Why we’re covering this: LGBTQ world politics can be discouraging, but there’s lots of good news happening too — we try to celebrate our victories and praise our supporters while supporting inclusive, queer politics and culture abroad.
UNAIDS and OHCHR facilitated a historic dialogue between the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on ending human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A comprehensive report has now been released sharing outcomes of the dialogue and resources for stakeholders.
In the US, states are divided over LGBT equality with politicians from 12 states introducing discriminatory legislation. In response, governors and city councils across 6 states have banned non-essential travel by state employees to those states with the most extreme anti-LGBT laws. In his op-ed, author Jay Michaelson says the public reaction to these anti-gay laws reflect a positive shift in understanding of LGBT people.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon put forward a ‘five pledge plan’ to reduce LGBTI discrimination, including a focus on policing hate crimes, homophobia in education, and reformed gender recognition laws.
The City Council of Botswana’s capital Gaborone passed a motion calling on the government to repeal Section 164 of the Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality and to provide ‘stigma and discrimination free HIV/AIDS services to gay groups.’
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan is interviewing Japanese companies—including the local Goldman Sachs branch, IBM Japan, and Panasonic—on their LGBT policies for employees. The interviews will help guide the LDP committee drafting proposals on LGBT issues.
- The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) officially condemned conversion therapy or ‘so-called treatments of homosexuality.’ The American Psychological Association (APA) released a new report on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity that found significantly worse health outcomes for the community.
Out of the US a new study published in Science finds that a 10 minute in-person conversation can reduce negative feelings about transgender people.
In Kosovo activists have begun the country’s first public database to document violence and discrimination faced by the LGBT community with the goal of improving evidence-based advocacy.
Malaysian trans activist Nisha Ayub became the first trans woman to win the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award. And the seventh annual International Day of Trans Visibility was celebrated on 31 March, with the theme ‘More Than Visibility’ and calling for ‘direct action against transphobia around the world.’
In the US many businesses joined the protest against anti-LGBT legislation. In the state of Georgia, opposition from Disney and Marvel studios helped defeat HB757. In North Carolina backlash continues against HB2, including Deutsche Bank and PayPal cancelling multi-million dollar expansions in the area. Local businesses have joined the protest, including NC craft beer brewers developing “Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison” with 100% of profits supporting EqualityNC and a summer camp for LGBTQ kids.
After a ten year hiatus, organizers in the Cook Islands revived a popular trans and drag queen pageant as part of a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.
Global non-profit humanitarian group Planting Peace planted Pride flags around Antarctica in a symbolic effort to declare it the ‘World’s First LGBT-Friendly Continent’ And finally, check out this video from Belgium of gay parents discussing the decision to adopt.
The Mexican Soccer Federation launched ‘Embrace by Soccer’—a campaign to end homophobic chants at games. Earlier this year, FIFA fined Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Uruguay for ‘insulting and discriminatory’ chants by fans. Openly gay olympic diver Greg Louganis will feature on Wheaties cereal box 32 years after winning the first of his 4 gold medals.
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 Diana Beato)