A Commonwealth tribunal is experiencing serious backlash after ruling on a case based on one proposition: that sexual orientation cannot change over the course of time.
The case concerns a Lebanese woman who, a year after her student visa expired, illegally resided in the country until she married her husband. Upon applying for her temporary partner visa in order to legally remain in the country with her husband, she was turned down by the immigration department and then by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the AAT’s refusal was based on the fact that her husband, who was also Lebanese, had previously been granted a protection visa on the basis of his homosexuality. The AAT argued that the heterosexual relationship was clearly staged in order for the woman to gain Australian citizenship:
The tribunal wrote to the woman in January last year and said it was "difficult to see how the sponsor can have a commitment to his marriage to you when he has not told you about his claimed homosexuality".
However, the woman’s lawyers replied to the AAT, urging them to review all aspects of the case.
The woman's lawyers wrote to the tribunal and said it was "not irrational or unreasonable for a former homosexual man to undergo a radical change in his sexual desires and now be fully in love and dedicated to his wife and family".
The woman's lawyers urged the AAT to consider the "cogent evidence" before it pointing to a genuine relationship, including the fact that the couple had a baby daughter.
However, the AAT made it clear that they would not listen to counter-arguments, ultimately deciding ‘once a homosexual, always a homosexual’:
“[T]he gay rights movement has, for decades, fought for the acceptance of homosexuality as a sexual orientation from birth, not something that ... is a matter of choice or will or accident".
The tribunal said it did not accept "the generalised argument that it is not unknown for a previously heterosexual man who has been married and has children, to enter into a homosexual relationship".
"Without wishing to continue to generalise, it is most likely that such homosexual men have always been homosexual and have married and had children to comply with what were considered societal norms," the AAT said.
Officially denied her partner visa on grounds that her marriage was not ‘genuine’ the Lebanese woman appealed to the Federal Court for intervention. Her case was once again dismissed.
However, a second appeal to the Federal Court met with an entirely different response:
Justice Jagot said the tribunal's "process of reasoning involves assumptions, pre-conceptions or pre-judgments" which prevented it considering the evidence before it.
The tribunal's decision exhibited "extreme illogicality and [a] failure to engage with the material before it", she said.
Justice Jagot said the decision was based on a premise about "sexual identity and attraction consisting of three mutually exclusive categories fixed at and immutable from birth, homosexual, heterosexual, and 'genuinely bisexual'".
She ordered that the matter be remitted to the AAT to be decided by another tribunal member "to avoid an appearance of bias".
What happened in the earlier decisions was that the immigration department, the AAT and the first Federal Court judge all decided that people can go from identifying as heterosexual to identifying as homosexual, but not the other way around.
We all know that it is vastly illogical for LGBT activists to claim that heterosexual people can experience a change in sexual orientation over their lifetime, while also claiming that the sexual preferences of homosexuals are fixed at birth. Yet these inconsistencies are being overlooked in order to cater to the LGBT agenda.
It’s alarming when government departments, tribunals and courts join them in this ideological view. If courts refuse to protect citizens against popular ideology, who will?