The French parliament’s legislative committee has voted almost unanimously for a measure to protect LGBT asylum seekers from deportation if they stand to face punishment for their sexuality in their home country. The amendment, initially put forward by around 50 members of parliament from President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche party (Republic on the Move), was passed by France’s lower house, the Assemblée nationale. The proposed change seeks to exclude countries that penalize homosexuality from France’s official list of safe countries of origin. Under current law, asylum seekers who come to France from a country on this list can be deported through a fast-track system, even if they make an appeal, according to the Libération newspaper. The amendment, tabled by La République en Marche MPs Elise Fajgeles and Matthieu Orphelin, seeks to remove nations “where homosexuality may be the target of mistreatment or criminal penalties” from this list of 16 “safe” countries.If the amendment is passed by France’s Senate, migrants who come from countries which penalize same-sex relationships will be able to make an appeal to France’s National Court for the Right to Asylum if their asylum request is rejected, without risking deportation in the process. Orphelin hailed the amendment as a step forward for LGBT rights. “How can we call countries which criminalize LGBT people “safe countries”?” he said, in comments reported by Libération.