Monday, 06 February 2023
Welcome to the 11th issue of the LGBT Great News Digest, a short briefing on the 5 LGBTQ+ news stories you need to know about right now. Firstly, here is a quick update for you:
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|5 LGBTQ+ News Stories from Around the World|
|1. New gender recognition law passed in Finland|
On 30 January 2023, the Finnish parliament passed a new gender recognition law which removes the requirement for trans folks to be sterilised and obtain a psychiatric assessment to get legal gender recognition. The law passed by 113 votes to 69 and grants legal recognition for adults upon a written application, followed by a 30-day ‘period of reflection’.
Our view: The passing of this legislation is a major step toward protecting trans lives and the community’s right to self-determination.
With Spain and Scotland also having recently introduced similar laws recognising trans people, the ripple effect for trans equality seems to be spreading. We hope to see more nations join the journey and transform this ripple into a wave.
|2. India’s government objects to openly gay judge candidate|
On 18 January 2023, the Supreme Court of India released a detailed statement highlighting the government’s opposition to appointing Saurabh Kirpal, a queer candidate for the Indian high court judgeship. The opposition reportedly stems from Kirpal's openness about his sexual orientation and Kirpal’s long-term relationship with another man.
Our View: India legalised homosexuality in 2018 by decriminalising law 377A. However, the response to Kirpal's candidacy serves as a reminder of the systemic discrimination that persists against the Indian LGBTQ+ community.
|3. Utah becomes first state in 2023 to ban lifesaving healthcare for trans kids|
On 28 January 2023, Utah became the first American state in 2023 to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth. The SB 16 legislation bars minors from receiving gender-affirming surgeries and places an indefinite moratorium on access to hormone therapy and puberty blockers without a gender dysphoria diagnosis.
Our View: A peer-reviewed study from 2022 concluded that gender-affirming medical interventions have been associated with a lower incidence of depression and thoughts of self-harm.
This legislation in Utah is a clear step backwards for trans equality and is expected to adversely impact the well-being of Utah’s trans community adversely.
|4. European Court of Human Rights rules against Lithuanian anti-LGBTQ+ law|
On 23 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Lithuanian law violated the European Convention of Human Rights. The law banned any content that "expresses contempt for family values', encourages the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than stipulated in the Constitution of the republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the republic of Lithuania."
Our View: The ruling comes after children's book author Neringa Dangvydė Macatė, filed a lawsuit against the legislation. Under the legislation, her book about a same-sex family was censored.
The ECHR’s decision conveys the public body’s stance against anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda and puts the Lithuanian LGBTQ+ community at ease.
|5. Scottish Rugby Union bans trans women from contact rugby|
On 24 January 2023, The Scottish Rugby Union announced that trans women cannot take part in the women’s contact rugby starting 1 February 2023. Previously, trans women could participate, subject to the results of a medical assessment, which included hormone level tests.
Our View: Research conducted by Outsports in 2019 found that over half of trans people feel excluded from certain sports or have stopped playing because of discrimination.
This decision from the Scottish Rugby Union comes at a time when trans folks' participation in sports is increasingly subject to scrutiny.
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