Category Archives: Media-International

Gays are filth say fanatical muslim clerics

the Muslim fundamentalist fanatic, Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick

Several London universities are hosting fundamentalist clerics, who advocates the killing of gay people and of Muslims who abandon their faith. They also endorse the beating of young Muslim girls who refuse to wear the hijab.

Too many student Islamic Societies are promoting hate-mongering clerics. These clerics are religious fascists.University authorities are complicit with the propagation of Islamist fundamentalism. They are allowing their campuses to be used for the promotion of extremist interpretations of Islam.

Many Vice-Chancellors are too weak and cowardly to take a stand. They fear being branded racist and Islamophobic. Instead of challenging these false slurs, they cave in to the hate-preaching fundamentalists.The encouragement of homophobia is one of pathways to Muslim radicalisation. It helps create a fanatical, anti-human rights mindset that can later develop into support for jihadism and terrorism.

The failure of many university authorities to take a stand against homophobic and anti-Semitic clerics is complicity with fundamentalism and radicalisation. It is collusion with the gateways to terrorism.The Islamic Society should not be promoting this fanatic. By giving him a platform it is complicit with homophobic and anti-Jewish hatred. It is colluding with intolerance.

In defiance of its own equal opportunities policy, King’s College London (KCL) and University of East London hosted the Muslim fundamentalist fanatic, Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick, earlier this year.He is anti-Semitic and homophobic. He denounces the “filth” of Jews (Yahood) and kaffirs.
See here (about 3.50 minutes into the video):

He says homosexuals should be executed.

Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick is on record as preaching:

  • AIDS is caused by the “filthy practices” of homosexuals
  • Homosexuals are dropping dead from AIDS and “they want to take us all down with them”
  • The Islamic position on homosexuality is “death”
  • Homosexuals are “sick” and “not natural”
  • “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals] and it’s not enough to call names” (this last point comes close to an implied threat of violence).

Quick addressed viewers about “Challenges Facing Muslims in the New Millennium”. Toward the conclusion of the lecture, Sheikh Quick expressed fanatical homophobic views on exterminating members of this community.

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Violence Against LBT People in Asia

Crossposted from ILGHRC website :  http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/resourcecenter/1099.html

Summary Report on Violence on
 the 
Basis 
of
 Sexual Orientation,
 Gender 
Identity
 
and
 Gender 
Expression
 
Against
 Non‐Heteronormative
 Women 
in 
Asia



Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) people in Asia experience forced institutionalization in mental rehabilitation clinics, electro shock treatment as aversion therapy, sexual harassment in school and at work, threats of rape to make you straight, school expulsions, eviction by landlords, police kidnapping, family violence, and media stigmatization.

Lesbians face discrimination in the workplace because of their gender and their sexual orientation. Employment and job promotions are denied if women look too masculine. Male coworkers stalk and sexually harass lesbians who cannot report for fear of backlash and retaliation.

Transgender/gender variant people are marginalized in their jobs, and are targeted for blackmail, harassment, and sexual violence from the community or people in positions of authority like the police. Activists who defend the rights of LBT people experience threats to their safety, in some cases, harassment, attacks, even torture and abuse, with police participating in or doing nothing to stop these violations.

Frequently, LBT people in Asia face violence in the “private” sphere—by members of immediate and extended family, community and religious groups. This violence includes beatings, home confinement, ostracism, mental and psychological abuse, verbal abuse, forced marriage, corrective rape and in some cases killings to restore family honor.

The fear of family and community violence is often exacerbated by police complicity, when police officers join forces with family members to break up lesbian couples by arresting, detaining and intimidating them. In some cases, charges of kidnapping, trafficking or child abuse are brought against one of the partners. Police officers also charge lesbians under sodomy laws even if the law does not explicitly include lesbianism. Compounding the situation is the state’s lack of due diligence in applying existing laws that penalize domestic violence and sexual violence to LBT people who are victimized, thus denying them access to complaint mechanisms and opportunities for redress. Victims themslves don’t turn to these laws for protection because they lead double lives, and exposing the violence invites disapproval, rejection, discrimination and further violence. Such a vicious cycle allows violence to go unreported, unrecognized, and unchecked.

