The gay panic defense — where a straight person is apparently so scared that a queer person made a pass at them that they attack or kill them — is heinous and idiotic. Luckily, around the world, it’s beginning to fall by the wayside — California banned it in 2014, and now it looks like Queensland, Australia is working to strike that bogus defense from the books. But that’s just one happy item in our monthly round up of good news from around the world!
The Global Fund released a new Community Guide to the Global Fund’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities Strategy that highlights the Fund’s strategic actions to address the impact of HIV on sexual minorities. And the World Bank hosted an event to explore the economic impact of discrimination against LGBTI people.
Portugal’s Parliament voted to extend access to fertility treatments to all women—previously the treatment was restricted to heterosexual couples.
The Central Pacific island nation Nauru and the Republic of Seychelles— the 115-island country off the coast of East Africa—both updated their criminal codes to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity.
Australian Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews made a formal apology during parliamentary session to those convicted of homosexuality—decriminalized in 1981—and will introduce legal reforms to expunge criminal convictions. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the government will expunge the records of the more than 50,000 men convicted of homosexual acts—decriminalized in 1969—and will offer compensation to those convicted.
The UK announced it has earmarked 9% of its human rights budget to aid LGBTI people around the world.
In the UK, Hannah Blythyn was elected to the Welsh Assembly, the first openly gay official to office. And in the Philippines, Geraldine Roman was elected to Congress, the first openly trans person elected to office.
The Australian state Queensland has drafted an amendment to strike the ‘Homosexual Advance Defence’ —or ‘gay panic defence’ through which one claims temporary insanity caused by a homosexual sexual advance—from the criminal code.
Protesting the United Methodist Church policy that bans LGBT people from serving in the church, over 100 clergy released a statement ‘coming out’ as LGBT and over 5,000 signed a petition calling for reforms.
Daughter of president Raúl Castro, MP Mariela Castro led Cuba’s largest ever Pride event marching through Havana. In Brazil hundreds of thousands marched in possibly the world’s largest Pride parade ever. And in South Africa around 500 people marched through Langa, Cape Town for ‘Khumbulani Pride’—khumbulani meaning ‘remember’ in Xhosa—to honor LGBTI people who have lost their lives to violence.
Unicorn Booty brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org.
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.
(Featured image via Allstarecho/Wikimedia Commons)