Will Brexit Hurt The Queer Community? Politics

Will Brexit Hurt The Queer Community?

Written by Matt Keeley on October 04, 2017
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When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, the UK’s economy crashed. Unfortunately, by leaving the EU, the UK could cause a massive step backwards for LGBTQ rights around the world. That and more in our monthly look at bad news from around the world.

  • Marking the ‘International Day for Victims of Torture,’ UN human rights experts called specific attention to the needs of LGBTI people who are “deprived of their liberty, be it in prison, in healthcare facilities or in immigration detention” and are routinely subjected to torture and ill-treatment. 

  • Jamaica’s attorney general started a social media storm when she tweeted out that a rainbow flag flown outside the US embassy was “disrespectful of Jamaica’s laws.” The incident drew attention to the region’s ongoing criminalization of homosexuality. 

  • Moldova’s Parliament is considering an anti-LGBT propaganda bill. Human Rights Watch urged the government to reject the bill and remarked that “rhetoric about ‘protecting children’ around this ill-conceived bill, cynically misuses children’s rights to perpetuate the falsehood that to be gay or lesbian is to be a danger to children.”

  • As the UK public voted to leave the European Union, activists around the world worried that there will be a significant step backwards in LGBT rights. The first test could prove to be Ukraine where the government has struggled to meet the LGBT rights requirements to become an EU member. 

  • The High Court of Kenya ruled that the use of anal examinations to determine sexuality is legal and there is “no violation of human dignity, right to privacy and right to freedom of the petitioners.” The UN special rapporteur on torture previously called the practice “medically worthless and amounts to torture or ill-treatment.”

  • India’s Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought forward by several gay celebrities against the law criminalizing homosexuality. Though the law has been petitioned against in the past, the case marked the first time people directly harmed by the law have challenged its validity. 

  • The Caribbean Court of Justice dismissed a case raised by activist Maurice Tomlinson against Belize and Trinidad and Tobago for laws that prohibit gay people from entering the countries. The Court did note that gay CARICOM nationals must be granted entry equal to other CARICOM nationals, however both Belize and Trinidad and Tobago were able to show that their laws were only prohibitive towards sex workers and non CARICOM nationals. 

  • In China a father was arrested for repeated attempts to murder his child born with intersex characteristics.
  • And from Canada, Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders spoke on the police raids of gay bathhouses in 1981 that saw over 300 men arrested— 87% of cases were thrown out in court—and led to mass protests. Saunders issued an official apology for the treatment of the gay community.

  • From Greece reports revealed more migrant men and asylum seekers are turning to sex work to survive. 

  • And the nephew of Gambian President Yahya Jammah, Alagie Jammeh was granted asylum in the US after his family demanded he revoke his public support for the LGBT community. 


Equal Eyes, UNAIDS, logo, news, rainbow, LGBT, LGBTQIAA, LGBTQ, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgenderUnicorn 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 Ed Everett/Flickr)

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