30 Aug 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on on LGBTI rights


EU Should Follow UN Guidelines on LGBT Asylum Seekers
Human Rights Watch, 30 Aug 2018

The process of seeking asylum is difficult for anyone, but sexual and gender minorities fleeing persecution in their home countries can be particularly vulnerable, as two recent decisions by Austrian asylum officers show. In August, Austrian authorities rejected the asylum application of a 27-year-old Iraqi on grounds that he was behaving “like a girl” and “faking” his homosexuality. One week earlier, an 18-year-old Afghan asylum seeker was denied refugee status because, according to the adjudicating official: “Neither your walk nor behaviour nor clothing indicate in any way you might be homosexual.”

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How social media is helping gay Chinese men fight HIV
South China Morning Post, 30 Aug 2018

Gay men in China are more likely to take HIV tests if they are shown images and videos from crowdsourced social media campaigns, a group of international researchers has concluded. HIV infection rates are increasing among sexually active gay men in China, yet testing rates remain relatively low because of a lack of awareness and a fear of coming forward due to the social stigma that still surrounds homosexuality in much of the country, the study found.

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Vanesa Campos: Five charged with murdering Paris transgender sex worker
The Independent, 29 Aug 2018

Five people have been charged with the murder of transgender prostitute in Paris who was thought to have been attempting to stop a gang from robbing one of her clients. Vanesa Campos was shot dead on the night of 16-17 August in the city’s Bois de Boulogne, an area regularly frequented by sex workers and their customers. The 36-year-old, who had immigrated to France from Peru two years prior, was reportedly set upon by a group of men armed with knives and firearms.

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In A Reversal, Wisconsin To Cover State Workers Seeking Transgender Treatment
NPR, 29 Aug 2018

In a surprising reversal, a Wisconsin board has voted to again offer insurance coverage to transgender state employees seeking hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery.

Members of the Group Insurance Board, which manages the insurance program for Wisconsin's public workers and retirees, last week voted 5-4 to overturn its current policy barring treatments and procedures "related to gender reassignment or sexual transformation."

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Success to Savor but More Challenges for LGBT Rights in Lebanon
Human Rights Watch, 28 Aug 2018

When a Lebanon court of appeal upheld a ruling in July that adult, consensual same-sex conduct is not an “unnatural offense,” a wave of excitement rippled through Lebanese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Article 534 of the Penal Code, a relic of the French mandate in Lebanon, bans “sexual intercourse contrary to nature.” It has long been used by police to harass, arrest and sometimes prosecute people based on their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity.

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'A baby cannot provide ... consent': Calif. lawmakers denounce infant intersex surgeries
NBC News, 28 Aug 2018

The California State Legislature approved a resolution on Tuesday denouncing medically unnecessary surgeries for intersex children. "Intersex children should be free to choose whether to undergo life-altering surgeries that irreversibly — and sometimes irreparably — cause harm," the resolution states. SCR 110 was introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat whose district includes San Francisco, and it was supported by Equality California, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group, and interACT, an intersex youth advocacy organization.

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