LGBulleTIn #60 - The week in LGBTI news (August 26 - September 1, 2016)

LGBulleTIn #60 - The week in LGBTI news
August 26 – September 1, 2016


This week’s LGBulleTIn begins with an announcement: registration deadlines for both the ILGA World Conference and the annual ILGA-Europe conference have been extended until September 15 and September 11, respectively. Click on the links above to find out more.

And now… off to this week’s news!


Friday, August 26

Japan: 1 in 5 workers know of LGBT workplace harassment cases, study finds

Nearly 23% of workers have witnessed or heard of discriminatory acts against LGBT people in the workplace in Japan, according to a survey by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo).

A thousand company employees between the ages of 20 and 59 were surveyed for the study, and 1.3% among them said they had personally experienced workplace harassment.

People who reported finding it hard to accept LGBT individuals who are out at work accounted for 28.4 percent of respondents in their 20s, while the ratio reached 39.2 percent among employees in their 50s.

Results of the survey also show that more than half of respondents think companies should take measures to prevent and ban harassment toward LGBT people.

Read more on The Japan Times



Saturday, August 27

Australia: man charged after lubricant dispenser filled with acid at Sydney gay and bisexual club

A 62-year-old man has been charged after allegedly putting hydrochloric acid inside a lubricant dispenser at a gay and bisexual club in Sydney.

According to police, items in the room had been fitted with alarms after they had previously been tampered with in a similar way: as the alarm sounded, security stopped the man before police arrested him. No serious injuries were reported.

Hydrochloric acid is a chemical that can have corrosive effect on human tissue. Local media report that the man has been charged with administering poison intending to injure or cause distress or pain, entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence and malicious damage. He was granted conditional bail and will soon appear before court.

Read more via ABC



Saturday, August 27

South Africa: Caster Semenya honoured with Athlete of the Year award

Women’s 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya has been crowned Athlete of the Year at the SPAR gsport Awards, organized by an initiative aimed at raising the profile of South African women in sport.

“I dedicate this award to my haters,” she said as she took the stage to receive the awards, while also thanking “fellow South Africans for the great support you’ve given me over the past few weeks.”

For years, Semenya has endured continuous speculations over her innate physical characteristics and her right to compete. As Katrina Karzakis points out in this article, the IAAF had cleared her to compete in 2010, and yet “people refuse to decouple this athlete from the period in which, in her words, she was ‘subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being… [that] infringed on not only my rights as an athlete but also my fundamental and human rights including my rights to dignity and privacy.’”



Saturday, August 27

Sweden: Migration agency advised ‘to get rid of LGBTQ experts’

An internal report at Sweden’s Migration Agency has proposed the body gets rid of experts who advise on LGBTQ issues.

According to The Local, the report pointed at alleged inefficiencies, while noting that the agency had lost specific expertise at many of its asylum centres, and therefore suggested creating more general roles. Only, this would lead to do away with some specialist fields, including those working on LGBT+ issues.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL), which has recently launched a new campaign advocating LGBTQ refugees' human rights, has immediately slammed the report.

"The fact that applicants know a trusted officer is absolutely necessary,” RFSL President Frida Sandegård said. "Mistrust in authorities is one of the reasons why LGBTQ refugees do not talk about their reasons for asylum until late in the process, as many have experienced meeting public authorities in their country of origin who persecute, harass and threaten LGBTQ people." RFSL demanded that the experts remain, adding that all staff working at the Migration Agency should be given basic training in LGBTQ issues.



Sunday August 28

Mexico: LGBTI activists hold national gathering, call to stand behind secular state

Hundreds of activists advocating human rights of LGBTI persons came together in Cuernavaca for a nationwide gathering, discussing agendas to help creating inclusive public policies in Mexico.

The meeting came at a time where the LGBTI community is facing a number of attacks by conservative groups, with the Frente Nacional por la Familia (National Front for the Family, reportedly composed of more than 1,000 organisations) planning to stage several marches against marriage equality in September.

