LGBulleTIn #63 – The week in LGBTI news September 16-22, 2016

Tuesday, September 20

Botswana: government deports U. S. pastor known for hate speech against LGBTI community

Following more hate speech and an assault, U. S. pastor Steven Anderson has been deported from Botswana. The government’s decision came only a few days after Anderson and his following were banned from neighbouring South Africa over his hateful stances against the LGBTI community.

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo) said it received a report from an individual who attended Anderson’s church service in Gaborone that he had been assaulted by the pastor. The individual was also violently dragged out of the church, an incident that Anderson later admitted.

One day later the pastor took also part in a radio show where, according to reports, he insulted a human rights defender, adding that ‘homosexual persons cannot be saved’ and that gay and lesbian persons should be killed.

Following these statements, Anderson was picked up at the radio station by Immigration officials, and deported.

We wish we could have prevented this from happening from the outset,” reads a statement issued by LeGaBiBo. “We are also happy that the Government of Botswana took necessary action. We applaud the people of Botswana who have stood with us to protect, defend and promote human rights in our country.”


Tuesday, September 20

Australia: studios of LGBTI community radio station evacuated after receiving threats

The studios of Joy 94.9, an LGBTI community radio station based in Melbourne, were evacuated and searched by Victoria Police after it received threats via email. Local media reports mention an alleged bomb threat.

The station has strongly condemned the attack: “We will continue to provide a voice, break down isolation, and celebrate the achievements of our diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities,” a statement reads. “Our communities have faced many threats over the years, and this latest one will not silence (us).”

Radio executives also made references to the ongoing debate in the country about marriage equality. “This threat highlights the damage that can be done through a divisive public debate about our community’s aspiration to be equal members of society,” they argued.



Tuesday, September 20

United States: new ruling seeks to ensure equal access to shelters regardless of gender identity

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a rule seeking to grant trans and gender-nonconforming people an easier access to the Department’s shelter programs.

Providers that operate federally-funded single-sex projects will now be required to provide all individuals with access to services and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity.

According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, nearly one in three trans people who tried to access homeless shelters were turned away on the basis of their gender identity.

“Today, we take another important step to ensure full acceptance of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in (our) programs,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.  “This new rule will ensure equal access to the very programs that help to prevent homelessness for persons who are routinely forced to choose between being placed in facilities against their gender identity or living on our streets.”



Tuesday, September 20

Ecuador: political parties join agreement for LGBTI equality ahead of 2017 elections

Political parties in Ecuador are joining Acuerdo por la Igualdad (agreement for equality), a civil society campaign aimed at including public policies for the LGBTI community in the plans of those running for elections in 2017. The campaign also seeks to encourage the inclusion of LGBTI persons in the candidates’ lists.

The campaign, launched by the Federación Nacional de Organizaciones LGBTI del Ecuador during the second week of September, has already been joined by four parties.

Proposals advanced by the campaign include amending the Labour Code to include ‘open and visible participation of the LGBTI population in both public and private sector, with greater attention to trans and intersex persons,’ and strengthening provisions to support the work of LGBTI human rights defenders.



Tuesday, September 20

Romania: Constitutional Court further delays ruling on same-sex marriage recognition petition

The Constitutional Court of Romania has postponed until October 27 its ruling on the constitutionality of the article from the Civil Code banning the recognition of marriages of same-sex couples conducted abroad.

The case was brought by Adrian Coman, from Romania, and his husband, U. S. citizen Robert Claibourn (Clai) Hamilton, who have sued the Romanian state for refusing to recognise their marriage, which took place in 2010 in Brussels.

“We have decided to address this case on 27 October so we could study the files (…),” the president of the Constitutional Court said. “It is not that simple to decide on a cause bearing a very important media impact and a novelty character, not only to Romania.”

The ruling was first expected to come on July 20, but was then postponed for two more months following similar considerations.

Read ILGA’s interview with Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton



Wednesday, September 21

Cambodia: report reveals “shocking level of discrimination” against trans women in the country

A research conducted by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights has revealed the extent of discrimination facing trans women in the country’s urban centres.

“The proportion of respondents who have experienced verbal abuse (92%), physical violence (43%), sexual assault (31%) and rape (25%) in public spaces shows that Cambodian streets are alarmingly unsafe spaces for trans women,” the report reads. The study also notes a lack of faith in law enforcements, possibly stemming from “the extremely high levels of abuses committed by police themselves.”

Discrimination in employment is another serious issue facing trans women in Cambodia, as 34% of respondents to the survey reported being refused job opportunities.

“While senior figures in the Royal Government of Cambodia have been eager to present Cambodia as a LGBT-friendly country in recent years, this research suggests a much harsher reality on the ground,” a press release reads. “The findings of this research indicate that the treatment of trans women requires immediate attention if Cambodia is to meet its international human rights obligations.”



Is that all? More LGBTI news bites


world_LGBTI news_ILGAEvents are happening worldwide to celebrate Bisexual Awareness Week and the Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

Presidents, prime ministers and human rights defenders gathered at the United Nations Headquarters to discuss steps that Governments can take to tackle violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Africa_LGBTI news_ILGAAn advocacy group has condemned ongoing plans in Malawi for a march calling to ‘publicly affirm that sex and marriage is between man and woman and that life begins at conception.’

“We won’t be intimidated,” human rights defenders are answering to an official’s allegation that police will arrest organizers taking part in the Pride parade in Uganda on September 24.

Asia_LGBTI news_ILGAHuman rights defenders worldwide are mourning the loss of activists Tulie Vili – who used to work at Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa (S.H.E.) in South Africa – and of Agniva Lahiri, who founded the organisation People Like Us (PLUS) of Kolkata, India.

In her first “privilege speech” to the House of Representatives in the Philippines, Geraldine Roman has urged fellow legislators to pass law prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The National Commission for Human Rights has demanded investigation after an unidentified assailant violently attacked a trans woman in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Oceania_LGBTI news_ILGANew Zealand was questioned about efforts being made to legally prohibit unnecessary surgeries on intersex children, and on the support that is being offered to their families, during the 73rd Session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In Australia, a bill has been introduced in South Australian Parliament to allow unmarried couples, as well as same-sex couples married overseas, to officially register their relationships.

48% of respondents to a new survey in Australia expressed their concern that holding a plebiscite on same-sex marriage may result in hate speech and abuse against rainbow communities.

Europe_LGBTI news_ILGAThe Guernsey states have approved the introduction of marriage equality by 33 votes to five.

According to reports, a website offering LGBT+ news and content in Russia has been blocked without warning.

Hundreds of activists and allies marched in the third Pride parade of Belgrade, Serbia, under the banner “Love changes the world.”

Latin America_Caribbean_LGBTI news_ILGAThe seventh edition of the Juegos LGBTI was held in Cali, Colombia, aimed at promoting social inclusion through sports.

According to reports, churches in Belize have filed appeals against the ruling deeming section 53 of the Criminal Code as inconsistent with the country’s Constitution.

During an LGBT Core Group side event at the United Nations General Assembly, the president of Chile vowed to send a marriage equality bill to Congress in the first half of 2017.

North America_LGBTI news_ILGAA Dominican woman has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States for having been held with male inmates, after staff determined she allegedly had ‘non-traditional male characteristics.’

A federal judge ruled officials in Wisconsin, United States discriminated against a married lesbian couple for not allowing the non-biological mother’s name on their child’s birth certificate.

In Canada, Pride Toronto has issued an apology for the “repeated marginalization of the marginalized within our community that (the) organization has continued.”


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