for gay Vincentian

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 03 November 2012

mapofstvincent

TORONTO, Canada  – Supporters of a St. Vincent and the Grenadines national facing deportation are asking the authorities to re-consider the decision to send him back to his homeland because he is likely to be killed as a result of his homosexual activities. The Canadian press reported Friday that Augustas Dennie came to Canada two years ago to flee what he said was anti-gay violence that left him in a coma and brain damage in 2009. "They discovered I was gay. I tried to ignore my bullies, but they did not like it. They took a big rock and hit my head with it. My right side was paralyzed. I was in a coma for a whole week and my friends thought I was dead,” he said in describing his beatings in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Dennie will be deported on November 8 after his refugee claim was rejected. His lawyer, Pablo Irribarra, said he is waiting for a decision in the judicial review process of his client’s pre-removal risk assessment. He said if Dennie's claim is denied again, their last resort will be to go to federal court. Supporters said Dennie has grown into a confident person and flourish as a gay rights activist here. His attorney said that one of the reasons Dennie's claim was denied is because of questions about a past relationship with a woman, with whom he fathered three sons. According to Irribarra this relationship existed only as a cover for Dennie because homosexuality is illegal in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Dennie has received a letter of support from legislator Olivia Chow as well as members of Toronto's gay and lesbian community. "I have witnessed too many beatings of my friends who are gay. Some have been murdered. I am so grateful for the help I have been given so far in Canada," said Dennie. A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said she could not comment on the case. (CMC)

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