USA: State lawmakers pledge to create refuge bills for transgender youth

USA: State lawmakers pledge to create refuge bills for transgender youth

Democratic lawmakers from 16 US states pledged Tuesday to introduce legislation providing legal refuge to transgender youth and their families affected by restrictive state laws which limit the ability of transgender youth to receive gender-affirming healthcare.

The pledge was led by California state Senator Scott Wiener and was announced by LGBTQ Victory Institute, a non-profit dedicated to legal advancements for the queer community.

In a joint statement from the involved legislators, Senator Wiener said:

Today, we’re proud to announce that over a third of the states in our country are pushing back on the horrendous anti-trans legislation we’re seeing in Texas and elsewhere… We are building a coordinated national legislative campaign by LGBTQ lawmakers to provide refuge for trans kids and their families. We’re making it crystal clear: we will not let trans kids be belittled, used as political pawns and denied gender-affirming care.

In 2021 Senator Wiener sponsored SB 107, a California state senate bill which aims to shield trans children and their families from penalties when seeking gender-affirming care. After SB 107 was introduced, similar bills were drafted in New York and Minnesota. Now 16 states from all regions of the US have pledged to introduce trans refuge legislation.

Mayor Annise Parker, President of the LGBT Victory Institute, spoke in firm support of the growing coalition of states, proclaiming:

When trans kids’ lives are on the line, playing defense doesn’t cut it. It’s time to play offense. We are using the collective power of LGBTQ state legislators all across the nation to launch a counter-offensive that aims to protect trans kids and parents while also demonstrating that there is a positive agenda for trans people that lawmakers can support.

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Romania rights groups urge MPs to reject LGBT ‘propaganda’ legislation

Romania rights groups urge MPs to reject LGBT ‘propaganda’ legislation

Romanian Human Rights group Friday criticized Romania’s so-called LGBT+ “propaganda” bill and called on lawmakers to stop it in its tracks. The bill, which has been approved by the Senate and is to now be decRomania rights groups urge MPs to reject LGBT ‘propaganda’ legislationided by Romania’s lower house, prohibits the use of materials in schools that “promote” being LGBT+.

The bill has been introduced as a measure to prevent “child abuse” by the junior ruling coalition ethnic Hungarian party (UDMR) and the nationalist Alliance for Uniting Romanians (AUR), both of which have advocated for traditional family values. The proposed legislation is analogous to legislation already in effect in Russia and Hungary. Proponents have contended that “in the societies of Western Europe, we are witnessing today an assault on new ideologies, such as gender theory, which endanger traditional values, based on Christianity, and the very core of society, the Christian family.”

LGBTQ Rights group ACCEPT condemned the bill:

Budapest’s education system must not be enforced in Bucharest. Romania must avoid the illiberal drift promoted by Hungary through such measures which were received harshly by the European Union. Adopting explicitly homophobic and transphobic legislation by censoring information about sexual orientation and gender identity is a shame on Romania. The lower house must vote to stop this incitement to discrimination.

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New Book: Hyun Jung Lee, Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation – Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Korea

New Book: Hyun Jung Lee, Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation – Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Korea

Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Kore

More: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-95423-9

USA: DOJ challenges Alabama law criminalizing some treatments for trans minors

USA: DOJ challenges Alabama law criminalizing some treatments for trans minors

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Friday filed a complaint challenging an Alabama law that criminalizes some medical treatments for transgender youth.

The DOJ stated Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (VCCPA) “denies necessary medical care to children based solely on who they are” and threatens criminal action against doctors, parents, or others who provide such care. It alleges the law’s felony ban on certain medically necessary care violates the Fourteenth Amendment and asks for an immediate order stopping the law from taking effect.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall Friday stated that the Biden administration had “chosen to prioritize leftist politics” over Alabama’s children but that “science and common sense” were on Alabama’s side, reiterating the supporters of the VCCPA would “win this fight to protect our children.”

The VCCPA, signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on April 8, 2022, prohibits persons from “engag[ing] in or caus[ing]” the prescription or administration of puberty-blocking medication, testosterone or estrogen hormones, surgeries that sterilize, sex reassignment surgeries to genitalia, and chest reconstruction surgery if such “practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex as defined in this act.” Conviction under the Act is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $15,000.00.

On March 31, the Civil Rights Division sent letters to the attorneys general of all states to “remind them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination.”

The DOJ’s challenge appears to be in favor of a federal lawsuit to block the VCCPA. The suit was filed in April by the families of two transgender children and two doctors.

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UN Free & Equal announces as new campaign – this time focusing on LGBTIQ+ women and girls

UN Free & Equal announces as new campaign – this time focusing on LGBTIQ+ women and girls

 

Together with UN Women, we at UN Free & Equal are delighted to announce a new campaign – this time focusing on LGBTIQ+ women and girls

Every woman and girl is one-of-a-kind: a unique combination of her personality, history, language, ethnicity, age, culture, the people she has met, the places she’s been and the experiences she’s had. True gender equality can only be achieved if we respect, value, and celebrate the immense diversity of women and ensure that all women and girls are free to be themselves and fulfil their full potential. 

Simply for being who they are, women and girls who are lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+) often face extreme stigma and prejudice, even from the people closest to them. As a result, they face heightened levels of violence and discrimination in situations where others might take their safety for granted – at home, at the doctor, in the workplace or just walking down the street. Many also face further discrimination and violence based on their skin colour, nationality, disability, migration status or other traits. 

