A gay rights organisation in Holland – Rozelinks – announced on Facebook that it was planning a lesbian kiss-in today (Wednesday) outside Amsterdam’s Missionaries of Charity shelter in protest against the expulsion of a Ugandan asylum seeker identified only as ‘Justine’, above.
According to this report, the young woman is an asylum-seeker who was staying with nuns at the shelter. She was given the boot after she revealed that she is a lesbian and had helped with the Canal Pride Parade.
Justine fled Uganda for the Netherlands last year because of her sexual orientation. She was not granted refugee status. Last Friday she moved into the Missionaries of Charity’s 24 hour shelter, while her lawyer worked on a new asylum application. On the same day she went to help RozeLinks with their Canal Parade boat for Amsterdam Pride.
RozeLinks’ Savannah Koolen said:
When she returned to the shelter on Friday and told the nuns where she had been, she was told that she was not allowed to sleep in the shelter. She was told that her presence would be dangerous to the other women and children who slept there. Unless she denies being a lesbian from now on, she had to leave.
Since then, Justine has been staying with a RozeLinks member. She already spoke to the police and has an appointment to file official discrimination charges today.
RozeLinks called on women to gather and kiss in front of the shelter. The protest is a statement to the nuns and a show of support for Justine. Koolen said:
We want to show her that she can be who she wants to be here and that many Amsterdammers don’t find what these nuns did okay.
In this report, Koolen is quoted as saying that her organisation is:
Shocked that, during the Pride week, a vulnerable lesbian woman is discriminated against in this way. We want to show that we do not accept these expressions of discrimination in Amsterdam [and] that we are a tolerant city, where everyone is free to be themselves.
RozeLinks also set up a crowdfunding page to pay for the travel costs of Justine’s friends residing elsewhere in the Netherlands who wanted to join protest in Amsterdam.
The Missionaries of Charity are a charitable group founded by the late Mother Teresa in 1950 that now operates in more than 130 countries around the world. The charity has not offered comment on the issue.