Thursday, 15 September 2022
Welcome to the latest issue of the LGBT Great News Digest, a short brief on the 5 LGBT+ news stories you need to know about right now.
We welcome any thoughts, comments or feedback.
The LGBT Great Team
|5 LGBT+ News Stories from Around the World|
|1. Matrimony.com launches LGBT+ inclusive matchmaking app in India|
The Indian matchmaking and dating app Matrimony.com has launched a new application
, expanding its coverage to explicitly include LGBT+ people for the first time. Despite a lack of information on the number of LGBT+ people in India, the addressable market for Matrimony.com’s app is estimated to be more than 11 million. The app includes 45 gender identities, 122 orientation tags and 48 pronouns, making it the most expansive LGBT+ inclusive matchmaking offering in India. To ensure safety, users must upload official ID information.
Our View: India's ban on same-sex sexual activity was lifted in 2018. This new offering from Matrimony.com offers an enhanced inclusive experience for the LGBT+ population in India and speaks to the positive strides India is making. Although same-sex marriage is still not legalised, this app certainly has the potential to bring more LGBT+ people together. Some concerns still exist around potential misuse to target LGBT+ folks, but it would appear Matrimony.com has taken proactive steps to add additional layers of protection here, which is certainly reassuring.
|2. Two women sentenced in Iran to death for ties to the LGBT community|
On 1 September 2022, for the first time, two women were sentenced to death in the Iranian province of Urmia in West Azerbaijan because of their ties to the LGBT+ community on social media. According to a Kurdish human rights group, Zahra Sedlghi-Hamadani, and Elham Choubdar were found guilty of “corruption on Earth” and “promoting homosexuality.” The sentence comes shortly after Iranian President Ebrahmi Raisi doubled down on his condemnation of homosexuality and increased crackdowns on women’s rights.
Our View: Iran remains one of 11 countries globally in which the death penalty is imposed or at least remains a possibility for private, consensual same-sex sexual activity. Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Yemen still implement the death penalty. This story is another concerning backwards development in the persecution of LGBT+ people globally.
|3. Trans patients sue Florida over Medicaid ban|
Our View: The barriers to accessing gender-affirming healthcare for trans and gender-diverse people are manifold. They extend through transphobia and discrimination through multi-year wait times for consultations and to insurance battles and excessive costs. These new policies in the US represent unnecessary and actively harmful steps in closing off gender-affirming healthcare from those that need it. The data unequivocally shows us that access to gender-affirming healthcare directly correlates with improved mental health and reduced self-harm and suicide risks. Suppose trans and gender-diverse people no longer have recourse to rely on insurance to cover their healthcare needs. In that case, employers need to ensure that critical protections and additional resources are made available to those affected.
|4. New UK Prime Minister appointed raising concerns over the future of LGBT+ protections|
The UK has appointed a new Prime Minister in Liz Truss. Truss, who beat out Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership election, has a mixed history of supporting the LGBT+ community. Whilst she supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage, her rhetoric throughout the leadership campaign centred on a “war on woke” and “dehumanising identity politics”. She was vocal in her disregard for trans women and has subsequently appointed one of the most ostensibly anti-LGBT+ cabinets in recent memory.
Our View: Time will tell whether Truss will stick to her leadership election staunch anti-LGBT+ position. During Truss’ tenure as the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, she scrapped planned reforms to the GRA. Many in the LGBT+ community had vocally and clearly outlined that the original provisions in the GRA were insufficient, and revisions were needed. That being said, Truss voted in favour of same-sex marriage, so there may be a disconnect between her political and personal opinions. However, one thing that is clear is that her recent appointments suggest her Premiership will be characterised by anti-LGBT+ policy and actions.
|5. EU Advisor says LGBT+ workplace protections extend to freelancers|
An advisor to the European Court of Justice said that discriminating against gay and lesbian freelance workers is illegal under EU law. The statements came following a case in the District Court in Warsaw where a Polish man filed a suit against his former employer after his contract was terminated shortly after posting a pro-gay marriage video on social media. Under Polish law, employees can be fired for being LGBT+. Although non-binding opinions provided by advisors of this kind – Advocate Generals – are not legally binding, courts typically follow them in the majority of cases.
Our View: There is no place for workplace discrimination, and freelancers should be afforded the same inclusive protections as permanent staff. Ensuring that your organisation is consistent and equal in the governance, rights and protections afforded to all members of staff – freelance, graduate, part-time – is critical but also sends a powerful message of inclusion to current staff and potential talent.
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