LGBulleTIn #43 - The week in LGBTI news
April 8-14, 2016
Friday, April 8
Australia: research casts a light on street harassment faced by LGBTI persons
About one in three LGBTI persons in Australia have faced street harassment, a research from La Trobe University has revealed. According to researcher Bianca Fileborn, who surveyed 292 people throughout the country, there are “a lot of similarities” between the harassment experienced by LGBTI people and that by cisgender, heterosexual women.
Many among the people surveyed - more than half of whom identified as being of a diverse gender or sexual orientation - had experienced staring (65.1%) and comments (63%), or had been honked at from a car (63.3%), or had faced unwanted conversation (42.5%).
Being targeted seems to be “directly linked to how visible you are and how you look,” Dr Fileborn told The Age. “A lot of participants indicated that they now avoided showing affection towards their partners in public in order to avoid abuse.”
Read more on Buzzfeed
Monday, April 11
South African government criticised for being “silent on transgender and intersex rights”
Human rights organisation have criticised the government of South Africa for not having addressed “widespread human rights challenges faced by transgender and intersex persons” in a report presented during the 58th session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
“An understanding of human rights concepts of gender identity, gender expression and bodily autonomy/integrity in relation to transgender and intersex persons are completely absent from the SA state report,” reads a joint press release. “Nor does the state report show any awareness of shortcomings in South African legislation, policies, practices and services affecting transgender and intersex persons.”
Iranti-Org, Gender DynamiX and the Legal Resources Centre, submitted their shadow report on the issue to the ACHPR. In the document, endorsed by ARASA, the organisations call on the South African government to “publicly condemn all forms of transphobic and intersexphobic violence and discrimination” and to “mandate sensitivity training on issues of gender diversity and body diversity.” The organisations also ask the South African government to “take steps towards ensuring that gender identities, gender expression and bodily diversity are discussed more openly in the school environment,” and to “promote the understanding that intersex bodies are healthy manifestations of human bodily diversity.”
Read more via Gender DynamiX
Tuesday, April 12
Almost half of Jamaicans would kick out their same-sex attracted kids, survey finds
47% of Jamaicans said they would throw their children out of their homes if they were gay or lesbian, according to a survey commissioned by the advocacy group J-Flag.
Only 17% of the 942 persons surveyed said they are indifferent to the issue, while the remaining 36 per cent said they would allow their same-sex attracted child to remain in the household.
According to the data reported by the Jamaica Gleaner, the percentage of supportive persons is significantly higher among the employers and politicians surveyed.
J-Flag Tweets by equality
_ja" target="_blank">tweeted more findings of their Awareness, Attitude & Perception Survey about Issues Related to Same Sex Relationships: data show that the willingness to report violence or discrimination against LGBT people is strongest among employers (68%) and politicians (88%) than the general public (34%). More than six in ten employers who participated in the survey also reported having implemented policies to protect LGBT people against discrimination.
Tuesday, April 12
Romania: LGBTI hate crime victims failed by the country’s authorities, court rules
The European Court of Human Rights found that Romanian police failed to efficiently investigate an attack on two Bucharest Pride participants in 2006, thus breaching Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In June 2006, M.C. and A.C. were attacked on the metro by a group of six people as they returned home from the Bucharest Pride march. Both of them were subjected to homophobic abuse, and were punched and kicked. They immediately reported the attack to police but, according to the Strasbourg court, the criminal investigation was far from satisfactory. The ruling reads: "Investigations into the allegations of ill-treatment were ineffective as they lasted too long, were marred by serious shortcomings, and failed to take into account possible discriminatory motives."
“(We) are pleased to see the Court’s focus on the homophobic motive, a fact that was not taken into account by the investigating officers,” reads a press release by ILGA-Europe, third party intervener in the case.
Wednesday, April 13
United States: Louisiana governor signs non-discrimination executive order
The governor of Louisiana has signed an executive order providing employment protections for state employees, and employees of state contractors, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The provision also rescinds a “marriage and conscience” executive order, signed by the previous governor in 2015 to protect those who exercise their religious beliefs opposing same-sex couples marrying.
