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

August 23, 2018

A Time in China- A Time For Change



by Jo Dee |
China Gay力: A Time for Change



Like many foreigners who have been in China for a few years, I have become acutely aware of the cycles, the coming and going of different people and the subsequent changes in the community. It is around this time, with the start of the new school year, that this transition happens. This year, I was hit hard by a feeling of sadness, having yet again a new wave of people leave the city. 

Over the past few weeks, however, I’ve met many newbies, hungry to discover all that this grand city has to offer. Meeting these people has led to some wonderful experiences, their hunger and my inability to say no has led to us organizing queer bar crawls, dancing in rainbow Morphsuits just because we feel like it, ‘queer takeovers’ of spaces, and of course, parading down the streets of Beijing in the Rainbow Ride, a hot-pink and rainbow-covered sanlunche. 


     


These experiences in the past weeks with the Rainbow Ride, with 10 people crammed on and a couple more pushing, the laughter and the stories told on it, has reminded me about all the times this has happened before, albeit with a different set of bodies. It has been with me from the very beginning of my queer life here, has experienced the cycles and the changes in the community over the past few years. It has witnessed the nurturing of a community and just how magical and life-changing this can be. There is no denying that there is something beautiful and consistent that exists here in our international queer community. No matter where we come from, there is something special here that will touch and change us.

Adapting to a new place is hard, but for those of you who are new, be not afraid to step out of your comfort zone and seek out the queer community. It is vibrant and welcoming, and you will become a part of this magic in no time at all.

So it is with anticipation that I look forward to meeting the new faces of our community, and wonder what adventures are in store for us next. 

Aug 22-26: 14 Years of Destination
To celebrate their 14th anniversary, Destination puts on a variety of special events throughout the week and into the weekend. Wednesday is their weekly drag show, Thursday from 8 pm is a free musical sing-along of The Sound of Music, whereas Friday and Saturday is their party night featuring the regular go-go boys and queens. The weekend will climax with a foam and city slides paradise party in their outdoor courtyard (1-7pm, see poster above). Multiple dates, times, and prices. Destination and DesLink



Aug 25: THVNDR Presents False Witness
False Witness is an audio-visual identity designed by sound artist and producer Marco Gomez, who explores electronic music through a queer lens. Resident DJ of New York City’s GHE20G0TH1K club night since 2014, he is also one of the original founding members of the queer art collective #KUNQ. DJs Joy Ginger, Luxixi, and DJ青 provide support. RMB 80. 10pm. Dada


  
Drag Night @ Des Link
Destination’s focus on fashioning itself as an inclusive destination for the entire LGBTQ+ community shows best during its Wednesday night fiestas. Dress to be, be to impress, and don't miss the Queens of Beijing's spectacular free show from 11pm onwards. Free. 8pm. Des Link 

The Closet
Alternatively, Nali Patio's La Social continues its growing gay-friendly night The Closet on Thursdays (pictured at top), featuring some of the most ludicrously-named cocktails that have ever been, case in point: Urethra Franklin and Cum Burglar. Best yet, if you're willing to put beef aside, you can get half-price on any drink by kissing your enemy before 10pm (or your BFF, but where's the fun in that?). With those games, things are bound to get rowdy. Free. 8pm. La Social

Especially for the ladies
Huoli Ladies Bar
Tucked away under the Sanlitun Soho complex, Huoli is an intimate ladies bar with special ‘singles activities’ on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays designed for, ahem, getting to know each other better. Great for a first date if you, like me, believe that furry handcuffs, naughty drinking games and a rickety staircase leading to a cozy cushion balcony are perfect conversation starters. Intimate and fun, it’s a good place to meet new people. There is a minimum order, and the menu is a little confusing given that it contains a large array of different combination sets of beers, weak cocktails, shots, and snacks. Free. Daily 7pm-3am. Huoli Ladies Bar


          


AMO Club
The biggest club for ladies, the Beijing branch is quite literally an underground club you could just about live in. Open from 8pm onwards every night, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, with live DJs and T&P performances. For special events, they have performances with opportunities to get involved with the games on stage and win prizes. Some drinks can be bought on their own, but most prefer some of their combos of beers or hard liquor with snacks. Here, ice cream in vodka could be a thing. For more information, follow their WeChat account. Free. Daily 8pm-5am. AMO Club

Watch this space for more queer events that roll in in the future. If you have an event or venue you would like featured, get in touch at listings@thebeijinger.com.

