Every month we look at news briefs from around the world, courtesy of Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. This month, we discover that almost 30% of people worldwide want to outlaw homosexuality. We also take a look at China gay cure therapy and the additional challenges LGBTQ refugees face.
Gay conversion therapy is alive and well in China
The Human Rights Watch published a new report on China gay cure therapy. The report details first-hand accounts of forced medication, electric shock therapy and other harmful practices at Chinese hospitals between 2009 and 2017.
The Olympic Truce Resolution passes with full non-discrimination language intact
During the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, all 193 Member States adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution, “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal.” The resolution was adopted with its full nondiscrimination language intact, despite calls from Egypt and Russia to remove “sexual orientation” from the protected groups.
Conservative rhetoric is harming LGBTQ people around the world
The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus released a new report that summarizes the various human rights issues facing LGBTIQ people in Southeast Asia amidst “the rising influence of conservative political forces.” The Caucus also published a report focusing on the lives of lesbian, bisexual, and trans people of East Timor, that found a majority have experienced extreme homophobia and violence, often from family members.
From Bhutan, journalist Chencho Dema examined the risks LGBTQ+ individuals face as they become more visible in a society that criminalizes homosexuality. From Singapore, Kristen Han looked at the growth of Pride event Pink Dot and the creation of ‘safe spaces’ even as the government refuses to decriminalize same-sex relations.
The Human Rights Watch’s Graeme Reid argued that many countries are using rhetoric of “so-called traditional values” as a weapon to sabotage LGBT people’s rights, noting that “the idea of a timeless, unchanging tradition is particularly powerful in these times of social uncertainty, political instability, and economic pressure.”
Scotland may pardon men convicted of homosexuality
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon made a public apology and announced a new bill to pardon gay men convicted under Scottish anti-gay legislation. In the last year, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand have made moves to wipe historic convictions, while Germany promised monetary compensation to those convicted.
A Brazilian court recognized the validity of open relationships
In Brazil, the Santa Catarina Court of Justice ruled that a separating gay couple had been in a “stable relationship” for 10 years despite having an “open” relationship with other sexual partners and must divide their estate equally.
The Church of England comes out against LGBTQ bullying
The Church of England updated and sent to 4,700 schools its guidance “Valuing all God’s children” with 12 recommendations that aim to improve inclusivity and combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
Almost 29% of people globally want to outlaw homosexuality
ILGA released the results of the “Global Attitudes Survey on Sexual, Gender and Sex Minorities.” The survey provides “verifiable evidence-based data rather than anecdotal evidence” on a range of issues from religion, to employment, to community and culture. The researchers reflect that the world is “surprisingly more accepting than one might have imagined” and that nearly half of those surveyed believe that one can accept sexual orientation and gender identity and still respect one’s culture. While the survey shows great gains in acceptance, 28.5% across the world still believe same-sex relationships should be criminalized.
The sexual assault allegations are challenging people to drop toxic masculinity
The continued onslaught of sexual assault allegations against ‘powerful’ men has spurred some to reflect on what it means to be a man. Declaring “masculinity is in crisis,” editor Matt Cain, dedicated an issue of Attitude to reflect on the relationship between gay men and masculinity. GLAAD started the discussion on social media to gain insight on masculinity from the perspective of trans men. And writing for them., Alexander Chee described:
Men are regularly taught to have power over, rather than power through — power through community, friendship, love, attraction, consensus. It’s a commonplace of toxic masculinity to think you have to grab something and make a show of it, rather than just be comfortable with yourself, your desires, and your relationships.
Multimillionaire decides to sell off stores rather than take down homophobic signs
Russian activists convinced authorities to confront a local grocery store chain over homophobic signs that refused business to “faggots” and “sodomites.” The multimillionaire owner announced he would sell the stores instead of compromise his values by removing the signs.
LGBTQ refugees need help
From Canada, activists fear that funding shortfalls will prevent LGBT refugees from being sponsored for resettlement. In the US, Heartland Alliance described the challenge of resettling LGBTQ refugees who are rejected by people from the same region. And in the UK, Micro Rainbow International is building safe houses exclusively for LGBTQ refugees to protect them from harassment from non-LGBTQ asylum seekers.
Meanwhile, Ugandan LGBTI refugees housed in the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp continue to suffer from hostility from other camp residents despite promises from UNHCR and Refugee Affairs representatives for support. With funding shortages impacting the entire camp, international activists are pleading for help.
Hornet brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org.
This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.
Featured image by jrroman via iStock