14 Mar 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on on LGBTI rights


Guinea-Bissau's 'Big Mamas' advance gay pride in conservative West Africa
Thomson Reuters Foundation News, 13 Mar 2019

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, March 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Edimilson Silva wears tight jeans, sparkly jewellery and sometimes lipstick - outfits that in neighbouring countries could get him harassed, jailed or even killed.
But in his home in Guinea-Bissau's capital, Bissau, a city of about 500,000 people in the small, impoverished West African nation, homosexuality is gradually becoming more accepted, he said.
"In the past, it used to be dangerous, but now you can walk out and almost nobody does anything to you," said Silva, 19.
"I gained the courage to do that because the more you hide, the worse it becomes for you," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Silva is in a group of gay men and trans women called Big Mama Fountain (for short, the "Big Mamas") at the forefront of Guinea-Bissau's move toward acceptance. Through their own example, they said they have emboldened others to come out.


Italian PM distances himself from anti-gay, anti-abortion event
The Guardian, 13 Mar 2019

The Italian prime minister has distanced himself from a conference that will bring together anti-gay, anti-feminist and anti-abortion activists from around the world in Verona, after organisers appeared to suggest his office had endorsed the event.
The logo of Giuseppe Conte’s administrative office had been used without his endorsement to promote the US-run World Congress of Families event, which calls for a return to the “natural order” and has widespread backing from Italy’s far-right League party.
Use of the logo to promote the three-day event, which takes place at the end of this month, was agreed by the families minister, Lorenzo Fontana, a League politician from Verona who once said gay marriage threatened to “wipe out our community and traditions”.


Thailand’s Tourism Industry Looks to Cash In on Same-Sex Partner Law
Bloomberg, 12 Mar 2019

Thailand is advancing same-sex partnership legislation. And one of the nation’s biggest industries, tourism, is paying close attention.
Amid an election campaign, a measure that would give gay and lesbian couples more rights -- yet doesn’t legalize same-sex marriage -- was approved by the Cabinet and was headed to Parliament. Though the session ended before the bill became law, the tourism industry is using the occasion to actively promote Thailand as an LGBT-friendly destination.


Birmingham primary school in LGBT row cleared by watchdog
The Guardian, 12 Mar 2019

A Birmingham primary school at the centre of a dispute with parents over lessons about LGBT rights has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Ofsted.
Inspectors visited Parkfield community school in Saltley, Birmingham, last month after parents complained the lessons promoted gay and transgender lifestyles and were being taught to pupils who were too young to understand.
On the basis of the inspection, the schools watchdog ruled in favour of the school on Tuesday, praising its record on promoting “tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect” and confirming its Ofsted rating of “outstanding”.
The school attracted national attention after parents staged protests outside the entrance and some withdrew their children from classes because of its approach to LGBT and equalities education.


Give LGBTI free gender transition services in government hospitals: Experts
The Times of India, 12 Mar 2019

CHANDIGARH: In the absence of a national guideline on the management of transgender and intersex issues, the public health experts proposed that free or subsidised gender transition services for the community should be given in government hospitals after proper informed consent, at least in tertiary level government hospitals to begin with.
This was proposed at the two-day national conference on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) that concluded on Sunday at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI). The experts have come out with recommendations to be sent to the union ministry of health, ministry of social justice and empowerment, ICMR and MCI.


Defending LGBTs at Women's March an abuse of democracy - Mujahid
Malaysiakini, 09 Mar 2019

De facto Islamic affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa says he is shocked that the Women's March in Kuala Lumpur today was used to defend LGBT rights, calling it an abuse of democracy. 
"I was very shocked by the actions of some quarters today who abused democratic space to defend something that is wrong by Islam.
"As I have said before, the government is firm that LGBT practices will never be accepted in this country. It is impossible for us to acknowledge something illegal," Mujahid said in a Facebook post today.