Images: Jo Dee, courtesy of the organizers

June 16, 2018

The Canadian Supreme Court Rules LGBT Rights Trump Religious Rights

                                                                                Me quiero ir al Canada.             


Featured Image

OTTAWA,  (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that LGBT sexual equality rights trump religious rights in an unprecedented blow against religious freedom in Canada.
In a pair of 7-2 rulings (here and here), the court ruled that it was "proportionate and reasonable" for the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario to refuse accreditation to future Trinity Western University students because the proposed Christian law school’s "community covenant" would discriminate against LGBTQ people.
"In our respectful view, the [law societies] decision not to accredit Trinity Western University's proposed law school represents a proportionate balance between the limitation on the Charter right at issue and the statutory objectives the [law societies] sought to pursue," the ruling stated.
The ruling means that future grads from Trinity Western University's law school will not be able to practice law in Ontario and B.C.
TWU, a private Christian college associated with the Evangelical Free Church, requires students to sign a commitment to refrain from any sexual activity “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
A majority of five judges, Rosalie Abella, Michael Moldaver, Andromache Karakatsanis, Richard Wagner and Clement Gascon ruled the law societies’ decisions were reasonable. 
Then-Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe agreed but for different reasons, set out in separate opinions. 
“Freedom of religion protects the rights of religious adherents to hold and express beliefs through both individual and communal practices. Where a religious practice impacts others, however, this can be taken into account at the balancing stage. In this case, the effect of the mandatory Covenant is to restrict the conduct of others,” McLachlin wrote in her opinion on the appeal by the Law Society of British Columbia.
“The LSBC’s decision prevents the risk of significant harm to LGBTQ people who feel they have no choice but to attend TWU’s proposed law school. These individuals would have to deny who they are for three years to receive a legal education. Being required by someone else’s religious beliefs to behave contrary to one’s sexual identity is degrading and disrespectful.”
Justices Brown and Côté dissented, writing that the majority “betrays the promise of our Constitution that rights limitations must be demonstrably justified.”
"Under the LSBC’s governing statute, the only proper purpose of a law faculty approval decision is to ensure the fitness of individual graduates to become members of the legal profession. The LSBC’s decision denying approval to TWU’s proposed law school has a profound impact on the s. 2 (a) rights of the TWU community,” they wrote.
“Even if the LSBC’s statutory ‘public interest’ mandate were to be interpreted such that it had the authority to take considerations other than fitness into account, approving the proposed law school is not contrary to the public interest objectives of maintaining equal access and diversity in the legal profession. Nor does it condone discrimination against LGBTQ persons. In our view, then, the only decision reflecting a proportionate balancing between Charter rights and the LSBC’s statutory objectives would be to approve TWU’s proposed law school.”
Observers predicted the top court’s highly anticipated Trinity Western University decision would have far-reaching implications for faith-based institutions and their participation in society.
The seven justices who concurred in the majority decision are: McLachlin, Richard Wagner, Rosalie Abella, Michael Moldaver, Andromache Karakatsanis, Clement Gascon, and Malcolm Rowe.
The Supreme Court heard two appeals, one brought by TWU and the other by the Law Society of British Columbia, as well as arguments from a staggering 32 interveners, represented by 56 lawyers, last November 30 and December 1.
Then-Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin made an unprecedented decision in August to allow all 26 LGBTQ interveners, overruling a previous decision by Justice Richard Wagner to pare the number down to fit a traditional one-day hearing.
Underscoring the political nature of the case, McLachlin did so after LGBTQ activists took to Twitter to complain. The Court subsequently took the rare step of issuing a press release explaining the decision.
Friday’s rulings end a legal odyssey that began when TWU applied in 2012 to open a law school, but was preemptively challenged by the law societies in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.
They refused to grant accreditation to TWU graduates on the grounds that the Covenant violated Charter equality provisions by discriminating against homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered persons, as well as those with a different sexual moral code.
In the case of BC, the decision was based on a binding referendum the law society held in 2014 after members demanded it rescind a decision to accept TWU graduates.
TWU fought the ruling in all provinces, arguing the Charter protects its freedom of religion.
It won in Nova Scotia and B.C., but lost in Ontario, when Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in June 2016 TWU’s covenant “is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community.”
Both TWU and B.C.’s law society appealed to the top court.
Interveners in the case included Ontario’s Liberal government, which compared Trinity’s covenant to treating LGBTQ persons as Ontario treated Jews 200 years ago by banning non-Christians from the legal profession.
Other groups intervening against TWU included West Coast LEAF; Start Proud; Egale Canada Human Rights Trust; British Columbia Humanist Association; Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans People of the University of Toronto; and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Among groups intervening for TWU were the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Association for Reformed Political Action, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, and the National Coalition of Catholic Trustees Association.
TWU fought and won a similar legal battle in 2001, when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the B.C. College of Teachers could not deny accreditation to TWU education graduates because of the community covenant.
Lianne LaurenceFollow Lianne

