18 May 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on on LGBTI rights


Canada to apologise to LGBT people forced out of military and public service
By The Guardian, 18 May 2017

Canada’s government has said it will formally apologise to the thousands of Canadians who suffered injustices during a decades-long campaign to root out homosexuality from the military and public service, bringing it in line with a longstanding demand by advocates. The apology is expected to take place in early autumn. Public consultations are under way – led by the MP Randy Boissonnault, the prime minister’s special adviser on LGBT issues – in an attempt to capture a full picture of the wrongs inflicted by the federal government during a period of some three decades. The plans come months after the announcement of a C$600m class action lawsuit by former public servants and military members who were forced out of their jobs because of their sexuality. In a statement, Boissonnault said the government would acknowledge the role of its legislation, programs and policies in the discrimination and injustices faced by LGBT Canadians. “We are committed to apologise in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017,” he said. The government is also considering whether the apology will include pardons or some sort of financial compensation.


Uganda bans Dutch film The Dinner Club for 'glorifying homosexuality' and 'smoking especially by women'
By The Independent, 18 May 2017

Uganda's media council has banned a film because it "glorifies homosexuality", the Dutch embassy has said. Made in the Netherlands The Dinner Club also contains "steamy sex scenes"; "lurid language"; and "smoking especially by women", according to officials in the landlocked African nation, where gay sex is illegal. "While glorifying homosexuality two women say marriage (presumably to men) is hard work! This is against Ugandan values," the council added in its rejection letter. It claimed the dinner club formed by the women in the film "is in reality a sort of brothel". The council also objected to one man in the film calling another a "hot chick". They have banned it from being screened in the country as a result. Released in 2010, the film was due to be screened at the European Film Festival in Uganda. The Dutch embassy, which posted the list of objections on Facebook, said it "deplores" the decision to ban the film and would withdraw from participating in the festival.


Indonesia's Aceh: Two gay men sentenced to 85 lashes
By BBC, 17 May 2017

A Sharia court in Indonesia's Aceh province has sentenced two men to be caned in public for having gay sex. The men were found guilty of violating strict Islamic laws in conservative Aceh and will receive 85 lashes each. The pair, aged 20 and 23, were found in bed together by vigilantes in March. They have not been identified. Gay sex is not illegal in the rest of Muslim-majority Indonesia and this is its first such conviction. Aceh is the only province where Sharia is in force. The sentence is due to be carried out next week. While the judges did not give the maximum punishment of 100 lashes, the sentence is heavier than the 80 lashes asked for by the prosecution. Aceh has become increasingly conservative in recent years. Strict laws against homosexuality were passed in 2014 and came into effect the following year. Judge Khairil Jamal told the court that the men had been "proven legally and convincingly guilty of committing gay sex", according to the AFP news agency. When the sentence was being read out, the two men covered their faces with their shirt and hands. Local officials claim that Sharia law is in line with Aceh's long Islamic tradition. Munawar, an official in charge of overseeing the implementation of the law, says "people want to implement comprehensive Islamic teachings including the enacting of its criminal code". He also says the Qanun Jinayat - as the Islamic criminal law enacted in Aceh in 2015 is known locally - is an effective deterrent. The law covers the consumption, production and distribution of alcohol; gambling; adultery; extra-marital sex and homosexual acts. Punishments include caning and imprisonment, but not stoning. Rights activists tried last year to repeal some provisions in the Qanun Jinayat, arguing that it was against human rights and Indonesia's national criminal code - but that was rejected by the Supreme Court.


ISIS Twitter Accounts Hacked With Gay Porn
By The Advocate, 17 May 2017

The hackers known as Anonymous once again took control of the Twitter accounts of the terrorist group ISIS, adding rainbow flags, Pride images, and hard-core depictions of gay sex. The takeover includes images of "bears, leather daddies, muscle jocks, twinks — the works," according to Maxim.  An Anonymous member told the men's magazine that ISIS was targeted and trolled with gay porn because of the terrorist organization's staunch opposition to homosexuality, which has resulted in the deaths of dozens of gay and bisexual men, with some thrown from buildings and others publicly hangws or beaten to death. Hacker "WachulaGhost" said the group also targeted ISIS as retribution for last year's nightclub attack in Orlando, where Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens after pledging allegiance to ISIS. "I did it for the lives lost in Orlando," the hacker said.