LGBulleTIn #45 – The week in LGBTI news
April 22-28, 2016
Friday, April 22
Uganda: 264 cases of abuses against LGBTI persons recorded from May 2014 to the end of 2015
Human rights abuses and extreme social exclusion facing LGBTI persons in Uganda haven’t slowed after the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act was overturned by the courts. According to And That’s How I Survived Being Killed, a report released by Sexual Minorities Uganda, 264 cases of persecutions against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity took place in the country from May 2014 to the end of 2015.
48 of the reported cases involved acts of physical threats and State-imposed torture; 84 cases of intimidation were documented, while 73 incidents involved being deprived of a job, property or a home. 59 more cases involved social exclusion: people being denied healthcare, discriminated against by the larger community, or banished by their families.
The human rights violations documented are “detrimental not only to sexual and gender minorities living in Uganda — but to all people living in Uganda,” the report reads. “When the state institutionalises discrimination and fails to protect the human rights of all of its citizens, it suffers.”
Read more on Kuchu Times
Monday, April 25
Bangladesh: two LGBTI activists hacked to death
Two LGBTI activists have been killed in a horrific attack in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, leaving the whole community in shock and fearing for their safety. Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mojumdar were hacked to death by a gang posing as workers for a courier company in order to gain access to the apartment where the killings happened. According to police sources, two other people were seriously injured in the attack.
Associated Press reports that Ansar-al Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the two men were targeted because they were "pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality."
Mannan was the editor of Roopbaan, the country’s first publication dedicated to the LGBTI community – a magazine that Mojumdar, a theatre actor, also helped at, local media said. Only a few weeks ago, Roopbaan was refused permission to hold a “Rainbow Rally” on the occasion of the Mongol Shobhajatra march. Four activists were detained on the day of the parade, after having gathered on the spot where the rally was supposed to start.
The deaths of Mannan and Mojumdar have sparked worldwide condemnation and, as The Guardian highlights, tragically add to a series of horrific murders of bloggers and academics in the country.
Read more on BBC.com
Monday, April 25
United States: dozens arrested during protests against North Carolina’s House Bill 2
54 persons who had encircled North Carolina’s statehouse for a sit-in, protesting against the recently-approved House Bill 2, were led or carried away, some in plastic handcuffs, on the opening day of the General Assembly's annual work session, Associated Press reported.
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered on the grounds of the old Capitol building to voice their dissent over a law that overrides local anti-discrimination provisions and ‘restricts single-sex public restrooms and locker rooms in publicly run facilities to people of the same sex on their birth.’
According to police sources, 18 protesters were arrested outside the offices of the house speaker, and all but one (charged also with resisting arrest) were to be charged with second-degree trespassing and for violating building rules or the fire code. 36 more protesters, authorities say, were also arrested later, after they failed to leave the Legislative Building when it closed for the night.
On the same day, a bill to repeal the law was filed, but the state’s governor has already been reported as saying that it’s unlikely it will be overturned during this year's legislative session.
Tuesday, April 26
Sweden: trans people to receive financial compensation for forced sterilisation
The minister of Public health has announced the decision of the Swedish Government to enact a law that will make it possible to compensate people who were forcibly sterilised.
Forced sterilisation was a requirement for legal gender recognition until 2013 in Sweden, when it was ruled discriminatory and in breach of the Swedish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
After the removal of the legal requirement that people who wanted to change legal gender ”had to be lacking the ability to procreate”, about 160 individuals who had been forcibly sterilised had submitted claims for compensation. The lengthy legal and political process that followed led to the law announced this week.
“This news comes as a beacon of hope to trans people across Europe,” TGEU’s co-chair Alecs Recher commented. “While financial compensation can never give back the physical integrity of the persons, the Swedish government is finally taking responsibility for the pain caused by the practice of forced sterilisation.”
Read more via RFSL
Wednesday, April 27
Brazil: more than 1,000 persons take part in national conference on LGBT human rights
More than a thousand civil society and government representatives have taken part in the third national conference in Brazil on public policies on the human rights of LGBT people.