April 21, 2018

Gay Gooners and Supporters’ Helping Change LGBT Attitudes in the UK




Joe White

Football was an escape for Joe White until he stopped feeling welcome at matches. But the campaigning group Pride In Football has helped change attitudes, transforming his experience of the beautiful game

As the UEFA Champions League nears its conclusion, we are celebrating “what football has done for me”, how the beautiful game has broken down barriers and changed people’s and communities’ lives for the better. Here is Joe White’s story...
“When I started realising I was gay and started closing myself off to a lot of the social situations in life, football was an opportunity to have an escape. Whether it was watching Final Score, live football on the TV or going to Shrewsbury Town, it was always a release.
Joe White Pride in Football
Changing attitudes: Pride in Football campaigns on issues of inclusivity for LGBT fans
“I'm an Arsenal fan since birth, I don’t think I’d have been allowed to be a fan of any other team. We’re an Arsenal family but I grew up near Shrewsbury Town, so I’ve a soft spot for them. I used to go to Shrewsbury with my dad – it was one of the few times we had proper father-son bonding.
“I remember not feeling welcome at football and I stopped going. When I came out at 15 years old the response wasn’t fully supportive from friends – and they were the ones I went to football with.
“I’m the head of campaigns for Pride In Football (PIF) and on the committee of Gay Gooners, the Arsenal LGBT supporters’ group. Pride In Football is the umbrella LGBT organisation for fans’ groups across the UK. PIF campaigns on issues of inclusivity for LGBT fans so we have meetings with the Football Association, FIFA, UEFA, clubs that want to start a fan group, the Premier League and the Football League. It’s about ensuring football is a place where LGBT fans feel welcome.
Joe White and Arsenal fans
Red and white army: Joe and fellow Gooners before the 2017 FA Cup semi-final
“Arsenal’s media department is brilliant. As an official supporters’ group we were picked for VIP treatment at the Everton game. After the game we went pitchside and had a picture with Shkodran Mustafi. It was a game Rihanna was at so there were all these gay football fans in their element!
“For a lot of LGBT fans, when we start realising our sexuality we have an internal process of thinking and worrying about everything, so many will go away from the game because we fear we’ll not be welcomed. There is that stigma that, “you’re gay, so you can’t like football”. You can’t be camp and like football – it’s almost, “how dare you!”.
Joe White
Fighting fear: Joe wants to make football more welcoming and inclusive
“You look at the women’s game. There are so many brilliant role models just being openly LGBT and it’s wonderful. The men’s game could learn a lot.
“My first game was when I was eight or nine. I went with my dad, my friend from primary school and his dad, who was the most quiet, polite man... until you took him to football and it was Jekyll and Hyde. It was hilarious, I just remember my dad being absolutely shocked. He was the local postman, quiet but when you got him to Shrewsbury Town he’d be loud, swearing. I thought it was brilliant!
Pride in football at Arsenal
Spreading the word: Joe and fellow Pride in Football campaigners at The Emirates Stadium
“When I came out in 2008, there were no LGBT fans’ groups. There was no visibility at all. In 2012 I met a friend of a friend in London who also happened to be a massive Gooner. He said, if you’re ever down again, I’ll try to get a ticket to Arsenal for you. So I went back to the game, and through that I met people from the Gay Gooners and then I found out about PIF.
“From the age of 16 I’ve been an LGBT campaigner. I set up Shropshire’s only LGBT youth group, I used to advise West Mercia police on LGBT issues, at university I was the LGBT rep for a year.
Joe White and friend at Pride
Growing movement: until recently there were few LGBT fans’ groups
“LGBT people have to think about things on a day-to-day basis that other people don’t. Take the Russia and Qatar World Cups – are we safe to go? Will we face abuse from other fans, or from our own fans? Will we hear homophobic chanting? All we want is for our presence to become obsolete as a social group.
“Crystal Palace ran a brilliant campaign this season called Proud and Palace. They got a wide range of fans’ groups to sign up to a pledge saying, “there are 99 reasons to hate Brighton but homophobia ain’t one”, because of their massive rivalry with them.
“Arsenal are one of the best clubs for all issues of equality and diversity. I equally must say that Spurs are very good – which is difficult for me to say!
“The approach of general fans is changing. Gay Gooners started in 2013 and in that five-year period we’ve come so far. Matt Lucas is our patron. The general football community is realising that we wouldn’t accept racism in the stands so we shouldn’t accept homophobia. We had people in Gay Gooners who stopped going in the 1980s because of homophobia but have started going again.
Greg Clarke
Understanding the issues: FA chairman Greg Clarke realises there needs to be change CREDIT: GETTY
“One person I’ll give a huge amount of credit to is [FA chairman] Greg Clarke . He says what he thinks and that can get him into trouble but he acknowledges that there needs to be a different approach to inclusivity to make sure fans feel welcome. The FA meet with us every couple of months – having that support is a huge shift in approach.
“Football has given me a lot of confidence – I’d never have thought I’d have done live TV but I went on to Sky talking about Qatar. It’s opened doors that I’d have never even considered before, it’s given me lifelong friendships. There are absolutely wonderful people who I wouldn’t have met had I not come back to the game. For me, football is only as beautiful a game as the people who watch it.
Priceless experiences with Mastercard
Mastercard is a long-standing sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club football competition in the world.
The Telegraph and Mastercard are celebrating how something priceless can start with a football for individuals, families and communities.
Does your child want to be a mascot at a UEFA Champions League match? Enter the competition at mstr.cd/UCL
Player escort spots are courtesy of Mastercard, official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League.
The Telegraph

