KENYA. High court upholds law making gay sex illegal: ‘Same-sex relations have been banned since the British colonized Kenya in the late 19th century. Kenya’s penal code criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” Anyone found engaging in same-sex relationships could face up to 14 years in prison.The Kenyan High Court declined to decriminalize same-sex relations. The decision was a setback to the LGBTQI moment in Africa, where same-sex relationships are largely seen as taboo.’
BRAZIL. Top court votes to protect LGBT people from discrimination: “A majority of the 11-member Supreme Federal Court voted to find it unconstitutional to exclude sexual orientation and gender from Brazil’s anti-discrimination law. After the sixth member voted in favor of the ruling, securing the majority, the court suspended the hearing until June 5. The remaining members are expected to vote then, and the ruling would be issued. It would establish a way for people who experienced discrimination or physical attacks based on their sexual identity or gender orientation to sue.”
CHILE. Gay couple attacked by three men in their own store: “Those affected are Sergio Acosta (25) and José Luis Campos (33), the first being beaten, while the second one was largely detained by one of the victimizers so that he could not defend his partner. The events occurred after one of the three subjects regretted buying a product and requested a change for a lower value, but refusing to return the first ballot that had been delivered. Three men attack gay couple in their own store: Although the couple reported the incident to Carabineros and reported the homophobic insults, when they were transferred to detention, the subjects were released and with only a 1UTM fine.”
CHINA. Novelist known for gay content sentenced for “illegal publishing.” ‘China’s burgeoning “danmei” novels have hit an obstacle. An author of the genre, which features homoerotic love stories between two men aimed at a young female audience online, has been sentenced to prison for “illegal publishing.” The author, who writes under the name “Mr. Deep Sea,” was sentenced to a prison term of four years and fined 120,000 yuan ($17,350) for printing and selling copies of her online novels without the legally-required official book number, price and publisher’s name. She was first detained in December 2017 while signing copies of her latest self-published novel, “The Caged Emperor.”’
HONG KONG. Airport and subway authorities reverse ban on Cathay Pacific’s groundbreaking same-sex ad: ‘The reversals came in the face of heated criticism of the ban, and less than 24 hours after the Post revealed that both the railway giant and Hong Kong International Airport had banned the advert because of its same-sex content.’
MACEDONIA. First Gay Pride march is on next month: ‘The North Macedonian capital is set to host on June 29 what activists have described as the Balkan country’s first gay-pride parade. The event will be “a form of protest for affirmation, support, and protection of human rights” of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Antonio Mihajlov of the National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia (NNHT) told a press conference in Skopje on May 20.’
NORTHERN IRELAND. Thousands rally in support of marriage equality: “Attempts to legislate for same-sex marriage have been blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party, a key ally of British Prime Minister Theresa May, despite opinion polls in recent years showing most in the region are in favor. Sara Canning, the partner of journalist and LGBTQ rights campaigner Lyra McKee who was murdered in April, led the march alongside a number of gay and lesbian couples. Canning said that she and McKee had been planning to marry.”
TUNISIA. LGBTQ rights group to push for gay sex to be decriminalized: ‘The government went to court to block Shams when the advocacy group registered in 2015, saying that the correct process had not been followed. A 2016 ruling in Shams’ favor was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Monday. Shams’ director Mounir Baatour said the court victory would help its campaign to legalize same-sex relations, which are punishable with three years imprisonment under Article 230 of the North African country’s penal code.’
RUSSIA. 1 in 3 Russians would disown a gay friend, according to study: “The Levada Centre study, published on Thursday, indicated that more than half the population still had a negative opinion on LGBT+. Nearly a third said they would disown a friend if they found out they were gay, while only three percent suggested they had a favourable opinion. On a positive note, the polls showed nearly half (47%) believed LGBT+ people should be treated equally in front of the law. This was the highest number since 2005 (51%), when polling on the question began.”
PHILIPPINES. Congress launches online poll on same-sex unions. ‘The poll, posted on the chamber’s website, asked whether the respondents are in favor, against, or undecided about the proposal on the legalization of same-sex unions as civil partnership in the country. … The survey comes ahead of the celebration of “Pride Month” in June and days after same-sex marriage was legalized in Taiwan. A petition seeking to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines filed by gay lawyer Jesus Falcis is pending before the Supreme Court. An oral argument on the proposal was held in June last year.’
CUBA. Havana police shut down gay rights march.
MEXICO. A gay couple was denied entry to a restaurant in Monterrey, Nueva León … for holding hands. Video of the incident was posted to social media.
POLAND. Gay couple returns painting stolen by Nazis to Warsaw. “The two men, Craig Gilmore and David Crocker, were recently back in Poland using the connections they gained with their goodwill gesture to reach out to the local LGBT community, offering financial donations and messages of solidarity to a group that faces misunderstanding and discrimination….In early April, with cameras rolling, Gilmore, an opera singer, dropped to one knee in a Warsaw park and proposed to Crocker, an artist, who said yes.”
SPAIN. A gay ghost named Gaysper has become a viral star after a tweet by Spain’s far-right Vox party (above): ‘A few hours after the polls opened in Spain’s general election last Sunday, the far-right Vox party attempted to recruit author JRR Tolkien’s fighter to its cause, tweeting an image of the character Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with the caption, “Let the battle begin!” Having slapped the party’s logo on the warrior’s cloak, Vox lined Aragorn up against the jumbled ranks of its own many and varied enemies: communists; anarchists; Catalan pro-independence campaigners; the liberal media; women’s groups and, last but by no means least, a small, rainbow-hued ghost intended to represent LGBTQ people.’
MOROCCO. How gays are being persecuted just 20 miles from the Spanish border: “Like many others, Youssef is afraid of Article 489 of the Moroccan criminal code, which punishes sexual relations between people of the same sex. Punishments range from six months to three years behind bars and a fine of up to 1,000 dirhams, which is around €100. The judge can decide on the severity of the sentence, taking into account the seriousness of whatever act has been committed and the personal circumstances of the accused. But there are no established mitigating circumstances. The defendants are at the mercy of the judge. According to the Procurator’s 2018 Report, 197 people were arrested for being homosexual in Morocco in 2017. When the report was published last June, there were still 137 cases open.”
TUNISIA. Queer film festival creates sanctuary for LGBTQ in country where it is illegal: ‘Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival, in its second year, differs significantly from other film festivals: some participants wear badges that read “No Photos;” attendees were invited through a private Facebook page and were told not to geo-tag locations on social media; venues were revealed only in the final days before the festival.’