ILGA LGBulleTIn #4 – The week in LGBTI news around the world
June 27 – July 3, 2015
Saturday, June 27
The world celebrates with pride
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a group of people started a riot outside the Stonewall Inn in New York, reacting to a police raid: since then, every last weekend of June, LGBTI parades have been held around the world to commemorate that historical moment. 2015 was no exception: watch a video compilation of some of this year’s Pride marches (via The Guardian)
Sunday, June 28
Turkey: Istanbul Pride disrupted by the police
(video via Vice News)
The police has dispersed the Istanbul LGBTI Pride parade with tear gas and water cannons, as people were ready to march along Istanbul’s central İstiklal Avenue.
The Pride Week committee, according to Hürriyet Daily News, said the march had “suddenly been banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office using the month of Ramadan as the reason, without any announcement”. ILGA Europe has condemned “this disproportionate incident” as “an indication of the blatant disregard the current Turkish government has for the LGBTI community and civil society in general”.
Read the full ILGA Europe statement
Monday, June 29
Mozambique: homosexuality is no longer illegal
With the update in the country’s penal code going into effect today, Mozambique has officially decriminalized homosexuality. According to Gay Star News, it has taken six months for the government to agree and revise the previous law, which provided for “security measures” to be enforced against those “who habitually engage in vices against nature”. “Our primary interest” has declared a spokesperson for the LGBTI organisation Lambda “is to precipitate a change in society so that it becomes more favourable to the free expression of sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Read more on the International Business Times
Tuesday, June 30
USA: organization stands for trans girls and refuses funding. And then…
It must have been a happy kind of shock, to receive an unexpected donation of 100,000 $ for your organization. The surprise, though, had turned into something bitter for the Girls Scouts of Western Washington: “When the donor asked us to guarantee that the money wouldn’t be used to help transgender girls”, they wrote on their Facebook page, “we gave the money back”. That sum, though, would have helped more than 500 girls to camp, and this is why the organisation has launched a crowdfunding campaign which turned out to be incredibly successful: in less than four days they gained almost three times (and counting…) the previous donation.
Read more on Buzzfeed
Wednesday, July 1
Australia: Parliament to discuss again same-sex marriage in August
A cross-party same-sex marriage bill will be introduced on August 11 after the federal parliament resumes, SkyNews reports. Government backbenchers should have the support of two opposition MPs and two independents. As the Star Observer remembers, a new marriage equality bill would add to the previous three which have already done the rounds in Parliament House.
An appeal to CARICOM countries: “Expand sexual and reproductive rights and health across the region”
“Vibrant societies and resilient economies cannot be achieved through discrimination”: this plea from the Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities comes as the leaders of CARICOM countries are heading to Barbados for the 36th Regional Conference for the Heads of Governments. “The ambivalence of regional political leadership has cost us important gains in a critical area of Caribbean human development”, says the Forum in a letter which also cautions against engaging in social violence through a rhetoric of faith and family.
Read the full United and Strong St. Lucia blog post
Friday, July 3rd
India: the LGBTI community takes the streets in New Delhi
Dozens of activists have held a protest today in New Delhi demanding the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the so-called anti-sodomy law. The demonstration has arrived a few days after a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called homosexuality a “genetic disorder”, stating “we cannot celebrate nor can we publicize it”.
Read more on Gay Star News
Geneva: the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council comes to an end
After three busy weeks, the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council has seen its final moments. Key documents have been presented, including a joint statement asking the United Nations to help ending violence and discriminations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which has been signed by 417 NGOs from 105 countries.
Three of the adopted resolutions (one on "Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: eliminating domestic violence”; another about "Strengthening efforts to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage"; the last about "Elimination of discrimination against women") are a good step forward in advancing gender equality, empowerment and the human rights of women and girls. The first one, in particular, marks the debut in UN documents of such terms as intimate partner violence and comprehensive sexuality education.
On a less happy note, a “protection of the family” resolution passed with 29 yes, 14 no and 4 abstentions. This resolution, brought by Egypt and a group of other states, was presented as a "family-friendly" initiative, but actually contains many elements that are harmful to women’s rights, children’s rights as well as those of LGBTI individuals. Perhaps most significantly, by a slim majority governments refused to even consider adding wording into the resolution recognizing diversity of family forms.
(bulletin written by Daniele Paletta)