April 11, 2018

Police Reports 800 LGBT Domestic Violence Cases in Greater Manchester Area, But....









For a Community in which so many of us lack family roots that help us in our growing up healthily in our own bodies as LGBT, the real figures are  probably much higher than what the record says. Not just in Britain but in all countries where gays do not have the fearing for their lives as their main concern.
Just because we come out early in life and our mom's said 'we love you no matter who you  are'.
Still we don't get the same support straigth kids and teenagers get. It has to show somewhere in our behaviour. Not knowing how to deal with a partner when there is dissagreement, issues of faithfulness, families and in other situations couples face. For the same reason that is why there are some many LGBT's single when it seems almost every one seems to be saying they are looking for a longterm relationship or partner, husband etc. The one of us that have been burnt once or twice or three times are so scare of a commitman even though we hate being single. Gone thru a bad realtionship is bad enough imagine if there is violence or accused of violence as a way to take advantage of the new laws, to get even at our other half who we caught cheating.

Until families (mom, dad, sisters, brothers, etc) start supporting their siblings for whom they are and not want they want them to be, making sure the suppot and love spreads out equally in the family that no one gets left out, we wont be that special group who is also known for all these bad things once we get together we each other. Why would we be violent with our own?
The violence and the anger is not just limited to our other halves or homophobes but to other gays as well. I've heard many times that no one can be as bad to a gay than another gay. The anger is in us and we, regardless of how we were raised must see the real us in the mirror. Not to be afraid of what we see but to be honest with ourselves and try to fix what we see wrong.
Nearly 800 reports of domestic violence within Greater Manchester's LGBT community were recorded by police during the last 12 months.
In April 2017 Greater Manchester Police (GMP) became the first force in the UK to specifically record such abuse, and have logged 775 cases.
Baroness Beverley Hughes, deputy mayor for policing, said GMP now has a "clearer picture" of the abuse.
GMP said officers have also received extra training on dealing with victims.
Among those to report abuse was a mother who was dragged out of her car by her partner. 
Her nose was broken and ribs fractured in the attack, police said.
The offender was arrested and pleaded guilty to common assault. 

