LGTB News From Around the World

The Labour party has pledged to put an end to period poverty and stated its intention to provide free sanitary products at schools, food banks and homeless shelters, a potential landmark victory for women and trans men. Shadow woman and  equalities minister Dawn Butler unveiled the policies at the Labour Women’s Conference, contending that hygiene products should be made available to everybody who menstruates regardless of age, social status or background. She explained to Huffington Post that “It is a scandal that women on low incomes are having to deal with the additional burden of struggling to afford sanitary products, and young girls missing school once a month because they can’t afford sanitary protection.” In the US, the average woman menstruates from ages 13-51 and spends $150-300 on feminine hygiene products each year, with a staggering $11,400 spent throughout her lifetime; surely it’s time to stop demonising women and trans men in this way.

Ellen DeGeneres is pretty much universally adored, and a lot of that has to do with her, in turn, treating everyone with love and respect and promoting equality. It comes as no surprise, then, that she has made an explicit enemy out of Donald Trump and made it clear that he is not welcome on her talk show; the second-most watched daytime TV show in the US. While chatting to news anchor Megyn Kelly, herself a victim to Trump’s sexist bullying during his campaign, DeGeneres stated “For me to have someone on the show, I have to at least admire them in some way, and I can’t have someone that I feel is dangerous – not only for the country, and for me personally as a gay woman – but to the world. He’s dividing all of us… I don’t want him on the show.” A bold and inspiring move in putting him in his place; if only her male talk show counterparts had followed suit during the election.

Following the Hong Kong government’s refusal to recognise their civil partnership, a British lesbian who was not allowed to work and had to leave her wife every six months has won legal recognition of their union. The woman would have been allowed to bring a husband on a spousal visa, but as their union is not recognised under Hong Kong law, immigration authorities had repeatedly rejected their spousal visa application. The couple faced a lengthy court battle but now will receive the same spousal bene ts as those of a heterosexual couple with the same partnership. While same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Hong Kong, the judges involved stated that “immigration, by de nition, requires one to consider not only the local, but also the relevant overseas situation.” A happy ending to a story that reminds us of the legal struggles our community still faces internationally in 2017.

As we go to print, support for Australian marriage equality has dipped ahead of its public vote according to polls. The proportion of voters who support same- sex marriage now stands at 57 per cent, compared to 63 per cent in August and 62 per cent in September last year. The no vote has lifted to 34 per cent, from 30 per cent in August and 32 per cent a year ago. It may be that apathy proves to be the vote’s biggest challenge; as TSA has discussed previously, there is at times complacency about LGBT+ equality, and voter apathy may be the vote’s downfall if people decide the vote is not worth their time. If the volatile and baf ing political landscape of the past two years has taught us anything, it is that we must not take anything for granted and exercise our democratic power to the best of our ability.

LGBT+ citizens currently face adversity in Azerbaijan following reports on a brutal anti-gay crackdown that has seen dozens beaten, humiliated and arrested by authorities. Civil Rights Defenders has suggested that at least a hundred gay men and trans women have been arrested indiscriminately by police in an operation cloaked as an initiative tackling sex workers in Baku. While authorities maintain they are only responding to complaints of sex workers and drug traf cking, reports echo the attacks on LGBT+ Chechens and include citizens being released only in exchange for revealing the identities and addresses of other queer people. According to New Now Next, Ayaz Efendiyev of the Justice Party has called for the raids to continue, and blames the West for attempting to destroy traditional values by “defending these creatures who are sources of immorality, dangerous diseases, and who have been cursed by God.” The predominantly Muslim nation ranked last among 49 European countries in the 2016 ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index, meeting only 5% of group’s the criteria to be considered LGBT-friendly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien