LGBulleTIn #56 – The week in LGBTI news July 15-21, 2016

Friday, July 15 “Stop LGBT-phobia”: hundreds take to the streets in Salvador, Brazil


Hundreds of persons took to the streets of the Rio Vermelho district in Salvador to call for an end to hate crimes against “gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, cis women and other vulnerable individuals” in the city.

The march, backed by more than 50 associations, was organised after the passing of Leonardo Moura, a 30-year-old gay man who was beaten to death after leaving a party held in a LGBT-friendly club in the city.

According to one of the organisers, a group of mothers of LGBT persons came up with the idea of the protest:  “Many people are beginning to think of friends, children, relatives who suffer and may suffer because of homophobia,” he was quoted as saying. “They are here because there is a new case every day, each time closer to home.”

Grupo Gay da Bahia, one of the associations involved in the protest, said at least 20 persons have died in the state since the beginning of 2016 in what may have been hate crimes on the grounds of homophobia and transphobia.



Saturday, July 16

LGBT+ e-zine faces opposition in Jordan after first publication in Arabic

A LGBT+ inclusive webzine in Jordan received a handful of attacks after publishing an issue in Arabic for the first time.

My.Kali, which “strives to  address homophobia and transphobia and empower the youth to defy mainstream gender binaries in the Arab world,” debuted in 2007, but was only published in English until now. “The change”, its founder said in an interview with Raseef 22, “came after so many gay people, who can only read Arabic, wanted us to do an Arabic edition. We wanted to start spreading awareness on these issues.”

The decision was met with praise, but also with criticism and attacks on social media. News outlets, GayStarNews reports, questioned why the magazine is ‘provoking the public’, while others accused it of holding a ‘foreign agenda.’ The Media Commission of Jordan, then, released a statement to state My.Kali is not registered and, if proven to be printed, would face a lawsuit.

In a Facebook postMy.Kali editors denied they had received death threats, as reported in international media. A statement was also released to deny “plans to issue hardcopies or become a formal registered entity in Jordan,” and to reiterate that “the Jordanian LGBTQ community (…) is not a foreign import or construct, nor does it have an agenda to debase Jordanian traditions.”



Monday, July 18

International AIDS Conference kicks off in Durban, South Africa

More than 18,000 global leaders, scientists, advocates, and health workers have gathered in Durban for the 21st International AIDS Conference, focusing on the work still to be done if the world is to achieve the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

Held under the theme Access Equity Rights Now, the conference also addressed the need to overcome ongoing barriers impeding more effective HIV/AIDS responses, including discriminatory laws and policies that affect key populations.  “We will not end AIDS without addressing the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and communities,” said Chris Beyrer, AIDS 2016 International Chair and President of the International AIDS Society. “Protecting human rights is not just a moral issue, it is a scientific issue.”

Meanwhile, over 8,000 activists from across the globe marched to demand the spotlight be “on the 20-million people‚ mostly poor‚ marginalised and criminalised‚ stuck away in all corners of the world‚ who are dying in undignified surroundings‚ often far away from any semblance of a functioning health system and even further away from the antiretroviral treatment that saves lives.”


Wednesday, July 20

Romania: court approves citizen’s initiative aimed at amending constitutional definition of family

The Romanian Constitutional Court gave green light to a referendum aimed at changing the definition of family in the constitution.

The proposal suggests altering Article 48.1 by removing the word “spouses” and replacing it with a specific reference to one man and one woman: an amendment that, as ILGA-Europe points out, would “have profound implications for same-sex couples and their children living in Romania.”

“We regret that the prejudices of society have led the Court to deny international human rights standards in matters of family and respect for human dignity,” ACCEPT, an ILGA member organisation, wrote in a press statement. “We call on politicians to act responsibly towards the LBGT community.”

The constitutional amendment will now be discussed by Parliament: before a referendum is held, both chambers will have to approve the proposal by a three-quarters majority.


Wednesday, July 20

United States: 2.2 million LGBT adults experienced food insecurity in the past year, research finds

Adult members of the LGBT community often experience food insecurity and participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at higher rates than non-LGBT adultsa new research by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has found.

