LGBulleTIn #62 - The week in LGBTI news
September 9-15, 2016
Friday, September 9
Aruba: Parliament approves civil unions
Lawmakers in Aruba have approved a bill aimed to allow same-sex couples to register their unions and receive benefits granted to married people on the island. The bill will amend civil code regulations related to marriage, including articles regulating survivor's pension rights and the possibility to make emergency medical decisions.
A constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba allowed same-sex couples living in the island to marry in the Netherlands, and then to see their marriage certificate recognized upon their return. “This amendment will now eliminate the need” for that travel, MP Desiree de Sousa Croes told Associated Press.
Monday, September 12
China: student lodges suit against ministry of Education over textbooks classifying ‘homosexuality’ as ‘disorder’
A 21-year old student has lodged a suit against the ministry of Education in China over school textbooks describing ‘homosexuality’ as a ‘disorder,’ BBC reports.
“Since 2001 when homosexuality was declassified as an illness in mainland China, 40% of the psychology and mental health teaching materials published on the mainland say homosexuality is an illness,” the student was quoted as claiming.
Her fight began over one year ago, when she complained about these textbooks first to the regional education department, and then to the publisher, to her university’s library and to a provincial court.
This week, her case ended up being discussed in the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, where the student was given a few minutes to make a statement.
"The ministry of Education needs to state publicly its point of view on how to present homosexuality,” the student said outside court. “It needs to at least respond to my petition about these textbook errors and ask publishers to check if they have made similar errors.”
Monday, September 12
Hungary: attacks against Budapest gay venues were acts of terrorism, Court rules
Fifteen members of an far-right group named “The Arrows of the Hungarians” have recently been sentenced to a combined prison term of 122 years for a series of terrorist acts committed from 2007 to 2009, LGBTQI group Hátter Society said today.
Attacks against two gay venues in Budapest were also among the incidents the group was held accountable for. In less than a week’s time, and just before the annual Pride march in the capital, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a bar after the owner had received death threats over the phone, and at a sauna, where a person ended up being lightly injured.
In the case of the latter attack, prosecution argued that ‘the defendants must have known that there were people inside who could have been killed, and thus the attack amounted to attempted murder with the motive to induce fear in a particular segment of the society.’
According to reports by Hátter Society, court found that the various incidents could not be considered separately as they were all part of a terrorist plot.
Tuesday, September 13
U. S. pastor known for hate speech against LGBTI community banned from South Africa
The South African government announced it has banned U. S. pastor Steven Anderson and his followers from entering the country.
Anderson, known for opposing women’s rights and for having repeatedly called for members of the LGBTI community to be executed, was set to preach in Johannesburg later this month, and then to head to Botswana to launch his ministry and set up a church.
His plans were blocked a few days before his mission could begin: “Steven Anderson and members and/or associates from his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa,” Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said during a press conference.
“We have a duty to prevent harm and hatred in all forms against LGBTI people, as against any other person, in a democratic state. South Africa does not need more hatred advocated to our people.”
Meanwhile, the campaign aimed to call on the government to deny Anderson the possibility to enter Botswana is going on: a petition, signed by almost 2,500 persons worldwide, will be soon submitted to the country’s Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.
Read more on Mambaonline
Wednesday, September 14
Australia: network of 60 LGBTI groups and activists join forces against ‘unfair, unjust and unworkable plebiscite machinery’
A network of 60 organisations and activists of the LGBTI community in Australia have joined forces in support for marriage equality, opposing the plebiscite bill that PM Malcolm Turnbull has just presented to parliament.
The bill, Star Observer points out, would allow a public vote to go ahead on February 11 2017, asking citizens to answer the question ‘Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’.
In a powerful statement, groups condemned the “unfair, unjust and unworkable plebiscite machinery,” raised a number of concerns, including that “no government amendments to the Marriage Act have been provided as yet” and defined the use $15 million of tax-payer dollars to fund the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ committees as “unacceptable.”
"No Australian should have to witness a national debate on their worth or the value of their relationship," groups and activists argue. "Marriage equality is about people, not politics. (...) Our relationships, future happiness and security should not be used for political point-scoring."
Wednesday, September 14
United States: sports championships moved away from North Carolina over discriminatory law
In a strong move against North Carolina's House Bill 2, which overrides local non-discrimination ordinances and requires individuals use facilities comporting with the sex on their birth certificate, both the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference have announced their intentions to withdraw every championship they had scheduled to take place in North Carolina for the 2016-2017 season.
Seven NCAA and eight ACC championships will be held in other states.
"NCAA championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans," a press release reads. "Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment if NCAA events remained in the state."
The ACC statement keeps a similar tone: "(Our) Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. (... ) We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values."
As The New York Times points out, these announcements followed the NBA’s decision in July to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC over similar concerns.
Read more on Buzzfeed
Is that all? More LGBTI news bites
In Chile, the Senate Commission on Human Rights concluded the review of pending indications on the Gender Identity bill, on which the Senate is soon expected to vote.
In Belize, government will challenge one aspect of the chief justice's ruling that deemed section 53 of the Criminal Code as inconsistent with the country’s Constitution, seeking that the definition of 'sex' is not extended to include also ‘sexual orientation’.
While a march calling for “respect and an end to hate” in a secular state was held in Mexico City, thousands of persons opposing the proposed reform to guarantee marriage equality took part in dozens of rallies across Mexico.
According to reports, Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner announced that the Commission intends to work on promoting the human rights of intersex people over the coming year.
A bill to equalise the age of consent for anal intercourse with the one for all other lawful sexual acts has been approved in Queensland, Australia.
ILGA Oceania has shared human rights defenders' concerns over reports that police in Fiji have detained a number of opposition and civil society advocates after they attended a meeting to discuss the country's 2013 constitution.
According to reports, the house of a human rights defender in Tunisia, where members of the LGBTI community were hosted, has come under repeated attack by the same group of men.
A Pride parade is set to take place on September 24
Congratulations @Prideuganda2016 . The Parade will take place on 24th September, 2016. Permission has been granted by Uganda Police
— Dr. Frank Mugisha (@frankmugisha) September 9, 2016
" target="_blank">in Uganda, as permission has been granted by police.
The deputy minister for health, community, development and gender of Tanzania claimed that the country "does not allow activist groups carrying out campaigns that promote homosexuality."
Dozens of apps and websites with LGBT content face a ban in Indonesia, following a closed-door interagency summit held at the country’s Ministry of Communications.
In the Philippines, the president of Ateneo de Davao University has released a memo designating all single toilets in the Jacinto Campus as gender-neutral.
A trans activist in Pakistan has been shot and injured: she was rushed to the hospital, and her life is out of danger.
A trans woman was found murdered in Chicago, IL, United States: her throat had been cut, and a knife was found nearby.
All schools in British Columbia, Canada will have until the end of the year to update their anti-bullying policies to include explicit references to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
A trans citizen from Mexico, who has been granted asylum in the United States, has sued Indiana officials over a state law that ‘prohibits non-citizens from obtaining a change of legal name.’
ILGA-Europe, together with 176 other civil society organisations, have called for a refocus in the EU agenda, and have outlined six steps to be taken to shape a Europe that is inclusive, open and just.
The 8th edition of the "Queerfest" Pride festival has kicked off in Saint Petersburg, Russia, under the theme "Seeing the invisible".
An out gay football referee, who had returned to the game in Spain months after quitting in the wake of abuse, reported having received homophobic death threats.
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