The three-day event, titled Por um Brasil que criminalize a violência contra lésbicas, gays, bissexuais, travestis e transexuais, was held in the country’s capital city, along with a series of other conferences on the human rights of children and adolescents, of older persons and of persons with disabilities.
Issues of stigma and discrimination were addressed during the conference: “We have problems in homophobic schools – schools that exclude and do not include,” Agencia Brasil quoted Zezinho Prado as saying. A member of the Conselho Nacional de Combate à Discriminação de LGBT, Prado reportedly invited families to be more open about their children’s sexual orientation and gender identity as a way to fight against homophobia and transphobia.
Wednesday, April 27
Australia: Victoria’s government announces $29 million for services and facilities for the LGBTI community
Following last week’s announcement of a new Pride Centre to open in Melbourne, the Victorian government officially released its 2016-2017 budget, which includes $29 million in funding to support initiatives for sexuality and gender diverse people across the state.
Along with the Pride Centre, to which more than half of the resources will be dedicated, $6.4 million will be used for the expansion of health services for trans and gender diverse persons. Parts of the budget will also fund a grants program to strengthen LGBTI organisations, help expand grants which provide mental health programs for young people in the LGBTI community, and support initiatives to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in rural and regional Victoria.
“It's been 35 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria and this $30 million investment in services and facilities for LGBTI Victorians is a mark of how far we have come,” said Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) co-convenor, Sean Mulcahy.
Listen to some of the reactions of LGBTI community members on The Informer
Is that all? More news bites
The first book to ever document personal stories of intersex persons from Nepal has been released.
A Lebanese band reported being banned from playing in Jordan and to have been “unofficially informed” that this happened also because of their “endorsement of gender equality and sexual freedom.” The concert was later authorised, but could not be rescheduled.
A United Kingdom court has granted refugee status to a trans woman who had claimed that she would otherwise have had to do compulsory military service in her homeland, Singapore - a country where compulsory military service applies to all male citizens.
Over one hundred young people have gathered from all over New Zealand for a weekend, taking part in a national LGBTI youth hui.
Facebook has deleted a series of posts and videos on the social media page of a far-right group in Australia, after they had singled out people who were taking part in a parade to support Safe Schools and had verbally abused them online.
A new support group will soon be established in Melbourne, Australia to provide social support for LGBTI people with an intellectual disability.
The Oxford City Council in Alabama, USA passed an ordinance saying residents must use public restrooms corresponding with their sex as stated on their birth certificate, or face a penalty of up to six months in jail.
In Canada, the Alberta School Council's Association announced it will develop a toolkit to assist school councils and boards in the development of policies and procedures around LGBTQ issues.
The governor of Tennessee, USA has signed into law a bill allowing mental health professionals to deny service to prospective patients whose “goals, outcomes or behaviours” conflict with their religious convictions.
The World Bank announced it will fund three studies analysing the cost of homophobia in Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela.
Marriage equality could arrive in the Mexican state of Michoacán in May, according to reports.
The regional council of ILGALAC has called for further efforts by authorities in Argentina to secure a conviction of those implicated in Diana Sacayán's murder last year.
In an apparent homophobic attack, a gay man was reported raped and stabbed to death after he discovered a gang of burglars in his house in Vosloorus, South Africa.
A court in Egypt has reportedly sentenced a group of 11 men convicted of “debauchery and incitement to debauchery” to prison for periods ranging from three to 12 years.
A human rights advocacy group has expressed concern about the reported dramatic rise in homophobic hate speech on social media and retail spaces in Tunisia.
Commenting on the release of a report on hate crime by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, ILGA-Europe has called on member states and institutions to "implement inclusive hate crime legislation and policies, leaving no group behind."
Plans to legalise marriage equality on the Isle of Man have been approved.
A new law has passed in Slovenia, protecting persons suffering from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression.
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