LGBulleTIn #53-  The week in LGBTI news
June 24-30, 2016


Friday, June 24

Bermuda rejects marriage equality and same-sex civil unions in invalid referendum

A non-binding referendum on marriage equality and same-sex civil unions held in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has technically been considered “unanswered”, as the turnout did not meet the required 50 percent threshold.

The majority of those who went to vote, however, had rejected both options by 68 percent and 63 percent, respectively.  “Looking at the votes that were cast shows 14,192 ‘No' votes for same-sex marriage [6,514 ‘Yes’ votes] and 13,003 ‘No’ votes for Civil Unions [7,626 ‘Yes’ votes].” the Election Management Body of Bermuda writes.

We do not view yesterday’s outcome as a defeat,” OutBermuda commented, “and are resolute in our commitment to raising awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ people, which includes continuing to advocate for Marriage Equality.”

Read more via Human Rights Campaign


Friday, June 24

United States: Stonewall designated national monument


Just a few days before the 47th anniversary of the riots, the area around the Stonewall Inn in New York was officially designated a national monument.
Using his executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Barack Obama protected a 7.7-acre area that encompasses the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park and a few surrounding streets that were the place of rioting in late June 1969.

The area is the first among the 412 national monuments in the US to specifically highlight the struggle towards equality of the LGBT community.

"Before the 1960s" reads the website of the National Park Service “almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.”



Sunday, June 26

Turkey: Istanbul Pride march cancelled, activists and politicians dispersed and detained

Turkish police detained and later released 19 people, and fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse dozens of activists who had attempted to gather in Istanbul to mark LGBTI Pride on Sunday 26, Reuters reported. German MEP Terry Reintke was also briefly detained: as she told BuzzFeed News, she was picked up by Turkish police alongside a group of activists who were attempting to read

Please read 14th LGBTI+ Pride press statement,record a video or take a photo! #IstanbulPride #Pride2016 #Dağılıyoruz pic.twitter.com/pUZEiKkZcX

— LGBTÄ°+ Onur Haftası (@istanbulpride) June 26, 2016

" target="_blank">a statement

to reporters. Police released her when she told them she was a member of the European Parliament.

A week before the march, the Istanbul governor’s office announced that this year’s Pride event would have been banned, claiming it was a threat to “public order.” Activists had then announced the march would have not taken place, but that they would have gathered in the streets of Istanbul.

"Various Pride events across Turkey have been banned in recent times," said ILGA-Europe co-chair Brian Sheehan, who was is in Istanbul to support the Pride. "These are ultimate acts of oppression by the Turkish government. Fundamental freedoms in Turkey are no longer secured.”

The Co- and Vice-presidents of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights have written to the Ambassador at the Permanent Representation of Turkey to the EU, demanding a full assessment why the peaceful march was violently suppressed.



Monday, June 27

Pakistan: clerics declare trans persons can legally marry under Islamic law

A group of over 50 Muslim clerics in Pakistan have issued a fatwa saying trans men and women have the right to marry under Islamic law, and to be buried in Muslim ceremonies.

The text of the religious decree, according to a translation provided by Reuters, says "it is permissible for a transgender person with male indications on his body to marry a transgender person with female indications on her body. Also, normal men and women (sic) can also marry such transgender people as have clear indications on their body."

The clerics, part of the Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat body based in Lahore, also said any act intended to "humiliate, insult or tease" trans individuals should be considered a crime under Islam.

The fatwa was received with mixed feelings by the Pakistani trans community: “We are glad that somebody's talked about us too,” trans rights worker Almas Bobby told BBC Urdu. “By Sharia we already had the right [to marry], but unless measures are taken to remove the misconceptions about us in society, the condition of our community will not be changed.”

Read more on The Independent


Monday, June 27

Samoa: dozens march in memory of Jeanine Tuivaiki to “end indifference and ignorance”

Dozens of persons took part in a silent march “to end indifference and ignorance” in Samoa. The event was held in memory of Jeanine Tuivaiki, a 20- year-old trans woman who was found dead in Apia, the capital’s country; a national newspaper had sparked outrage while reporting on her death, as it published a photograph of her dead body on its front page and repeatedly misgendered her.

The march was described as “a beautiful event, peaceful, solemn but full of pride and purpose” by the Samoa Fa’afafine Association: “We marched for Jeanine,” reads a Facebook post. “We marched for those that had no voice. We marched for those that are overseas and could not make it. We marched for those that are too young to attend or are yet to come.”

