A federal appeals court granted a gay immigrant reprieve from deportation on Wednesday, on the basis that his sexual orientation and HIV status would expose him to persecution in the Philippines, according to Courthouse News Service.
The defendant, Dennis Vitug, 37, presented evidence that he had been raped and beaten numerous times in his native country for his effeminate behavior. In addition, Vitus told the Pasadena court that Filipino authorities harassed and ignored him in the past, arguing that police would not protect him from future harm if he should return.
The Department of Homeland Security had attempted to deport Vitug, pointing to his expired tourist visa and a crime of drug possession, for which he recently served eight months in prison. Vitug, who is HIV-positive, claimed asylum and contended that he had been taking methamphetamines to combat depression related to his status.