LGBulleTIn 90 - The week in LGBTI news
June 9-15, 2017
Friday, June 9
Samoa hosts seminar on human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics in the Pacific
Human rights defenders and representatives of National Human Rights Institutions gathered to Samoa for a week-long seminar on “Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in Relation to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics (SOGISC)” in the Pacific region.
The event, hosted by the Samoa Office of the Ombudsman, reportedly marked the first time that the country hosted an international event focusing on issues pertaining to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
“It’s an opportunity for LGBTI activists to make use of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) as a mechanism to advance LGBTI rights in the Pacific," Haus of Khameleon founder and ILGA Oceania board member Sulique Waqa told Samoa Planet. "We have these NHRI and we need to strengthen their function and their role in terms of protecting the rights of everyone. This seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with them. One of the outcomes from this meeting is for all the NHRI to go back to their countries and implement their plans of action.”
Saturday, June 10
“Being Roma and LGBTI” international conference comes to an end in Strasbourg
The experiences of LGBTI Roma people and the intersecting forms of discrimination the community experiences took centre stage in Strasbourg, as the Council of Europe organized a three-day event.
The conference, titled “Being Roma and LGBTI: at the crossroads of discrimination, ”brought together representatives of international organisations and NGOs working on multiple discriminations, as well as grassroots activists who have been building bridges between the Roma and LGBTI movements. As panel discussions went on, participants had the chance to discuss intersectional and international responses to tackle discrimination, as well as the role of LGBTI and Roma youth movements as agents of change and empowerment.
During the event, ILGA-Europe presented their "Turn on the lights" campaign, aimed at putting race and ethnicity within the LGBTI communities centre stage.
Tuesday, June 13
Uganda: overcome “institutionalized discrimination” for better HIV response, activists urge
Addressing stigma and discrimination that limit the LGBTI community’s access to HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support services is crucial to step up a country’s HIV response: this is the message that human rights defenders delivered to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe during his recent visit in Uganda.
According to 76 Crimes, human rights defenders called on him to urge the government to overcome “institutionalized discrimination” against rainbow communities, who still face “unacceptably high HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidences” due to discrimination and fear when seeking health services.
During the same week - which saw the Presidential Fast Track Initiative on Ending HIV/AIDS in Uganda by 2030 being launched in Kampala - Spectrum Initiative Uganda held consultative meetings with Ministry of Health to forge a way forward in bettering service delivery to key populations in the country.
Wednesday, June 14
Chile: Senate approves Gender Identity Bill
The Senate of Chile approved the Gender Identity Bill, after 4 years of debate.
The provision details the procedure for applicants to see their name and gender marker amended directly in the Civil Registration Office, and reaffirms gender identity among the prohibited grounds for discrimination.
While welcoming the approval of the bill, human rights defenders are hoping that it will be amended during its reading in the Chamber of Deputies: “Unfortunately this bill does not contemplate the right to the gender identity of children and adolescents and requires people over 18 to present a medical certificate to prove their psychological and psychiatric conditions before seeing their name and gender marker amended,” commented Constanza Valdés, legal advisor at Organizando Trans Diversidades (OTD). “All of this can be modified in the House, where we will focus our advocacy efforts in order for Chile to have a non-pathologizing gender identity law."
Thursday, June 15
Malaysia: 18-year-old dies after being tortured by a mob
T Nhaveen was only 18 years old, and he was just about to go to college.
Instead, he fell victim of a horrific hate crime allegedly perpetrated by a group of youths, including former schoolmates who used to bully him because of his gender expression and perceived sexual orientation.
According to reports, he was standing outside a shop with a friend when he ran into his assailants. A gang of eight persons started beating the two with helmets, until they forced the 18-year-old to follow them in a nearby field. Several hours later, T Nhaveen was taken to the hospital by the brother of one of his alleged assailants: his body showed signs of beatings and torture. He immediately appeared to be in dire clinical conditions, and he died for the consequences of the assault a few days later.
Police have arrested five suspects, aged 16 to 18, on a preliminary charge of rioting. They all have admitted being involved in the incident.
Thursday, June 15
Canada: gender identity and gender expression are now prohibited grounds of discrimination under Human Rights Act
After years of pressure from advocates, the Senate of Canada has passed Bill C-16, which amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.
The bill was adopted with a 67-11 vote, and is now poised to be signed into law.
Passage of the legislation “marks a significant step toward recognizing transgender and gender diverse communities as worthy of dignity and respect,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada and co-secretary general at ILGA. “I’m grateful to everyone through the decades who fought tirelessly to get us to this historic moment.”
The path that led to approving the bill has not been an easy one: previously known as Bill C-279, it was last introduced in the House of Commons in 2011, but ultimately died before being put to a vote in the Senate. In 2015, the original text of Bill C-279 was reintroduced as Bill C-204 - now including also "gender expression" alongside “gender identity”. A third version of the bill, now named C-16, finally made it through the Parliament.
Bill C-16 also amends the Criminal Code of Canada to include “gender identity or expression” as a category that distinguishes identifiable groups in Canadian society, protecting them against hate propaganda and hate-based offences.
Is that all? More LGBTI news bites
Ana Brnabić has received the mandate to form a new government in Serbia: she is the first out lesbian woman to be appointed as Prime Minister in the country.
Two trans persons in Italy reported being forced to step off a bus as the bus driver noticed that the documents of one of them did not match her gender identity.
In Argentina, a lesbian woman and a survivor of an attempted "corrective" rape has been freed from jail. She was incarcerated after being accused of killing a man while defending herself from the mob attacking her.
The Supreme Court of Venezuela accepted a petition submitted by a trans human rights group requesting the court recognize the right to “the identification and expression of self-perceived gender.”
The Prime Minister of Canada announced intention to introduce legislation to address historical injustices faced by LGBTQ2S communities.
More than 1,000 hate incidents targeting LGBTQ and HIV-affected people, including 77 homicides, were reported across the United States in 2016, a report released on the first anniversary of the tragic Orlando shooting has shown.
Three LGBTI human rights defenders in Australia have been included in this year’s Queen's Honours List.
A public artwork in Brisbane, Australia which shows a rainbow breaking through a closet is set to be restored after having been vandalised.
Ten out lawmakers in South Africa have posed for a group photo in support of the LGBTQ Rights and Representation Initiative.
A new anthology of stories with contributions from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, and the USA has been launched to “celebrate the diversity and fluidity of queer and African identities.”
A Pride parade was held in Tel Aviv, Israel, under the theme “bisexual visibility.” A group of anti-occupation LGBTIQ activists attempted to block the parade, while others had called for a boycott on the event.
In Cambodia, where the 2017 ILGA Asia regional conference will be hosted, the ministry of Education has reportedly held a meeting to discuss a proposed school curriculum where children from grades 5 to 12 would learn about LGBT issues, sex education and gender-based violence.
GALE has recently published a new strategic guide for NGOs on how to engage with education systems.
A number of human rights defenders have joined forces to draft a guide on reclaiming family values, inviting social justice activists in Europe to consider placing family equality at the centre of strategies, discourse and actions.
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