In some instances, media does report on suicide pacts or foiled same sex marriages but the coverage does not name what happened as abuse or suppression of rights. Instead, the media publicity reinforces the stigma against LBT people and makes them the object of ridicule and shame.

Many humanitarian organizations and women’s rights NGOs fail to understand the severity of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Government reports to treaty monitoring bodies as well as shadow/alternative reports by women’s right NGOs make no reference to violence against LBT groups and individuals for the most part because sexual rights for women, beyond reproductive rights, are rarely a priority for the women’s human rights movement, and the demand for women’s sexual autonomy is treated as incidental or an inferior right compared to the other rights. At the same time, when LBT activists lobby their governments or treaty bodies like CEDAW or their national human rights institutions, they often lack the data and documentation to support their claims of violence and discrimination, which contributes to the under-recognition of the problem.

In 2007 and 2008, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) met with grassroots and national LGBT groups in Asia to identify their key priorities and needs. From women’s groups, IGLHRC heard that homophobic and transphobic violence against women was their number one issue—even if some of the groups lacked the capacity and resources to make this issue their priority. To bring visibility to the issue, some groups conducted local studies in their service vicinity, but these were limited in scope. Regional level data gathering on violence against lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) people in Asia has not yet been carried out.

In response to what we heard, IGLHRC convened a Strategy Workshop in Quezon City, Philippines, May 27-30, 2009 to start a cross-country dialogue among activists from countries in Asia. Their reports confirm that homophobic and transphobic violence against non-heteronormative women in the region is under-reported, under-documented, and consequently eclipsed by other concerns in the region. This lack of data contributes significantly to lack of funding for services and lack of legislator attention.

Few government efforts to end violence against women involve LBT groups. LBT people are often denied protections from and remedies for violence that other people, including heterosexual women receive from anti-discrimination laws, domestic violence legislation and rape laws. In countries with minimal or poor state responses to violence against women, LBT people are even more marginalized because of the double or triple jeopardy that renders their suffering less visible. Benefits won by women’s rights movements often does not extend to LBT individuals, although many are part of these movements in their countries. Despite these inconsistencies, LBT activists are working to raise awareness about violence at state and non-state levels in many parts of Asia.

The following country summaries are based on the cross-country exchange convened by IGLHRC in May 2009. They are a prelude to the two-year in-depth qualitative and collaborative research and documentation project that will be undertaken in June 2010 by IGLHRC and LBT partners in Asia, and which will culminate in local advocacy initiatives to stem violence against women on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Some of these activities will be linked to existing national, regional and/or international public awareness and violence prevention campaigns such 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, the UN Secretary General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women, International Day Against Homophobia, International Women’s Day, Campaign to Just Say No to Violence and Impunity, etc.

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CSBR Bangladesh: A first for the Queer members of Bengali society

Crossposted from CSBR e-news

http://www.wwhr.org/files/CSBR_Enews_Winter_2009.pdf

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Filed under Analysis of Homosexual Issues, Bangladesh LGBT events, Bangladesh- Policies and declarations, Boys of Bangladesh, Islam and Homosexuality, Media-Indian Subcontinent, Media-International

One Day, One Struggle: Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies

Parts of the article have been crossposted from ILGHRC website. Get the original articles here

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/1026.html

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/1039.html

Hundreds joined forces across the globe to establish a milestone in the struggle for sexual and reproductive rights in Muslim societies
11/20/2009

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are reposting the following announcement from one of our partners.

