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Marcelo Tenorio
(1963 - living) Brazil - U.S.A.

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Marcelo Tenorio is the first man to get the Political Asylum state in the US because in his land he risked to be killed for being gay.

He told the judge that he fled Brazil in 1990, after he had been stabbed and badly beaten outside a gay bar on a Rio beachfront in 1989. He also said he had been beaten by police who accosted him on the street in Sao Paolo, chanting: "You are gay! You are gay!"

"The people that attacked me, if they see me around, next time they're going to kill me," said Tenorio, referring to the four men who attacked him outside the disco in 1989.

A Brazilian gay rights campaigner who testified in favor of Mr. Tenorio's request said 1,200 homosexuals had been slain in Brazil since 1980.

Tenorio entered the U.S. illegally in 1990 and was arrested by immigration authorities last year and threatened with deportation. But Judge Philip Leadbetter said the evidence convinced him homosexuals faced persecution in Brazil.

The ruling represents the first time an immigration judge has recognized homosexuals as part of a persecuted group, gay and immigration rights activists said.

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