Sunday, August 30th
Ukraine: group destroys LGBTI’s organization offices, beats up activists
First a café, then the offices of a LGBTI support group were raided in under 24 hours in Kryvyi Rih, a city in southern Ukraine. On Saturday night, a group of twenty men, reportedly wearing masks and t-shirts with the symbol of the Right Sector, broke into a café where some LGBTI activists were having a party and beat everybody up. Any attackers caught by the police were quickly released.
A few hours later, a group of masked men threw smoke bombs into the Queer Home Kryvbas community center and destroyed the premises. Seven people were trapped inside, Gay Star News reports, but were able to escape. One activist who tried to stop the attackers was hit over the head – he was later hospitalized and treated for a severe concussion.
Violence against the LGBTI community seems on a rise in Ukraine: two weeks ago somebody hurled smoke bombs into a venue where activists were discussing the recent ban on Pride activities in Odessa, while in June people marching at the Kyiv Pride were attacked.
Monday, August 31
El Salvador: homophobia-motivated murders could result in 50-year sentences
The Law Commission in El Salvador agreed to change the country’s penal code and to increase the punishment for aggravated threats and murders whenever they are motivated by discrimination based upon gender identity and sexual orientation, or on reasons of race, ethnicity and politics. The maximum length of a sentence for these kinds of killings has now been increased from 30 to 50 years.
“Many threats or homicides are motivated by the victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity” said MP René Portillo Cuadra. “We are legislating so that these crimes s won’t be left unpunished anymore.”
Read more on La Página (in Spanish)
United States: 150 students stage walkout to protest trans schoolmate’s locker room use
More than 150 students walked out of Hillsboro High School in Missouri to protest a trans student’s request to use the girls’ locker room during gym class. Lila Perry told KMOV that she has identified as female since age 13: after coming out to classmates, she assumed she would have been allowed to use the girls' locker room, but found herself facing a mass protest instead. About 40 students showed support for Lila, while school officials offered her a private, gender-neutral restroom: a proposal she declined, before dropping the gym class. “I wasn’t hurting anyone and I didn’t want to feel segregated out,” she said.
Tuesday, September 1
Uganda: new NGO bill may criminalize advocating for LGBTI rights
Activists are raising concerns about a bill that, if passed into law, would limit the work of NGOs in the country. According to The Guardian, the so-called NGO bill assigns authorities the power to inspect and shut down an organisation. Should it decide to operate without a permit, its directors would risk jail sentences of up to eight years.
“If the bill becomes law,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, “it would severely weaken the capacity of NGOs to fight for human rights to be upheld”.
Any NGO could risk being flagged as illegal, but – according to Nicholas Opiyo, a lawyer with a civil liberties group called Chapter 4 – “there is absolutely no doubt that a significant part of the bill seeks to reintroduce in part the things that were in the Anti-Homosexuality Act.”
Read more on Buzzfeed
Japan: 44% of gay and bisexual male teens get bullied
Image taken from the poster of Bully, a documentary by Lee Hirsch
A survey revealed that more than 40 per cent of gay and bisexual men in Japan have experienced bullying during their teenager years, apparently because of their sexual orientation. As professor Yasuharu Hidaka’s research team at Takarazuka University's nursing school found out, in order to cope, 23% of the 20,000 persons interviewed played truant, and 18% of them resorted to self-harm.
Read more on The Asahi Shimbun
Thursday, September 3
Australia: Victorian government to provide $1.2 million in funding for LGBTI programs
Victoria’s Equality minister Martin Foley has announced that $1.2 million in funding will go to programs supporting the rights and mental health of young LGBTI people. Past recipients, Star Observer remembers, have used the grants to support activism during the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, to run local festivals and to create video interviews of sexual and gender diverse people to be screened in high schools.
Is that all?
In Italy, a city mayor declared he would love to see "a tax on homosexuals" [sic] introduced, as "they can't procreate and therefore they have no kids".
Sonja Jógvansdóttir made history on Tuesday when she became the first openly lesbian candidate to be elected to the Faroese parliament.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Silver Lining Foundation called all parties and candidates contesting this year’s general election to refrain from using homo-transphobic slurs to garner political support and votes.
While Kim Davis has been detained for contempt of court for not complying with a Supreme Court order to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, two other clerks in Kentucky, United States are reportedly refusing to issue marriage licenses.
The Transgender rights bill has still to be signed into law in India. Before that happens, activists are asking MPs to include references to intersex people’s rights in the document.
Activists organised a rally in Kathmandu, Nepal, to demand that human rights of LGBTI people be enshrined in the new constitution, which is being discussed by parliament.
Nine gay men were arrested for "acting inappropriately" and then “handed back to their parents” in Mandalay, Burma, even though they had not committed any crime.
In Ghana a man was ambushed and beaten up by a mob of young people who accused him of being gay, before being saved by a soldier who happened to pass by.
The State of Victoria in Australia adopted a scheme to expunge historical convictions for homosexual activity that would not be a criminal offence today.
[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]
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