PIL against Insistence of Sex-Reassignment Surgery Proof for LGBT Passport-Seekers
The Times of India - Chennai, India, 11/14/2019
An LGBT activist has approached the Madras high court to declare a proviso in passport rules mandating submission of a gender affirming surgery certificate for changing one’s official gender in one’s passport, as illegal and unconstitutional. The PIL, filed by T D Sivakumar, said the rule violated the right to self-identification conferred on the LGBTQ community by the Supreme Court in the National Legal Service Authority Vs Union of India case (or the NALSA judgement of 2014). Even though the Supreme Court had laid down clear directives that insistence on a surgery certificate was a violation of rights, transgender people who apply for passports or want their name or gender changed on it, are constantly asked for certificates to prove they have had gender affirming surgery, the petitioner said.
Uganda Charges 67 People After Raid of LGBTQ-Friendly Bar
NBC News, Uganda, 11/13/2019
Dozens of people were arrested at a gay-friendly bar in Uganda on November 10, 2019, and may face up to a year in prison, in what activists say is the latest example of a surge in persecution against the East African country’s LGBTQ community. Human rights group OutRight Action International and the Uganda-based Kuchu Times reported that more than 100 people were swept up in the early morning raid, with police reportedly releasing 50 of them and charging the remaining 67. The LGBTQ-friendly bar in the Ugandan capital of Kampala where the raid took place has been a hub for Uganda’s LGBTQ community for several years. The 67 people not released have been imprisoned without bail and were charged on November 12, 2019, with ‘common nuisance.’
Singapore Court to Hear Cases Seeking to Decriminalise Gay Sex
Al Jazeera, Singapore, 11/12/2019
As a Singapore court prepares to hear a series of legal challenges to a law that bans gay sex, LGBTQ activists on November 12, 2019, called for the ‘right’ verdict to be delivered so similar reforms can prevail all across Asia. Like many former British colonies, Singapore has retained an old law that criminalises gay sex, which was scrapped by India in a landmark court ruling in September 2018. Empowered by the Indian ruling, three Singaporean activists launched separate bids in a renewed push to decriminalise gay sex, and a high court will begin hearing their cases on November 13, 2019. The court has set aside six days in November for the legal challenges to be heard but it is unclear when the proceedings will wrap up.
Kenyan Campaigners Call for More Investments in Safe Motherhood to Curb Deaths
Xinhua - Nairobi, South Africa, 11/12/2019
Kenya should increase budgetary allocation towards reproductive health for women and girls in order to reduce fatalities linked to unsafe abortion and unattended births, campaigners have said. The campaigners, who spoke at a forum in Nairobi on November 9, 2019, said that robust financing combined with policy reforms and community-led advocacy is the key to advancing the sexual and reproductive health of women in the childbearing age bracket. Kenya's health advocacy groups have also come up with a memorandum calling for greater support for maternal health agenda that will be presented at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in the coming week. Kenya loses about 8,000 women annually from preventable causes like obstructed labor, hemorrhage, abortion, infections and other infections during pregnancy.
PopCom Blames Moral Decadence for Teen Pregnancies
The Philippine Star - Manila, Philippines, 11/10/2019
‘Moral decadence’ is one of the reasons why teenage pregnancy is on the rise in the country, according to the Commission on Population’s (PopCom) regional director for National Capital Region (NCR) of Philippines, Lydio Español Jr., who said in a statement that the ‘contribution of religious belief to abstain from premarital sexual activities’ has not been maintained over the years. Though the city of Manila records high rates of teen pregnancies – at 72 per 1,000 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years old – the reasons contributing to this could be the lack of sexuality education, as well as lack of access to contraception. However, the Population Commission has attributed it to a lack of morality, therefore further stigmatising adolescent sexuality.