The 5 LGBT+ news stories you need to know about

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Issue #8
Thursday, 8 December 2022 

Dear Subscriber,

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. 


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The LGBT Great Team
5 LGBT+ News Stories from Around the World
1. Trans woman wins workplace harrassment case in Japan
1. Trans woman wins workplace harrassment case in Japan
The Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan has awarded a trans woman compensation in a landmark workplace harassment case. The court acknowledged that her depression was caused by her supervisor’s repeated refusal to refer to her using the right pronouns.
Our view: This award represents a step forward for trans protections in Japan. However, Japan still has a long way to go in this area. Indeed, Japanese only allows trans folk to legally change their gender upon appeal to a family court, undertaking invasive surgical sterilization, and following an in-depth psychiatric evaluation.

Whilst this ruling in Kanagawa does not fix the root issue of outdated and anti-trans laws, it suggests that some space has been unlocked to begin the conversation.
2. Russian law banning "LGBT propaganda" passed
2. Russian law banning LGBT propaganda passed
On 24 November 2022, the Russian parliament passed the final reading of a law which bans "LGBT propaganda" among all adults. The bill criminalises the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations" with individual fines up to £5,400 and organisational fines up to £68,500. "Foreigners" can also face up to 15 days’ arrest and expulsion from the country.
Our View: The crackdown on LGBT+ expression has now moved from sentiment to law, placing Russian LGBT+ folks in a serious and highly vulnerable position.

Even for organisations, the fines for “propagandising non-traditional sexual relations” are massive, impacting an organisations’ ability to create genuinely safe spaces for their LGBT+ employees. This will be particularly hard to navigate for small organisations that would not have the funds available to cover those fines.
3. US Senate passes bipartisan bill protecting same-sex marriage
3. US Senate passes bipartisan bill protecting same-sex marriage
On 29 November 2022, the US Senate voted 61 to 36 to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill intended to enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law. The bill also "repeals and replaces" all federal language which defines marriage as between individuals of the opposite sex.
Our View: This bill comes at a time of unprecedented social unrest in the USA, following the overturning of the federal right to abortion earlier in 2022.

With the highest number of anti-LGBT+ bills introduced in US state legislatures in a single year, in addition to the sheer number of horrific anti-LGBT+ hate crimes, the Respect for Marriage Act is a very welcome addition to LGBT+ protections in the USA, cementing LGBT+ marriage as a non-negotiable in the U.S. legislature.
4. HIV groups slam hate speech at Malaysian Ministry of Health's World Aids Day event
4. HIV groups slam hate speech at Malaysian Ministry of Health's World Aids Day event
On 1 December 2022, The Malaysian AIDS Council and Malaysian AIDS Foundation heavily criticised the comments of Professor Madya Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd Kashim at the Ministry of Health’s World AIDS Day event as she described being LGBT+ as a “mental disorder” and that it was the “root cause” of HIV.
Our View: Misinformation surrounding HIV/AIDS is a real problem and occurs far too often. These comments not only propagate misinformation but seek to castigate the LGBT+ community. When a person in a position of authority – like a professor – disseminates misinformation in this way, real people stand to suffer.

This also serves as a reminder of the continued relevance and importance of World AIDS Day and other HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.
5. Singapore passes two new laws impacting LGBT+ people
5. Singapore passes two new laws impacting LGBT+ people
On 29 November 2022, the parliament of Singapore passed two laws. The first one officially decriminalises gay sex via the repeal of law 377A; the second, however, reaffirms the traditional definition of marriage between two opposite sexes by amending the constitution to prevent court challenges in the future.
Our View: While the decriminalisation of gay sex is a vital advancement in LGBT+ rights in the city-state, the parliament of Singapore has also clearly conveyed that same-sex marriage will never be a normative equivalent of traditional opposite-sex marriage.

The repeal of 377A was an initial step forward, but the second bill has brought Singapore two steps back, highlighting the level of marriage inequality the Singaporean LGBT+ community will continue to face for the foreseeable future.
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The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by LGBT Great and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the newsletter or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the newsletter for any purpose. All the quotations in the news are presented as originally published. LGBT Great does not necessarily share the views of the quoted authors and is not responsible for the accuracy of the information or quality of the analysis provided by them. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.


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