LGBulleTIn #14 The week in LGBTI news from around the world September 5-11, 2015
Monday, September 7
Australia: plebiscite on marriage equality could cost up to $158 million
Holding a plebiscite on marriage equality in Australia could cost up to $158 million, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) revealed, if it will not be held at the next general election.
An official date for the consultation has not been decided on yet; according to The Sydney Morning Herald, though, Prime Minister Tony Abbott would have expressed his preference for holding it after the 2017 election. Should this choice be confirmed, and should the AEC's estimates be correct, the cost would be almost four times the amount of a poll held at the same time as the next general election.
Tuesday, September 8
Thailand: university introduces mandatory classes on trans issues
Kritipat Chotidhanitsakul (Jimmy) lectures on trans issues at Thammasat University / ph. Facebook – Lips Magazine
Bangkok’s Thammasat University has made a Social Life Skills class mandatory for its incoming freshman: among music, arts and sports, the course will also include a three-hour session on sexuality, with part of the focus on gender identity issues. Kritipat Chotidhanitsakul (Jimmy), president of the Transmen Alliance of Thailand, is among the guest lecturers: "I hope (these students) will mature into adults who understand transgender issues”, he said, “and set a new trend for society.”
Read more on Asian Correspondent
European Parliament demands action on LGBTI rights
The European Parliament adopted a new report on fundamental rights in the EU, which includes an extensive section on the situation for LGBTI people.
For the first time, a parliament report condemns medically unnecessary genital surgery on intersex infants; furthermore, it speaks out in favour of making legal gender recognition procedures easier for transgender people, highlights that same-sex couples everywhere should have access to marriage or registered partnerships and demands for a comprehensive strategy against homophobia.
Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said: “This report is a clear evidence of the European Parliament’s ongoing commitment to hold EU institutions and member states accountable when it comes to human rights."
Read more on ILGA-Europe
Wednesday, September 9
Trans woman denied new driver’s license over photo controversy
Alexandra / ph. Facebook
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles will review its photograph policy after a trans woman said she was turned away for a driver’s license for not looking male.
21-year-old Alexandra Glover had filmed an employee telling her: “You can’t present as a woman if you’re listed as a man.” The incident spurred an investigation on rule barring people from “misrepresenting” their gender in identification pictures; two days later the OMV announced they will allow trans people to get their photo taken as they appear in their day-to-day lives.
Read more on The Advocate
Thursday, September 10
Gay lecturer to challenge Cayman Islands in court
Leonardo Raznovich recently lost his job at the Truman Bodden Law School in The Cayman Islands: now unemployed, he is no longer allowed to remain in the country on a work permit, while his husband can. He could stay, in other words, only if the Caymans recognized his marital status. This is why, he announced, he is ready to begin the legal process of challenging the law: “We are going to take it all the way that is needed” he told Pink News “until we get a formal seal of approval to us living here as a family unit.”
Kenya: Anglican church suspends five clergymen for their sexual orientation
The Anglican Church of Kenya has suspended five priests suspected of engaging in homosexual activity. Mt. Kenya West diocesan Bishop Joseph Kagunda said the clergymen were found guilty by an appointed tribunal, but they still have a right of appeal. Rev. Kenneth Changes, Nairobi-based director of Changing Attitude Kenya, criticized the decision: “From where I stand, it is unchristian to discriminate against others in church. Where is God’s love in all this?”
Read more on 76 Crimes
Is that all? More news bites
In Malawi, a spokesperson from the government belied rumours about a referendum to legalize same-sex marriages in the country.
In Ghana, presidential candidate George Boateng said that – should he be elected – “the law will make it possible to sentence (gay and lesbian people) to death by firing squad”.
The first law specifically protecting LGBTI people came into effect in Thailand, as well as the Gender Recognition Act did in Ireland.
The organization Boys of Bangladesh launched its first-ever lesbian comic character: her name is Dhee, the Bangla word for intellect or wisdom.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released after five days in jail: "She shall not interfere [...] with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
A The Tico Times report cast a light on trans inmates in Costa Rica, whose detention in either men’s or women’s prisons depends on a court system decision at the time they are sentenced.
Doctors warned the UK National Health System may not treat trans patients equally, as knowledge about gender incongruence and dysphoria “is not covered in any detail in medical training.”
The Netherlands declared Russian LGBTI asylum seekers a risk group, making requests procedures easier for them.
[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]
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