Updates from Bangladesh

On November 9, 2009, a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and activists across the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia carried out “One Day, One Struggle” events to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights. Below are some of the campaign updates, including the national launch of a pioneering research on sexuality and rights; a panel and cultural show on what it means to be a hijra (transgender) in Bangladesh, a discussion on the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Koran, and a queer-straight alliance meeting in Pakistan

Bangladesh: Pioneering research is being done on sexuality and rights in Bangladesh

Bangladesh: The Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS (CGSH) at the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) of BRAC University shared the findings of a pioneering research project on sexuality and rights in urban Bangladesh.

The Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS (CGSH) at the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) of BRAC University shared the findings of a trailblazing research project on sexuality and rights in urban Bangladesh. This exploratory study, the first of its kind, maps the manifold and changing understandings of sexuality, identity and rights among university students, factory workers, and sexual and gender minorities in Dhaka city. Dr. Dina Siddiqi, Sexuality Network Coordinator and Visiting Professor at the CGSH presented research findings on sexuality and rights in Dhaka. Other speakers were Dr. Sabina Faiz Rashid and Dr. Anwar Islam from the James P. Grant School of Public Health, Dr. Hilary Standing from the Realizing Rights Research Consortium, and Dr. Firdous Azim from the BRAC University Department of English and Humanities. A total of approximately 100 participants including journalists from the Bangladesh media, leaders of groups representing people of marginalized sexual orientations, independent researchers, anthropologists, public health professionals and NGO representatives were also present at the panel.

Bangladesh: A First for the Queer Members of Bengali Society

Boys of Bangladesh (BoB) arranged an event titled “Jaago” (Wake-up) with a movie screening followed by an informal public forum targeting the Bangladeshi LGBTT community and its supporters, selected media, other supportive NGOs and the public.

Torch Song Trilogy was screened to a diverse audience and was met with enthusiasm by both queer and straight participants. These two BoB events aimed to increase affirmative awareness and visibility on sexuality, initiate a dialogue around marginalized genders and sexualities, strengthen the bond among the LGBTT community and strengthen the alliance between queer and straight members of Bengali society. One remarkable aspect of these activities was that BoB organized a public event for the first time since its foundation.

Bandhu Social Welfare Organization had a lively discussion on different sexualities and identities as part of the international One Day, One Struggle campaign. In this event, LGBTT community members and their friends shared experiences and ideas about sexuality, identity, norms and freedoms.

Bangladesh: Discussing the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Koran

Naripokkho organized a panel discussion entitled “Sexuality and Our Rights” which was moderated by Naripokkho member English professor Firdous Azim. Tamanna Khan, the president of Naripokkho and Shuchi Karim, a doctoral student at ISS in the Netherlands working on female sexuality in Bangladesh gave short presentations that were followed by an open discussion on the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Koran. Approximately 30 Naripokkho members participated in this event.

Bangladesh: Being hijra (transgender) in Bangladesh

Kotha from Socheton Shilpi Shongho

Rangberong and Shochaton Shilpa Shangha organized a panel followed by a cultural show, both of which addressed specifically the hijra (transgender) community in Bangladesh. The panel hosted the speakers Ivan Ahmed Katha, the transgender president of the Shochetan Shilpa Shangha Association, Roksana Sultana, a journalist from BBC World, Nasrin Akhter Joli, the Deputy Director of the Hunger Project – Bangladesh and Mumtaz Begum, the former president of the Sex Workers’ Association. Police brutality and other problems faced by hijras on a daily basis were the main discussion topics of the panel. The cultural show afterwards included a musical performance specific to the hijra community that documented “why and how they became hijras, how this played havoc with their lives and how it is that they still love men.”

Find More Pics here:

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Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality this Week

Crossposted from ILGHRC website:

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/resourcecenter/1048.html

Inside view of the Rwandian Parliament


Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality this Week

12/15/2009

On December 16, 2009, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will hold its final debate on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. A vote on this draft code will occur before the end of the week. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that the proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize “[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice.” If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will go before the Rwandan Senate most likely in early 2010.