Despite these challenges, countless LGBTIQ+ women are fighting for a better world – and succeeding. They’re making discoveries, setting sports records, inventing world-changing technology, creating inspiring art and leading liberation movements. Just like everyone else, they are supporting their communities, families, and friends. LGBTIQ+ women human rights defenders are working in solidarity with others to fight prejudice and discrimination, challenge stereotypes and cultural expectations, and to prove that there are as many ways to be a woman as there are women. 

Together, let’s make this a world where women and girls are free to be themselves and can thrive, no matter who they are or whom they love. Join us and take a stand with LGBTIQ+ women everywhere! 

Learn why LGBTIQ+ women’s human rights defenders are fighting for equality and help us amplify their voices by sharing our new social media content with the people in your life! 

Lean more by reading our new fact sheet: www.unfe.org/allwomen

Join us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

In solidarity,

Team UN Free & Equal

Canada lifts blood donation deferral period for gay men

Canada lifts blood donation deferral period for gay men

The Canadian government Thursday announced that it is lifting the three-month blood donor deferral period for men who are sexually active with other men.

Under the current blood donation regulations, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) have to wait for a three-month period since their last sexual contact with another man before donating blood. Additionally, women who have had sex with a male partner who has had sex with another man in the last twelve months must also defer for three months before donating blood. Deferrals for such blood donations have been part of the regulations for many years, though over the last ten years the deferral period has been shortened to the current three months.

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) submitted an amendment to Health Canada, the health services department, to change the deferral criteria. Instead of a blanket deferral of donations from gbMSM, the new screening approach would introduce a sexual-behaviour based questionnaire to all donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The new criteria would apply a three-month deferral to all donors who have had anal sex with new or multiple partners in the last three months.

A statement released by Health Canada called the authorization of the submission “a significant milestone toward a more inclusive blood donation system nationwide.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at a news conference, said that the government welcomes the decision which has been “a long time coming.”

CBS indicates that it expects to implement the new screening approach nationwide by the end of September.

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On April 21, a judge in St. Petersburg shut down Charitable Foundation Sphere, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates

On April 21, a judge in St. Petersburg shut down Charitable Foundation Sphere, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates

The picture shows the lower face of a woman with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders on a red background. In the corner a banner of the russian flag. The text reads: Breaking: Russain LGBT Network shut down by court

On April 21, a judge in St. Petersburg shut down Charitable Foundation Sphere, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates.

The network works to promote and protect the rights of LGBT+ people in Russia. During the anti-LGBT+ crackdown in Chechnya that began in 2017, the network led efforts to stop abuses and evacuate survivors.

The Russian authorities are using a baseless claim that helping LGBT+ people is against traditional Russian values.

The team of Sphere has declared it will resist and continue providing legal, psychological and emergency assistance to the LGBT+ community, and do everything possible to ensure that this work continues without interruption, regardless of the legal status of their team. But they will need your support.

Urge the Russian authorities to revoke this decision NOW by signing and sharing this petition.

I will sign to support the Russian LGBT

USA: Federal district court rules trans discrimination violates Illinois attorney ethics

USA: Federal district court rules trans discrimination violates Illinois attorney ethics

Transgender Attorney Sheryl Ring Monday won a lawsuit in US district court with a stipulation that Illinois attorney ethics rules do not allow discrimination based on gender identity. The new stipulation says that an Illinois ethics rule banning sex discrimination also apply when a lawyer discriminates against a transgender individual on the basis of sex in violation of a law or ordinance which uses the word sex encompassing gender identity or expression.

The lawsuit began when Ring filed an October 2021 complaint against the Administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Ring petitioned for the state of Illinois to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. To support her case, Ring cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which held that that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination also extends to gay and transgender workers.

In her complaint, Ring stated that she experienced daily discrimination from both attorneys and judges as a result of her gender identity. Her allegations included a court clerk’s refusal to use her legal name and female pronouns; a retired judge who asked if she had surgically transitioned during a mediation hearing; an arbitration panel who informed her that she could not represent clients because she is transgender and incompetent to stand as an attorney; lawyers and judges deliberately misgendering her and referring to her as her pre-transition name (“deadname”) in court even after being corrected; being called slurs from the bench and even having lawyers share pre-transition pictures of her with the court.

When asked about her feelings about the win, Ring stated: “I am absolutely overjoyed at this result, because for the first time trans litigants and attorneys in Illinois can walk into court knowing that misgendering, deadnaming and genital inspections are prohibited, and they have recourse for violations.”

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South Korea Supreme Court overturns convictions of soldiers for gay sex

South Korea Supreme Court overturns convictions of soldiers for gay sex

The Supreme Court of South Korea Thursday overturned a 2019 military court conviction of two male soldiers sentenced for having consensual sex outside their military facilities.

In its landmark ruling, the Supreme Court said that the military court did not consider whether the defendant’s relations were consensual, stating the law should not apply to consensual sex away from a military setting. The Supreme Court stated that “[p]unishing these incidents could . . . infringe upon the right to equality, the dignity and value as human and the right to pursue happiness as guaranteed by the Constitution.”

While homosexual activity is not illegal for South Korean civilians, the country’s 1962 Military Criminal Act Article 92-6 prohibits same-sex conduct among soldiers in the country’s military. Human rights advocates have long pushed for South Korea to decriminalize same-sex relationships for men in the military, warning that it fuels discrimination and stigmatization against gay soldiers.

Boram Jang, Amnesty International’s East Asia researcher in an emailed statement regarding the decision stated: “The criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual acts in South Korea’s military has long been a shocking violation of human rights, but today’s ruling should pave the way for military personnel to freely live their lives without the threat of prosecution.”

In response, the Ministry of National Defense said it would thoroughly review “the intent of the Supreme Court’s ruling.”

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