News Archives

LGBT+ Community in Gabon Fears Backlash After Vote to Legalise Gay Sex

Reuters - Lagos, Nigeria, 6/25/2020

Members of Gabon’s LGBTQIA+ said they feared a homophobic backlash after the lower house of parliament voted to legalise gay sex on June 23, 2020. 48 members of the parliament voted to revise a law passed in July, 2019 that punished sex between people of the same gender with up to six months imprisonment. To become law, the Senate needs to approve the proposal. Thibault, a gay lawyer, said that he expects the law to be met with resistance from the general population, if and when it is passed. Gay sex is illegal in most African countries. Botswana and Angola decriminalised same-sex relations in 2019 but large populations of religious conservatives in Africa, including in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, oppose LGBTQIA+ rights.

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China: City to Let People Getting Married See Their Partner’s Abuse History

BBC News, China, 6/24/2020

Yiwu, a city in China’s Zhejiang province, is launching a database service that will let people getting married check if their partner has a history of abuse. The Domestic Violence Register database will be launched on July 1, 2020 and will let people see if their partners have any history of violence, ‘either between family members or during cohabitation’. The service will begin by using information provided by the courts and public security organs from 2017 onwards. Zhou Danying, a member of the women’s federation in the city, has welcomed the move, saying the system will help protect people in the city from domestic violence. The service has been applauded on social media, with many calling for it to be rolled out nationwide.

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Singapore’s Gay Pride Event Forges Ahead Despite Growing Opposition

Reuters - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 6/23/2020

The organisers of Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay pride rally vowed on June 23, 2020 to push ahead with an online event after nearly 30,000 people filed a petition demanding restrictions and called the content ‘immoral’. Like many other cities emerging from a lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus, Singapore’s pride event will be marked online this year in a livestream. The petition, posted on the Change.org website, said it was started by parents who were ‘deeply troubled’ that the event would expose children to ‘homosexuality as a lifestyle.’ The organisers said they would go ahead, to support the LGBTQIA+ community that struggled with social isolation during the recent lockdown that has since been eased.

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PNP: Domestic Violence, OSEC Complaints Surge as Lockdown Eased

The Philippine Star - Manila, Philippines, 6/22/2020

The more relaxed quarantine measures imposed at the beginning of June, 2020 have ushered in an increase in the reporting of domestic violence in the Philippines, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said. The PNP noted that these cases were not reported earlier because of the lack of transportation and restrictions in movement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The PNP Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC) also recorded a surge in cases of online sexual exploitation of children during the pandemic. The WCPC spokesperson said prompt reporting of incidents was important as the PNP could immediately address supposed crimes under PNP protocol with the police arresting the perpetrator without a warrant, whereas, late reporting would need court approval.

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900 LGBT Couples Have Been Certified in Japan Since 2015, Survey Finds

The Japan Times - Kyodo, Japan, 6/21/2020

A survey by Kyodo News has revealed that a total of 900 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couples have been recognised by municipal and other governments in Japan since 2015. Since the inception of the certifications systems in Tokyo in November 2015, the number of certified LGBTQIA+ couples has been rapidly increasing. The results of the survey suggest that public awareness of LGBTQIA+ couples is growing but the benefits offered to them are limited. In some cities the certification system provides certain benefits, such as allowing LGBTQIA+ couples to apply for public housing. However, limitations still exist, such as seeking important medical information on a partner who becomes medically ill.

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