Angola, the UK, Iran, Poland, India, Jamaica, Turkey, Spain, Cuba, Pakistan, France, Canada, Nigeria, and Japan all make this week’s big global LGBTQ round-up.
ANGOLA. Government decriminalizes gay sex: “Taking things one step further, the government has also prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. And so anyone refusing to employ or provide services to individuals based on their sexual orientation may face up to two years in prison. The changes came on January 23 as Angola’s parliament adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and removed the provision, inherited from its Portuguese colonizers.”
UNITED KINGDOM. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) issues new guidelines on Obscene Publications Act: ‘Until the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) issued new guidelines on the Obscene Publications Act 1959 yesterday, individuals could be prosecuted for distributing ‘obscene’ pornography. Acts that were banned that can now be represented in pornography include spanking, bondage, female ejaculation and sadomasochism.’
IRAN. Man hanged on charges of homosexuality: ‘The unidentified man was hanged on January 10 in the southwestern city of Kazeroon based on criminal violations of “lavat-e be onf” – sexual intercourse between two men, as well as kidnapping charges, according to ISNA. Iran’s radical sharia law system prescribes the death penalty for gay sex. The ISNA reported that the 31-year-old kidnapped two 15-year-olds. The opaque inner workings of Iran’s judicial system create enormous difficulties for journalists and human rights advocates to examine judicial cases.’
POLAND. Poland’s first openly gay politician Robert Biedron launched the “Spring” party: ‘Biedron vowed to enforce a strong separation of church and state in the heavily Catholic country where the clergy still wields considerable influence. He also promised equal pay for women, easier access to abortion, recognition of gay partnerships along with a string of generous social spending measures including a new universal old age pension. He also vowed to “close all coal mines” by 2035 in a bid to stem chronic smog in the coal-dependent country that experts say causes an estimated 50,000 premature deaths per year in the country of 38 million people.’
JAMAICA. Tourism head says gay tourists are welcome: “I do believe that we make our best effort every time to ensure that everybody that comes to Jamaica, whoever you are, that you have the same experience. And we don’t ask at the airport who you are and what you do. We expect that you will be here, and like everybody else, have a great vacation, and we want to ensure that we provide you with that vacation. And so, from that perspective, there is absolutely no attempt or obstruction or programme that is aimed at or intended to cause any uneasiness for anybody who comes to Jamaica.”
TURKEY. Plaintiff wins victory in ‘Gay Garbage Truck Case’: ‘Three drivers of the garbage trucks owned by the Kağıthane Municipality in Istanbul were fired by their employer after it was alleged last year that they were in a gay relationship with a 27-year-old garbage collector. The garbage collector, identified only as M.Ş., had told the authorities that he had engaged in sexual relationship “from time to time” with the three truck drivers. The drivers, aged between 43 and 51, had sued the municipality and its subcontractor in April 2018, citing what they described as unjust termination of their contract.’
SPAIN. Thousands protest against vandalism of Barcelona LGBTI Center one week after opening (article in Spanish) One more.
CUBA. Evangelicals push back against same-sex marriage: ‘A Cuban government push to legalize gay marriage has set off an unprecedented reaction from the island’s rapidly growing evangelical churches, whose members are expected to widely reject a state-proposed constitutional reform in a nationwide referendum this month.’
PAKISTAN. Trans Action Pakistan reports transgender woman shot to death: “We can’t hold the tears back. It wasn’t fair that her life had to end. We will always keep her in our heart. Rest in peace our sister.” FirstPost: ‘The incident occurred in Jattak Ismail Khel area of restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa late on Tuesday night when three transgender people from Peshawar were returning after attending a wedding ceremony. While they were on their way back, the unknown assailants fired at their vehicle, killing one and injuring another, police said. The deceased transgender person was identified as Jahangir while the injured was identified as Mushtaq. The injured was shifted to the hospital for treatment, police said.’
Posts from Trans Action Pakistan:
FRANCE. Disneyland Paris is first Disney park to hold official LGBTQ Pride event. ”Although Gay Days has been celebrated at the Disney parks for decades, ever since the first one in 1991 (right here in Orlando!), Disneyland Paris has just made history by becoming the first to organize an official LGBTQ Pride event, finally acknowledging openly that pink money pays their bills, too. Magical Pride happens June 1, 2019, and will include a “Magical March of Diversity” parade, as well as several different music performances. Inspired by Orlando’s and Anaheim’s massive Gay Days parties, the first – though it was unofficial – Magical Pride took place at Disneyland Paris in 2014. Now it’s getting the nod from the park.
CANADA. Inclusive Labrador and Newfoundland beard and mustache club MerB’ys pose in fish tails for 2019 calendar in attempt to battle toxic masculinity: “Violence Prevention Newfoundland & Labrador will be the main recipient of the funds we raise this year. We wanted to help them continue their very important work of changing attitudes and breaking down stereotypes. Their goal is to challenge negative attitudes of masculinity, and empower men to become meaningfully engaged in violence prevention.”
They add: “Formed in 2017, the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard & Moustache Club (NLBMC) is a social club for community minded, good humans who just happen to appreciate facial hair. We organize regular volunteer events to help various community organizations and support social causes we believe in. Inclusion is our jam. Humans of all genders, ethnicities, faiths, abilities and ages are welcome. Good people, doing good things, having fun the whole time – that’s who we are. Ability to grow facial hair is irrelevant – it’s the beard inside that matters most.”
NIGERIA. Police chief Dolapo Badmos tells gay people to leave the country: ‘The message was posted on her personal Instagram account – which is set to private but has around 125,000 followers…“If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you. There is a law (Same-Sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalises homosexual clubs, associations and organisations with penalties of up to 15 years in jail,” Badmus wrote. “So, if you are a homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution. But before you say, ‘does this matter?’ Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is.” She added: “Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment. All LGBT candidates in Nigeria should beware.”
JAPAN. Chiba becomes first city to recognize LGBT couples, common law marriage: “In a first for Japan, the city of Chiba held a ceremony Tuesday to issue certificates recognizing the partnerships of sexual minority and common-law couples. According to the city located to Tokyo’s east, the system of recognition introduced for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples as well as mixed-gender common-law couples is the first of its kind in Japan.”