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U.K. asylum seekers "told to prove they are gay"

LONDON -- Gay and lesbian people seeking asylum in the UK from persecution abroad are being ordered to "prove" their sexuality, MPs have said.

In extreme cases claimants had handed over photographic and video evidence of "highly personal sexual activity" in an effort to persuade officials, the Home Affairs Committee found.

The gay rights group Stonewall called the testing system "distressing."

The Home Office promised to monitor and maintain standards.

In its report on the asylum system, the committee said it was concerned by the quality of the UK Border Agency's decision-making, as 30% of appeals against initial decisions had been allowed in 2012.

And a backlog of 32,600 asylum cases that should have been resolved in 2011 was yet to be concluded, while the number of applicants still waiting for an initial decision after six months had risen by 63% last year.

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