This No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) news digest rounds up some of the week’s top LGBTI rights stories for the week ending 3 January:
Germany’s law recognizing a third gender comes into effect
Gay Star News, 02 Jan 2019
A law in Germany which legally recognizes intersex and gender non-conforming people has come into effect. Those who do not identify as either male or female can now register as ‘diverse’ on official documentation. The law came into effect on Tuesday (1 January) after having been approved by Germany’s parliament in December. However, those wishing to register as intersex require a certificate of approval from a doctor. As such, critics claim that the law does not do enough to recognize the rights of intersex or gender non-conforming people.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro targets minority groups on first day in office
Aljazeera, 02 Jan 2019
Newly installed far-right President Jair Bolsonaro issued executive orders targeting Brazil’s indigenous groups, descendants of slaves and the LGBT community in the first hours of his administration, moving quickly after a campaign in which the leader said he would overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation.
One of the orders issued late on Tuesday, hours after his inauguration, will likely make it all but impossible for new lands to be identified and demarcated for indigenous communities. Areas set aside for “Quilombolas”, as descendants of former slaves are known, are also affected by the decision.
List of alleged homosexuals endangers 82 in Cameroon
Erasing 76 Crimes , 31 Dec 2018
A venomous list of 82 alleged homosexuals is spreading in Cameroon, published anonymously and distributed electronically through social networks. It began on Dec. 11 as a PDF document attached to electronic messages with the title “LIST OF GAYS IN CAMEROON AND A PORTION OF THEIR DIRTY DEEDS.” The list arrived 15 years after the newspaper Anecdote published a similar list that ruined the lives and reputations of 50 Cameroonian homosexual citizens and their families. In that case, the public response led the Paul Biya, the president of Cameroon, to speak out to calm outraged public sentiments.
Latin America’s 2018 LGBT year in review
Global Americans , 31 Dec 2018
In a busy electoral year—with six countries hosting presidential elections and three additional countries changing presidents—LGBT issues became very frequent topics of discussion throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Almost every presidential contender, one way or another, addressed LGBT issues. Many courts did as well, taking on controversial subjects. But the biggest discussion of LGBT in some countries was prompted not by real-life politicians and judges, but by fictional characters on screen.
Here is my selection of the most important events impacting LGBT politics in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018.
Thailand steps closer to recognising same-sex civil unions
The Telegraph, 28 Dec 2018
Thailand’s cabinet has approved a new bill that has opened the way for the country to become the first in Asia to recognise same-sex civil partnerships. The bill, which would also afford same-sex couples the right to start their own families, would require approval from the Thai parliament – the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) – likely after an upcoming general election in February. If passed, the law would introduce a legally-recognised civil institution similar to marriage which, according to Nathporn Chatusripitak, a government spokesperson, would institute a minimum age limit of 20 and grant property, inheritance, succession and medical decision rights.
Year End Review on LGBT rights
Myanmar Times, 28 Dec 2018
Legal marriage for same sex couples remains a distant wish in Myanmar, which scores very poorly on international LGBT rights indicators. On paper, homosexual acts remain illegal and there is no official recognition of same sex relationships, much less acceptance of public displays of affection. In practice, cultural shifts are seeing LGBT culture and individuals enjoying more freedom and public lime light with special events, organisational work, dance parties, advocacy and public education making some headway against the ‘old ways’. There have, in fact, been a few cases of couples declaring their marriage outside the definition of the law, which has attracted controversy, but needed attention.