Article 217 violates Rwandans’ basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. IGLHRC, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), and Rwanda’s Horizon Community Association (HOCA) will shortly issue a call to action to demand that the Rwandan Parliament withdraw this article. We urge the international community to act against this proposed law and support the equality, dignity, and privacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Rwanda.

This draft provision targeting LGBT people closely follows the introduction of a similar measure in neighboring Uganda, where the nation’s parliament is currently debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.


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Walter Trochez, Honduran LGBT Activist Assassinated


Colleagues, friends, and comrades,

Walter Trochez, a well-known LGBT activist in Honduras who was an active member of the National Resistance Front against the coup d’etat there, was assassinated on December 13. Trochez, who had already been arrested and beaten for his sexual orientation after participating in a march against the coup, had been very active recently in documenting homophobic crimes committed by the forces behind the coup.

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Sass Sasot at UN: Reclaiming the lucidity of our hearts

UN Speech – Reclaiming the lucidity of our hearts

Opposing grave human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Thursday, December 10th 2009 at 1.15 p.m. – 2.45 p.m

Sass Rogando Sasot, transgender activist, Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)


Links to the entire webcast:

English: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2009/se091210pm2.rm

Spanish: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2009/se091210pm2-orig.rm

Let me begin by expressing my warmest gratitude to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and to the coalition of non-government organizations defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Thank you for making this event possible and for giving us this opportunity to contribute our voices to this ongoing conversation for change. Our esteemed participants, beautiful beings, and profound expressions of this Universe, a warm, vibrant, and dignified afternoon to each and every one of you!

Burned at stake. Strangled and hanged. Raped and shot and stabbed to death. Throats slashed. Left to bleed to death. These are just some of the ways transgender people were killed in different parts of the world, in different times in the history of humanity. These are just the tip, the violent tip, of the iceberg of our suffering. I can go on and on, reciting a litany of indignity upon indignity, but my time is not enough to name all the acts of atrocious cruelty that transgender people experience. But what is the point of counting the dead bodies of our fellow human beings, of narrating how we suffer, and of opposing violence against us if we don’t challenge the root of our oppression?

The sincerity of our intention to address the human rights violations against transgender people rests upon the depth of our appreciation of human diversity and the breadth of our understanding of why transgender people suffer these indignities.

The root of our oppression is the belief that there is only one and only one way to be male or female. And this starts from our birth. Upon a quick look on our genitals, we are assigned into either male or female. This declaration is more than just a statement of what’s between our legs. It is a prescription of how we should and must live our lives. It is a dictation of what we should think about ourselves, the roles we should play, the clothes we should wear, the way we should move, and the people with whom we should have romantic or erotic relationships. But the existence of people whose identities, bodies, and experiences do not conform to gender norms is a proof that this belief is wrong.

Nonetheless, even though the truth of human diversity is so evident and clear to us, we choose to hang on to our current beliefs about gender, a belief that rejects reality and forces people to live a lie. This is the belief that leads to attacks on our physical and mental integrity, to different forms of discrimination against us, and to our social marginalization. This is the belief that led to Joan of Arc to be burned at stake because she was cross-dressing. This is the belief that motivated the rape and murder of Brandon Teena on December 31, 1993. This is the belief that led to the stabbing to death of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist in Turkey, on March 10, 2009. This is the belief that led to the arrest of 67 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia for cross-dressing in June this year. This is the belief that keeps the list of transgender people being harassed, killed, and violated growing year after year. And it is very unfortunate that our legal systems, religions, and cultures are being used to justify, glorify, and sanctify the violent expressions of this belief.

So we question: Is human life less precious than this belief? Is our right to life, to dignified existence, to liberty, and pursuit of happiness subservient to gender norms? This doesn’t need a complicated answer. You want to be born, to live, and die with dignity – so do we! You want the freedom to express the uniqueness of the life force within you – so do we! You want to live with authenticity – so do we!

