LGBulleTIn #28 - The week in LGBTI news (December 12-18, 2015)

LGBulleTIn #28 - The week in LGBTI news
December 12-18, 2015


Saturday, December 12

LGBT migrants report extensive recollections of abuse, study finds

LGBT migrants who obtained refuge or asylum in the United States or Canada report extensive recollections of abuse by parents and caregivers, peers and school personnel, according to a new study.

The analysis was conducted by Edward Alessi, assistant professor at Rutgers School of Social Work, who interviewed 26 persons from 16 different countries. Participants reported that they had began to experience psychological distress since childhood, and described experiences of depression, anxiety and traumatic stress prior to migration.

“Children and youth in these countries have fewer support system resources,” said Alessi, who also points out that participants manifested extraordinary levels of resilience: “Seeking refuge or asylum should be considered an act of resilience in and of itself.”

Read more via Phys


Sunday, December 13

Argentina: yet another LGBTI activist attacked by a neo-Nazi group

Another LGBTI activist ended up in hospital after five persons beat him with concrete sticks, leaving him unconscious in the streets of Mar del Plata, Argentina. Such assaults are becoming more and more frequent in the region, activists denounce, and it would be alleged neo-Nazi groups to perpetrate them.

The Argentinean LGBT Federation express solidarity with Juan Martín, the victim of this violent assault, and explained the community is under alert. “We are extremely concerned about this attack,” said María Rachid, FALGBT’s secretary general. “And we are very worried about these neo-Nazi groups acting with impunity in public spaces and social media. Once again, we demand the National Congress approve an anti-discrimination law.”


Monday, December 14

New report on legal protection of LGBTI people in the European Union released

The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency released an updated report about the legal evolutions in fields affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in the European Union during the last five years.

The study pointed out that 15 EU member states still have limited or no protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation outside the area of employment, and highlighted the need to address hate speech and crime by including sexual orientation and gender identity in the list of grounds.

The report also emphasised that the absence of a clear definition of ‘family members’ in EU legislation impedes the freedom of movement in the European Union for LGBTI families, and addressed the situation of intersex people for the first time, calling member states to ensure their right to physical and psychological integrity is respected.

Read more via the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights


Tuesday, December 15

Contrary to previous allegations, trans women are not banned from this Australian women-only festival, organisers say

Outrage sparked on social media as the organisers of a women-only festival in Australia reportedly told Facebook users that only trans women who have “undertaken all operative measures to become a woman” would be allowed to attend the event. “The festival is a sacred women’s only space,” a now deleted post on the Seven Sisters festival’s Facebook page read. “Having individuals onsite who are physically men would be breaking the trust of many women.”

A few days later, the organisers erased most of the comments or posts referencing the policy, and issued an official statement clarifying that “it has been the philosophy and intent of the festival, since its first year, to welcome all women.”

“Seven Sisters Festival has never had an official policy regarding the participation of transgender and intersex women,” the statement reads. “Seven Sisters Festival welcomes all women, including: women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD), women of transgender, intersex and diverse sexualities, women of diverse abilities, and women of diverse religious backgrounds and belief. […] We have employed a cultural, sexuality and gender advisor and we are consulting with various advocacy groups to ensure the festival is inclusive, welcoming, and safe for all.”


Wednesday, December 16

Human rights organisations decry 3-year sentences for homosexuality in Tunisia

image 1 - Tests of shame! Till when Campaign by the Tunisian group Damj “Tests of shame! Till when?” Campaign by the Tunisian group Damj

Last week, a Tunisian court sentenced six male students accused of sodomy to three years in prison. “The convictions,” twelve NGOs said, “violated international law and were contrary to the rights to privacy and non-discrimination under Tunisia’s 2014 constitution.”

The six students were arrested in Kairouan, 150 kilometres south of Tunis, on December 5. They were charged with sodomy: the prosecutor ordered anal examinations to be performed on them, and a doctor claimed to have identified unspecified “signs” of recent anal intercourse.

