Monday, 3 April 2023
Welcome to the latest issue of the LGBT Great News Digest, a short briefing on the 5 LGBTQ+ news stories you need to know about today.
In addition to the news stories below, please see a quick overview of our forthcoming programmes for Q2:
Apply for the LGBT Great Mentoring Program. Mentoring is an effective way to support, empower and encourage underrepresented talent. Participation in LGBT Great’s industry-focused LGBT+ mentoring programme is a quantifiable way of increasing organisational commitment to the community and enriching learning.
The LGBT Great Team
|5 LGBTQ+ News Stories from Around the World|
|1. Uganda passes anti-LGBTQ+ bill|
On 21 March 2023, the Ugandan parliament passed an anti-LGBTQ+ bill which includes a ban on “promoting” and “abetting homosexuality” as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality. Crimes under the tag of “serial homosexuality” are punishable by death, and identification as LGBTQ+ can result in up to 20 years in prison.
Our view: This bill represents an unprecedented setback in LGBTQ+ rights by criminalising the mere act of identifying as LGBTQ+, the first of its kind in the world, as reported by Human Rights Watch, leaving the Ugandan LGBTQ+ community in a place of extreme vulnerability. Google, Microsoft and other corporate giants have denounced the egregious law and added that it would hurt the Ugandan economy.
|2. Kenyan parliament passes bill to ban LGBTQ+ content|
Kenya's parliament has passed a bill for the government to introduce a national ban on the “public discussion, reporting and distribution” of any LGBTQ+ content. There are concerns from some legislators that this bill will violate the Kenyan constitution, which protects freedom of expression and information.
Our View: The Kenyan parliament's actions represent an overt attack on free speech for LGBTQ+ people and stand to have a real-world impact on media outlets, businesses, and educational institutions alike.
This move contributes to an increasingly alarming anti-LGBTQ+ movement occurring across East Africa. Indeed, Ugandan President Yoweri is due to sign into law a bill that explicitly bans people from identifying as LGBTQ+ or intersex.
|3. The US State of New Mexico expands LGBTQ+ protections|
On 24 March 2023, Michelle Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico signed the House Bill 207 into law, which expands protections for LGBTQ+ identities under the Human Rights Act which was enacted in 1969 in New Mexico. Grisham also signed House Bill 31 that removes the requirement of name changes to be published in newspapers.
Our View: New Mexico is also in the final stages of approving the state-wide Healthcare Freedom Act, under which discrimination on the basis of gender identity would be explicitly banned and the right to gender-affirming care and abortions explicitly included.
In the current US climate, where 435 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in the first quarter of 2023 alone, New Mexico serves as a leading example of positive legislative transformation.
|4. World Athletics Council excludes trans women from female events|
On 23 March 2023, Sebastian Coe, the President of the World Athletics Council, announced that transgender athletes, who have experienced "male puberty", would not be allowed to compete in female world ranking competitions, effective 31 March 2023. A working group to conduct research into transgender eligibility guidelines will also be set.
Our View: Transphobia is ubiquitous in sports, with a 2019 Outsport survey reporting that over half of the trans community felt excluded from certain sports.
With this ban, the World Athletics Council has furthered an exclusionary and discriminatory stance against trans athletes in a time where the community faces rollbacks in legal protections around the globe.
|5. New SNP Leader promises legal challenge against Section 35|
On 27 March 2023, Humza Yousaf became the Scottish National Party’s new leader. After being elected, he announced, “[m]y first principle, my starting principle, is to challenge that Section 35 order.” Section 35 gives the Secretary of State for Scotland the power, in certain circumstances, to veto legislation enacted by the Scottish Parliament. The Westminster Parliament used Section 35 of the Scotland Act to block the Gender Recognition Reform earlier in 2023.
Our View: Humza Yousaf’s campaign for SNP leadership was full of promises to protect and enhance LGBTQ+ rights. It is encouraging to see that he wants to legally challenge Section 35 and fight for trans and non-binary equality in Scotland.
Applications for new Corporate Members are opening again. If you would like to find out more about the membership options with LGBT Great, get in touch today via this short form.
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.