The week in LGBTI news from around the world
September 26 – October 2, 2015
Saturday, September 26
Serbia: group of women attacked and injured in a bar in Belgrade
A group of women was attacked in a café in the centre of Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. Activists report that a guy entered the bar and started beating them, screaming “Lesbians! Lesbians!” When one of the women called the police, another man tried to attack the group: he only stopped when his victims managed to hide in the café’s toilet. Three women were injured in this attack, which came less than a week after a successful LGBTI Pride took place without incidents.
Read more via the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights
Sunday, September 27
Saudi Arabia to protest supposed references to homosexuality in the UN Sustainable Development Goals
“Mentioning sex in the text, to us, means exactly male and female. Mentioning family means consisting of a married man and woman.” With these words, Saudi Arabia Foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir reportedly protested any supposed reference to homosexuality in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, saying it would run “counter to Islamic law.” As AllAfrica points out, such references are unlikely to be found in the SDGs as, during their creation, “similar reservations regarding LGBTI rights were expressed by several member States”.
Read more on Huffington Post
Monday, September 28
Tunisia: organizations protest against forced anal examinations and ask for repeal of law criminalizing sodomy
"Tests of shame! Till when?" campaign by the Tunisian group Damj
Seven human rights organizations have demanded the repeal of Article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code which criminalizes “sodomy”, and the immediate release of a 22-year-old man who had just been sentenced to one year in prison according to that law.
After his arrest, three weeks ago, the young man was forced to undergo a forensic anal examination to ‘prove his homosexuality’: “We consider it an act of rape, and a violation of human rights” the NGOs wrote in a joint statement. Also the Tunisian minister of Justice, Mohamed Salah Ben Aïssa, called for a repeal of Article 230 during an interview on Shems FM, describing it as “inconsistent” with the country’s new constitution and in violation to individuals’ right to privacy.
As A Paper Bird remembers, you can join the online campaign to end forced anal tests in Tunisia by posting messages of support on Twitter or Facebook: paste in the hashtag #لا_لفحوصات_العار (No test of shame!), or #لا_للفصل_230 (No to Article 230!); or use the hashtags #TestdelaHonte and #Tunisie.
Tuesday, September 29
Venezuela: same-sex families demand the National Assembly to respect their right to housing
Ten same-sex families started a protest outside the National Assembly, demanding to be included in the national housing plan (also known as Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela) and denouncing the abuses to which they are subjected because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Luis Marchant, national coordinator of the Frente Socialista de la Sexo-género diversidad, is among the protestors and told his story to Contrapunto, explaining he and his partner would have been evicted twice from their house in the last three years just for being gay. They are not the only ones facing such lack of protection: “We ask the Venezuelan government to recognize us as gay or lesbian parents” said Marchant, “and to provide an immediate political solution for this housing situation.”
The human rights of LGBTI people take centre stage at the United Nations
Ban Ki-moon speaking at th UN event (photo - screenshot from UN web TV)
In an unprecedented initiative, twelve United Nation agencies joined forces and issued a statement calling to action on ending violence and discrimination against LGBTI adults, adolescents and children. Charles Radcliffe, UN Human Rights Office’s Chief of Global Issues, said: “Violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, gender identity and biological sex characteristics violate their human rights and impoverish whole communities.”
On the same day, on the margins of the annual debate of the UN General Assembly in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the agencies for “speaking in one voice” on this issue. “There are 17 sustainable development goals all based on a single, guiding principle: to leave no one behind” mr. Ban stated. “We will only realize this vision if we reach all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Watch the video of the UN event Leaving no-one behind: equality & inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda
Wednesday, September 30
United States: Nebraska AG to oppose request of same-sex spouses to be both listed on their children's birth certificates
According to 10 11, the Nebraska attorney general's office is objecting to a filing by the American Civil Liberties Union, seeking permission to have both same-sex spouses listed as parents on their children's birth certificates.
As The Journal-Star reports, the request was made on behalf of Nicole and Brooke Wagner (and other same-sex parents), whose baby is nearly 2 months old and yet without a birth certificate, because the Nebraska Office of Vital Records and Statistics would have offered to list Nicole as the “mother” and Brooke as a "friend." State attorneys argued that plaintiffs in the case would be adding statements from couples who were not part of their original lawsuit, which challenged Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban.
Read more on The Advocate
Thursday, October 1
Australia: results of first-of-a-kind research released, looking at LGBT people living with dementia
The first outcomes of a recent Australian study into the experiences of LGBT people living with dementia have been released: results, the Star Observer reports, seem to show that some LGBT people lost their capacity to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity as their disease progressed. The fear of inadvertent disclosure is a significant source of anxiety, which seems to go hand in hand with the fear of losing social connections to the LGBTI community. The project, undertaken in partnership between the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University and Alzheimer’s Australia, will be formally launched at the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference on October 26 and 27 in Melbourne.
Is that all? More news bites
The United Nations Development Programme released its report of the Regional dialogue on LGBTI human rights and health in Asia-Pacific, held in February 2015, which brought together more than 200 representatives from over 30 countries.
Queensland may soon join other states in Australia in extending adoption rights to same-sex couples after a call for public submissions into the current review of the 2009 Adoption Act.
A Christian school in San Diego, United States, reportedly decided to reject the admission of a 5-year-old girl because she has two moms. In a Catholic institute in Italy, a gay teenager was reportedly asked to follow classes from the school’s corridor after he had posted a photo of himself with another boy on Instagram (the headmaster rejected every accusation of discrimination).
Vatican officials confirmed that Pope Francis met privately with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky, USA who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In Argentina, the Movimiento Antidisriminatorio de Liberación called for urgent investigations on hate crimes motivated by gender expression after two members of their group were found dead.
In Bermuda, Washington speaker Ayo Kimathi was placed on the country's stop list after he gave a speech condemning homosexuality and interracial marriage at the “African History & Culture Come Alive” event.
Speaking at the United Nations, Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe declared “We are not gays”, earning light applause and some laughter from the assembled diplomats.
[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]
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