While investigation on Jeanine’s death continues, the Samoa Ombudsman has issued a statement lambasting the newspaper for its report, saying “it denied Jeanine’s right to inherent dignity”.



Wednesday, June 29

Ivory Coast: gay men allegedly attacked over photo of them signing a condolence book for victims of Orlando shooting

Several gay men in Ivory Coast say they have been assaulted and forced to flee their homes after the US embassy published a photo of them signing a condolence book for victims of the shooting in Orlando.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the photo was taken at the US embassy and published on the embassy’s website, and showed the faces of six men with the caption  “LGBTI community signing the condolence book.”

After the picture was shared on social media, two of the men were reportedly attacked by a mob shouting anti-gay slurs at them. Four of the six men in the photo, including the two attacked, said they were forced to flee their homes under safety concerns.

A press officer was quoted as saying the embassy “deeply regrets that any individuals were attacked based on any kind of orientation they might have”.



Thursday, June 30

United Nations makes history on sexual orientation and gender identity

The United Nations Human Rights Council has established an Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision is the result of the adoption of a resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity”, which was presented by seven Latin American countries.
In addition to them, 41 countries from around the world co-sponsored the resolution, and an astonishing 628 NGOs from 151 countries supported the call to adopt the resolution, 70 percent of which are from the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” 29 human rights groups commented.

The position of the Independent Expert, likely to be filled at the upcoming September session of the Human Rights Council, is tasked with bringing focused attention to the issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide, presenting analysis and reports, engaging with States and civil society, and formulating key recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more: ILGA: vote establishing a SOGI Independent Expert at the United Nations “a turning point”



Is that all? More LGBTI news bites


Latin America_Caribbean_LGBTI news_ILGAA young woman was found dead in Limache, Chile: police are not excluding she may have been victim of a homophobic hate crime.

In Argentina, activists and members of the National Committee for Equality presented the draft of a new anti-discrimination law in the Senate, which would include disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and age as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The government of El Salvador has committed itself to step up its efforts to protect the rights of LGBTI persons in the workplace.

Europe_LGBTI news_ILGAThe European Court of Human Rights has stated that Italy’s refusal to grant one partner in a same-sex couple a residence permit violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Constitutional Court in the Czech Republic has overturned a law which banned individual persons living in a same-sex registered partnership from adopting children.

After the UK referendum on Brexit, ILGA-Europe has called on human rights organisations to come together  “to articulate a clear vision for the sort of Europe we want, one that is based on our shared vision of social justice, equality, freedom and diversity.”

In IsraelAsia_LGBTI news_ILGA, the man who attacked people marching in the 2015 Jerusalem Pride parade, stabbing one girl to death and injuring six persons, was sentenced to life in prison plus 31 years.

In Nepal, the ministry of Women, Children and Social welfare committed to gradually implementing the recommendations provided by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to ensure the rights of intersex children are respected.

In India, the Supreme Court has refused to hear a petition challenging IPC 377, which criminalises same-sex sexual activity.

North America_LGBTI news_ILGAIn the United States, the ban on trans people serving in the military has been repealed: the policy change will reportedly take place over the next 12 months.

In Canada, the Ontario government is changing the way it displays sex and gender information on health cards and driver's licences "to ensure the fair, ethical and equitable treatment of people with trans and non-binary gender identity."

In the United States, 128 members of Congress joined forces to urge a federal appeals court to protect against sexual orientation-based discrimination under existing civil rights laws.

Oceania_LGBTI news_ILGAA trans woman in New Zealand has been awarded compensation after the Employment Relations Authority ruled she was forced out of her job when she revealed to her boss she would transition.

An organisation in Australia will reportedly be formalised into a national peak body for suicide prevention among First Nations LGBTI people.

Pride celebrations, titled Pride in the Pacific, were held in Guam to raise funds for scholarships and support education of LGBT youth.

According to reports, UgandaAfrica_LGBTI news_ILGA will host its first LGBTQ-themed film festival in December.

According to a survey, a shocking 14% of citizens of the Gauteng province in South Africa have said it is acceptable to be violent to gay and lesbian people.

world_LGBTI news_ILGA“I think that the Church not only should apologise … to a gay person whom it offended," said Pope Francis in a conversation with reporters, "but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work."



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