By Yanqing Chen
Being LGBTQ can lead to imprisonment and even the death penalty in many countries in the world, including Africa, India and Russia. According to Heartland Alliance, more than 1,000 people flee to the United States every year to seek asylum because of their sexual orientation. They don’t have any governmental or organizational support to officially achieve asylum. Last year, a coalition of faith leaders and advocates launched Chicago LGBTQ Asylum Support Program, or CLASP, to help these people meet basic needs. In its first year of operation, most asylum seekers CLASP helps are men from African countries. But CLASP members are determined to diversify the network and embrace more LGBTQ people from other parts of the world.