Now is the time that we realize that diversity does not diminish our humanity; that respecting diversity does not make us less human; that understanding and accepting our differences do not make us cruel. And in fact, history has shown us that denying and rejecting human variability is the one that has lead us to inflict indignity upon indignity towards each other.

We are human beings of transgender experience. We are your children, your partners, your friends, your siblings, your students, your teachers, your workers, your citizens.

Let our lives delight in the same freedom of expression that you enjoy as you manifest to the outside world your unique and graceful selves.

Let us live together in the fertile ground of our common humanity for this is the ground where religion is not a motivation to hate but a way to appreciate the profound beauty and mysteries of life;

for this is the ground where laws are not tools to eliminate those who are different from us but are there to facilitate our harmonious relationship with each other;

for this is the ground where culture is not a channel to express the brutality of our limited perception but a means to express the nobility of our souls;

for this is the ground where the promise of the universality of human rights can be fulfilled!

And we will be in this ground if we let the sanity of our desires, the tenacity of our compassion, and above all, the lucidity of our hearts to reign in our lives.

Thank you!

—————-

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Trans Rights Declaration endorsed by ILGA-Europe in Malta

silvan agius of ILGA europe opens the trans rights conference

Ashok DEB-ILGA-Europe and Trangender Europe held a joint conference on the 28th October 2009 , which also included a social programme in the evening with a performance and an opening of an exhibition. At this meet a Declaration was  proposed that was adopted by great majority of the participants of the Trans Rights Conference in Malta on October 28th 2009.  It was endorsed on by ILGA-Europe and will be used as policy documents guiding the future work of both organisations.

Declaration of the Trans Rights Conference ,

28th October 2009, Malta

We, the participants of the European Trans Rights Conference, yearn for a Europe free from all discrimination(1), where all people are valued equally irrespective of their gender identity and gender expression.  We envision a Europe where people of all gender identities and gender expressions are fully respected and can live freely without any violations to their human rights and institutions’ interferences in their private lives, in accordance with the Yogyakarta Principles(2).  We want a Europe where health insurance funded adequate hormonal and surgical medical assistance is available in a non-pathologizing manner to all those trans people(3) who seek it, and where no trans person is required to undergo any compulsory medical treatment (such as sterilization or gender reassignment surgeries) or a mental disorder diagnosis in order to change legal gender and/or name.

Julia Ehrt presents the Proposed Declaration of the Trans Righs Conference that was adopted later

Commissioner for Human Rights’ ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper

We unanimously welcome the ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper(4) published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in July 2009.  Commissioner Hammarberg’s Issue Paper is a significant step forward in articulating the human rights and equality that national governments should provide to trans people. We endorse all of Commissioner Hammarberg’s twelve recommendations and urge all 47 Council of Europe Member States to implement these recommendations at their national levels, including the implementation of legislation/procedures that allows to change name and gender without compulsory medical treatments, or any form of diagnosis, and including strong anti-discrimination legislation inclusive of gender identity and gender expression.

•We call upon the Commissioner to exercise his influence with the Council of Europe’s Member States to ensure that they tackle any gaps in their legislation and policies with regard to the twelve recommendations in the Issue Paper.

European Institutions
We note the importance of European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and European Union gender equality directives and various judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice, in reducing discrimination against trans people.

We call upon the institutions of the Council of Europe and the European Union to:

• Monitor the implementation of case-law and gender equality legislation vis-à-vis trans people
• Make sure that future gender equality legislation expressly includes gender identity and gender expression
• Outlaws any form of discrimination against all trans people explicitly.
• Clearly include measures addressing trans equality issues within gender mainstreaming measures; funding programmes; and including the multi-dimensional gender identity and gender expression in internal and external policy
• Fund detailed research and data collection on trans equality and human rights issues
• Consult and involve trans equality and rights organisations in European gender equality and human rights policy development

the proposed declaration that was adopted later at the conference

Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

We note with particular concern the high murder rate and violence against trans people across Europe.  Often the police fails to investigate cases of hate crime and killings of trans people and no adequate prosecution of the perpetrators takes place. In addition trans related hate crimes are hardly documented and monitored.