'Breaks down barriers'

Det Supt Denise Worth said: "These figures are a positive step in supporting victims and ensuring they are signposted to the right services that are then able to provide appropriate care."
She said GMP's findings had been shared nationally, adding: "We hope this will assist other forces in adopting their own practices to help those victims."
The initiative was piloted in Manchester in 2016, when officers logged 150 incidents.
Baroness Hughes said: "This reporting code is giving us a clearer picture of abuse, helping to break down barriers and encourage people to report it. 
"Vitally, this also means that we can ensure the right services are in place to support victims of domestic abuse while continuing to work with LGBT people to raise awareness of domestic abuse and empower more people to take that first step to seek help and support."
BBC

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January 27, 2018

Americans Have Become Less Accepting of LGBT in Trump's First Year






For the first time in four years, acceptance of LGBT people in the U.S. has dropped, a "dangerous repercussion" of a year in which marginalized communities have felt targeted by political rhetoric.
Less than half of non-LGBTQ adults (49 percent) say they felt comfortable with LGBTQ people in a variety of settings, such as in the same place of worship or as a teacher at their child's school, according to the Accelerating Acceptance study. The number is down from 53 percent from last year.

The study, conducted by The Harris Poll for LGBT media advocacy group GLAAD, reveals a reversal from previous years, which showed a growing acceptance of the LGBT community.
"In the past year, there has been a swift and alarming erosion of acceptance which can only be fought by being visible and vocal," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis,, who presented the results during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The decline in acceptance comes when there has been "a significant increase in LGBTQ people reporting discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity," according to the report, which was conducted in November.

This year's results contrast sharply with those of the previous three years, which showed Americans becoming "more comfortable with LGBTQ people and more supportive of LGBTQ issues," Ellis wrote in the report.

The report also points to a number of anti-LGBTQ headlines and policies over the past year, including the Trump administration's efforts to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, confirmation of a Supreme Court justice opposed to marriage equality, and the passage of a Mississippi law allowing businesses to legally deny service to LGBTQ families.
Other findings in the report, which surveyed 2,160 adults, of whom 1,897 were classified as non-LGBTQ:
Almost one-third of respondents (30 percent) said they would be uncomfortable learning a family member is LGBTQ, compared to 27 percent last year.
About 31 percent said they would be uncomfortable having their child's teacher be LGBTQ, compared to 28 percent last year.

About 55 percent of LGBTQ people surveyed reported experiencing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, a significant jump from 44 percent last year.
"An unseen casualty of a tumultuous year has been the LGBTQ community," John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, said in a press release. "In a single year, we've seen significant declines from what had been an increasingly accepting America to one now less supportive. And this lost ground of acceptance cuts across many in American society."

The study did find one bright spot, noted Ellis. Seventy-nine percent of non-LGBTQ U.S. adults still agreed with the statement: "I support equal rights for the LGBT community."








January 26, 2018

LGBT's Have Gone Where They Haven't Been Before but Now There is Slipping on The Pole




I will like to share this article with GLAAD. It shows without a doubt how far LGBT have reached and how they are slipping in today's political environment. Lies, corruption does not seem to matter if people can feel psychology better about themselves and have $20-$30 dollars more in their paychecks which they will pay very rapidly in interest rates, higher food prices and more local tolls and local taxes.

While the past several decades have yielded remarkable progress for the LGBTQ community in the United States, acceptance of LGBTQ people is slipping, and discrimination is increasing, in the face of attacks, bias, and erasure by the Trump administration. This is the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people. 2017 has demonstrated that the path to full equality and acceptance is not guaranteed, but in the face of this erosion GLAAD will work to ensure 100% acceptance of LGBTQ people everywhere.

January 17, 2018

LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Find A Place to Call Home in Britain










The slender and feminine El Salvadorian had almost got used to incessant verbal abuse but having to share rooms with other male asylum seekers was what Sami feared for the most.

