The activist group ACT UP was fined the equivalent of $854 by the Court of Appeals in France. Their crime? Hanging posters calling anti-queer group La Manif Pour Tous (The Strike For All) homophobes. If anything, you’d think a homophobic group would embrace that label. That and more in your monthly look at uggggggh from around the world!
- The UN Human Rights Council’s historic vote to create an independent expert to monitor human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is under threat. Only a month following Vitit Muntarbhorn’s appointment, the African Group has tabled a motion to defer the appointment by one year—until the next General Assembly—to provide more time to consider the legality of such an expert position.
- Many objected to the motion. Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, co-founder of Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice, argued that Muntarbhorn’s home country Thailand has a “legal and moral duty” to support the expert. Noting that Thailand is a global south nation and shares many concerns with Africa, he said the country should reach out to African states to “share our experiences, challenges, and concerns on the protection of LGBTI”.
- Calling South Africa’s participation in the motion a “betrayal of its anti-apartheid history, its constitution, and its own actions on the international stage supportive of LGBT rights”, the Geneva Director of ARC International, Arvind Narrain, offered an in-depth rebuttal of the motion.
- Globally LGBT people have significantly higher rates of drug abuse than their heterosexual peers. Indian health workers warned of the increasing use of ‘poppers’ among gay and bisexual men. The inhalant has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection.
- The Human Rights Watch published an in-depth report on the impact of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014 on the LGBT community. The report documents widespread abuses, mob violence, torture, and arbitrary arrest “legitimized” without fear of legal consequence.
- In Germany, many public wi-fi providers block LGBT-related websites automatically in an effort to censor pornography. Though the blocks can be individually removed by businesses that own the internet hotspots, Jörg Steinert, director of LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany) noted that the issue is indicative of a larger issue: “We are not treated as equals, even in comparison to more religious countries.”
- In Morocco, two teenage girls charged with homosexuality will face the court after a photograph of them kissing on a roof was sent to a family member who turned the girls into the police. Under article 489 of the penal code, they could face a sentence of six months to three years in prison.
- France’s Court of Appeal fined activist group ACT UP €800—ruling that the group was guilty of defamation for hanging posters labeling the anti-LGBT group La Manif Pour Tous “homophobes”.
- A new report from Stonewall and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group found that LGBT asylum seekers residing in UK refugee detention centers are isolated and routinely face abuse and discrimination.
- In South Africa, LGBTI asylum seekers report they face employment discrimination and xenophobia, but the biggest challenge is violence and harassment from fellow refugees who oppose their lifestyle.
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 ACT UP Sud-Oeust/Twitter)