Showing posts with label LGBT Discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBT Discrimination. Show all posts

April 29, 2020

Violence Breaks Out Against Gays In Morocco After Stolen Photos Hit The Net

      Same-sex relations can be punished with up to three years in prison in Morocco
Gay men are being harassed and abused in Morocco after photos taken from gay chat apps were circulated online.
Photos spread after a social media influencer told her followers to make fake accounts on apps to see how common homosexuality is.
Homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim country, which is in lockdown because of coronavirus.
The restrictions mean many men are unable to leave their homes where families abuse them, activists say.
One man, a student who returned from France during the lockdown, killed himself after being identified as gay, Moroccan media report.
Three LGBT organisations who support gay men in Morocco have told BBC News that men are being harassed and are at risk in the country after the photos spread.
Samir el Mouti runs a Facebook group called The Moroccan LGBT Community, which gives advice and support to LGBT people, many of whom conceal their sexuality.
The number of men reporting abuse and asking for help has increased since the online campaign began, says Mr Mouti, who left Morocco to study for a PhD in the UK.
One man contacted the Facebook group to say he feels like "a dead man".
"I'm in great trouble. Everyone knows now that I'm homosexual, and my neighbour sexually harassed me, so I decided to flee," he told the group.
"I have nowhere to go - especially during lockdown." 
The outings began when transgender model and influencer Sofia Taloni used an Instagram Live to encourage women in Morocco to set up fake accounts on gay chat apps.
In doing so, she said they would discover how many men use the platforms, including potentially "their husbands and brothers".
She said her aim was to call out hypocrisy in Moroccan society by showing people how many men are secretly gay in the country.
Many men use apps including Grindr as a way to connect in private, because LGBT organisations or meeting places are illegal in Morocco.
Now activists are encouraging men to close their accounts to protect themselves.
However, photos of men quickly started circulating on other social media platforms, resulting in their abuse and harassment. 
Ms Taloni herself had received the support of the Moroccan LGBT Community Facebook group in recent months, the group says. 
The LGBT community in Morocco routinely faces discrimination and violence, but this campaign coincides with lockdown and the holy month of Ramadan.
"It's a double-edged sword. You might be in lockdown with homophobic family, and with Ramadan, people are very concerned about morality, and things might get heated," Mr Mouti explains.
"A lot of people become a watchdog for so-called wrongdoings and they are outing people, calling on them to repent," Mr Mouti explains.
NGOs Nassawiyat and Kif Kif are also supporting men who have been outed.
If men feel forced out of their homes because of intimidation, they have nowhere to stay because hotels are closed and special permission is required to travel between cities, the organisations told BBC News.
Those who have not managed to leave their homes are in "severe situations" with their families, Nassawiyat explained.

 Credit...Fadel S/Agence France-Presse — NYTimes,Getty Images
   Nassawiyat reported Ms Taloni's Instagram Live to Grindr and Facebook.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has suspended Ms Taloni's account. The company told Reuters it was "taking proactive steps to find and remove other content like this".
But victims of abuse and harassment can expect no support from the police or government, activists say.
"The law is not on their side - that makes the situation dangerous because people cannot report crimes to the police and ask for protection," says Mr Mouti.
Human Rights Watch is calling on the Moroccan government to enforce the right to privacy and decriminalise same-sex relations.
"The Moroccan authorities should immediately step in to protect LGBT people's privacy and repeal anti-LGBT laws that can only fuel this homophobic behaviour," it said in a statement on Monday.
"What we've seen is just the tip of the iceberg - many people are suffering in silence," Mr Mouti says.

January 2, 2020

Cornell Analysis Finds Discrimination Impacts The Health of LGBTQ

Eromin Center executive director Anthony Silvestre, left, and clinical director Mary Cochran are pictured in the center’s office in Philadelphia in 1981.

In a review of thousands of peer-reviewed studies, the What We Know Project, an initiative of Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality, has found a strong link between anti-LGBT discrimination and harms to the health and well-being of LGBT people.

The results of the analysis, the largest-known literature review on the topic, indicate that 286 out of 300 studies, or 95%, found a link between anti-LGBT discrimination and LGBT health harms.

“The research we reviewed makes it crystal clear that discrimination has far-ranging effects on LGBT health,” said Nathaniel Frank, director of the What We Know Project, an online research portal that aggregates existing peer-reviewed LGBT research. “And those consequences are compounded for especially vulnerable populations such as people of color, youth and adolescents, and transgender Americans.”

The research team screened more than 11,000 titles and read more than 1,300 peer-reviewed studies in order to identify those that addressed the question, “What does the scholarly research say about the effects of discrimination on the health of LGBT people?” Among the key findings identified by the report:

Anti-LGBT discrimination increases the risks of poor mental and physical health for LGBT people, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, PTSD, substance use and cardiovascular disease.
Discrimination is linked to health harms even for those who are not directly exposed to it because the presence of discrimination, stigma, and prejudice creates a hostile social climate that taxes individuals’ coping resources and contributes to minority stress.

Minority stress – including internalized stigma, low self-esteem, expectations of rejection and fear of discrimination – helps explain the health disparities seen in LGBT populations.

Discrimination on the basis of intersecting identities such as gender, race or socioeconomic status can exacerbate the harms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Protective factors against the harms of discrimination include community and family support; access to affirming health care and social services; and the establishment of positive social climates, inclusive practices, and anti-discrimination policies.

The report is relevant to debates currently unfolding nationally about whether to ban discrimination or, alternatively, allow a “license to discriminate” through religious exemptions from discrimination law, Frank said. The data also offer guidance on what policies and practices can help mitigate the consequences of anti-LGBT discrimination, prejudice, and stigma, he said.

“Sometimes research really humanizes a policy debate, and this is one of those times,” said Kellan Baker of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-lead of the study. “Whatever you think of what the law should say about anti-LGBT discrimination, this research makes indisputable that it inflicts great harm on the LGBT population, and gives policymakers and individuals tools to reduce those harms.”

Focusing on public policy debates around inequality, the What We Know Project connects scholarship, public policy, and new media technology.

“The goal is to bring together in one place scholarly evidence that informs LGBT debates, so that policymakers, journalists, researchers, and the public can make truly informed decisions about what policies best serve the public interest,” Frank said. “We don’t call ‘balls and strikes’ in our analysis, but simply describe what conclusions the studies reach so visitors may evaluate the research themselves.”

The full research analysis and methodology can be viewed on the project website.

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