LGBTQ

Billions will Vote this Year – LGBTIQ+ People Must not be Excluded

This year has been called the ‘super election’ year, with 3.7 billion people potentially going to the polls. This historic political moment is also an opportunity to reflect on what these billions of voter experiences will look like. Who will vote, who can run for office and who might be excluded from the political process?

Civil Society Scores LGBTQI+ Rights Victory in Dominica

On 22 April, Dominica’s High Court struck down two sections of the country’s Sexual Offences Act that criminalised consensual same-sex relations, finding them unconstitutional. This made Dominica the sixth country in the Commonwealth Caribbean – and the fourth in the Eastern Caribbean – to decriminalise same-sex relations through the courts, and the first in 2024.

Transgender Health Rights Boosted by Hospitals’ ‘Separate Room’ Policy

Transgender people and civil society organizations have welcomed the decision of the chief minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, to allocate separate rooms in hospitals for the transgender community so they can avail themselves of uninterrupted healthcare. “We demand that all provinces follow suit and announce facilities for more than 500,000 transgender people in the country,” Farzana Shah, president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Transgender Association, told IPS.

IPCI 2024: Oslo Conference Focuses on Parliamentary Power over Reproductive Rights

Gearing up for the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the world’s parliamentarians and ministers are meeting in Oslo to determine the course of action needed to promote sexual and reproductive human rights (SRHR).

Gender Rights: Resistance Against Regression

Global progress on gender rights has slowed almost to a halt. After decades of steady progress, demands for the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people now play out on bitterly contested territory. Over the course of several decades, global movements for rights won profound changes in consciences, customs and institutions. They elevated over half of humanity, excluded for centuries, to the status of holders of rights.

Greece: Another First for LGBTQI+ Rights

After almost two decades of civil society campaigning, Greece’s parliament has passed a law enabling same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. It’s the first majority-Orthodox Christian country to realise marriage equality.

Is Anti-Woke a Grass-Root Movement?

“Woke” was for a century, especially among black people in the US, an inspirational concept. However, almost overnight it turned into a pejorative. Like using the term “politically correct” as an insult, calling someone “woke” came to imply that the referred person’s views are excessively ridiculous, or even despicable. Being “anti-woke” has become an indication that you do not belong to an assumed group of “do-gooders”, who at the expense of right-minded “ordinary” citizens assert the demands of interest groups, which declare themselves to be discriminated against due to their ethnicity/race, gender, sexual preference, and/or physical or psychological disabilities.

Serbia’s Suspicious Election

Serbia’s December 2023 elections saw the ruling party retain power – but amid a great deal of controversy. Civil society has cried foul about irregularities in the parliamentary election, but particularly the municipal election in the capital, Belgrade. In recent times Belgrade has been a hotbed of anti-government protests. That’s one of the reasons it’s suspicious that the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) came first in the city election.

Fear as Russian Anti-LGBT Law Comes into Effect

“This is what you get after ten years of state propaganda and brainwashing,” says Anatolii*. The Moscow-based LGBT rights activist’s ire is directed at a recent ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court declaring the “international LGBT movement” an extremist organization.

Latvia: A Vital First Step Towards Marriage Equality

Last month the Saeima, Latvia’s parliament, passed a package of eight laws recognising same-sex civil unions and associated rights. The new legislation came in response to a 2020 Constitutional Court ruling that established that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to the benefits and legal protections afforded to married opposite-sex couples.

Mauritius Begins to Correct a Historic Wrong Towards LGBTQI+ People

In response to lawsuits brought by LGBTQI+ activists, the Mauritius Supreme Court has issued two landmark judgments striking down the criminalisation of consensual sex between adult men as unconstitutional. Its reasoning turned upside down the argument used by anti-rights forces to attack LGBTQI+ activists in many African countries: it acknowledged that criminalisation is the foreign import rather than gay sex, and a relic of colonialism it’s high time to shake off.

Maldives Election: What Now for Civil Society?

Ahead of the presidential election, Solih faced accusations of irregularities in his party’s primary vote, in which he defeated former president Mohamed Nasheed. The Electoral Commission was accused of making it harder for rival parties to stand, including the Democrats, a breakaway party Naheed formed after the primary vote. The ruling party also appeared to be instrumentalising public media and state resources in its favour. Solih’s political alliances with conservative religious parties were in the spotlight, including with the Adhaalath Party, which has taken an increasingly intolerant stance on women’s and LGBTQI+ rights.

Press Freedom and LGBTQ+ Rights: Benchmarks of Democracy Decline in Southeast Asia

Three notable events have boosted the democratic process in Southeast Asia in recent decades. The fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, the Reformasi that shifted Indonesian politics in the late 1990s, and Aung San Suu Kyi's victory over the military junta in Myanmar. However, today Marcos' son is president of the Philippines, Indonesian presidential candidates want to centralize power again, and Myanmar is embroiled in an armed conflict. What is going on in the region, and what does this mean for democracy?

Nepal’s Same-Sex Marriage Breakthrough

Nepal is the latest country to join the global wave of marriage equality. On 28 June, its Supreme Court ruled that the government must immediately offer temporary registration of same-sex marriages, pending a change in the law. Around 200 couples reportedly sought to register as soon as the court judgment was made.

Vulnerable Women Suffer the Worst Face of Discrimination in Argentina

Remi Cáceres experienced gender-based violence firsthand. She struggled, got out and today helps other women in Argentina to find an escape valve. But because she is in a wheelchair and is a foreign national, she says the process was even more painful and arduous: "Being a migrant with a disability, it's two or three times harder. You have to empower yourself and it's very difficult."

Central America Fails to Acknowledge or Legislate in Favor of LGBTI Community

There is still a long way to go before the LGBTI population in Central America stops being discriminated against and begins to make progress in gaining recognition of their full rights, including the possibility of changing their name to match their gender identity, in the case of trans people.

Hopes for Renewal Dashed in Turkey

Turkey’s election hasn’t produced the change many thought was on the cards. Now women’s groups, LGBTQI+ people and independent journalists are among those fearing the worse. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has led the country for two decades, first as prime minister and then as president, prevailed in the 28 May runoff poll, taking around 52.2 per cent of the vote, with his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, on 47.8 per cent.

No Parent Should Ever Be in the Position We Find Ourselves, Say Mothers of LGBTQ+ People in Uganda

The mothers of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda have taken a stand against Bill passed by the Ugandan Parliament proposing the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality, life imprisonment for the "offense of homosexuality," and up to 20 years in jail for promoting homosexuality.

International Human Rights Law As a Tool To Stop Rising Homophobia in Africa

Imagine your government enacted a law where you and all people of your race or economic status were imprisoned for extended periods, with some facing the death penalty, simply for existing. In Uganda, sexual and gender minorities are facing this possibility should President Yoweri Museveni sign into law a recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation.

The LGBTIQ+ Community Still Oppressed in Venezuela

The vulnerability and struggles of the LGBTIQ+ community in Venezuela were once again highlighted when the Supreme Court finally annulled the military code statute that punished, with one to three years in prison, members of the military who committed " acts against nature.”

Civil Society a Vital Force for Change Against the Odds

Brave protests against women’s second-class status in Iran; the mass defence of economic rights in the face of a unilateral presidential decision in France; huge mobilisations to resist government plans to weaken the courts in Israel: all these have shown the willingness of people to take public action to stand up for human rights.

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