Gay marriage passed in Oz

Australia’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage today, overcoming years of conservative resistance to enact change that the public had made clear that it wanted.

There were just four votes against the bill.

Well done Australia.

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Not many assylum seekers are let in

After a very long wait the Home Office have released some provisional figures revealing the fate of gay assylum seekers. The HO describe the figures as “experimental” whatever that means.

In the last two years a total of 3,535 asylum applications were made by people fleeing persecution at least partly based on their sexual orientation. That is around 6 percent of all asylum claims. More than two-thirds of these were rejected.

Of cases with a clear resolution, 2,379 claims were rejected, and just 838 approved.

The Home Office accepted just 63 gay asylum seekers from Nigeria, where gay people can face extreme violence or decades in jail. 268 gay Nigerians were turned away.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/11/30/the-uk-has-rejected-thousands-of-gay-asylum-seekers/

Escapees tell their story

For a number of years Your Activist has received word from gay people in Uganda about the persecution they faced. Your Activist’s advice was always to get to a place of safety.

Apollo Kimuli and Barnabas Wobiliya have done just that and have spoken to the Salt Lake Tribune about their lives.

The slurs came at the young boy like barbs.
Sometimes the word hurled his way from other kids was “guera,” meaning “girl” in the dialect of his native Ugandan village. At other times, it was “mudiga,” a word used for gay people, he said.
“I used to talk like a girl … walk like a girl. I used to be in the company of girls, so they called me all sorts of names, because I was expressing like a girl,” said Barnabas, … who remembers being about 10 when the teasing began.

A 2016 report by the U.S. State Department criticized Uganda for its human- and civil-rights failures, including violence and discrimination against women, children and other marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ community.

Your Activist is glad so many people have escaped persecution in Uganda, and hopes that conditions in Uganda will improve soon.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/11/26/gay-ugandan-activists-rebuilding-lives-in-utah-after-fleeing-anti-lgbtq-repression-in-africa/

Aren’t gay families wonderful!

More same-sex couples are adopting children in the UK.

Family court figures from the Department of Justice reveal that more gay couples are applying for adoption orders while fewer heterosexual couples are doing so.

Applications from heterosexual couples dropped by 12 per cent to 3561, while applications from gay couples rose by seven per cent to 587.

In 2002 the Adoption and Children Act allowed gay people to adopt for the first time. Since then the number of same-sex couples seeking to adopt has risen.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/boost-in-gay-couples-adopting-children-is-relieving-strain-on-uk-care-system-a3698291.html

Conversion in China

Human Rights Watch have published first-hand accounts from people in China who have been subjected to forced gay conversion therapies.

Their report details 17 cases between 2009 and 2017, including verbal and mental abuse, forced medication and electric shock therapy in Chinese hospitals. 11 of those interviewed were forced to take medication without being informed about its purpose or side-effects. Five of those interviewed were subjected to electric shocks while being shown images or videos – or given verbal descriptions – of homosexual acts.

Doctors and clinics can charge up to 30,000 yuan (£3,440) to “treat” gay people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41996322

Gay Botswana student goes to court for his human rights

17164

Moreri Sejakgomo | 17164

A 21-year-old University of Botswana student, Letsweletse Motshidiemang, has filed papers in the Lobatse High Court challenging the constitutionality of Section 164(a) and 167 of the Botswana Penal Code, which criminalise homosexuality. Motshidiemang says the law interferes with his fundamental right to liberty, his right to use his body as he sees fit, which includes expressing his sexuality through the only means available to him as a homosexual, and he has a right to equal protection of law and the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. The student wants the court to declare that the said sections interfere with his fundamental right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or other such treatment.

“The law violates my fundamental right and freedom to privacy in that it interferes with an intimate and personal aspect of my life that causes no disrespect to the rights and freedoms of others and also causes no harm to the public,” he states. He says arguments that Batswana do not accept homosexuality do not hold any water as evidenced by remarks made by Members of Parliament Botlogile Tshireletso, Duma Boko and some chiefs to the effect that there should be no discrimination based on sexual orientation.

http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=72831&dir=2017/november/02

The size of the problem

A new survey across 77 countries found 28 percent of respondents believed gay people should be charged as criminals.

The Ilga-Riwi global attitudes survey into sexual and gender minorities found there was a major divide in attitudes towards same-sex couples in different regions.

45 percent of respondents in the 15 African countries surveyed said people in gay relationships should be charged as criminals; the highest percentage in the world.

In the Middle East, 36 percent of people surveyed thought the same.

In the UK the figure was 17%.

One in four people think gay couples should be ‘treated like criminals’