On December 10, the judge sentenced all six to the maximum penalty under article 230, and banned them from the city of Kairouan for three years. They now have until December 20 to file an appeal. NGOs called the Justice ministry to ban anal examinations, and the country’s parliament to repeal penal code article 230 which criminalises sodomy.

A few days after the students were sentenced, the vice-president of a Tunisian LGBTI association told the press he received death threats, and was forced to leave the country.

Read more via Human Rights Watch


Thursday, December 17

“Stop mocking the LGBT community,” says ministry in Cambodia

The Cambodian ministry of Information wrote to media outlets asking presenters and artists to stop mocking LGBT persons just to get a laugh. “This kind of commentary and/or performance is an act of looking down on LGBT people,” the letter read. “It degrades the honour and rights of LGBT people who are also protected by the state’s law as well as other citizens.”

Two different reports highlighting the struggle faced by the LGBT community in Cambodia were released this week. The first one focused on the attitude towards LGBT people, and found that a third of the 478 persons interviewed had not come out to a single person, while only the 45% among the straight persons interviewed described themselves as supportive of LGBT people. The second report focused on Cambodian schools, and found that 6 on 10 students experienced being bullied. For the 42% of them, harassment was an everyday concern.


Is that all? More news bites

LGBTi_news More LGBTI news bites

Facebook's real name policy got an update: the social network will now allow users to explain a special circumstance when verifying their name.

In China, results of the LGBT Social Climate Survey report showed that 77% of participants think that workplace culture should welcome all employees regardless of sexual orientation.

"The Indian Supreme Court's reluctance to review section 377 is perhaps explained by the Court's deference to colonial law,” the former Law commission chairman said.

A member of the Hijra community became the first known person of such gender identity to contest an election in the Kolaroa municipality of the district of Satkhira in Bangladesh.

A report about the social experiences of leitis in the Kingdom of Tonga showed the community is respected in the country, even if their right to legal gender recognition is not recognised, and both homosexuality and cross-dressing are criminalised.

Tasmania will be the first Australian state to formally apologize to those arrested under its former anti-gay laws.

In the state of Victoria, Australia, a draft bill that seeks to improve the protection of LGBTI people was announced: a consultation with the community has already begun.

In Trinidad And Tobago, a woman was asked to pay to enter a club on a “ladies free entrance” night because she “projected the image of a man” with her attire. The venue management refused any allegations of discrimination.

A journalist in Venezuela claimed she was fired after showing public support to Tamara Adrián, the first openly trans person to be elected to the country’s National Assembly.

In Mexico, the state of Tabasco voted to close the door to foreign couples and gay men looking to have a child by surrogacy.

While in Greece the parliament began to move towards legalising same-sex unions, early voting began in Slovenia on a referendum that could overturn the marriage equality law passed in March: the results will be released on Sunday.

Hundreds of people took part in the Pride parade in Montenegro: several police officers were deployed in the downtown area of Podgorica, but no incidents were reported.

In Malta, the government unveiled an ‘Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression’ bill, which would outlaw ‘conversion’ therapy.

Apparently, a religious leader in Ghana warned that getting tattoos could result in young people becoming gay or lesbian (or, else, engaging in prostitution, alcoholism and theft).

In South Africa, a bill was proposed to allow parents of adoptive children to be granted 10 weeks parental leave. The law, if passed, would apply also to same-sex couples.

The US Supreme Court blocked an Alabama judicial ruling that refused to recognize a lesbian woman rights over three children she adopted with her partner and raised from birth.

In Florida, USA, a man was sentenced 11 years for enticing men to move to America for money and enslaving them for sex.

A complaint was filed against the Correctional Service of Canada on behalf of a trans woman who alleges bullying, intimidation and sexual abuse from male prisoners and staffers in various facilities where she has served her sentence.


Is there any other LGBTI-related news you would like to share with us? Drop us a line on Facebook or tweet it Tweets by ILGAWORLD



Subscribe to our newsletters

Get updates on LGBTI rights issues, and on our work to support LGBTI civil society worldwide