Gay couple left ‘heartbroken’ after cruel Home Office decision

A gay couple in the UK are “heartbroken” after the Home Office ruled that they cannot remain together, and must relocate to a country where it is “not safe to be gay”. (Change.org)

A gay couple in the UK are “heartbroken” after the Home Office ruled that they cannot remain together, and must relocate to a country where it is “not safe to be gay”. 

Jack and George Scott-Lee, who live in Dudley, are both professional pole dancers and own a dance school in Tipton, England. George, who was born and raised in Venezuela, came to the UK as a tourist in 2020 and applied for a partner visa when he married Jack in 2022.

The couple said they met all the Home Office’s requirements for the visa and paid thousands of pounds in fees, but George’s application was rejected on the basis that it would be deemed safe for them to live in Venezuela, instead. 

Venezuelan law still doesn’t recognise same-sex partnerships, including rights for next of kin. LGBTQ+ couples who show public displays of affection “may draw negative attention from the police and other security forces,” according to Gov.uk.

“We’ve both been under major stress – we’re heartbroken,” Jack said in an interview with BirminghamLive. “I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life, my business is here and my family is here and the Home Office is telling us to go to Venezuela and hope for the best.”

George has been granted just 14 days to leave the country and has now been forced to decide whether to separate or move back to Venezuela where they don’t have the same rights. 

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“We’re being told to either separate or move to a country where we’ll be unsafe. We want to live our lives together and do all the things married couples do, and now we might have those dreams taken away from us.

“All my life I have campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights, our rights to exist, to marry and to live our lives – I volunteer at Birmingham Pride every year. Now to be told we might have to move to a country where homophobia is rife and those rights will be taken away from us. We don’t know what we’re going to do – it’s so stressful.”

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The couple are now trying to appeal the Home Office’s decision, and have started an online petition. They have even received support from Sandwell Mayor, Bill Gavan. Gavan, a supporter of Birmingham’s LGBTQ+ community, said he was “appalled” by the ruling, and would “willingly lead on any shouting required”. 

A spokesperson for the Home Office said to the outlet: “All spousal visa applications are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with the Immigration Rules and evidence provided.”

PinkNews have reached out to the Home Office for further comment on the matter.

To sign the petition, visit Change.org. For free and confidential advice or support with a UK asylum or partner visa application, visit the Rainbow Migration site now or call 020 7922 7811.

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