LGBulleTIn #24 - The week in LGBTI news
November 14-20, 2015
Monday, November 16
Ireland: law on marriage equality comes into effect
Same-sex marriage became legal on Monday 16th in the Republic of Ireland, after new legislation came into effect. Six month passed since the referendum in May, when the Irish State became the first in the world to legalise same-sex civil marriage by popular vote.
Ireland’s first legal same-sex marriage took place one day after the law came into effect in Clonmel, County Tipperary. The first to be affected by the law enactment, though, were all those couples who had already wed legally abroad: their marriages are now automatically recognised in Ireland. The government also announced its intention to push forward with more changes – amending LGBT equality law exemptions for schools and hospitals.
Kenya: “stone the gays” bill officially thrown out
A parliamentary team in Kenya officially rejected a proposal to have a law prescribing life sentences for any local involved in homosexual acts, and public stoning to death to any foreigner engaging in same-sex intercourse.
The bill was proposed by the Republican Liberty Party, but the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee described it as “unnecessary” as “Article 45 of the Constitution adequately safeguards and protects family values.”
The committee, however, left the window open for the matter to be determined by the Senate: “The petitioner is, however, at liberty to approach any willing member or committee of the House to sponsor the proposed legislation on his behalf.”
Read more on Daily Nation
Tuesday, November 17
Transgender Equality Task Force launched in the United States
House LGBT Equality Caucus announced the launch of a Transgender Equality Task Force to end violence and discrimination against trans people in the United States. It will be chaired by Rep. Mike Honda, who described himself as "proud grandpa" of Malisa, his 8-year-old transgender granddaughter.
"The violence against the transgender community is a national crisis," Honda said. "Far too often they face harassment, discrimination or violence for simply being who they are. [...] After 21 deaths of transgender individuals because of violence this year alone, Congress must take notice and act."
The first-ever congressional forum on violence against trans people took place a few hours after the task force was launched.
Wednesday, November 18
Bolivian president tells a government minister: “I don’t want to think you’re a lesbian”
“I don’t want to think you are a lesbian.” This is how the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, addressed Ariana Campero, the country’s Health minister, who apparently was chatting with another woman and not paying attention to his speech during an official ceremony. Not many were laughing at the supposed joke, though, and soon Morales had to “humbly and sincerely” apologise, saying he didn’t mean to insult anyone. “We respect diversity, and this is made clear in our constitution.”
Minister Campero has already been a target of macho jokes in the past, while accusations of homophobia are already on Morales’ scorecard: in 2010, PinkNews remembers, he was forced to apologise after suggesting that eating chickens injected with female hormones could “deviate men from their manhood.”
Australia: ACT passes bill to extinguish historic same-sex acts convictions
The ACT Legislative Assembly passed unanimously a bill allowing men to have their criminal record cleared from any conviction for historic gay sex crimes. The scheme is administratively based, and will not require a person to go before a court to have their conviction extinguished.
“The discriminatory approach of past decades is no longer acceptable and continues this government’s commitment to removing the remaining vestiges of discrimination on the grounds of sexuality,” ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr told the Star Observer. Some advocates, though, suggested the bill was not enough, and the government issue also a formal apology.
Thursday, November 19
Hong Kong: same-sex couples won't be counted in the 2016 census
Officials in Hong Kong decided not to count same-sex couples in next year census, reportedly in fear of not having accurate data as some could be too afraid to disclose their relationship in front of family members. In 2011, however, Census and Statistics Department recorded that there were 7,495 people living in a same-sex household that were not blood relatives. Five years later, available check boxes for marital status will only include the usual staple: never been married, married, widowed, divorced and separated.
Read more on Gay Star News
Friday, November 20
The world honours trans lives lost on the Transgender Day of Remembrance
Thousands of persons around the world united today to celebrate the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to remember those trans people who have been victims of homicide. The wave of violence against trans and gender-nonconforming people does not seem to break: in the last 12 months at least 271 trans persons were killed around the world. As the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ research project reports, the highest absolute numbers have been found in countries with strong trans movements and trans or LGBTI organizations that do a professional monitoring. Many more cases may not have been reported.
Is that all? More news bites
More LGBTI news bites
May Peleg, a prominent trans rights advocate, took her own life in Israel. Her mother challenged May’s final wishes, but the Jerusalem Discrict Court ruled these must be honored.
In some countries in the Asia-Pacific region as many as four out of five LGBTI students are affected by bullying and violence in schools, a UNESCO report found.
In Australia, a motion in support of marriage equality has passed the Tasmanian parliament with a majority vote 15-9.
More than 70,000 persons marched in Santiago de Chile for the Pride parade, asking for marriage equality and a gender identity law.
A project for a criminal law to punish violence against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression was presented in Venezuela.
Human Rights Campaign launched its Corporate Equality Index: 407 major businesses earned the distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality,” even if some of them are operating in countries with harsh anti-LGBT laws.
In Alberta, Canada, a proposal for the School Boards Association to create a policy to protect all LGBTQ+ students and staff in the State was voted down.
A gay Ugandan-born asylum-seeker is facing deportation from UK to his homeland, where his being open about his sexuality could result into a prison sentence. He said his partner was jailed for being gay and that a warrant had been issued for his arrest if he returned.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, two Presbyterian clergymen appeared before a church tribunal on charges of misconduct after they officiated over four same-sex weddings.
One in five people have admitted making offensive comments about LGBT people, and three in five do not usually intervene in those situations, a UK poll found.
In Madrid, Spain, women will have access to assisted reproduction regardless of their marital status and sexual orientation.
Job alert: Transgender Europe is looking for a Transrespect Officer who will implement TGEU’s work on global level in particular in the framework of the TvT project.
A crowdfunding campaign was launched in support of the Love Is Gay photographic and video project, which will feature LGBT couples around the globe.
Registration is now open for the 2016 Equitas' International Human Rights Training Program: applications must be sent before November 23.
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