For years, homosexuality was outlawed in the United Kingdom — World War II hero Alan Turing himself ran afoul of the law, and killed himself. People are trying to do the right thing, but “The Turing Law”, as it is known, which would pardon all those convicted, living or dead, of homosexuality was shot down. We have that and more in our look at discrimination and queerphobia around the world.
- US National Security Advisor Susan Rice announced that the Obama administration has enacted a new rule that bans organizations working with USAID from discriminating against LGBT people. Meanwhile, President Obama is prepared to veto the $600 billion defense spending bill if it includes an anti-LGBT “religious freedom” provision that would effectively void the nondiscrimination orders he has put in place.
- The Philippines House of Representatives began hearings on the Anti-Discrimination Bill on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Bill. Several cities have already passed local ordinances to protect gender and sexual minorities.
- US LGBT activists and leaders have split over what national nondiscrimination legislation should look like. Some are calling for compromise with conservative politicians by supporting bills that cover employment and housing but do not protect LGBT people in public spaces such as restaurants, shops, and bathrooms.
- Germany’s Justice Ministry announced €30 million in reparations will be budgeted to pay men convicted of homosexuality. Meanwhile, the UK Parliament failed to pass The Turing Law—a bill to automatically pardon living and dead gay and bisexual men convicted of homosexuality. They are considering a new bill that will allow men to request a pardon.
- Amsterdam police have identified the group behind leaflets calling for Muslims, Christians, and Jews to “unite” to exterminate gay people. Distributed across the western districts, at least 75 homeowners registered complaints with authorities.
- From Mexico, lawyer José Manuel Ruiz argues that ‘outrageous remarks’ on gender from organizations such as the National Front for the Family reinforce the stigma and violence the trans community faces. He urged the community to take a stand to stop the recent rash of murders of trans women.
- A South African lesbian couple were gang raped in their home by intruders who told the women they wanted to “teach them that they are women“.
- Police in Cameroon raided a bar popular with the gay community and arrested everyone inside, though officials say occupants were not targeted for their sexuality but for “public disturbance”.
- LGBT people in Afghanistan spoke to journalists about living in hiding, in fear of rejection and violence.
- Taiwanese LGBT activists mourned the recent passing of well-known local professor Jacques Picoux who committed suicide after losing his partner of 35 years to cancer. Without legal recognition of their relationship, Picoux was unable to be involved in his partner’s healthcare.
- The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) released results from their Global Attitudes Survey on LGBTI People that collected responses from over 96,000 individuals in 65 countries, including 16 countries with laws criminalizing homosexuality. Among their conclusions, they found that attitudes toward LGBT people are changing and that first-hand experience with the community can have a destigmatising effect.
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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.