“I was scared to death,” said Sami, 20, who arrived in Britain in 2016 and was first housed in temporary accommodation in the northern cities of Manchester and Liverpool with other asylum seekers.

“It was hard to be sharing with another male whom I didn’t know and especially because I am a bit feminine. All that time it was at the back of my head, who is going to be coming into the room? You could be asleep and just get attacked.”

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical notions of male or female bodies. Up to 1.7 percent of people are born with intersex traits, according to the United Nations.

Sami, who asked to use a pseudonym, is one of the more than 3,500 people who claimed asylum in Britain based on their sexuality, gender identity or intersex status between 2015 and 2017, according to the Home Office (interior ministry).

Sami faced threats and discrimination in El Salvador, a conservative Catholic country where gay sex is not illegal but lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTi) people endure harassment and violence.

They face rocketing levels of violence from criminal gangs and members of the security forces, rights group Amnesty International said last November.

In more than 70 countries being LGBTi is not safe, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), a federation of national and local organisations dedicated to achieving equal rights LGBTi people.

Even though Britain is more tolerant, LGBTi asylum seekers still face discrimination, threats and even violent attacks, said Sebastian Rocca, chief executive of Micro Rainbow International (MRI), a charity working to eliminate discrimination and poverty among LGBTi people.

“One of the problems that LGBTi asylum seekers and refugees face is that because of their sexuality they are extremely isolated and vulnerable,” Rocca said.

Lack of safe housing is a widespread problem as they are often placed in housing with people from their own countries, or with those who are anti-gay because of their religious and cultural backgrounds.

“The majority of LGTBi asylum seekers do face some violence or abuse, whether that’s physical, sexual or psychological abuse,” Rocca told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Such abuse reawakens previous traumas. MRI’s clients have reported experiencing the same fears they felt in their home countries, Rocca said.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

MRI set up Britain’s first safe house for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers last October and has since opened a second one.

Apart from safe accommodation, residents are provided with psychological support, life-coaching and business training.

Sami moved in last autumn and, for the first time in years, feels safe and at home. 
“The fear and uncertainty living in these other places were killing me. Now I finally feel safe because I live with people who respect me,” Sami told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the cozy house on the outskirts of London.

 “I know I can wake up and just do my makeup and be able to fully express myself without having to be afraid that someone is going to attack me or that someone is going to be judging me.”
Malik, a gay man from Bangladesh, who came to Britain in 2011, agrees.
“Since I moved into the house, I‘m happy. I have found a family,” said Malik, 35, in whose home country gay sex is illegal and many people strongly disapprove.

Leading LGBT rights activists Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were hacked to death in Bangladesh in April 2016, amid a spate of violent attacks against secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists and members of religious minorities.

Malik found out for himself how entrenched anti-gay attitudes are in his country when his mother disowned him and his brothers threatened to kill him.  
“Last time I talked to my mum, she told me ‘you just humiliate me, don’t come back’. And I can’t go back because my brothers are going to kill me,” Malik said, sitting on his bed in a bright, well-furnished room in the safe house.
Malik said he used to live with heterosexual people in Britain and even though he was never physically attacked, he suffered verbal abuse, especially from other Bangladeshis.
“They don’t attack just physically but mentally attack the whole time,” he said.

REJECTED

Home Office data shows an estimated 6 percent of asylum claims made in Britain between July 2015 and March 2017 were based on sexual orientation. Around a quarter of those applications were successful.

The nationalities with the highest number of asylum claims where sexual orientation was raised were Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nigerian.

The Home Office said it “remains committed to improving the process for those claiming asylum on this basis” and that it ensures housing provide to LGBT asylum seekers is safe.

“Housing providers are contractually required to take account of any particular circumstances and vulnerability of those that they accommodate, including sexual orientation or gender identity,” a Home Office spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Campaigners say a lack of protection for LGBT asylum seekers is a widespread problem in Europe. In Germany, LGBT asylum seekers have complained about intimidating comments made during their asylum interviews. In Ireland, many face threats and from other asylum seekers in accommodation centers.

Rights groups blame the problem on a lack of basic training on LGBTQ rights for those making decisions about asylum claims and interpreters.

MRI, which supports eight asylum seekers and refugees with safe housing, says much more is needed and aims to provide safe housing for more than 150 LGBT asylum seekers by 2019.

