9 May 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI rights


LGBT Partnership Systems Spread Across Japan
Tokyo review, 09 May 2019

 In the first five months of 2019 alone, the number of Japanese municipalities with a “partnership system” recognizing same-sex relationships has doubled. While Japan’s national government has been very passive when it comes to tackling issues faced by its LGBT population, more and more municipal governments are making an effort to help improve the daily lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. The lack of legal recognition for marriage or any other form of officially recognized partnership for same-sex couples in Japan has meant that many people have been denied access to relationship-based privileges and rights – an exclusion that does not only apply to those who are attracted to people of the same sex.

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Poland: Arrest Over Virgin Mary’s Rainbow Halo
Human Rights Watch, 09 May 2019

The arrest of a woman over a picture of a religious icon with a rainbow halo on May 6, 2019 is the latest attempt by Polish authorities to target LGBT and gender equality activists. Government officials allege the work is blasphemous and object to its presumed link to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and gender equality. Amnesty International reported that police searched the home of Elżbieta Podlesna and arrested her following her return from a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands with the human rights organization. Police seized her laptop, mobile phone, and memory cards during the search and reportedly asked for CCTV camera footage from her building.

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Northern Ireland: Thousands to march calling for marriage equality legislation
Amnesty International , 08 May 2019

Campaigners in Northern Ireland have announced a major march and rally for marriage equality to be held in Belfast on Saturday 18 May, as political talks aimed at restoring devolved government for the region continue. The Love Equality campaign, organisers of the march, are demanding that any re-established Stormont government must deliver marriage equality legislation to bring the region into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland.

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Queer California – rare photos capture hidden LGBT history
The Guardian, 08 May 2019

The Compton’s Cafeteria riot took place in San Francisco in August 1966. Police descended on an all-night diner in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, and a group of drag queens and transgender women fought back. And before the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot came Los Angeles’ 1959 Cooper Do-nuts uprising, during which onlookers chucked coffee and garbage at the officers in response to a raid at an LGBTQ-friendly hangout.

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The rebel priest: ‘Gay people in the church are not going to go away'
The Guardian, 07 May 2019

 The Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain had served as a vicar for around two decades until his fractious exit in 2017. His crime? Marrying his partner, Stephen, in 2014. While he kept his position at St Mary with All Souls, Kilburn, and St James’, West Hampstead, after his wedding, he says he was “blacklisted” from finding a new job. In 2017, he resigned, publicly condemning the church as “institutionally homophobic”. It was a bold statement, and one he knew would bar him from ever returning.

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Brunei halts plan to punish gay sex with death by stoning
AlJazeera, 05 May 2019

Brunei's sultan has extended a moratorium on the death penalty to new laws prohibiting gay sex and adultery after a global backlash against the punishments. The announcement on Sunday was Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's first public comments on the new penal code since it fully entered into force last month. The laws, based on Brunei's interpretation of Islamic laws introduced stoning to death for sodomy, rape and adultery, amputation of hands and feet for thieves, and public flogging for abortion.

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