Thursday, 27 October 2022
Welcome to the latest issue of the LGBT Great News Digest, a short briefing on the 5 LGBT+ news stories you need to know about right now.
Sadly, the last two weeks have seen a number of devasting attacks on LGBT+ people and communities around the world. We are fully committed to keeping you informed, and raising awareness of these important issues. Our hearts go out to all the families and people impacted.
We will be talking about these issues, and more, next week in Washington DC and New York. You can also see our upcoming events in November and December below.
As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments and feedback.
The LGBT Great Team
|5 LGBT+ News Stories from Around the World|
|1. Mexico City approves same-sex marriage with overwhelming majority|
On 11 October 2022, Mexico City, the most populous state of the nation, approved same-sex marriage with fifty of the seventy-five lawmakers in the unicameral congress voting in favour of the legalisation. This marks the 30th state in Mexico where same-sex marriage has been legalised, with only 2 states left where there are no such laws.
Our View: This new approval in Mexico City is yet another inspirational example of LGBT+ equality in LATAM, following the implementation of same-sex marriage legislation in Cuba and Brazil’s recent appointment of trans candidates to Congress. The ripple effect can already be seen across Mexico, with the state of Tabasco subsequently legalising same-sex marriage on October 19 2022, merely 8 days after Mexico City. The states of Tamaulipas and Guerrero remain the only two states in Mexico to not have yet legalised same-sex marriage, although we anticipate seeing a positive update in both cases in the coming months.
|2. Two killed and one injured in LGBT+ hate crime in Slovakia|
On 13 October 2022, two people at a gay bar in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava were shot dead. A third person was wounded in the attack. The shooter was later found dead on 14 October 2022. He had posted anti-LGBT+ and antisemitic messages on Twitter before the attack and cited other anti-LGBT+ hate crimes as inspiration for his actions.
Our View: This terrorist attack in Slovakia is a testament to the steady rise of anti-LGBT+ extremism across Europe.
On 19 October 2022, Slovakia subsequently voted against bringing in additional cohabitation rights for LGBT+ people, a clear portrayal of the government’s regressive stance regarding the rights and protections for LGBT+ people, even in the wake of such a deadly incident.
|3. Republicans seek to introduce national “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the US|
Over 30 House Republicans have sponsored a bill that seeks to establish a federal version of the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill for children under 10. The bill prohibits the use of federal funding for anything described as “sexually-oriented”, which includes “any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related topics.”
Under the bill, parents would be able to sue educational institutions and teachers if they believe their child has been “exposed” to such materials.
Our View: In the latest example of some Republican lawmakers in the US attempting to censor LGBT+ voices, this bill could have extremely far-reaching implications for the LGBT+ community across the US. In particular, it threatens teachers, counsellors and other educators with legal and disciplinary action should they discuss any aspect of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Fortunately, the passing of the bill seems highly improbable due to Democrats having functional majority in each chamber of congress.
|4. Transphobic hate crime reaches record high in the UK, a new report finds|
An official government document published on 6 October 2022, reported the number of anti-trans offences increasing by 56% in England & Wales with overall hate crimes reaching a record high of 155,841. There was a total of 4,355 transphobic incidents recorded in a 12-month interval from March 2021-March 2022.
Our View: Hate crimes in England & Wales saw the largest annual rise since 2017, with a 26% increase. This is reflective of a global uptick in anti-LGBT+ violence but does not come as a surprise to those that have been following with a heavy heart the numerous stories of anti-LGBT+ motivated hate crime and speech over the past couple of years.
Indeed, 2021 was described by Forbes the “deadliest year on record” for trans people around the world. We still await the final figures for 2022; however, no one is holding their breath for a positive outcome.
|5. 22-year old gay medical student killed in Afghanistan|
In August 2022, a 22-year-old gay medical student named Hamed Sabouri was stopped at a check point in Kabul by Taliban’s gunmen, after which he was abducted and tortured for three days before being shot, as reported by Hamed’s family and his partner. The Taliban sent a video of the execution to the family followed by constant death threats, which led them to flee the country.
Our View: The Taliban’s penal code treats homosexuality as a crime and the LGBT+ community has been heavily impacted by this. 60 interviews of LGBT+ individuals conducted by HRW and OutRight Action International in January 2022 showcased the grim reality for LGBT+ people living in Afghanistan.
The interviews reference sexual and physical abuses. Due the lack of a strong culture of the freedom of press, we can safely yet sadly assume that this is just one of the numerous attacks on LGBT+ Afghans that has made its way to the public eye. There are likely to be an even higher number that do not
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