Additionally, trans people with migration background and trans sex workers are especially vulnerable and face multiple forms of discrimination as well as social exclusion and economic hardship.

• We call on participating States of the OSCE to enact hate crime legislation fully inclusive of trans people.
• We call on participating States of the OSCE to ensure safe detainment and contact with their communities for trans prisoners.
• We call upon the OSCE to monitor and urge for investigation of murders of trans people as hate crimes.

Social Partners: Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisations

We are concerned with the high level of discrimination that many trans people face in access to, and retention of employment.  This frequently leads to poverty and severe negative repercussions on their lives and health.  A disproportionately high number of trans people get fired when their transgender status becomes known to their employers (e.g. when starting a process of gender transition, when being visibly gender-non-conforming, etc.).

• We call upon the social partners to proactively undertake joint initiatives with trans and LGBT organisations to reduce trans discrimination and harassment at the workplace, and to implement workplace policies which uphold trans workers’ dignity.
• We call upon the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and its members to implement the eleven actions and activities that the ETUC outlined in its Executive Committee’s Resolution on LGBT rights of 2008.(5)
• We call upon employers’ organisations to tackle the issue of discrimination against trans people in promoting diversity with their members, and to highlight how current equality legislation applies to trans people.

opening of the serious game exhibition

National equality bodies

We note the importance of national equality bodies in tackling discrimination against trans people through enforcement of gender equality and anti-discrimination legislation at national level.  The Fundamental Rights Agency’s social situation report6 shows that national equality bodies are currently not sufficiently including trans issues in their work. We therefore call upon national equality bodies to:

• Be pro-active in enforcing anti-discrimination legislation to improve trans equality and human rights.
• Monitor the implementation of case-law and gender equality legislation vis-à-vis trans people.
• Include trans people in gender mainstreaming measures
•Produce guidance on trans-rights and equality.
•Support trans people in taking forward cases of discrimination to courts and/or respective entities.
• Make sure that future gender equality legislation expressly includes gender identity and gender expression.
• Research, collect and publish data on trans equality and human rights issues
• Consult and involve trans equality and rights organisations in national gender equality and human rights policy development.
World Health Organisation (WHO)   We observe with great concern that trans identities are still pathologized and considered a mental health condition.  Given its strong implications on the living of trans people in Europe we therefore demand the removal of gender identity disorder from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
• We call upon the World Health Organisation to safeguarded the human rights of trans people in the current revisions of the ICD 10 and DSM IV.
• We call for an alternative non-pathologizing category in the ICD 11, which establishes quality standards for medical treatments ample to support the gender expression of trans people.  No national or international health institution shall render transgender identities as mental health disorders.  They should nonetheless enable access to hormonal, surgical and or psychological medical assistance to be provided to those trans-people who seek such assistance.

Serious Game Exhibition

Finally, we ask Transgender Europe (TGEU) and the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) to continue lobbying for full trans equality and rights on a European level and call upon TGEU, ILGA-Europe and national trans organizations to work together for the implementation of Commissioner Hammarberg’s recommendations throughout Europe.  We call strongly all Member States of the Council of Europe to take active steps safeguard the human rights of all people explicitly including trans people.

1 Discrimination against trans people in Europe has been widely documented in both Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation in the EU Member States: Part I – Legal Analysis (2008) http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/comparativestudy/FRA_hdgso_part1_en.pdf and Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States: Part II – The Social Situation (2009) http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/FRA_hdgso_report_Part%202_en.pdf

2 Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2007) http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/

3 Trans people (as used above) includes those people who have a gender identity which is different to the gender assigned at birth and those people who wish to portray their gender identity in a different way to the gender assigned at birth.  It includes those people who feel they have to, or prefer or choose to, whether by clothing, accessories, cosmetics or body modification, present themselves differently to the expectations of the gender role assigned to them at birth. This includes, among many others, transsexual and transgender people, transvestites, cross dressers, no gender, multigender, genderqueer people.

