Saturday, July 25

Obama speaks out for the rights of LGBTI people while visiting Kenya

The president of the United States Barack Obama has spoken in favour of LGBTI people during a press conference with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, despite speculation that he would have avoided the issue throughout his visit to Africa. “When you start treating people differently, because they are different”, he said, “that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen. And when a government gets in the habit of treating people differently, those habits can spread”. Kenyatta, however, showed immediate disagreement: “I repeatedly say that for Kenyans today the issue of gay rights (sic) is really a non-issue”.

Watch the video of the press conference (starting from minute 20:20)





Monday, July 27 

Australia: discrimination against LGBTI people “makes them 14 times more likely to try to take their lives”

Every year in Australia over 2,500 persons commit suicide, and “the difficulties and discrimination still faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people is reflected in the fact that they are 14 times more likely to try to take their lives than members of the heterosexual community”. These statistics have been shared by the governor general, Sir Peter Cosgrove, while opening the National Suicide Prevention conference in Hobart. “Our challenge” he said “is to come together, to connect, to share and learn and to contribute to a system that saves lives – a system that makes the goal of halving suicide rates over the next ten years a reality”.

Read more on The Guardian


Indian sprinter Dutee Chand can return to competitions

She has been banned from competitions for almost one year, after testing positive for naturally high levels of testosterone. But now the 19-year-old sprinter Dutee Chand, who appealed her case last September, has been cleared to race: the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled she can’t be excluded from female competitions. CAS has declared itself “unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category”.  The court gave the International Association of Athletics Federations a maximum of two years to provide “with scientific evidence about the quantitative relationship between enhanced testosterone levels and improved athletic performance in hyperandrogenic athletes […] Should the IAAF not file any scientific evidence within the two-year period granted by the CAS Panel, the Hyperandrogenism Regulations will be declared void”.

Read more on BBC Sports


Boy Scouts of America end its ban on “openly gay leaders”. But…

With the 79 percent of the board members “present and voting”, the Boy Scouts of America ended its “national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees”, establishing a new policy that will take effect immediately. Under the new rules, though, individually chartered troops will be allowed to maintain the ban: a decision that made several organisations express their concerns.


Wednesday, July 29

Russia: online community founder fined under “anti-propaganda” law

Yelena Klimova, founder of an online community for LGBTI Russian teenagers, was fined 50,000 roubles ($ 840) after a court in Nizhny Tagil concluded that the website was guilty of distributing “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”.

Klimova had already successfully appealed against a fine levied in January for the same reason, and has announced she will try and do the same this time as well.

Read more on The Guardian


Thursday, July 30

Six persons stabbed during Jerusalem Pride parade





A man has been arrested after six people were wounded in a stabbing during the Jerusalem Pride parade. A police spokesperson identified the suspect as Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who was released from prison only three weeks ago: he had been sentenced to twelve years for wounding three persons during the 2005 Pride parade. “I saw a man stabbing everyone in his way”, said a witness. “We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the stabbings, speaking of a “despicable hate crime”.

Read more on BBC news


Friday, July 31
Jamaica ready for its first Pride ever

There won’t be any parade, partly for security concerns, but a whole week of events for the first LGBTI Pride to ever take place in Jamaica: from August 1 to 8 the capital city of Kingston will host a flash mob, a flag raising ceremony and a coming out symposium amongst other celebrations. Latoya Nugent, associate director at J-FLAG, said: “We will pause the negative vibrations from anti-gay lobby groups and focus on the strides we have made as a community”. The organisers have received solidarity and support messages from around the world, including those of the pop singer Diana King and from the organisers of a “Queer reggae party” in Oslo, Norway. 


(bulletin written by Daniele Paletta)