According to the study,  more than 1 in 4 LGBT adults in the United States – approximately 2.2 million people – experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to less than 1 in 5 of non-LGBT adults.

Some groups among the broader LGBT community are more exposed to food insecurity than others: certain racial and ethnic minorities, women, unmarried individuals, and those raising children are particularly likely to report not having enough money for food.

Contrary to the stereotype that LGBT people are affluent, many do not have the resources to access the food that they and their families need,” said Taylor Brown, one of the authors of the study. “Policy makers and anti-hunger organizations need to include LGBT people when considering issues of poverty, homelessness, and hunger.”

Read more on the New York Times


Thursday, July 21

Australia: support for marriage equality plebiscite not so ‘overwhelming’, poll shows

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may have claimed that “there is overwhelming support in the community for the plebiscite” on marriage equality in Australia, but results of a recent survey say otherwise. A poll commissioned by PFLAG, in fact, found that only 48% of the 1,000 respondents surveyed support the plebiscite, while 30% oppose it and 20% are undecided.

Support fell to 33% when responders were told the result of a plebiscite would not be binding, and came in at 25% when people were told the public consultation is expected to cost $160m.

“Support for a plebiscite has fallen dramatically since it was first mooted in August last year and about 70% of the public backed the idea,” Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said. “I attribute this to the public being made aware of how costly, unnecessary and damaging it will be.”

Meanwhile, Turnbull has said he would bring legislation to enable a plebiscite as soon as practicable: the plebiscite, though, may not be held until early 2017, later than what was previously expected.



Is that all? More LGBTI news bites

In CanadaNorth America_LGBTI news_ILGA, the British Columbia government vowed to amend its human-rights legislation to explicitly add gender identity and expression to the list of grounds protected from discrimination.

The State Department erred when it refused to issue a passport to an intersex citizen who could not accurately choose any of the gender marker designations available on the passport application form, a legal organisation told a federal district court in the United States.

California, United States approved the country’s first framework for public schools to include “the contributions of LGBT Americans and people with disabilities” in history and social science classes.

Asia_LGBTI news_ILGAA recently released study on teenagers in South Korea, indicating that gay and lesbian adolescents “report disparities in various aspects of health-risk behaviour,” was met with mixed feelings.

In India, the Union Cabinet approved a bill aiming to protect the social, economic and educational rights of trans people.

In Nepal, a government representative said that LGBTI issues should be included in school curricula to help stamping out discrimination against the community.

Latin America_Caribbean_LGBTI news_ILGAA human rights organisation in Peru is calling for the Ministry of Education to join other 32 States in supporting a global call to action against homophobic and transphobic violence in educational settings.

Meetings are underway in Argentina to advance the implementation of the so-called “Diana Sacayán law”, aiming to establish a quota of at least 1% of the capital’s public agencies workforce for trans persons.

In Jamaica, official Public Defender has appealed her exclusion from a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that seeks to overturn the country’s anti-sodomy law.

Africa_LGBTI news_ILGA
The Youth Health and Psychosocial Program in Kenya released a document, written from “a youthful perspective”, listing ten reasons why their government should decriminalise same-sex conduct.

Tanzania and Zimbabwe were added to TGEU’s Transrespect vs Transphobia project to offer an overview of the legal and social situation for trans people in these countries.

Europe_LGBTI news_ILGAAccording to a new study, an average of 57 percent of those questioned on the matter in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom advocate the option of medically assisted procreation for women in same-sex couples.

In the United Kingdom, the Boarding Schools Association issued new guidance on how to address trans pupils, including the use of the gender-neutral pronoun ‘zie’.

In Italy, the Council of State gave its favourable opinion on a government decree setting up civil union registries across the country and bypassing possible “conscientious objections” from mayors.

Oceania_LGBTI news_ILGAA sports radio show in New Zealand was cancelled after it aired a homophobic and racist rant.

The first ever Australian Football League’s Pride Game, which will be held on August 13, has been launched: “We want to make a statement that everyone is welcome in our game,” the AFL football operation manager said.


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