PHOTOS: Gay man wins reprieve from deportation

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Pip Hinman was one of 50 protesters outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.

Campaigners for equal rights had their first win for 2014 as a Pakistani-born gay man, Ali Choudhry, obtained a temporary deportation reprieve just as nation wide protests began on January 7.

A petition with 120,000 signatures was also handed to the Sydney office of immigration minister Scott Morrison. Later, about 50 protesters staged a "die-in" outside the department of immigration office in Sydney. A protest was also held outside the department of immigration office in Melbourne.

Choudhry was facing deportation to Pakistan, where there is life imprisonment for being gay. He has been in a relationship with Brisbane neuroscientist Dr Matthew Hynd for four years, but his application for a visa recognising his relationship with Hynd had been refused.

In response to questions on the issue, the immigration minister’s spokesperson said: “Same-sex couples are assessed no differently from heterosexual couples regarding immigration matters.” Yet, as Choudhry pointed out, this obscures one rather important fact: unlike heterosexual couples, same-sex couples do not have the ability to get married to simplify the burdensome bureaucratic process.

Choudhry and Hynd were one of the first gay couples in Queensland to register their civil union on March 12, 2012.

Despite this, Choudhry told ABC Online the Australian government ruled it does "not consider that you are in a long-standing relationship".

He has now lodged an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and the immigration department told him on January 7 he can remain in Australia on a bridging visa while his appeal is considered.

Click here to add your name to the petition to let Choudhry stay in Australia.

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Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Sydney on January 7. Photo by Peter Boyle.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.



Protest outside the immigration department offices in Melbourne on January 7. Photo by Annaki Rowlands.

From GLW issue 993