Friday, March 20, 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Sen. John Kerry has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to grant asylum to a Brazilian gay man who’s married to an American man still living in Massachusetts where they wed.

Genesio (jeh-NESS-e-o) “Junior” Oliveira (all-EH-ver-a) was forced to return to Brazil in August 2007, when his application for asylum was denied. The Associated Press does not typically name rape victims, but Oliveira allows his name to be used. He has been married to Haverhill businessman Tim Coco since 2005.

The 28-year-old requested U.S. asylum because he said he was raped as a teenager and feared persecution because of his sexual orientation.

In his letter, Kerry says a judge ruled Oliveira never was physically harmed by the rape. He calls that claim “outrageous.”

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