4 Human Rights and Gender Identity Issue Paper (2009) https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1476365

5 ETUC actions and activities on promoting equal rights, respect and dignity for workers regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity (2008)

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We’ll have sex to prove we’re gay, says Bangladesh refugee

720523-gay-bangladesh-refugees

Tribunal ... the men are preparing for yet another appeal. Source: The Daily Telegraph

TWO gay men from Bangladesh who offered to have sex before Australian immigration officials to prove their sexuality will appeal their case for protection visas for the fourth time in 10 years.

The men, who cannot be named, told The Daily Telegraph they feared being killed if their latest bid for refugee status is refused at a hearing later this month.

A Federal Court judge recently criticised the Refugee Review Tribunal for its treatment of the pair, who first applied for asylum in 1999, finding it was deliberately biased against them.

In a scathing summation, Justice Spender found three previous tribunals had unreasonably twisted facts to deny the men were homosexual, using unsubstantiated claims they were brothers who had been married to women.

While a first tribunal found they were homosexual, it refused them entry on the grounds they could avoid persecution in Bangladesh if they “lived discreetly”. The High Court later upheld their appeal stating the gay men faced a “real risk” of harm if they were deported and could not reasonably be expected to live in hiding.

A subsequent tribunal then used an anonymous phone call to contest the men were brothers, a claim later disproved by DNA testing.

Increasingly frustrated by the process, the couple said in a submission: “We are prepared to have an adult witness view us engaged in an act of homosexual intercourse and then attest before you to that fact.”

In a 2007 hearing, the tribunal asked one of the two men “if he and the second applicant have sex in the morning” and “if they used a lubricant.” The 36-year-old said he had been “too embarrassed to answer the personal questions”, with his refusal later used as proof he was a not a credible witness.

Human rights lawyer Bruce Levet, who represents the men, described the tribunal’s conduct as “disgraceful” adding: “I was ashamed to be a lawyer.”

Because the men had lived monogamously for 14 years and did not frequent gay bars or take an active part in the gay community, Mr Levet said they had struggled to convince the hearings of their sexuality claims. He said the Commonwealth had resisted granting the asylum test case for fear of a pink wave of refugees from countries opposed to homosexuality.

The pair, who live in southwest Sydney, fled Bangladesh in 1999 after they say they were stoned, kicked and punched during a violent attack.

The Tribunal will announce a new appeal date on October 18.

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Uganda MP urges death for gay sex

A gay activist in Uganda wearing a mask (photo: Katherine Elaine Roubos)

Ugandan gay people have long alleged persecution

A Ugandan MP has proposed creating an offence of “aggravated homosexuality” to be punishable by death.

Ruling party MP David Bahati wants the death penalty for those having gay sex with disabled people, under-18s or when the accused is HIV-positive.

Homosexual acts are already illegal, but the Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes new offences and urges the toughening of existing penalties.

Earlier versions of the bill were widely criticised by rights groups.

The BBC’s Joshua Mmali, in the capital Kampala, says the bill has a good chance of being passed as senior figures from the ruling National Resistance Movement are likely to back it.

President Yoweri Museveni has made several speeches outlining his own anti-gay views.

Gays ‘persecuted’

There are estimated to be 500,000 gay people in Uganda, from a population of about 31 million, according to gay rights groups.

Gay activists have long alleged persecution and existing laws already allow large fines and life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.

Members of parliament are overwhelmingly supporting this bill because homosexuality is illegal
John Otekat Emile
Independent MP

Mr Bahati’s bill proposes widening the definition of homosexual acts and wants to fine or imprison anyone found to be promoting homosexuality.

