LGBulleTIn #21 - The week in LGBTI news (October 24-30, 2015)

Saturday, October 24
Argentina: alleged neo-Nazi groups target LGBTI people in Mar del Plata

Two men, perceived as a couple by their assailants, ended up in hospital with multiple fractures and severe deep cuts after being attacked with sticks and concrete pipes in the streets of Mar del Plata. Such assaults, perpetrated by alleged neo-Nazi groups, are becoming more and more frequent in the area, local activists denounce. A few weeks before the couple, some members of social collectives were assaulted during a demonstration; soon after that Javier Moreno, president of the Asociación Marplatense por la Diversidad Sexual, received death threats over the phone. "LGBT people are facing discrimination and hatred," the Federación Argentina de lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y trans states. "A law on the prevention and punishment of discriminatory acts must be adopted urgently.”


Monday, October 26
United States: intersex activist sues Government after being denied a passport

An intersex activist from Colorado, Dana Zzyym, is suing the U. S. State Department after being denied a passport once they refused to select a gender on the application. The lawsuit was filed on the occasion of the Intersex Awareness Day, and it claims that Dana would have been locked “within the confines of our nation’s borders with no legal means to depart the United States.”

“The U. S. government is forcing individuals who are neither male or female from accurately being able to affirm their identity,” Lambda Legal staff attorney Paul Castillo told BuzzFeed News. “So they’re telling Dana they have to choose between who they are and their ability to travel, but they shouldn’t have to choose.”

Read more on The Advocate


Tuesday, October 27
Zimbabwe: nobody should be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation, court rules

People can’t lose their jobs because of moral judgements over their sexual orientation, a Zimbabwe court ruled.
As Voice of America Zimbabwe recalls, in December 2013 a man working at the Youth and Indigenisation ministry was arrested at a party organized by the Gays and Lesbians’ Association of Zimbabwe: soon after paying a fine for public indecency, he was charged with misconduct and fired from his job.
He was determined not to accept this decision without a fight, though; fourteen months after losing his job, things turned in his favour thanks to a Labour Court ruling that his dismissal revolved around a moral issue over which there is no absolute right or wrong.

“The dismissal of somebody on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional," spokesperson Mojalifa Mokoele of the Sexual Rights Centre said. "The constitution of Zimbabwe does not in any way offer any grounds for it.”


Wednesday, October 28
ILGA Asia and ILGA Europe open their regional conferences

In less than 24 hours, both ILGA Asia and ILGA Europe opened their 2015 regional conferences. More than 300 activists from 40 different countries arrived in Taipei for the three days-conference, organised with the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and titled Independent souls and bodies: plenary sessions revolved around marriage equality, intersectionality with other marginalized groups and advocacy trends in policies.
In Athens, meanwhile, hundreds of activists came together under the theme Many voices, One movement - Together, mobilised for a just society: during the opening ceremony, the city mayor Yorgos Kaminis promised to celebrate the first civil partnerships at the city hall.
One day later, Special Envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons Randy Berry gave political leaders a simple but powerful advice: "Get to know us so you can better support us."

: seven-year-old girl, daughter of a gay man, not welcome at school anymore

Foundation Christian College - a private school in Mandurah, Australia – reportedly told the father of a 7-year-old girl she would have not been welcome, had they known her dad was gay. The topic popped up during a conversation among school friends, but had unfortunate consequences: the man was reportedly told by school principal Andrew Newhouse his daughter could only stay at the school as long as she did not speak of her father’s sexuality or of his relationship with his partner.

Soon the man decided to withdraw his daughter from the school and enrol her in a public primary one, rather than have her risking of being expelled at any time only because she might have talked openly about her dad. Foundation Christian College’s principal denied the family was driven from school, but confirmed children of same-sex parents are not welcome.

