13 Feb 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI Rights


London school abused over LGBT rainbow crossing
By BBC News, 12 Feb 2020

A school in London says it has received about 200 abusive messages after a rainbow-coloured crossing was installed outside its building. It said the crossing was painted last week to mark LGBT History Month and has prompted some angry reactions on social media. However, the school in Wood Green said that would not deter it from continuing its work on equality. Gerry Robinson, head of Woodside High School, said: "This rainbow crossing stands for our commitment to championing equality, for our children's rights to be respected and able to thrive as themselves, in school and beyond."


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Still less tolerant of LGBT
By Korea Times, 10 Feb 2020

A transgender student who had gained admission to a women-only university in Seoul gave up her admission Friday due to strong opposition from other students. The transgender woman, 22, underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand last August and received approval to change her legal gender from male to female before the College Scholastic Ability Test in November. So there were no legal problems with her being admitted into Sookmyung Women's University. Many students raised questions about why she insists on entering a women-only university through gender reassignment surgery after having lived for more than 20 years as a male. 


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Switzerland votes to ban homophobic discrimination
By Deutsche Welle, 09 Feb 2020

On Sunday, Swiss voters overwhelmingly supported a referendum to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The country's referendum-based direct democracy takes many divisive issues to the populace if enough people demand it. Sunday's referendum decided on legislation to specifically outlaw hate speech and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation with jail terms of up to three years. The criminal code currently covers discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion. About 62% of voters favored the legislation, with most parties backing the bill to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. However, the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) — the strongest party in parliament — opposed the law.


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Activist aims to shame Polish towns opposed to LGBT community
By Reuters, 07 Feb 2020

 TRZEBIESZOW, Poland (Reuters) - An activist has begun photographing members of Poland’s LGBT community next to a fake “LGBT-free zone” sign outside towns that passed motions rejecting what they call “LGBT ideology” or defending traditional family values. Bartosz Staszewski, a 29-year-old filmmaker, has taken portraits of five people so far, and plans another 32 that would target towns he considers took the strongest stance against the gay community. His action is in protest against what he calls a “hate campaign” by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which says lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) “ideology” is an invasive foreign influence that undermines traditional values in the staunchly Catholic country.


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Rising populism stokes homophobic hate speech across Europe - rights group
By Reuters, 04 Feb 2020

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and other anti-LGBT+ hate crimes are rising across Europe, fuelled by divisive politics and socially conservative groups that also campaign against abortion access, an advocacy group said on Tuesday. Hate speech by political and religious leaders increased in 17 countries, including in countries such as Portugal, Spain and Finland, known for being LGBT-friendly. Homophobic violence also rose across the region, according to a report by ILGA-Europe.


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