07 September 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


Canada has quietly granted asylum to LGBT Chechens
By BBC, 07 Sep 2017

 Thirty-one gay and bisexual Chechen men and women have been granted asylum in Canada following a violent crackdown on LGTB people in the Russian republic. They are being brought to Canada as part of an under-the-radar collaboration between human rights groups and the federal government. In April, reports of abductions, detentions, disappearances, torture and deaths targeting gay and bisexual men in Chechnya began making international headlines.The Chechen government denied that security officials had launched an anti-gay purge, saying that gay men "simply don't exist in the republic".It was a claim repeated in July by authoritarian Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who denied in an interview there were gay men in Chechnya.

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Indonesia: Stop Raids on Homes of ‘Suspected Lesbians’
By Human Rights Watch, 05 Sep 2017

 The Indonesian government should urgently investigate the September 2, 2017 police raid on the homes of 12 “suspected lesbians,” Human Rights Watch said today. The raid and ensuing forced evictions violate the rights to privacy, non-discrimination and basic due process. The police raided a residential compound in West Java province’s Tugu Jaya village in response to complaints from local Islamic youth groups and religious leaders that the women’s cohabitation was “against the teachings of Islam.” Police demanded that the women immediately relocate from the area without providing any legal justification for the order, according to authorities, Human Rights Watch interviewed.

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Equality California Files Suit Against Trump's Trans Military Ban
By The Advocate, 05 Sep 2017

Yet another federal lawsuit has been filed to challenge Donald Trump’s reinstatement of a ban on military service by transgender people. This one comes from Equality California and seven transgender plaintiffs — four service members and three who have sought to enlist — with representation by the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP.

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Postal survey on same-sex marriage 'unique and offensive', high court told
By The Guardian, 05 Sep 2017

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has no authority to hold the Coalition’s “unique and offensive” postal vote on same-sex marriage, lawyers have told the high court on the first day of a landmark legal challenge. Barristers for critics of the vote, who are seeking to have it ruled illegal, argued their case before a packed courtroom in Melbourne headed by the chief justice, Susan Kiefel. The court’s verdict will determine whether the vote can go ahead, and could pave the way for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage if it rules against the government.

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Romania to Hold Same-Sex Marriage Referendum This Autumn: Ruling Party Leader
By The New York Times , 02 Sep 2017

 Romania’s ruling Social Democrats hope to organize this autumn a referendum to restrict the constitutional definition of family, which would effectively rule out the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage, party leader Liviu Dragnea said on Saturday. The plan for a referendum came about after the Coalition for the Family, a civil society group, collected 3 million signatures last year in favor of changing the constitutional definition of marriage as a union strictly between a man and a woman from the existing "spouses."

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