“The need in this country is massive. There are hundreds of LGBT asylum seekers every year who need a safe place to be,” said Rocca.

Reporting by Astrid Zweynert @azweynert, Editing by Ros Russell.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org
*picture: by Keala on Natre.org.uk

December 22, 2017

Where a Gay Person Can be Themselves and Where it Can Be Hell




[Bloomberg Reports]
There’s never been a better time to be gay, except in a handful of places where it’s become worse. Gay-rights activists have made historic gains in a fraction of the time it took the movements for civil rights and women’s rights. Two generations ago, the idea that homosexuals could marry was unthinkable. Today, same-sex marriage exists in more than 20 countries. Until 1970, same-sex acts were legal in about 60 countries. Today, the number is roughly double that, leaving 79 nations where they are criminalized. On the other side of the ledger, Nigeria and Russia have raised penalties facing homosexuals in recent years, and in 2017 Russia’s Chechen Republic targeted gay men for persecution. In any case, it’s clear that change is more than passing when the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics is asked about homosexuality and responds, as Pope Francis did in 2013, “Who am I to judge?”

The Situation

Opposition to gay rights on religious grounds has dwindled in societies that have become more secular and urbanized. In Serbia, a patriarchal and conservative country, a lesbian became prime minister in 2017, and in Ireland a gay man won the same post. Also this year, Germany’s  parliament approved gay marriage, as did Australia’s, although the weddings won’t start there until early 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, bringing gay marriage to the 14 states where it was still banned. South America is shedding its machismo to emerge as a gay-friendly haven. The situation in Asia is varied. A court ruling in 2017 put Taiwan on course to become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Buddhist Vietnamand Thailand are more tolerant than super-modern Singapore, which has kept a colonial-era sodomy law. Intolerance is the norm in former Soviet satellites, and persecutionabounds in the Middle East and other places where Islam is dominant. In Chechnya, more than 100 men suspected of being gay were abducted and tortured by authorities, according to independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Where treatment is worsening, gay bashing often is a political tool. Russia’s law against gay “propaganda” is part of President Vladimir Putin’war on U.S. and western European values. Laws or proposed laws targeting homosexuals in Africa can divert attention from corruption and economic malaise. 

The Background

Throughout history, being gay has meant keeping a secret or paying a price. Even the ancient Greeks, widely thought to have embraced homosexuality, in fact accepted only pederasty — sex between a man and a male teenager. Homosexuals were massacred in the Holocaust. Until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder; it was sometimes treated using electric shocks. The 1969 police raid of a New York gay bar triggered the Stonewall Riots, which gave birth to the modern gay-rights movement. Two decades later, a backlash against urban gay males in the early days of the AIDS pandemic gave the movement a sense of urgency. The increasing numbers of homosexuals, including celebrities, who “came out of the closet,” drove a sea change in public opinion in North America, Europe and much of Latin America. Gains by gay activists paved the way for the growth of the transgender-rights movement.

The Argument

The United Nations, through its Human Rights Council, in 2014 committed to overcoming discrimination based on sexual orientation everywhere. The question is how to influence governments where negative attitudes toward homosexuality are steeped in cultural and religious beliefs. The World Bank and several countries suspended or cut aid to Ugandaafter it increased jail terms for homosexual acts in 2014. After the law was voided on a technicality, the country’s president dropped his support for it, citing potential economic consequences. Uganda may be a special case, however, because it relies on foreign aid. Some policy specialists argue that donors who condition foreign aid on protecting gay rights can come across as bullies promoting a foreign agenda. They suggest instead supporting grass-roots groups. Another route is to highlight the economic costs of isolating a segment of society. Anti-gay discrimination cost India 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product, according to a 2014 World Bank study.
By 
Flavia Krause-Jackson

The Reference Shelf

  • The report of the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association describes the status of gay rights around the globe.
  • A Pew Research Center report explores the major religions’ stands on gay issues.
  • A UN report, the first of its kind, documents discrimination and persecution of gay people.
  • In his book “Stonewall,” historian Martin Duberman provides a first-hand account of the birth of the modern gay-rights movement.
  • A Bloomberg data visualization illustrates the rapid pace of change on gay marriage in the U.S.

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