While a counter-protest calling for “respect and an end to hate” has already been announced, a declaration, signed by four groups, was issued to seal the Cuernavaca gathering.

In this document, groups are calling for actions in defence of the secular State and for support for their demand that reforms be approved to recognize marriage equality. The declaration also calls on the National Human Rights Commission to strengthen its role in monitoring and protecting the human rights of LGBTI persons in the country.



Wednesday, August 31

United States: California legislature approves youth suicide prevention bill

The California Assembly approved a bill that would require school districts to adopt comprehensive suicide prevention plans for students attending grades 7-12.

A legislative counsel's digest reads: “[Assembly Bill (AB) 2246] would require the governing board or body of a local educational agency […]  to, before the beginning of the 2017–18 school year, adopt a policy on pupil suicide prevention that specifically addresses the needs of high-risk groups [… ] including, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning youth.”

Organisations sponsoring the bill have praised the decision, which comes a few weeks after the release of sobering statistics on the health risks facing lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in the country.

The bill was previously approved by the Senate, and now goes to the state’s Governor for his signature.



Is that all? More LGBTI news bites

Africa_LGBTI news_ILGAAccording to media reports, two male students were severely beaten up by their classmates and expelled from their school in Kisumu County, Kenya after they were allegedly caught having sex.

According to reports, a 24-year-old was arrested in Uganda after allegedly trying to extort money to a member of the local LGBTI community.

The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa has been given until September 9 to implement its suspended decision to recognise same-sex unions – or face legal action.

Oceania_LGBTI news_ILGARepresentatives of both the Catholic and the Methodist church in Fiji have recently spoken advocating for gender diverse people to be treated equally.

Labor and a group of Greens and independent MPs in Australia have separately given notice that they will introduce private members’ bills to legalise same-sex marriage.

The act allowing rainbow families to jointly adopt children has come into effect in Victoria, Australia.

North America_LGBTI news_ILGAIn the United States, New York court ruled that non-biological, non-married, non-adoptive parents can seek custody and visitation of children who were born into their relationships with the consent of the child’s biological parent.

A students' association in Winnipeg, Canada is pushing ‘for a campus gym to reserve hours for women, members of the LGBT community and people who identify as non-binary.’

Officials, organisations and community members gathered in Salem, MA, United States to support an LGBT publication, whose newspaper box was blown up in a late night raid that is being treated as a hate crime.

Asia_LGBTI news_ILGAA fire caused serious damage to a number of businesses in an area of Taipei, Taiwan, where several LGBTI community-friendly bars are located.  Police have arrested a suspect.

A national consultation on SOGIE-based bullying in education settings was recently held in the Philippines, attended by government, civil society organisations and academics.

“If the court grants the motion, the government will go too far in controlling the private acts of its own citizens,” the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform said, as new provisions in the Criminal Code are being debated to criminalize all consensual adult sexual relationships outside marriage in Indonesia.

Latin America_Caribbean_LGBTI news_ILGAAfter Dilma Rousseff was impeached, ILGALAC issued a statement describing “the coup” as “a tragic page not only for the people of Brazil but for all Latin America and the Caribbean, because it opens the door to the advancement of ultra conservative sectors.”

According to reports, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda claimed that “the buggery law (sic) will remain unchanged” in the country.

The parliament in Aruba is expected to vote soon on a civil law amendment to regulations addressing same-sex relationships in the country’s civil code.

Europe_LGBTI news_ILGAA civil society organisation in Madrid, Spain brought charges against a clinic which is allegedly offering and promoting 'conversion' therapy.

In Northern Ireland, the lifetime blood donation ban on gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men was lifted in favour of a one-year deferral system.

In a country's first, the Equal Treatment Authority in Hungary found discrimination based on gender identity in a case concerning an employer’s rejection of a trans job applicant.

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