LGBulleTIn #25 - The week in LGBTI news (November 21-27)

LGBulleTIn #25  - The week in LGBTI news
November 21-27, 2015


Saturday, November 21

First-ever Trans Visibility Day in Africa announced




The city of Johannesburg, South Africa, will host the first Transgender Visibility Day to ever take place in the continent. Organised by the queer human rights media organization Iranti, the event will take place on December 5th and will include debates, exhibitions, films and entertainment.

“Transgender activists from Uganda, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa will gather to celebrate International Human Rights Day and engage openly on transgender rights and our social justice work,” organisers said. “We call on you to stand with us in fighting transphobia in all its forms and making the challenges faced by the trans* community visible.”


Monday, November 23

United States: police task force assigned to Dallas neighbourhood after string of homophobic attacks



An alarming string of attacks is happening in the Oak Lawn neighbourhood in Dallas, a LGBTI-friendly district of the city. Twelve assaults have taken place in less than three months, leaving several people injured. A local organisation noted that many of the attacks included the use of homophobic language.

After the most recent attack, suffered by a man who was struck in the head during an attempt at robbery, Dallas police assigned a special task force to the neighbourhood. Activists and neighbourhood residents, though, said the response came too late and protested outside Dallas Police Headquarters: “It has taken two and half months of terror; it has taken blood literally running in the streets for DPD to make a visible, swift action as they did this last weekend. It’s absolutely unacceptable,”  Daniel Cates told Kera News.


Tuesday, November 24

Vietnam recognizes human rights of trans people in landmark law

Vietnam passed a landmark law enshrining rights for trans people and lifting a ban on gender reassignment surgery in the country. More than 4 in 5 lawmakers voted in favour of the Civil Code amendment, which will come into effect on January 17, 2017.

Those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery can change their gender marker under the new law and enjoy “personal rights in accordance with their new sex", the state-controlled VNExpress website reported.
According to Channel News Asia, the law is also being seen as a crucial step towards allowing gender reassignment operations. "People will no longer have to travel abroad for transgender surgery," said Luong The Huy, LGBT manager at Vietnam's Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment.

Read more via ISEE


National resource on alcohol, drugs, mental and sexual health for LGBTI communities launched in Australia



The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC), the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and the Australian Drug Foundation launched a new website, named TouchBase, aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people by providing targeted information on drugs, alcohol and mental and sexual health.

“LGBTI people have specific experiences,” reads the press release, “and TouchBase acknowledges that not everyone’s needs are the same. For example, the website contains information about how specific drugs interact with HIV medication, or for some gender diverse or intersex people, with hormones.”

Read more on Buzzfeed


Wednesday, November 25

Bolivia will provide trans people for legal gender recognition, minister announces



The Bolivian minister of Justice, Virginia Velasco, announced the government drafted a Gender Identity law which will allow trans people to change their name and gender on identity documents. Velasco said an administrative resolution will be passed to change data in various institutions related to the civil registry, such as the Servicio General de Identificación Personal (Segip) and the Servicio de Registro Cívico (Sereci).

According to this draft, only Bolivian citizens who are not underage will be allowed to ask for their legal gender recognition under the law.

Read more on Erbol


Thursday, November 26

Cyprus: Civil Unions bill passed into law



The Cypriot parliament voted in favour of the Civil Unions bill, which regulates rights and obligations of same-sex and heterosexual couples in civil partnerships. 39 MPs supported the bill, while 12 voted against it and three abstained. The legislation will offer couples the same rights as civil marriage; joint adoption rights, however, are not included in the law.

“Same-sex couples and their families are just as deserving of protection as their heterosexual friends and neighbours," said ILGA-Europe Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis. "This is not about giving one group ‘special rights’ but about recognising the wonderful diversity of families that live in Europe.”

Read more via ILGA Europe


The first Commonwealth’s People Forum to host sessions on LGBTI perspectives comes to an end




Two historic sessions on LGBTI perspectives took place during the Commonwealth’s People Forum in Malta. They were the first sessions to ever take place in such a context: policymakers, LGBTI activists and advocates from across the Commonwealth met to investigate the range of policy options available to improve LGBTI equality.

“The ice around 'the love that dare not speak its name' has been broken," said Maltese minister for Civil Liberties Helena Dalli. “Development and rights are for all. We need to work in a framework that is LGBTI-inclusive."
Meanwhile, a few days ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Human Dignity Trust and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association released an expansive report on the impact of the criminalisation of homosexuality within the Commonwealth.


Is that all? More news bites

LGBTi_news More LGBTI news bites


In Estonia, where same-sex partnership opponents want Cohabitation Act annulled, the first reading of its implementing acts passed by a single vote.

Laws allowing same-sex couples to adopt children were approved in Portugal.

A prominent politician in Armenia, known for his harsh homophobic stances, was outed on social media. Nevertheless, he reportedly continued delivering public homophobic speeches.

The LGBTI community was reportedly defined a bearer of “extremist ideology” and compared to ISIS, liberalism and pluralism by a deputy minister in Malaysia.

In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is suing school officials on behalf of a high school senior punished for wearing a shirt with a pro-LGBTI message.

In its plan to give asylum to 25,000 Syrian refugees, the Canadian government will give priority status not only to families, women and children, but also to gay men.

The Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation submitted a document suggesting the country’s Migration Amendment bill be changed, as it “indirectly discriminates against LGBTI asylum seekers” in its current form.

In Australia, the Safe School Coalition launched All Of Us, a teaching tool kit that aims to increase students’ understanding and awareness of intersex, gender and diversity topics.

In Namibia, a gay photographer has considered filing a lawsuit against a weekly newspaper for allegedly firing him on grounds of his sexual orientation.
The East African Court of Justice allowed UNAIDS to join the case challenging provisions of Uganda's nullified Anti-Homosexuality Act.

In Chile, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of an administrative way  to manage sex registration and name rectification.

Officers of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda took part in a sensitization training on the human rights of LGBTI people.


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