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Worldwide struggle for LGBTIQ rights: Latest news from the front lines

News in brief from Malawi, Ghana, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and India.

India: Transgender rights act becomes law despite trans opposition. It requires a transgender person to go to a District Magistrate and a District Screening Committee to have their gender identity certified. A revised certificate will only be issued if the trans person has undergone gender affirmation surgery.

Nigeria: A trial is under way for 47 out of 57 men arrested last year at a Lagos hotel and charged with “public show of same sex amorous relationship” — a crime that is punishable by 14 years in prison under Nigeria’s 2014 Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. The men say they were merely attending a birthday party.

FOKN Bois album cover

Ghana: Gay sex is banned – so Ghanaians dance against homophobia. Gay sex may be illegal in Ghana – dancing isn’t. So rappers and singers are using music videos to embrace LGBT+ life and fight homophobia in this conservative West African nation.

BUT ALSO …

Ghana: Going undercover in a U.S.-led anti-LGBT “hate movement” — the World Congress of Families conference in Ghana.

United Arab Emirates: The University of Birmingham has warned LGBTQ staffers that they should hide their identity if they take a job on the university’s new Dubai campus in the United Arab Emirates.

Cambodia: The Cambodian Human Rights Committee is seeking to end anti-LGBT discrimination. Committee president Keo Remy said, “Senior government leaders have instructed and called on everyone to not discriminate against LGBT people in Cambodia.” He added, “Families, communities and society should not discriminate against LGBT people.

Morocco: LGBTQI+ activists are supporting a petition organized by Moroccan civil rights movement calling on the country to repeal the country’s colonial-era anti-gay laws.

Malawi: A report entitled Under Wraps: A survey of public attitudes to homosexuality and gender non-conformity in Malawi, which for the first time provides statistically sound, nationally representative data about what Malawians think and feel about homosexual and bisexual women and men, and transgender and intersex people. Among the findings, 96 percent said they value people being treated equally, but 60-68 percent do not envision legal protections for LGBT people. Click here to read a summary of the survey findings or to download the full report.

Thanks for information from Alturi.org, LGBulleTin, Equal Eyes and others.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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