For the first time in their history, the South American country of Uruguay has provided asylum for a gay Russian man! The country hasn’t extended protections based on sexual identity before, but this sets a great precedent for LGBTQ people in queerphobic countries! All that and more in our monthly collection of good news from around the globe!
Last month the Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favor of a resolution to appoint an independent expert to monitor human rights violations against LGBTI people. Dr. Henning Melber broke down the ‘heated debate’ that lead up to the vote, exposing the challenges still faced by advocates for LGBTI equality. The call for applications for the position has been posted on OHCHR.
For the first time Latin America hosted an international LGBTI human rights conference. Held in Uruguay, participants from governments, multilateral institutions, and rights organizations explored how to incorporate the rights of LGBTI people in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and launched the international Equal Rights Coalition for LGBTI people.
Meanwhile, in Japan the conservative Liberal Democratic Party has included ‘promoting understanding of sexual diversity’ in its political platform.
The National Assembly of France voted in favor of an amendment allowing adults and ’emancipated minors’ to legally change genders without undergoing surgery or sterilization. Meanwhile Bolivia’s newly approved gender identity law—passed by Congress in May—has been met with resistance, especially by the church.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that trans people will no longer be banned from openly serving in the military as their identifying gender.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled against Hungary for detaining LGBT asylum seekers in facilities in which they are unsafe and that ‘reproduce the plight that forced these persons to flee in the first place.’
The Williams Institute has used empirical data to explore how international development and human rights advocates might address the needs of sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.
Human Rights Watch released a new report on forced anal exams perpetrated on men and trans women to ‘prove’ homosexual conduct. Although experts, including the UN special rapporteur on torture, have called the exams ‘medically worthless’ amounting to ‘torture’ and the International Forensic Expert Group has described the exams as ‘a form of sexual assault and rape,’ the practice continues in at least 8 countries.
Thailand’s Department of Corrections announced a new pilot program to separate LGBT inmates from the general populace for ‘their own safety.’ At least 4,448 prisoners classified as LGBT will be moved to facilities at the Min Buri Prison of Bangkok.
A new survey from Canada found that a majority of Canadians expect there to be a gay prime minister within the next ten years. Using US survey data, researchers found that the number of self-identifying transgender adults in the nation has doubled in the last 10 years.
From South Africa sex worker and trans activist Leigh Davids shared her experience participating in the International AIDS Conference. From Nepal intersex activist Esan Regmi spoke to UNAIDS about his experiences growing up and participating in the first national meeting on intersex issues.
Japanese nonprofits Iwate Rainbow Network and Kochi Help Desk have published a bilingual guidebook for gender and sexual minorities caught in natural disasters, pulling from the needs identified during recent earthquakes and tsunamis.
The Netherlands has attempted to improve the situation for vulnerable asylum seekers with trained staff and private wings for women and LGBT persons at some centers. Meanwhile Uruguay reportedly granted asylum to a gay Russian man—the first time the country has extended asylum based on a person’s sexual orientation.
For the first time in Canada, a sitting prime minister joined Toronto’s annual Pride parade with PM Justin Trudeau marching alongside gay HIV positive Syrian refugee Bassel Mcleash. While ‘tens of thousands’ marched in Toronto, organizers of the first pride event in Steinbach, Manitoba—a small religious town in southern Canada—were surprised when an estimated 3,000 people arrived, forcing police to clear extra roads for the march.
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 Montecruz Foto/Flickr)