08 Nov 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on on LGBTI rights


Colorado, once the infamous anti-LGBT ‘hate state,’ becomes first to elect an openly gay governor
The Washington Post, 07 Nov 2018

The midterm election results pouring in on Tuesday night included a number of significant demographic milestones.
Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will be the first Native American women to serve in Congress. Capitol Hill will have its first Muslim congresswomen with Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. And Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will be the first openly gay person elected to serve as a state’s governor.
Polis, an entrepreneur and five-term member of Congress from Boulder, beat Republican Walker Stapleton by six points in Colorado’s gubernatorial contest. But Polis’s splash into the history books is all the more significant considering the ugly track record of the state he has been elected to run.

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In ‘Rainbow Wave,’ L.G.B.T. Candidates Are Elected in Record Numbers
The New York Times, 07 Nov 2018

More openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were elected Tuesday night than in any previous election, signaling a shift in cultural attitudes even as the Trump administration has chipped away at L.G.B.T. rights.
The results are still rolling in, but at least 153 have won so far, said Elliot Imse, a spokesman for the Victory Fund, a nonpartisan political action committee devoted to electing L.G.B.T. candidates. The group endorsed 225 candidates in this election cycle, nearly all of whom were Democrats.
L.G.B.T. candidates ran for office in record numbers this year. “Success breeds success,” said Annise Parker, the president and chief executive of the Victory Fund and former mayor of Houston.

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Tanzania: Mixed Messages on Anti-Gay Persecution
Human Rights Watch, 06 Nov 2018

Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ disavowal of incendiary anti-gay comments by a Dar es Salaam official is a positive development, but will mean little unless the government reforms its laws and policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today.
On November 4, 2018, following major international news coverage of the inflammatory remarks, Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that a proposed anti-gay campaign by Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda, whose district includes Dar es Salaam, represented “his opinion and not the position of the government.” The ministry pledged to “continue to respect and protect” internationally recognized human rights. However, the same day, activists told Human Rights Watch that police had arrested people in Zanzibar on homosexuality-related charges.

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Using the UN to advance LGBT rights in China
OpenGlobalRights, 06 Nov 2018

As China approaches the third, quadrennial review of its human rights record by the United Nations (known as the ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR)), there is increasing international attention on the dire human rights situation in the country. Although LGBT issues in China are less visible in these discussions, the UPR process has proven to offer opportunities to combat violence and advance equality for the LGBT community in China.
The Chinese government has never made a clear statement of its position on LGBT issues domestically; therefore, the LGBT community in China follows very carefully any expression the government makes on this issue internationally. This is one of the few ways they can navigate the domestic space for advocacy. The manner in which the Chinese government addresses and responds to LGBT issues raised at the UPR is critically important to the future strategy of the movement.

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Malaysia Turns Towards Democracy - But Leaves LGBT Rights Behind
NewsWeek , 04 Nov 2018

In the early hours of a Saturday morning in late August, Malaysian police stormed into the Blue Boy club in central Kuala Lumpur, one of the country’s oldest LGBT venues. As more than a 100 stunned locals and tourists looked on, 20 men were detained and ordered into counselling for “illicit activities”. Although police claimed the raid was part of an anti-drug drive in the area, a government minister later posted on Facebook that he hoped it would “mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society”.
Apart from being wildly discriminatory and humiliating, what makes this raid even more disappointing is that it came just a few months after Malaysia’s historic May election. The Pakatan Harapan coalition ended the 61-year reign of the former authoritarian government, having campaigned on a platform of respect for human rights and an end to corruption.

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