Monday, 20 February 2023
Welcome to the 12th 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. Sri Lankan government supports decriminalising homosexuality|
On 9 February 2023, the Sri Lankan government openly expressed support for a new bill that seeks to remove article 365 of the penal code, which dates back to the colonial era. The existing article ciminalises any sexual activity deemed "against the order of nature."
Our view: This announcement follows the recent decriminalisation of same-sex acts in the neighbouring nation of Singapore, adding to the growing list of countries in South Asia which are adopting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies.
However, the Sri Lankan government has also announced it does not support same-sex marriage, highlighting that road ahead for LGBTQ+ equality in the island nation is likely to be a long one.
|2. Compulsory surgery for trans folks rejected by Hong Kong court|
On 6 February 2023, the top court in Hong Kong ruled that it was unconstitutional to mandate that for trans folks to legally change their gender on their ID card were required to have full gender affirmation surgery.
The court said the policy breached the rights of gender identity and physical integrity and imposed an “unacceptably harsh burden” on transgender folks.
Our View: According to a study conducted in 2021 by the Sexualities Research Program, approximately 50% of transgender individuals in Hong Kong have experienced discrimination in their daily lives.
With this landmark ruling, the court has upheld trans rights, paving the path for LGBTQ+ equality. However, this ruling pertains to two trans men only, depicting the need for universal protective legislation for trans folks in the city-state.
|3. Paraíba grants rights to change gender and pronouns on legal documents|
The state of Paraíba in North-eastern Brazil recently granted the right for trans and non-binary folks to remove their gender on official documentation, as well as alter their pronouns and name. They have also announced the removal of monetary barriers to pursuing these changes in order to increase accessibility.
Our View: Following in the footsteps of seven other Brazilian provinces, Paraíba has taken a huge step forward in LGBTQ+ rights by easing the process for trans and non-binary folks to be legally recognised.
While 17 states still prohibit such changes, this change reflects a ripple spreading across the Latin American nation.
|4. Czech International footballer comes out as gay|
Our View: The public coming ‘out’ of any high-profile sportsperson is important as it (re)sparks the conversation around LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports. This courageous act by Jankto will give many young LGBTQ+ footballers and fans a sense of identity affirmation and help improve their confidence.
To read more about how role models positively affect the LGBTQ+ community, read LGBT Great’s latest research report, 'Seeing is Believing', here.
|5. UK government says it would block Wales gender recognition reform|
A spokesperson for the UK government’s equality office has said it would not permit the Wales gender recognition reform to pass. The reform aims to make it easier for trans folks to get a gender recognition certificate (GRC). A GRC allows trans people to update their birth certificate, get married or form a civil partnership in their affirmed gender, update their marriage or civil partnership certificate, and have their affirmed gender on their death certificate.
Our View: This follows the issuance of Section 35 by the UK government, which blocked a similar gender recognition reform in Scotland. With recent legislative reforms in Spain and Finland which champion trans rights, it is high time that the UK government follows suit.
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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.