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Gay Saudi Diplomat Seeks US Asylum

A gay Saudi diplomat is seeking political asylum in the US. His diplomatic passport has been revoked, and the Saudi government is demanding that he be returned to Saudi Arabia.

The former diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, had apparently befriended a Jewish woman and has recently been quite outspoken about the Saudi government's repressive policies and the sway that religious leaders hold in that country.

Asseri is also quite concerned that he will be killed if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

What will the Obama administration do?  In my view, the State Department should grant asylum, since I'm inclined to believe that Asseri's life will be in danger if he is extradited — mostly because he's gay, but also because he has threatened to expose potentially embarassing secrets about the Saudi royal family.

However, in granting asylum the Obama administration risks alienating a major provider of our oil and, after Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East.

Will the administration stand up for human rights, especially LGBT human rights, or will he kowtow to an oii-producing ally?  What do you think, Blenders?



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