This is Tajikistan. Bend over

Authorities in Tajikistan have drawn up a list of 367 allegedly gay citizens, saying they would be required to undergo testing to avoid “the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases”.

A police source told Agence France Press that “strict medical records” were needed for members of the gay community because “such people have a high risk of contracting sexually-transmitted infections through infectious diseases.”

Homosexuality is not banned in Tajikistan but is frowned upon.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/tajikistan-gay-lesbian-register-medical-checks

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Discrimination against gays in housing researched

Peter Matthews and Chris Poyner have been researching discrimination against gay and lesbian people in housing.

They found that some service providers were indirectly discriminating against members of the gay community.

…We can say that service providers were indirectly discriminating against LGBT+ people. They did not know about the experiences of LGBT+ people as they did not routinely ask people their sexual or gender identity. In such circumstances, it is very likely people are going to feel uncomfortable volunteering such information if it is relevant. Thus, it is good news that the NHS in England is to start asking for such data routinely.

That this was occurring in housing services should be surprising.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/housing-services-and-lgbt-users/

More arrests in Egypt

The crackdown on gay people in Egypt has intensified in recent days, according to the Washington Post.

Security forces raided cafes in downtown Cairo and courts delivered harsh prison sentences, further driving the nation’s LGBT community underground.

More than 60 people have been arrested since a concert last month by a rock group where some members of the audience waved a rainbow flag.

Security forces have also detained people at their homes in the middle of the night and used apps and online chat rooms to entrap those perceived to be gay.

Some cafes frequented by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have been shut down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/with-midnight-raids-and-chat-room-traps-egypt-launches-sweeping-crackdown-on-gay-community/2017/10/17/6a8397fc-b03e-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.a92032a75fa2

Hiding in Algeria

Algeria’s LGBT community celebrated TenTen, its national day of solidarity, on October 10. France 24 report on Algeria’s rainbow weddings, used to avoid being detected as gay.

Every year, hundreds or even thousands of gay people across Algeria get married in such “rainbow weddings”, because of social and familial pressure. In a country where homosexuality is a crime – punishable by two months to two years in prison, along with a heavy fine – marrying a person of another gender has become the alternative to coming out, when the latter leads to ostracisation from society.

http://www.france24.com/en/20171011-gay-lesbian-algeria-rainbow-marriage-lgbt-prejudice-discrimination

Romania pulls up the shutters

Romania is gearing up to hold a referendum to amend the constitution to prohibit gay marriage, a move that civil rights groups warn could put the country on an “illiberal” path alongside the likes of Hungary and Poland, writes Politico.

Romania’s civil code forbids same-sex marriage, and civil partnerships have not been introduced.

The planned vote — which could be held as early as November — is the result of a campaign by “Coalition for Family,” which brings together more than 40 groups, many of them religious or describing themselves as “pro-life.” They gathered more than 3 million signatures to force a referendum.

http://www.politico.eu/article/romania-gay-marriage-turns-illiberal-with-moves-against/

Pressure on Egypt to respect human rights

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File photo, dated 2014 | AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty | 17162ga

Associated Press reports that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called on Egyptian authorities to halt their crackdown on people suspected of homosexuality following the waving of the LGBT rainbow flag at a recent concert in Cairo, and to end anal examinations of people detained on suspicion of homosexuality to determine whether they were engaged in same-sex sexual relations. The practice is torture and is “abhorrent” and scientifically unsound.

Egypt is known to have arrested at least seven people last week after footage of the rainbow flag during a September 22 concert by Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila (whose lead singer is openly gay) was posted on social media.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-to-conduct-anal-exams-on-men-suspected-of-gay-sex-report/

Tunisia won’t look up your bum any more

AFP reports that Tunisia has banned forced anal examinations to determine sexual orientation, the North African state’s minister for human rights said on Friday.

The authorities carry out the tests on suspected homosexuals but “these exams can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned”, Mehdi Ben Gharbia told AFP.

Foreign and local rights groups have condemned the practice of forced anal exams as “cruel” and “inhuman”. In Tunisia sodomy is punishable by jail.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/tunisia-bans-forced-anal-exams-for-homosexuality-20170922

No gay parties allowed in Malaysia, says deputy Prime Minister

An announcement that a gay event would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 30 to promote “White Party Bangkok”, the biggest annual gay music festival in Asia, has caused quite a stink.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Malaysian Government will not allow the gay event or party planned for Sept 30 to take place. The organiser had yet to apply for a permit for the event or party but he had instructed the police not to approve the gathering. “If such a party or event is held, then it is an illegal gathering,” he said to Malaysian journalists on Thursday.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/21/zahid-government-wont-allow-any-gay-party-in-malaysia/

Adoption to be legalised in Israel

Israel’s government said today it would introduce a bill giving same-sex couples equal rights to adopt a child, in 2018.

The High Court of Justice had given the Israeli government two months to reconsider its opposition to same-sex adoption. The government said that it would present the bill by June 2018.

The court ultimatum came after a legal challenge against the Welfare Ministry and Justice Ministry challenged the state to justify its previous opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

The government had claimed that adoption by same-sex couples places an “additional burden” on children.

Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption under Israeli law, but only three such couples have managed to adopt children over the last nine years. Some same-sex couples adopt babies from other countries.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-commits-to-legislate-adoption-rights-for-gay-couples/

Gay people flee Ukraine

The United Nations reports on the Ukraine, where they found that gay men are fleeing for their lives.

When Viktor (not his real name), a 27-year-old gay man, opened his door to police one morning, he knew his secret was out.

His claims of having a girlfriend met with scorn – one of his neighbours had told them everything. Unless Viktor could present the woman within 24 hours or pay a bribe he could not afford, he would be arrested.

Panicked, he packed a bag. By the evening, he was gone.

Many LGBTI people face stigma, harassment and violent attacks. In some cases, home has become such a terrifying place that the only option is to leave.

“It is not easy to be LGBTI in the East,” says a shelter director, Olena Shevchenko. “They can beat you, they can rape you. It’s not possible to be open, because you’re never sure what will happen next. You need to lead a hidden life.”

To Your Activist what is happening to gay men in parts of the world is little more than Ethnic Cleansing.

http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2017/9/597ef1fc4/gay-displaced-frontlines-ukraines-conflict.html