In Moscow, Alexander Kargaltsev was beaten up by a group of men after arranging a date with a man through a popular website. It happened on a crowded street. No one helped him. “It’s a very common story,” Alexander says. “People are going backwards.”
I have been running Immigration Equality’s asylum program for five years. I hear stories like Alexander’s every day. The people who call us for help are scared, and without us, they won’t have a lawyer.
Our LGBT Asylum Program matches clients with lawyers at top law firms, for free. My job is to train and mentor these pro bono attorneys — I work closely with them throughout the process to make sure our clients and our attorneys have everything they need for success. Our own legal team handles the most difficult cases.
For Alexander, winning asylum means that he is free to live openly as a gay man. As an artist, his beautiful work would be banned in Russia right now. “I can do much more for the gay movement there, from here,” Alexander said.
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