The bill states that its provisions are intended to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex”.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has urged the bill to be dismissed.

They say it violates several international agreements Uganda has signed up to – as well as contradicting the country’s own constitution.

But John Otekat Emile, an independent MP, said he believed the bill had a “99% chance” of being passed.

“Members of parliament are overwhelmingly supporting this bill because homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and we have that clearly in the penal code,” he told the BBC.

Emmanuel Dombo, an MP with the ruling party, agreed and said it was an important issue to investigate.

“What we need to look at are the sentences – what kind of sentences or punishment should be prescribed for sexual offenders in this respect – that is the big question,” he said.

But our correspondent says the authorities already find it difficult to prove cases under current laws because evidence is difficult to obtain.

Some people who have openly declared that they are gay have not been prosecuted because declaring sexual orientation is not a crime, our correspondent adds.

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New UN Assembly President Treki’s Statements on LGBT Rights outrages ILGA

rename

Crossposted from ILGA website

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/979.html

New UN Assembly President Treki’s Statements on LGBTI Rights and Decriminalisation of Homosexuality is Not “Some Kind of Democracy”
09/28/2009

ILGA is deeply worried and outraged by UN Assembly new President Ali Abdussalam Treki’s failure to consider the protection of the life and safety of lesbians, gay men, trans, intersex and bisexual people all over the world a matter of human rights.

In an interview prior to his first address to the UN Assembly in his new role, Mr Treki declared himself to be “not in favour at all” with reference to the Statement in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality signed by 66 Countries and read by the Argentinian representative last December at the General Assembly in New York.

Furthermore, Mr Treki said that the matter referred to by the Statement, i.e. decriminalisation, was “not acceptable in the majority of the world” and that “there are some countries that allow that (sic), thinking it is a kind of democracy.”

Considering that the Statement called for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality, one cannot but conclude that the new President of the UN Assembly is… in favour of criminalising lesbians and gay men, bisexual, trans and intersex people. The worrying and serious implications of this attitude, coming from the new head of an institution which is supposed to regard human rights – all human rights – as the most sacred value, cannot be overstated.

We appeal to the representatives of the States which signed the Statement against criminalisation of homosexuality, but also voted for the election of Mr. Treki in his new position, to demand an explanation to the UN Assembly President for his words and react consequently.

Gloria Careaga & Renato Sabbadini
Co-Secretaries General, ILGA

For more information, contact Renato Sabbadini, +32 474 857 950 or rentao@ilga.org

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Sunil Babu Pant Strongly Denounce new President of the United Nations’ ‘unacceptable’ views on homosexuality

Crossposted from

Thursday, 01 October 2009 at 19:51

I am extremely concerned and saddened when I heard: Taking his post at the opening of the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations, on 15 September 2009, Libyan Ali Abdussalam Treki suggested that homosexuality was unacceptable.

The newly-elected President was asked during his press conference about the UN Resolution calling for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality. “That matter is very sensitive, very touchy. As a Muslim, I am not in favour of it…it is not accepted by the majority of the countries. My opinion is not in favour of this matter at all, I think it is not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition”, he said.

I call on the President to represent all countries and people of all walks not only Muslims. He is there to defend the principles of the United Nations and that includes the Universal Declaration Human Rights Act 1948 and all following amendments and covenants of rights, including LGBT Human Rights.

His religious views should remain private and he must now speak on behalf of those who do not have a voice. He should know that the implications of his words could legitimize violence and hatred towards LGBTI people in country like Libya.

Nepal, along with 66 countries, signed the Resolution in favour of the decriminalization of homosexuality and passed last December. Nepal is very much committed to realize full equality and justice for all regardless of sexual orientations and gender identities.

Sunil Babu Pant
MP, Nepal
Founder, Blue Diamond Society
Coordinator, Parliamentary Action Team on Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction.

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