Read more on Mandurah Mail


Thursday, October 29
India: 16 LGBT persons committed suicide in Tamil Nadu in 18 months

At least 16 LGBT persons between 18 and 30 committed suicide in the State of Tamil Nadu, India, within the last year and a half. The shocking figure was provided by Vikranth Prasanna, president of the LGBT community Chennai Dost: “Suicides among the LGBT community have been increasing,” he said, “and this alarming trend is visible ever since the 2013 Supreme Court verdict on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which has criminalised same gender sex (sic). While majority of suicides were due to break-ups, other factors such as societal discrimination and parental pressure, along with the unfair law, play a crucial role in this.”

Read more on The New Indian Express

The Netherlands end ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood

Gay and bisexual men will finally be allowed to donate blood in the Netherlands, the country’s Health minister announced, ending a lifetime ban. However, some restrictions remain: to be consider acceptable donors, men must have not had any male partners for 12 months before donating. This limitation has been considered “unnecessarily discriminatory” and “very disappointing”: “This proposal provides too little, too late,” said Tanja Ineke of COC Nederland. “The policy is only of practical importance for bisexual men in long-term monogamous relationships with a woman.”

Read more on NL Times


Friday, October 30

Taiwan: new ILGA Asia board members elected

ILGA_Asia_board_members The six new ILGA Asia board members

The sixth ILGA Asia regional conference came to an end in Taipei, and six new board members were elected. They are: Minhee Ryu (KSLP-SOGI, Korea); Hiker Chiu (Oii-Chinese, Taiwan), Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb (Boys of Bangladesh, Bangladesh), Manisha Dhakal (Blue Diamond Society, Nepal), Kritipat-Jimmy (Transmen Alliance of Thailand, Thailand) and Lia Vica (YIFoS, Indonesia)

Manisha Dafal and Hiker Chiu have been elected as co-chair by every ILGA Asia member.

No decision has yet been made yet about the venue for the next regional conference.

Read more via ILGA Asia

Is that all? More news bites

More LGBTI news bites More LGBTI news bites

The second Pride to ever be held in Jamaica took place in Montego Bay: almost 100 persons joined the celebrations in an incident-free environment, and now look forward to doing it all again in 2016.

The LGBTI community in Guyana mourns the death of human rights activist Zenita Nicholson, former secretary and board member of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD).

In Australia, students at the University of Adelaide started a petition calling on those in charge to create an anti-discrimination policy for LGBTI staff and students.

Only half of gay and bisexual men engaging in unprotected sex in New Zealand with casual partners got tested for HIV in the past year, according to new research.

An economist suggested polyandry and marriages between two men should be allowed in China, to help solving the problem of the country’s alleged big surplus of single men. Much of the online response to his proposal, though, has been outrage.

During the opening of the ILGA Asia conference, activist William Shen criticized the Taipei City police for its “out of malevolence and out of proportion” raids in a popular gay sauna, speaking of “a déjà vu of rampant abuse of power.”

Violence against trans women is reportedly on a rise in Malaysia after the Federal Court reinstated Section 66, a law currently in effect in the Negeri Sembilan State prohibiting “any male person who in any public place wears a woman’s attire or poses as a woman.”

Attacks against the LGBTI community, especially targeting trans persons, are also reportedly rising in Uganda, were at least six persons were assaulted in less than a week.

Even though there is increasing LGBT representation on broadcast, cable and streaming television in the United States, the characters are still overwhelmingly white and male, a GLAAD study found.

The US Justice Department filed a groundbreaking legal brief in a federal appeals court, supporting a trans student who is challenging his school’s policy which bans him from using the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity.

In the United Kingdom, a 63-year-old trans woman has been denied her pension until she provides the Department of Work and Pensions a gender recognition certificate – a document she never received.

An UK online betting website encouraged its users to bet on which football player would have come out first. “Homophobia in sport is a real issue that should be challenged, not cashed in on and trivialised,” activists commented.

Five months after the referendum, the Marriage Act has been signed into law in Ireland. The first same-sex marriage ceremonies might take place before the end of 2015.


[bulletin written by Daniele Paletta]

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