LGBulleTIn #72 - The week in LGBTI news
January 13-19, 2017
Friday, January 13
United States: 156 LGBT politicians call on President-elect to “continue efforts to advance equality,” while Women’s Marches are being organised
More than 150 elected officials in the United States, all of them members of rainbow communities, have issued an open letter calling on President-elect Donald Trump to continue efforts to advance equality and inclusion.
The group of politicians raised "grave concerns" over the individuals appointed to the administration thus far, and called on Trump to “deescalate the hostility and intolerance expressed by a small but vocal minority throughout the election season.”
“We ask you appoint individuals with inclusive policy solutions that aim to better the lives of all Americans,” the letter reads. “And we ask you declare full support for LGBT equality, and remain true to earlier statements promising to be a president supportive of our rights.”
Meanwhile, a Women's March on Washington is being organised on Trump's first day in office, and hundreds of demonstrations around the world are being planned in conjunction with it.
The March’s website explains: "The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault - and our communities are hurting and scared. [...] We join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. [...] We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us."
Friday, January 13
Nigeria: LGBTQ persons severely stigmatised and isolated, report finds
The Bisi Alimi Foundation released a new report on the violence and discrimination LGBTQ Nigerians have experienced since the adoption of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014.
Not dancing to their music explores the results of an online survey in which 446 respondents explained how systemic issues with education, media, healthcare and law enforcement both limit their opportunities and intersects with human rights violations.
Findings show that 55% of respondents had been physically or sexually attacked or threatened with violence in the past decade. More than one in two said to have experienced threats and harassment online, and 71% of those taking part in the survey also believed to have suffered abuses due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“This is not just about data, these are stories and real life experiences of stigmatised and vulnerable citizens of Nigeria,” said Bisi Alimi, Executive Director of Bisi Alimi Foundation. “We are hoping that the government, businesses, powerful organisations such as the United Nations, Commonwealth and other interested parties will look at this report and take action in name of human rights, empathy and justice.”
Sunday, January 15
Association of Southeast Asian Nations challenged to “uphold human rights for all”
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its establishment, human rights defenders from the region raised “great concerns on the equitable enjoyment of human rights for marginalized and excluded groups, particularly the LGBTIQ community.”
“Within 50 years of its establishment,” reads a statement issued by the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, “(the Association) has failed to seriously address and include LGBTIQ people in the development work it has done for the region” particularly excluding “sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics in ASEAN Human Rights mechanisms.”
Human rights defenders also highlighted how stigmatisation, criminalisation, the absence of anti-discriminations law, pathologisation and a shrinking civic space for LGBTIQ organisations “have devastating impact on the lives of people,” and called on ASEAN "to seriously uphold human rights for all without discrimination."
Sunday, January 15
Over 90 per cent of LGBTI Australians oppose religious exemptions in draft marriage equality bill
A recent survey has found that 92.5% of LGBTI Australians oppose religious exemptions that would allow civil marriage celebrants to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples. According to the same survey, funded by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and just.equal, almost 6 in 10 respondents also opposed the idea of such exemptions being allowed for religious celebrants.
“The majority of LGBTI people are clearly saying that access to marriage on condition they can be refused services is not marriage equality,” National spokesperson for PFLAG, Shelley Argent was quoted as saying.
According to Buzzfeed, these results come a Senate committee is considering religious and conscientious exemptions to marriages as part of an inquiry into the government’s draft Marriage Amendment bill, which was released in October last year before the Senate vote blocked the proposed plebiscite.
The bill contains exemptions to discrimination law that would allow civil celebrants and ministers of religion to refuse officiating same-sex weddings, as well as religious bodies or organisations to refuse to provide goods or services.
Tuesday, January 17
Brazil: woman confesses stabbing her son to death in what may be a homophobic hate crime
A woman has been arrested in Brazil and confessed to have stabbed her teenage son to death, in what may have been a homophobic hate crime. According to reports, 17-year-old Itaberli Lozano was murdered in an ambush allegedly armed by his mother, with the help of two young men, whom she would have hired to beat him up. Then, she and her husband allegedly took her son’s body to a cane field and burned it.
According to O Globo, the victim published a post on Facebook two days before his death, claiming that his mother, unable to accept his sexual orientation, had attacked him. Also an attorney with the Brazilian Bar Association's Sexual Diversity Commission (OAB) was reported claiming to have evidence that this may be a homophobic hate crime, as neighbours and friends reported that Itaberli had been attacked for years by his mother.
A few days after confessing the crime, however, the woman retracted, stating that her son would have been killed by three youth.
Thursday, January 19
European Court of Human Rights strikes out case involving a woman seeking asylum based on her sexual orientation
A case involving a woman from Cameroon, seeking asylum in Spain based on her sexual orientation, has been struck out by the European Court of Human Rights.
The woman had her claim rejected by Spanish authorities, who claimed that “it was not credible that the applicant had faced a situation of ‘social and familiar harassment’ due to her sexual orientation”. After complaining to the European Court of Human Rights, stating that her life would be a risk in case she returns to her homeland, her deportation was suspended, and her asylum application will undergo a thorough examination. Given that the applicant’s case is being considered under a new procedure, then, the Court decided to partially strike out the case.
While “clearly relieved that the person at the heart of M.B. v Spain has the opportunity to stay in Spain, at least temporarily, while her case is under consideration,” ILGA-Europe spoke of “another missed opportunity for Court to provide greater clarity on this issue.”
"There are likely to be many other asylum seekers in a similar position, in other Council of Europe member states, who are wondering what the future holds for them," a statement reads. "(We) believe that the Court needs to clear up any ambiguity on this issue when dealing with cases like this.”
Is that all? More LGBTI news bites
In Sri Lanka, the Minister of Health said the Cabinet stands opposed to the request for decriminalising same-sex sexual activity, but that the government will “not prosecute anyone for practising it.”
According to a joint study by various NGOs, media outlets in Indonesia have largely failed to impartially report about LGBTI communities throughout the past year.
In Italy, the Council of Ministers approved the implementing decrees on civil unions.
In Ireland, the lifetime blood donation ban on gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men was lifted in favour of a one-year deferral system.
Correctional Service Canada said trans inmates will now be considered for placement in prisons based on their gender identity, reversing course on its recently announced policy.
In the United States, Chelsea Manning saw her sentence for disclosing classified information commuted. The reported date of the whistleblower's liberation will coincide with the upcoming International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
A court in Malawi is expected to soon rule on whether the case of a politician who called on gay and lesbian persons to be killed should be heard as a constitutional case.
A judge in Hammamet, Tunisia ordered the detention of a trans woman who is awaiting a court decision on charges of public indecency and insulting a government official.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, a peer support group for male survivors of sexual violence will host a community hui to discuss how such groups can be more welcoming to queer, trans and takatāpui men.
Police have responded to reports of homophobic violence at a park in the Footscray neighbourhood of Melbourne, Australia, reiterating their “commitment to the safety of the community.”
The State Commission for Human Rights has issued a recommendation to the state government of Baja California, Mexico after two women were denied the possibility to see both their names registered in their daughter’s birth certificate.
In Peru, a judge ruled that protection measures be enacted in favour of a girl who had been victim of family violence on the grounds of her sexual orientation.
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