10 ‘Around the World’ Stories: South African Hate Crimes, Hep A in Europe, Hungarian Homophobia

10 ‘Around the World’ Stories: South African Hate Crimes, Hep A in Europe, Hungarian Homophobia

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In this monthly look at news briefs from around the world — courtesy of Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS — we take a look at the Hepatitis A outbreak in Europe, check in with a Hungarian Town that’s doubling down on its blatant homophobia and delve into how South Africa’s not investigating hate crimes.

1. Hepatitis A Outbreak in Europe

Hepatitis (Photo: Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social)

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control warns that a Hepatitis A outbreak has spread across 13 European Union countries. The majority of cases were reported among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. 

2. Funding Cuts for LGBTQ Programs Around the World

Courtesy: Friday/Monday

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has deleted questions on LGBT people from federal surveys meant to assess services for disabled people and programming for older Americans. It also canceled data collection on homeless LGBT youth. 

UK charity Terrence Higgins Trust launched Friday/Monday, a new digital resource for gay and bisexual men that provides extensive information on drugs, alcohol, sex and general wellness and offers free online counseling services. The launch comes as many traditional LGBTQ support groups have had funding slashed under the British government’s austerity program. 

Australia’s federal government cut funding to decades-long Indigenous sexual health programs due to “limited evidence” of impact found following a desktop review. The organizations argue that the Indigenous community, especially marginalized LGBTQI, will be less likely to seek care from other sources. 

3. Iceland is the First Country in the World to Have Equal Pay

With legislation introduced to the national parliament, Iceland will become the first country to require all public and private employers to provide equal pay to workers regardless of gender, sexuality or ethnicity. 

4. Hungary Is Homophobia’s Next Stop

In Hungary, mayor László Toroczkai wants his small town of Ásotthalom to be a refuge for Christians who don’t want to live in a “multicultural society.” He has enacted local regulations banning “gay propaganda.”

5. Muslim Organization Stands Against Bathroom Bills

The U.S.-based Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), a mosque of over 5,000 families, banned the group “Just Want Privacy” from collecting signatures for a campaign opposing transgender rights. The group confirmed that they are targeting mosques for their campaign, believing Muslims share their ideas about gender.

MAPS isn’t the only one fighting transphobia. In response to so-called “bathroom laws,” U.S. review website and app Yelp has added a feature to search for businesses with gender-neutral bathrooms. 

6. South Africa Isn’t Investigating Hate Crimes, While in Fiji People Are Afraid to Report Them

From South Africa, Professor Frans Viljoen and Raymond Leteswalo wrote about the lack of police investigation into the murder of gay university student Bobby Motlanta. They note that despite creating a National Task Team to address hate crimes, the Department of Justice has “largely failed in effectively investigating these crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

In Fiji, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission urged the community to report hate crimes after a couple of gay men were attacked. The men declined to report the incident out of fear of reprisals. 

7. Most Young People Don’t Identify as Exclusively Straight

Echoing previous studies, support group Ditch the Label published a survey of UK and US 13-to-26-year-olds that found a majority of young people do not identify as exclusively heterosexual. Additionally, 34% do not identify with any of the traditional labels of straight, bisexual, lesbian or gay.

8. It’s Not Just About Marriage Equality

Australian activist Dennis Altman urged those who support LGBTQ+ rights to look beyond the country’s debate on marriage equality, warning that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers continue to face violence in detention centers on Manus Island and Nauru. 

9. Limit(less) Looks at LGBTQ African Immigrants

Photo: Mikael Owunna

Photographer Mikael Owunna’s project Limit(less) documents LGBT African immigrants living in the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden. In Canada, the Men’s Health Initiative expanded its “Man-Up Against Suicide” program to include queer men with a new photo exhibit aimed to generate conversation about the need for LGBT–specific suicide prevention.

10. Hawaii Wants Queer Tourists

From the United States, the Hawaii Tourism Authority commissioned studies to determine how best to attract LGBT tourists from the mainland U.S., Canada, China and Australia. ITB Berlin 2017, the world’s largest tourism fair, announced it will host a series of exhibitors focusing on LGBT services and information on how to expand the LGBT market.

(Featured image via GroupUp.org)


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This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.

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