Cliff notes: If there is circumstencial evidence that the asylum seeker left their country of origin due to sexual orientation or gender identify or if there is a risk of prosecution and that makes them especially vulnerable a special representative must be involved independent on the opinions of the person assigned the case. Prosecution becasue of so or gi happens often in states scharia law, christian states or states where a majority is opposed to homo sexuality. This document provides instructions for the asylum process regarding individuals' sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The chapter includes individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ). Heterosexual individuals whose gender identity matches their biological *** are not included as they do not face persecution due to their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation refers to a person's emotional and sexual attraction to a specific gender, while gender identity refers to the gender-specific lifestyle and socio-cultural attributions a person identifies with. Queer individuals do not conform to binary gender roles and do not feel a part of other groups. The instructions provided in the document apply to all forms of sexual orientation and gender identity. These are two extracts from a German legal document on the procedures for asylum seekers in Germany. Early involvement of special representatives: If there are indications that an applicant is vulnerable due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and is at risk of persecution before leaving their country of origin or upon return, the involvement of a special representative must take place as early as possible, independently of the (preliminary) assessment of the decision-maker hearing the case. The special representative must provide expert knowledge and act as a contact person for specialist advisory services. Fact-finding: Many countries persecute individuals based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including those where Sharia law is the basis of legislation, as well as Christian or other countries with populations that reject homosexuality. Applicants who fear persecution based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity must demonstrate the persecution convincingly to the decision-maker. This requires a consistent and coherent account of events that demonstrates, in principle, that persecution has already occurred or is likely to occur upon their return. In this regard, the applicant must describe their personal experiences in detail. The principle of official investigation does not oblige the decision-maker to conduct further investigations if the events that allegedly constitute the persecution have not been presented coherently and without contradictions. However, this does not release the decision-maker from the obligation to conduct a complete investigation into the facts presented by the applicant. Transsexuality Transsexual people permanently and irreversibly do not feel they belong to the gender which was assigned to them based on their biological *** at birth. In a presentation on transsexuality, gender-sensitive language is particularly important during the hearing. The applicant should be asked how they would like to be addressed. The hearing should be conducted using the desired title. However, the applicant should be informed that their personal details will be stored according to the information in their identity document, so the desired name will be saved as an "alias" identity. Therefore, the title in the decision and in other documents of the Federal Office will correspond to the identity document. Not all transsexual people seek gender reassignment surgery; a change of first name, living in the corresponding gender without gender-affirming surgeries, or hormonal treatment may be individually desired. As the requirements of transsexual applicants differ, the consequences of living in the desired gender role in the event of return must be discussed on a case-by-case basis during the hearing. However, it cannot be expected that the applicant undergo a medical procedure for external gender adjustment to avoid persecution upon return to their country of origin. A reference to such external adjustment to avoid a risk of return in the decision is always inadmissible. Legal examination of refugee protection In the asylum procedure, it must be examined whether sexual orientation and/or gender identity lead to a risk of persecution in the country of origin. When examining this, the general requirements for refugee protection must be considered: well-founded fear of persecution acts of persecution persecution grounds causality no protection from state authorities no internal protection alternative no exclusion clauses This text discusses the necessary and sufficient conditions for the persecution ground of "membership in a particular social group" under § 3b para. 1 no. 4 Asylum Act. It highlights that sexual orientation and gender identity are relevant for this persecution ground, and that they can be considered as a defining characteristic of a social group, provided that the group is perceived by society as different. The text also clarifies that acts that are illegal under German law, such as pedophilia, do not fall under the common characteristic of sexual orientation. The internal approach to the analysis of this persecution ground is discussed, and it is stated that sexual orientation and/or gender identity is an "essential characteristic." The text concludes that the necessary internal approach is given if there is credible evidence of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, regardless of whether the person's characteristics fall under sexual orientation, gender identity, or membership in a particular social group. The text further clarifies that "gender" refers to social roles, not just biological ***, and that sexual orientation is an innate characteristic that cannot be changed. This text outlines the necessary and sufficient conditions for asylum seekers to be granted protection based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The applicant must prove that there is a reasonable possibility of persecution upon their return to their home country. If the applicant has already been persecuted, then there is a presumption that the likelihood of future persecution is high. If there was no prior persecution, then the applicant must provide evidence that they will likely face persecution if they return. The decision is made based on the conviction of the decision-maker that there is a reasonable probability of persecution. The applicant must be able to openly live their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in their home country without facing persecution. Any attempts to hide their orientation/identity are not accepted. Lastly, the persecution must be specifically due to the applicant's sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This passage discusses the conditions under which a person may be granted protection as a refugee under German law. To qualify, an applicant must demonstrate that they face persecution based on their membership in a particular social group, as defined by the Asylum Act. This may involve showing that they face a specific type and level of harm, such as imprisonment or death, if they return to their home country. The decision to grant protection must take into account individual factors such as family background, social status, gender, and age. If the harm that the applicant faces is not related to imprisonment or death, then the authorities must consult country information to determine whether people with the applicant's sexual orientation or gender identity are at risk of similar harm in their home country. The definition of a particular social group based on sexual orientation or gender identity can be found in the country guidance notes. Section 5.4 discusses the additional requirements for granting refugee protection. In particular, it is necessary that the person or entity providing protection is capable and willing to do so. For those who claim persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, they cannot rely on protection from state actors if laws against LGBTIQ+ individuals exist in their home country and they are at risk of being punished. The section also refers to relevant information in the chapter on refugee protection. This text discusses additional options for protection besides refugee status, such as subsidiary protection and the prohibition of deportation under §60(5) of the Residence Act. In cases where an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity is at risk, subsidiary protection can be granted if the person can demonstrate that they face serious harm. This may be applicable when the persecution is not based on SOGI, but the person is still at risk of harm due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The prohibition of deportation is only relevant if neither the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees nor another member state has examined the international protection claim, and it is not applicable to cases related to SOGI. The text concerns the asylum process in Germany and the consideration of an applicant's sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI). If an applicant demonstrates that they would suffer serious harm, such as non-state actor violence or familial or societal intolerance, if returned to their country of origin, they may be eligible for subsidiary protection under § 4 of the Asylum Act. If the applicant faces specific and individual threats to their safety due to their SOGI, they may be eligible for refugee protection under § 3 of the Asylum Act. However, if neither type of protection applies, an applicant may be eligible for an exception to deportation under § 60 (5) of the Residence Act. In cases where an applicant is unable to bring up the issue of SOGI in a previous asylum application, they may apply for a subsequent application, but the failure to raise the issue earlier must not have been due to gross negligence.