According to a report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, which covers the period of April to September 2011, border control officers at the British capital's second largest airport were 'innapropriate' and 'unprofessional' after making homophobic remarks about a passenger within earshot of other travellers.
After stopping, searching and questioning the man, whose bag contained photographic equipment, one of the officers reportedly turned to his colleague, told him the passenger was HIV positive and advised him to wash his hands with stronger hand gel.
When asked why the passenger had been stopped, the officer claimed 'he looked like he might be involved in paedophilia’ and then went on to say that ‘the presence of the camera and the fact he had a boyfriend confirmed this'.
Andy Wasley, from UK-based gay rights group Stonewall, said: ‘If true, this is a disgraceful incident of prejudice within an important public service.
'Gay people contribute £40 billion to public services every year and are entitled to be treated with respect.’
The UK Border Agency is the responsibility of Home Secretary Theresa May and has seen her repeatedly criticized for lapsed security checks and doubts over airports' ability to cope with increased visitors to the country during the upcoming Olympics.
May is also responsible for equality and human rights in the government's cabinet.
Article from GayStarNews.