LGBTQ News (International Edition)


Brutal Crackdown Has Gay and Transgender Egyptians Asking: Is It Time to Leave?
For Mostafa, a gay Egyptian man in his mid-20s, seeing rainbow flags flying at an open-air rock concert in the Arab world’s most populous nation was thrilling. But he had a feeling it wouldn’t end well. Dozens of people have been arrested and put on trial in Egypt in the ensuing crackdown. Some were also beaten and subjected to invasive physical exams, spreading panic in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender circles. Many of Mostafa’s friends are deleting their profiles on cellphone dating apps and scrubbing their social media accounts, which police have long used to ensnare people suspected of being gay or transgender. Some who were at last month’s concert have gone into hiding. There has even been talk of fleeing the country. “The problem is that no one can tell the limit of this crackdown and how far it might go,” said Mostafa, a community activist who asked to be identified by one name, for fear that he too might be swept up by police. “There was an incredible amount of hate speech by the media and by people on social media. Everyone I know is depressed and fearful.” MORE




Authorities Draw Up list of Gay and Lesbian Citizens in Tajikistan, A Former Soviet Republic
Suggestion that those on official register would be required to undergo testing to avoid ‘spread of sexually-transmitted diseases’ Authorities in Tajikistan have drawn up a register of 367 allegedly gay citizens, suggesting they would be required to undergo testing to avoid “the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases”. Details of the move was unveiled in Zakonnost, a newspaper published by Tajikistan’s state prosecutor, which said the official list of “gay and lesbian” citizens was compiled following research into the LGBT community. Rights activists in this authoritarian central Asian nation have in the past raised fears over discrimination faced by LGBT individuals in this conservative country that is mainly Muslim but has secular authorities. The paper said that the list was drawn up following two state “operations” last year entitled “Morality” and “Purge”, without giving further details. MORE


Germany Quashes Gay Men's Convictions and Offers Compensation
Germany's parliament has voted to quash the convictions of tens of thousands of gay men criminalised under notorious historical anti-homosexual laws. The law, only fully repealed in West Germany in 1994, dates to 1871 but was rarely enforced until the Nazi era. An estimated 5,000 surviving victims will receive $3,350 in compensation along with 1,500 per year spent in jail. Justice Minister Heiko Maas called the new law a "belated act of justice". It "created unimaginable suffering, which led to self-denial, sham marriages, harassment and blackmail", he said. The law, known as Paragraph 175, outlawed "sexual acts contrary to nature... be it between people of the male gender or between people and animals". MORE


LGBTs In China Are Priming A Pink Economy That Will Overtake America's
Hardly anyone in China has an openly gay friend or relative compared to what you find in Western countries. But business geared toward the Chinese LGBT population has garnered tens of millions of customers. China's roughly three-year-old pink economy leads Asia in value as it leads the Chinese population to become gradually more open. It’s already about one-third the size of the more mature American pink economy with a much larger population base that hasn’t been tapped yet. China’s Communist government doesn’t encourage LGBT causes or much other social activism. Yet China lacks strong organized religion, so the LGBT community is tacitly accepted as long it don’t stand in the way of authority or topple the hopes of any conservative elders worried about having grandchildren to carry on the family line. MORE


One Country in Asia Has Embraced Same-sex Marriage. Where’s Next?
Let's hear it for Taiwan. In May its highest court ruled that the law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman was invalid. Sexual orientation, it said, is “an immutable characteristic that is resistant to change”—rebutting a widespread view across Asia that homosexuality is a curable disease. Barring same-sex couples from marrying violated the right to be treated equally, the court concluded. It gave parliament two years to change the law. If it fails to do so, gay couples will be able to go ahead and register as married anyway. Taiwan has become the first in Asia. Which will be second? Certainly not Afghanistan, where sexual acts between men are punishable by death. Indonesia does not have a national law against sodomy. But that did not help two young men caught by vigilantes having sex in Aceh province, which was allowed to adopt sharia law in 2001 as part of a deal to end an insurgency. They were whipped in public, as a crowd jeered and filmed the spectacle on their smartphones. MORE


Yukon Tourism Operators Welcome LGBT Market
A tourism website directed at LGBT travellers provides all of the usual information about a destination's activities and events. It also offers a perspective not often provided by other sources. "Whitehorse has for a long time been welcoming LGBT visitors with many businesses having a safe and respectful environment," reads the Travel Gay Canada website. "It is a niche market but it's such a powerful market and there's a lot of disposable income within that market," says Colin Sines, executive director of Travel Gay Canada. "They spend twice as much as the average consumer. They travel twice as frequently. Their needs are very different," he explains. MORE


The Tiny Nation of Malta Learns the Rewards of LGBT Progress
Malta, population 420,000, shows what political will and a commitment to separation of church and state can accomplish. Malta used to be known as a very conservative country, where social opinion, reflected in politics and policies, was heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Divorce was outlawed, abortion was — and remains — criminalized in all cases, and the law failed to address key human rights concerns affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. MORE


European Countries Have Had The Most Openly Gay Leaders Elected Into Power Since 2009
To our knowledge, there have not been any openly bisexual or transgender leaders. There have been five openly gay and lesbian leaders. Who are the gay and lesbian Prime Ministers of Europe? MORE


Gay Couple From Toronto Gets Bermuda Supreme Court to Legalize Same-sex Marriage
The Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled today that same-sex couples have the right to marry, bringing to a close a years-long drama over marital rights in the British island territory. The case was brought by a Toronto-based Bermudian and Canadian gay couple, Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche, who filed their challenge last July. Although they could marry in Canada, they preferred to marry in Godwin’s home country Bermuda. MORE


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