31 August 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


Canada introduces gender-neutral 'X' option on passports
By The Guardian, 31 Aug 2017

Canadians are able to identify as gender neutral on their passports from Thursday under changes that have been enthusiastically welcomed by rights campaigners.Canada becomes the first country in the Americas to allow its citizens to use an “X” category, joining those in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand and Pakistan. India, Ireland and Nepal are among the countries that provide various third-options.“All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose,” immigration minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement announcing the changes last week. 

Read More

Gay-Bashing in Jordan—by the Government
By Human Rights Watch, 30 Aug 2017

High-level Jordanian officials have used a recent inquiry into the legality of a Jordanian online magazine to issue statements against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. By doing so, they are exploiting the inquiry to target the already-marginalized LGBT community in Jordan. It all began with a July request from an Islamist member of parliament, Dima Tahboub, to the Jordanian Media Commission to open an inquiry into the website My.Kali, a Jordanian queer-inclusive social affairs online magazine published since 2007. The commission concluded that same month that the magazine had violated the Press and Publication Law and issued instructions to block access to its website in Jordan.

Read More

No, Mattis Didn’t Defy Trump on Transgender Troops
By US News, 30 Aug 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced this week he plans to move forward with implementing President Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military, though the future of transgender troops already in the service branches remains to be determined.A statement Mattis issued Tuesday comports with a memorandum the White House put out Friday that officially follows through on tweets Trump posted last month, indicating he intended to undo a policy change on transgender service handed down in the last months of President Barack Obama's administration. Trump's memo indefinitely blocks transgender people from joining the military or Coast Guard, and prohibits the Defense and Homeland Security departments from paying for gender-reassignment medical procedures as of March 23, 2018, with room for some exceptions.

Read More

Chile legalises gay marriage and allows LGBT couples to adopt as historic new bill signed
By The Independent, 29 Aug 2017

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has introduced a bill to legalise gay marriage, the latest in a series of recent reforms in a country long regarded as one of Latin America’s most socially conservative.Bachelet signed the proposal, which will be sent to lawmakers, at a ceremony in the presidential palace. She said the measure seeks to expand the definition of marriage between a man and a woman and would also expand rights for gay couples, allowing them to adopt children.

Read More