The week in LGBTI news from around the world
September 19-25, 2015
Saturday, September 19
United States: government to introduce the term “sexual rights” when advocating for LGBTIs
The U.S. government announced that it will begin using the term “sexual rights” in discussions on human rights and development. The remarks were made at a UN meeting this week, AP reports, quoting a statement where sexual rights are defined to include people’s right to have control over (and decide freely and responsibly on) matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."
Read more on Towleroad
Sunday, September 20
New Zealand: trans woman stars in campaign challenging sexual violence
Mary Haddock-Staniland, a popular media personality in New Zealand, is among the supporters for #MyBodyMyTerms, an online campaign aiming at sparking an open conversation about victim- blaming, revenge porn, sexuality and rape culture in the country.
“I want to help raise awareness and stand up to people in our community who judge,” Haddock-Staniland said. “I don’t let others give me or anyone else flak over what we choose to do consensually with our bodies.”
Read more on GayExpress
Monday, September 21
Egypt: police arrests eleven men suspected of homosexuality
Eleven supposedly gay men were arrested by the police, engaged in a pre-Eid “morality campaign”, during two raids in Cairo: they are accused of offering sexual services to clients acquired through social media. “These morality raids have been going on for some time,” Dalia Abdel Hameed, head of the Gender Studies programme at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights told Daily News Egypt. “We have almost got used to expecting them.” Sexual relations between consenting adult persons of the same sex in private are not prohibited as such in Egypt; however, the Law on the Combating of Prostitution and the law against debauchery have reportedly been used to imprison gay men in recent years.
Indonesia: nine trans persons arrested for “cross-dressing”
West Aceh Sharia police arrested nine trans persons at a contraceptive store and beauty salon, after receiving reports from residents of the area who claimed they may have been violating the Islamic Sharia law. “They hung out until midnight wearing female outfits even when they’re male” police reported. “These activities caused public unrest and residents told us to take action.” After the arrest, the nine women had their documents checked; then, police officers allowed them to return to their hometowns.
Read more on Rappler
Wednesday, September 23
Chile launches first national survey about sexual diversity at work
The first national online survey about sexual diversity at work in Chile has just been launched, and it will be open until October 5th. “We need to know the reality of LGBTI people in the labor market, where everyone spends much of the time. Today, there is a lack of data and no clear idea of the challenges and threats that people face,” says the executive director of Fundaciòn Iguales, which supports the survey. “Once the results are known,” explained the ministry of Labour, Ximena Rincón “we will analyze the processes of employment of LGBTIs, as well as the information about the degrees of discrimination they face.”
Read more (in Spanish) on La Tercera
Thursday, September 24
Greece: new minister resigns after just one day over homophobic tweets
Greece’s deputy Transport minister Dimitris Kammenos has resigned less than a day after he entered his new role, over a string of homophobic and anti-Semitic tweets. Appointed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Kammenos had once attacked Athens Pride, branding it “pathetic”, while in other social media posts he appeared to back conspiracy theories that Jewish people were to blame for 9/11. All those posts are now cancelled and, even if Kammenos had initially denied making the comments (“I categorically condemn racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism,” he said), he decided to step down to allow the “proper functioning of government”.
Read more on Pink News
Is that all? More news bites
More than 15,000 persons gathered in Hong Kong on Sunday 20th to celebrate the local Pink Dot Pride. On the same day, 300 persons marched in Belgrade, Serbia, after riot police closed off the city center to ensure the safety of the Pride parade.
In India, the Gujarat Government denied tax exemption to a movie, reportedly stating that encourages homosexuality, could cause disharmony in the society, and no ‘decent family’ would want to watch it.
In Maryland, USA, a trans inmate who says she was repeatedly harassed by guards during a period of solitary confinement won a legal battle that, advocates say, will force State prison system to better train for how to treat trans people.
The legislative process to give effect to the marriage equality referendum in Ireland began this week, with the introduction of the bill in the State’s lower house of parliament.
Western Australian parliament joined its New South Wales counterpart in passing a motion that calls on Federal Parliament to adopt a free vote on marriage equality.
In what is believed to be a first, the rainbow flag has made it to the top of Kilimanjaro, the highest spot in the African continent.
In Argentina, the ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual men has been lifted: Health minister Daniel Gollán declared that the change is based on a medical approach that replaces that concept of “risk groups.”
[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]
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