10 August 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


LGBT groups fund predictions of economic backlash to bathroom bills
By The Washington Times, 09 Aug 2017

 The Texas Association of Business has been an outspoken opponent of the state’s proposed transgender bathroom bill, predicting the legislation will lead to a massive economic backlash and cost the state as much as $8.5 billion in lost business. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce was similarly alarmed by the 2015 push for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that it would negatively affect the state’s “ability to attract and retain jobs, talent and investment.” Florida Competes, a small-businesses advocacy group in the Sunshine State, has tirelessly championed a bill that would make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes under the Florida Civil Rights Act. The amendment, the group says, would boost Florida’s economic output by more than $5 billion and create nearly 36,000 jobs over the next 10 year.

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For Canada's LGBT community, acceptance is still a work in progress, survey suggests
By CBC News, 09 Aug 2017

 While members of Canada's LGBT community feel their sexual orientation is generally accepted among their families and friends, almost 75 per cent report they've been bullied at some point in their life, a new survey says. Fondation Jasmin Roy, a Quebec-based anti-bullying, anti-discrimination and anti-violence group, commissioned polling firm CROP to conduct the study. The results were released Wednesday ahead of Canada Pride, a nine-day, countrywide celebration of Canada's LGBT movement that begins Friday. Billed as the first pan-Canadian look at LGBT communities, CROP surveyed 2,697 people aged 15 and older using an online questionnaire. Of the participants, 1,897 identified as LGBT and 800 as heterosexual cisgender people.

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Russian man refused job over 'gay looks'
By BBC, 09 Aug 2017

Eduard Myra from Omsk, applied for a position as sales assistant at LLC Hardcore earlier this year but was unsuccessful. When he asked for feedback, he was sent a letter explaining his "feminine manner" and being "too well-groomed" suggested he was part of the LGBT community and his appearance promoted "non-traditional sexual relations". The store says its decision was based on Russia's so-called gay propaganda law, which bans the "promotion of homosexuality" to minors. The controversial law, deemed discriminatory by the European Court of Human Rights, has sparked a lot of criticism from rights activist both in Russia and abroad.

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LGBT rights groups sue over possible ban on trans people in the military
By The Guardian, 09 Aug 2017

 LGBT rights groups on Wednesday hit the Trump administration with legal action in response to the president’s tweets that the US military “will not accept or allow … transgender individuals to serve in any capacity”. Representing five trans people who are active-duty military, the LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit saying their clients would be fired or could substantially lose out on retirement benefits if Trump moved forward with a ban. Separately, the American Civil Liberties Union notified the White House that it intended to bring a lawsuit in the future and expected the White House to preserve all the relevant documents in preparation.

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How LGBT Activists Are Marshaling Support From Singapore’s Private Sector
By Human Rights Watch, 07 Aug 2017

 Plans for an annual festival in Singapore supporting LGBT rights came under threat last year when the government denied sponsorship requests from multinational companies. In the end, however, the Pink Dot festival went ahead with the backing of more than 100 Singaporean companies. In an email interview, Linda Lakhdhir, a legal adviser for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, describes Pink Dot’s significance and the challenges facing LGBT Singaporeans. 

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South Korea: Supreme Court Affirms LGBT Rights
By Human Rights Watch , 04 Aug 2017

South Korea’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights foundation to legally register as a charity, ending three years of the foundation’s leaders facing discriminatory rejection from multiple government agencies. The judgment affirms South Korea’s obligations to respect freedom of assembly for all its citizens, Human Rights Watch said. “The South Korean Supreme Court has affirmed the Beyond the Rainbow Foundation’s right to register with the Ministry of Justice,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch. “This judgment is a victory for the fundamental rights of all South Koreans – and a boost to the LGBT community’s ability to organize and advocate.”

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