The week in LGBTI news from around the world. August 22-28
Saturday, August 22
Senegal: seven men jailed for “acts against nature”
A court in Dakar, Senegal, sentenced seven men who had been accused of engaging in same-sex sexual acts to six months in prison. The Senegalese newspaper Le Quotidien reported they had been caught during a raid in an apartment in Guédiawaye. According to BBC, the defence lawyer said the case should have collapsed in court: “There was neither material evidence nor testimony in order to corroborate the claims.” In Senegal, homosexuality is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of 1,500,000 francs.
Read more on Washington Blade (in English) and on Yagg (in French)
Monday, August 24
UN Security Council considers the 30+ killings for sodomy by ISIS
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for at least 30 alleged killings of people accused of “sodomy and other crimes of ‘morality’”: the news circulated during an United Nations Security Council briefing, where two men targeted by ISIS - one each from Iraq and Syria - shared their experiences and the Council has been called upon to “act urgently”.
The first-ever UNSC meeting to focus on LGBTI rights abuses had been called “historic”, while others suggested it was ineffective. After alarming reports that 9 people perceived as gay may have been killed by ISIS last weekend, and with the UN only able to really work with member states – that have no effective control over the area – the quandary remains: the Security Council can’t do anything to really save lives”.
Tuesday, August 25
Windows 10 could “out” kids to their parents, users say
The new activity reports feature on Windows 10, enabled by default for users who register for “family” accounts, has raised concerns among users and digital activists, as it may “out” kids to their parents by sending them weekly breakdowns of browsing histories. Anonymous web navigations, or clearing any record of the visited sites, do not seem to prevent the feature to do its reporting job.
A Pink News reporter signed up for a fictional child account and wrote that “attempts to access pornographic content was specifically flagged up in the report to the ‘parent’ account – naming the specific gay website the child had attempted to view”. Visits to LGBTI-related non-adult websites, which might as well have been used to access coming out or anti-bullying advice, were also tracked down.
Wednesday, August 26
Australia: NSW Education minister bans schools from showing a movie about families with same-sex parents
Up to 50 schools across Australia had organised a simultaneous broadcast of Gayby baby, a documentary about children with same-sex parents, as part of a nationwide Wear it Purple day campaign of sexual inclusion in schools. New South Wales’ Education minister Adrian Piccoli, though, decided to have none of it and issued a memo to the state's principals ordering them not to show the film in school hours, so as "to not impact on the delivery of planned lessons". His decision caused nationwide uproar, sparking a debate about what should be shown in schools.
“This is a film about kids who are growing up, they just happen to have gay parents,” said the film's director, Maya Newell. "The minister could have told all these families that they are equal and respected. He chose not to do that."
Read more on The Sydney Morning Herald
United States: Court upholds ruling ordering a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a request from Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue a stay on a ruling that ordered her to issue marriage licences to all eligible couples, including same-sex ones. She and her staff, who have reportedly been turning couples away since the day after the US Supreme Court overturned ban on same-sex marriage, will have to begin providing licenses starting from next Monday even though an appeal, The Guardian points out, is still possible.
Meanwhile, office staff members still seem to be rejecting applications while they can: according to Louisville paper The Courier Journal, the third consecutive marriage request issued by two men has been rejected on August 27.
Read more on The Advocate
Thursday, August 27
Oxford dictionary adds gender-neutral title Mx
Another non-binary word enters Oxford Dictionaries: Mx - a gender neutral title given to those who do not want to be referred to as Mr, Miss, Ms or Mrs - was added to reflect “today’s more thoughtful conversations about gender identity”. The addition of Mx follows the introduction of cisgender into the Oxford English Dictionary earlier this year.
Read more on Gay Star News
Dominican Republic: an agreement to guarantee better health services for LGBTI persons
ph. El Nuevo Diario
Public Health authorities in the northern region of Dominican Republic signed a collaboration agreement with the leaders of the organization Amigos Siempre Amigos (ASA) aiming at improving access to health services for the LGBTI population.
The agreement, El Nuevo Diario reports, will especially help working on antibodies screening and providing HIV-specific health care. Leonardo Sánchez, executive director of ASA, said the initiative “will allow people to receive health services that respect human rights”.
Read more via ILGA Lac (in Spanish)
(bulletin written by Daniele Paletta)