Sometimes laws stay on the books even when they’re rarely-if-ever enforced and need to be cleaned out. Canada’s Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould is behind one of those cleanings — he announced the Criminal Code of Canada will be updated to decriminalize consensual anal sex. That and more in our look at political news around the globe!
- In the US election, several openly LGBT candidates won or kept their positions, including Oregon’s new governor Kate Brown, the first openly bisexual person elected to govern.
- Scottish politicians crossed party lines to form the LBGTI+ Cross Party Group (CPG) to address issues “largely absent from the mainstream agenda” as well as health, education, equality, bullying, geriatrics, and transgender issues.
- Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that MP Randy Boissonnault has been named Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues. Boissonnault will advise the Prime Minister on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and two-spirited people (LGBTQ2) issues and serve as liaison with LGBTQ2 organizations.
- Also in Canada, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced that the government will update the Criminal Code to decriminalize anal sex for all people over the age of consent.
- The South African Cabinet published a draft of the “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill”. Following recent attacks on lesbians, activists say the bill should include specific protection against “corrective rape” assaults.
- The Ugandan Constitutional Court struck down section 15(6)(d) of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act which would have prevented some citizens from being protected. 15(6)(d) stated that the Commission could not investigate any “immoral and socially harmful” behavior considered “unacceptable by the majority”, thus potentially preventing LGBT people from the right to a fair hearing.
- A Singapore district judge fined a man S$3,500 for posting an “alarming” comment on Facebook in which he stated he would like “permission to open fire“ and “see these £@€$^*s die “. Because he posted on an article about the LGBT Pink Dot festival, his defense argued that his comments were made to support authorities who have curbed foreign aid to Pink Dot.
- Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced that all “foreign entities” must now apply for permits before supporting, promoting, or funding events held in the country. The official statement follows ministry warnings to corporate sponsors of the annual LGBT Pink Dot celebration, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Barclays, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BP, and Twitter.
- The Government of Queensland Australia passed an amendment to give gay couples and single people the ability to adopt children.
- The Netherlands’ Minister for Migration expanded the country’s list of “safe countries of origin” to include Algeria, Georgia, Ukraine, and Tunisia. LGBT asylum seekers from Tunisia and Algeria will be able to petition the court to stay in the Netherlands.
- According to the Washington Post, US suicide hotlines received a record number of calls from people frightened over election results, especially from LGBTQ and sexual assault survivors.
- Author Sasha Polakow-Suransky discussed the rise of right-wing political parties across Europe that appeal to “fear, nostalgia, and resentment of elites” and the complicated relationship of the far right to the LGBT community.
- Canadian lawyers in Montreal and Quebec have filed separate class-action lawsuits on behalf of former government employees and military personnel who were removed from service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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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.