24 August 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


This kindergarten teacher uses drag to teach & inspire his students
By The LGBTQ Nation , 23 Aug 2017

A kindergarten teacher in Toronto is combining his love for education and his love of drag to bring drag queen story time to youngsters and the results are magical.John Paul Kane uses his drag persona, Fay Slift, to not only make reading more fun, but also encourage them to see differences as beautiful.“I’m hoping what the kids get out of coming to story time is an opportunity to see that things that are different aren’t scary, that things that are different are amazing,” Kane told Today’s Parent.

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White House Readies Memo on Implementing Trans Military Ban
By The Advocate, 23 Aug 2017

Some transgender people will be able to continue serving in the military under White House guidance on implementing a very slightly watered-down version of the ban announced recently by Donald Trump. But the armed forces will still be closed to most trans people, and unsurprisingly, the ban has Mike Pence’s fingerprints all over it, the Los Angeles Blade reports. A memo headed from the White House to Defense Secretary James Mattis directs him and his staff to determine if trans troops are able to serve in a war zone or manage months aboard ship, and allow these “deployable” troops to continue serving, the Blade reports, citing a paywall-blocked Wall Street Journal article.

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President Bachelet’s Bill for Marriage Equality
By Human Rights Watch, 23 Aug 2017

 Chilean President Michelle Bachelet says she will make good on a promise at the United Nations a year ago and introduce a bill in parliament on August 28 to allow same-sex couples to marry. Bachelet’s announcement fulfills a pledge she made at a UN event in September 2016, organized by the UN core group of LGBT-friendly countries and civil society representatives, including Human Rights Watch. If the bill goes forward, it will be another progressive step for Chile, after its approval this summer of a bill to ease the most restrictive abortion law in Latin America. The Chilean Constitutional Tribunal ruled on August 21 that the new law to end the full criminalization of abortion in Chile was constitutional.

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‘Fags’ and Fear-Mongering in Australia’s Gay Marriage Debate
By Human Rights Watch , 22 Aug 2017

On Monday morning, my friend Michael in Melbourne woke up and looked out the window to check the weather. Instead, what caught his eye was a poster on the street that had been put up overnight. It screamed at him, “STOP THE FAGS,” and contained a string of ludicrous allegations of child abuse by gay parents. The Australian government is planning a nationwide poll in September that will ask voters, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” This puts gays and lesbians in a very vulnerable position. Their fundamental rights will be put to the will of voters participating in a costly yet non-binding vote. 

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'No gay promotion can be allowed': Uganda cancels pride events
By The Guardian, 21 Aug 2017

Activists are outraged over the Ugandan government’s decision to cancel a week of gay pride celebrations in the country for a second consecutive year, describing the move as a violation of fundamental human rights of minority groups. On 16 August, the state minister of ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, issued a directive shutting down a gala, scheduled to take place at the Sheraton Hotel in the capital, Kampala, accusing the organisers of attempting to stage an illegal gathering aimed at recruitment, exhibition and promotion of homosexuality.

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