6 December 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


Welcome to Jamaica – no longer ‘the most homophobic place on Earth’
The Guardian, 06 Dec 2018

Early one late summer morning, more than 200 people gathered under the lush canopy of Hope Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica, for a breakfast party. It was all a far cry from the country that Time magazine called “the most homophobic place on Earth” in 2006. Yet that label has clung to Jamaica ever since, and with good reason. In a 2013 survey of 71 LGBT people conducted by Human Rights Watch, more than half said they had been victims of homophobic violence. Non-violent discrimination is even more pervasive, with bullying and exclusion faced in education, healthcare and within local communities.

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As an LGBT refugee, Europe’s deal with Libya has left me fearing for my life
New Statesman, 05 Dec 2018

I escaped Somalia because I am gay, but now I’m trapped in Libya. At home they will shoot me, because in Somalia it is not allowed to be LGBT. In Libya, they will also shoot me, because it’s like Somalia. Maybe it’s even worse than Somalia. I know of around ten more LGBT refugees in detention centres here, and others outside. Europe should welcome LGBT refugees and help them, as they used to. But Europe struck a deal with Libya, which means that Libya’s coastguard would intercept those of us fleeing across the Mediterranean. They are now returning us to a country where we can be killed.

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As Tanzania's LGBT fear for their lives, HIV will thrive
CNN, 01 Dec 2018

'If you know any gays, report them to me', Makonda's call for all gay people to be reported to him initiated a chain reaction in the country, forcing many into hiding. Stating that his phone number is widely known, "I am announcing this to every citizen of Dar es Salaam: If you know any gays, report them to me," Makonda said at a news conference October 29. People already faced a 30-year jail sentence in Tanzania for gay male sex, a holdover from colonial-era laws, mirroring severe penalties for same-sex relationships across many African countries. As a result of that law, the LGBT community experienced regular discrimination and marginalization.

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Indonesian city plans to fine residents for 'LGBT behavior'
Reuters, 30 Nov 2018

An Indonesian city has approved a bylaw to fine gay or transgender people up to 1 million rupiah ($70) for behavior that could “disturb public order” or be considered immoral, the city’s deputy mayor said on Friday. The regulation is the latest example of a rise in government and public hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Homosexuality is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the conservative province of Aceh, but the country has seen a growing number of bylaws targeting LGBT people.

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Nepal Stalls on LGBT Rights Despite Early Strides
Voice of America, 30 Nov 2018

Nepal was hailed a leader in LGBT rights when it became the first country in conservative South Asia to recognize a third gender and assure equality for its sexual minorities. But more than a decade later, that trailblazing reputation has lost its luster, with gay and transgender Nepalis still confronting obstacles to jobs and schools, and marriage equality a distant prospect. More than 900,000 of Nepal's roughly 26 million population identify as a sexual minority, according to LGBT rights group Blue Diamond Society.

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Taiwan’s LGBT community will have to settle for equal but different marriage laws
Quartz, 30 Nov 2018

Taiwan’s LGBT community won’t be getting true marriage equality. Following the defeat of referendums in support of same-sex marriage last weekend, Taiwan’s ruling party said yesterday (Nov. 29) that gay couples will be allowed to marry (link in Chinese) under the establishment of a separate law, rather than by revising the current law to redefine marriage following the votes.

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