News briefs about countries with anti-gay laws, excerpted from the Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI-related news:
In Pakistan, friends are mourning the assassination of Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent human rights activist. … Mahmud was the director of ‘The Second Floor’ (T2F) – a space that hosted many conversations and events for marginalized communities, including women and LGBTI groups
In Bangladesh, popular actress Disha Ganguly committed suicide after her relationship with another actress was revealed. Upon learning of Ganguly’s death, her girlfriend attempted suicide but was prevented by bystanders. … Police say social stigma over the relationship led Ganguly to commit suicide.
India‘s first phone helpline dedicated to the local queer community received over 100,000 calls in only 9 months. Nearly 75% of callers reported they do not disclose their sexual preferences for fear of discrimination and violence and many sought advice for psychosocial crises.
India‘s Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, has unanimously passed a bill to promote transgender rights, end discrimination, and promote employment for trans people.
India‘s entrant to Mr Gay World, an annual international competition to establish LGBT human rights ambassadors, Thahir Mohammed Sayyed, has dropped from the contest and his family have gone into hiding after receiving threats to their safety.
From Kenya, founder of Men Against AIDS Youth Group, and openly gay and HIV+ man Victor Shaaban eloquently shared his story of having been raped multiple times to “cure” his sexuality. In a short video (under 4 minutes) he speaks about tactics for reaching marginalized Kenyans for HIV prevention.
Malawi passed a new law that protects girls under 18 from marriage, but includes discriminatory language against LGBT Malawians. The “Marriage, Divorce, and Family Relations Law” rejects transgender and intersex person’s identity and restricts all marriages and cohabitation arrangements to those between a man and a woman.
From Indonesia, photojournalist Fulvio Bugani captures the Islamic boarding school that offers a safe haven for transgender people.
Tonga has agreed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, however resistance from church leaders over the phrase a “woman’s right to choose her spouse” has led the government to promise to include a same-sex marriage ban.
MIDDLE EAST / NORTH AFRICA
EUROPE / ASIA
In Russia, a district court has refused to reinstate a lesbian teacher who was fired for “immoral conduct” after an anti-gay activist submitted her social media pictures to the school. The court engaged an “expert” to evaluate the pictures before ruling against the teacher.
In Russia, a teen gang, calling themselves “fighters of same-sex love” will stand trial for the abduction, extortion and sexual assault of a 16 year old boy they met online.
In Russia, LGBT activists successfully held two “Day of Silence” rallies despite multiple attempts by outsiders to disrupt the events. Participants thanked police in attendance for helping keep the peace. … One march included call outs to banned LGBT teens support project “Children-404″. Another rally from Vosstaniya Square to the Kazansky Cathedral involved participants with their mouths covered with red tape.
In Russia, Elena Musolina went from ‘mom’ to activist after the anti-gay propaganda law turned her son into a second class citizen.
Russian activist Elena Klimova, whose LGBT support group for teens was shut down by the Russian Court, is shaming her cyber bullies by publishing the hateful messages they send her alongside their real names and pictures found through social media.
In the UK, British citizen Vienna Brown says she will sue the government if her bisexual son Orashia is deported back to Jamaica. Orashia is the latest asylum seeker the court has ruled “lied” about his sexuality.
For more information, read the full edition of Equal Eyes.