In a press release explaining his decision, Gov. John Bel Edwards said his predecessor's order was “inconsistent with the object and principles” of efforts to protect the LGBTI community from discrimination.
“We are built on a foundation of unity and fairness for all of our citizens,” said Edwards. “We respect our fellow citizens for their beliefs, but we do not discriminate based on our disagreements.”
While barring state agencies from discriminating “on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age”, the executive order recognizes an exemption for churches and religious organizations.
Thursday, April 14
Bangladesh: four LGBTI activists arrested during Bengali New Year celebrations
Police detained four LGBTI activists who took part in the Mongol Shobhajatra march, held to celebrate Bengali New Year’s Day in the capital city of Dhaka. "We've held them after they attempted to hold a rainbow rally in support of homosexuals," AFP quotes local police chief as saying.
Such rallies, organised by the LGBTI human rights group Roopbaan, were allowed in 2014 and 2015. This year, though, organisers received online threats, and a Facebook page was set-up calling for parade participants to be attacked. A few hours before the event, Roopbaan were refused permission to hold the march, and decided to scrap it. Nevertheless, on the day of the celebrations about 60 people gathered on the spot where the rally was supposed to start from, and four of them were detained. According to the Dhaka Tribune, the four activists were released later that day.
Is that all? More news bites
Pope Francis’ document Amoris Laetitia was released: “Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity,” it reads, while also adding that “de facto or same-sex unions may not simply be equated with marriage.”
Four more trans persons have been reported murdered, including in the United States and Brazil.
A journalist was stabbed to death in Russia: his assailant, who was arrested, reportedly told the police he had met his victim online and planned to blackmail him about his presumed homosexuality.
An alleged intelligence document highlighting a potential risk of ISIS targeting locations began circulating in Turkey: Kaos – an LGBTI advocacy group reported as being among the probable targets – decided to temporarily close its cultural centre, but will continue working.
The Lutheran Church in Norway voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriages, but priests who don’t want to celebrate them will still have the right to object.
In China, a judge has thrown out the first ever lawsuit over marriage equality in the country, while an arbitration panel held a hearing in what is believed to be the country's first trans employment discrimination case.
A man saw airport officials in Hong Kong attempting to confiscate his late husband's ashes as he tried to return to the UK, because they did not consider him next of kin.
An Orthodox rabbinic organisation in Israel drafted what it said is the country’s first Jewish legal document by such a group to “set forth guidelines on how to include people with a homosexual orientation within faith communities.”
A notorious US-based hate group held its regional conference in Barbados, as LGBTI human rights defenders who gathered outside were asked to leave the property.
Lawmakers in Chile presented a bill to provide protection for the rights of the children of same-sex couples.
An investigation about the right to health, education, work, social and personal security of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Mexico highlighted the “high level of vulnerability” they are facing.
An LGBTI human rights defender in Uganda was attacked by a mob of eight men, who beat him severely and left him with a dislocated jaw.
Two men who were violently attacked in Béni Mellal, Morocco, and then arrested on homosexuality charges, have received suspended sentences.
In Nigeria, the minister of Foreign Affairs denied allegations that the Swiss Ambassador was being investigated for allegedly coming to the country with his partner.
The Governor of North Carolina, United States issued an executive order making modest changes to the recently-passed House Bill 2, but the provision requiring individuals use facilities comporting with the sex on their birth certificate remains.
A dozen lawmakers are calling for the repeal of an incoming law that will let workers cite religious beliefs to deny services to LGBTI people in Mississippi, United States.
In Canada, the Vancouver School Board may eliminate its anti-homophobia mentor position as part of district-wide cutbacks.
A telecom company in Australia denied allegations that it had retreated from campaigning on marriage equality after pressure from the Catholic Church.
A feature article and a TV programme by Australia's public broadcaster have been criticised for containing language deemed offensive to trans people.
73 per cent of LGBTI participants in a survey commissioned by a children’s services provider in Australia said they would consider becoming a foster carer, compared with only 42 per cent of heterosexual people.
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