Saturday, October 31
Zambia: trans woman convicted, faces at least 15 years in jail
A trans woman in Mongu, Western Zambia, was found guilty of permitting a man to have “carnal knowledge of her against the order of nature.”
According to the Zambia Daily Mail, which describes the woman as a “fake woman” and misgenders her, she was arrested after a 19-year-old taxi driver had reportedly complained to police that he had been “deceived” into sex. The court ruled in his favour: “In fact, he was made to believe that he was actually going to sleep with a woman and a woman only,” the judge said, “because of the way he (sic) was dressed, and he had long hair.”
The woman, who was granted the right to appeal to the High Court, could face a prison sentence of “not less than fifteen years” and “may be liable to imprisonment for life.”
Read more on MambaOnline
Monday, November 2
Australia: new report casts a light on LGBTI domestic violence
LGBTI persons are no strangers to domestic violence in their relationships. A survey conducted among LGBTI communities in New South Wales reveals how this sort of abuse, though hidden and under-reported, is very much a reality: more than half of the 813 respondents – nearly 55% – said they had previously been in an emotionally abusive relationship and just under 35% said they had experienced sexual or physical violence in such a context. Nearly 13% of trans, intersex and gender diverse survey respondents said their sexual status had been used as a means of control or abuse in their current relationship.
As Guardian Australia points out, the report shows also that LGBTI persons often suffer from abuse specific to that community, such as threats from perpetrators to “out” their same-sex partners, homophobic or transphobic name-calling, and the withholding of HIV medication, or drugs to aid a trans person’s transition.
The report was released during Domestic Violence NSW’s annual conference, and a website with LGBTI domestic violence resources was launched on the occasion.
Tuesday, November 3
United States: voters reject Hero, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance
More than 60% of voters rejected the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, much to equal rights campaigners’ astonishment. The much-debated anti-discrimination ordinance, also known as Hero, was passed by Houston’s City Council in 2014, and was designed to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and 11 other characteristics in employment, housing and public accommodation; now, thanks to the popular vote, it will be repealed.
Hero’s opponents had based their campaign on attacking the ordinance’s references to gender identity and described it as a “bathroom bill”, claiming that the law would allow men to invade women's restrooms to assault them. “Any man at any time could enter a women’s bathroom simply by claiming to be a woman that day. No one is exempt, even registered sex offenders,” one campaign ad warned.
“Hero is about one thing and one thing only, fighting discrimination” said Richard Carlbom, the campaign manager for Houston Unites. “It’s been revolting to me personally to see how a handful of extremists have demonised transgender people in our community.”
Read more on The Guardian
Wednesday, November 4
Colombia: same-sex couples should be granted the right to adopt children, Court rules
In a 6-2 ruling, the Colombian Constitutional Court said that adoption agencies could not discriminate against same-sex couples during an adoption process. The decision came less than a year after the court had ruled a person can legally adopt the biological children of their same-sex partner. In a press release, the magistrate María Victoria Calle Correa stated that “to prevent a child from having a family only on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation would be an inacceptable restriction.”
This decision was met with mixed reactions: while LGBTI advocacy groups spoke in its favour, Colombia’s Catholic church immediately denounced it as violating the rights of children and reiterated the demand that the issue be decided by a plebiscite.
Read more on El Espectador (in Spanish)
Thursday, November 5
Ukraine: Parliament fails to rule against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the Labour Code
The Ukrainian Parliament failed to include a ban on employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the country’s Labour Code.
When sexual orientation and gender identity were mentioned among the possible grounds of discriminations, some of the deputies began shouting and whistling in disapproval, Pravda reports. Only 117 deputies supported an amendment that would have prohibited “every form of discrimination in the workplace,” while a minimum of 226 votes in favour would have been required to pass it. The Labour Code passed without protection on those grounds.
Japan: same-sex couples receive first-ever ‘partnership’ certificates in the country
The district of Shibuya, in Tokyo, became the first municipality in Japan to issue certificates recognising same-sex unions as equivalent to marriage. The documents will allow same-sex couples to access family housing in ward-run residential property, and other legal rights previously denied to such couples in the country. A few hours later, the ward of Setagaya also started issuing similar documents.
Read more on The Asahi Shimbum
Is that all? More LGBTI news bites
More LGBTI news bites
Election results: Darienne Flemington, Dragana Todorovic, Micah Grzywnowicz, Vladimir Simonko, Yuri Guaiana elected #IEAthens2015
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) October 31, 2015
">ILGA Europe and ILGA Asia announced the names of their new board members during their regional conferences.
In the State of Odisha, India, the trans community will be covered under the National Food Security Act, which makes beneficiaries entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains per month.
Nearly 80,000 persons marched in Taipei for the Taiwan Pride (some ILGA staff and board members were there too!), while almost 5,000 persons took it to the streets for Johannesburg Pride in South Africa.
In Cameroon, the offices of REDHAC – the Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa – were reportedly struck by burglars for the fifth time in a year.
In Uganda, a presidential candidate reportedly vowed to "rehabilitate homosexuals" if he will be made president: "They have demons and we have specialists to chase out demons.”
A trans woman was killed in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, while another trans woman was assaulted by a gang in San Lorenzo. During the same hours, hundreds of person were marching in the capital "to defend life and family" and protest against "international organisms pushing to impose a gay and gender ideology" in the country.
In Chile the Senate Human Rights Commission ended processing the Gender Identity law, and the Government announced a law on marriage equality will be introduced in 2017.
In Australia, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced she now supports marriage equality (and a public vote to decide on the matter).
More on marriage equality, but this time from Europe: a majority of Northern Ireland Assembly members supported marriage equality, but the motion was ultimately blocked. In Slovenia the issue will be put to a popular vote: the referendum is scheduled on December 20.
Starting from spring 2016, France will gradually lift its ban on blood donations for men who have sex with men.
The Italian Constitutional Court ruled that legal gender reassignment does not depend on medical treatments.
Out-takes, an audiovisual archive on the history of the LGBTI European movement, was presented during the Gender Bender festival in Bologna, Italy.
In Vancouver, Canada, Our City of Colours launched a queer visibility campaign creating LGBTI+ related posters for movies… that do not actually exist.
A teacher in Kansas, United States, was asked to resign after showing his students an anti-bullying film, depicting an imaginary world in which homosexuality is the norm and a young heterosexual girl is driven to suicide.
Refugees and asylees from 24 countries (those who currently qualify for P-3 status) can now file for their same-sex partners to join them in the United States, even if they are not legally married in their homeland.
After facing several protests, Facebook announced it will test improvements to its real name policy.
According to Collins English Dictionary, transgender is one of the 2015 Words of the Year.
[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]
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