Bermuda approves bill prohibiting discrimination against gays
HAMILTON, Bermuda — Lawmakers in Bermuda have approved a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The bill was approved Friday in the House of Assembly after nine hours of debate.
Meanwhile, a motion to add a clause to the Human Rights Act to ensure same-sex marriage remained banned was defeated by a vote of 18 to 12.
MP Wayne Furbert had proposed the amendment so that ithe anti-discrimination measure would not take precedence over the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1974, which outlawed same-sex marriage.
“The majority of Bermudians do not want (people) to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation as far as working and living accommodations but there is no doubt that the majority of Bermudians do not support same sex marriages,” said Furbert.
Lawmakers also prohibited age discrimination in all sectors except at work, a move that many observers criticized.
‘This resolution puts an end to a longstanding injustice in our legal system and gives a voice to countless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of violence, a voice we never hear because they are no longer here to speak for themselves,’ said D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar.
Gay and trans ‘panic’ defense tactics ask a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity provoked the defendant’s excessively violent reaction to the point that they were not fully responsible for their actions.
Perpetrators claim that their victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity explain their loss of self-control and subsequent assault of an LGBT individual.
Judge’s ruling reinforces Fla. teen’s right to organize gay-straight alliance
U.S. District Judge Anne Conway issued a final order in the case of Bayli Silberstein, 14, of Leesburg, Fla., who brought a lawsuit against the school board of Lake County, Fla., for repeatedly delaying action on the her request to form the club.
“My friends and I didn’t want to have the school year end without being able to do something to make school safer. I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve gotten and hope this helps other kids see that what we’re doing is something worth fighting for,” she said.
Sen. Lawrence Joseph says “the day is fast approaching” when Grenada and other socially conservative countries in the English-speaking Caribbean will need to amend anti-sodomy laws to “fall in line with the mainstream.”
A decade ago, LGBT Puerto Ricans were criminals under the sodomy law, today we’re second-class citizens and when this bill is signed into law, we will be closer to achieving the first-class citizenship that we deserve,’ Serrano added. ‘Equality is inevitable. Puerto Rico will be for all.’
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement: ‘The Puerto Rican LGBT community has endured an epidemic of anti-LGBT violence that has taken more than 35 lives in the past three years. Nonetheless, this community has continued to stand strong in the face of adversity and today can celebrate this glorious victory.’
This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same-sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case.
“Our client is a model citizen. She has been placed in an environment of school with her classmates where they go to school together, have lunch together, and play on the same team and are allowed to have communication and contact without barriers. Then when something develops between the two as a result of this environment created by the State, it leads to criminal prosecution.
“If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when she was 17, we wouldn’t even be here.
“Right now this is the biggest thing in her life. We are going to stand behind her. Her family and friends are going to stand behind her.
“This is not logical. The State is willing to take this teenager’s life away over 108 days.
“Along with Kaitlyn and her family, we are going to fight to have the law changed so no other teenager finds themselves in this same position created by the State of Florida and prosecuted unfairly.”
A 19-year-old man, identified only as Xiang, was arrested on Saturday and will be in administrative detention for 12 days for organising an “illegal protest”, police said, according to a report in the local Xiaoxiang Morning News, which has since been deleted online.
Xiang has been transferred to the Changsha Municipal Detention Centre, said A Qiang, a fellow demonstrator and well-known activist from Guangzhou.
Xiang has been active in the local LGBT community since age 14. A Qiang said Xiang had approached police about the protest before it took place on Friday afternoon.
It was second time Changsha’s LGBT community has organised such a protest. Police had not interfered in last year’s demonstration. Some 80 to 100 people participated this year.
“The most effective way to eliminate discrimination against homosexuality is to acknowledge same-sex couples’ rights to marriage,” said Huang Yizhi, one of two female Beijing lawyers who organised the campaign.
She said that such a step could help the public become more accepting of the gay community, while also fostering social stability. Huang previously represented a gay client who was discriminated against while trying to donate blood in 2010.
The lack of legal protection for homosexuals has forced many of them to hide their identity, or even marry a member of the opposite sex, just to comply with social norms. This creates serious social problems, she said.
PARIS — France’s constitutional council, the country’s highest constitutional authority, on Friday rejected a challenge by conservative lawmakers to the country’s new marriage equality law, saying the law is constitutional.
The ruling means France could see its first gay marriages by the end of May.
France’s parliament passed the law legalizing same-sex marriage last month after a wrenching national debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris.
Opponents led by the conservative UMP party immediately challenged the law in France’s Constitutional Council, which rejected their motion Friday.
The gay marriage law must now be published in the official journal. (via France’s constitutional authority rejects challenge to marriage equality law – LGBTQ Nation)
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Kenya, 2013. Police in Kenya have stopped people marching through the capital Nairobi today (17 May) to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
A permit had been issued to allow Kenyan LGBTs and supporters to procession.
But this morning police withdrew the permit just as the event was about to start on Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park.
Julie Jules, Out in Kenya community leader, told Gay Star News: ‘Basically the police stopped the procession because we would be seen to be “promoting homosexuality”.
‘Being homosexual in Kenya is a criminal offence currently according the penal code.’ (via Police shut down IDAHO gay march in Kenya | Gay Star News)
SEOUL, South Korea — An openly gay filmmaker in South Korea on Wednesday said he plans to campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the conservative nation, while announcing plans to marry his partner of nine years.
Kim Jho Gwang-soo, 49, said he wants “to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,” and that he plans to wed his partner, Kim Seung-Hwan, 29, on Sept. 7.
Kim Jho Gwang-soo (left) and Kim Seung-Hwan
While his marriage will be largely symbolic — since same-sex unions are are not legally recognized in South Korea and being LGBT carries a significant social stigma — Kim said that would not deter his plans for seeking an official marriage certificate following his wedding.
“It will most definitely be denied. But then I will file a constitutional appeal… and I will fight to legalize gay marriage,” he said at a press conference in Seoul.
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Landmark decision: Hong Kong court rules that transsexual woman can marry
After a five year battle, ‘W’ has won right to marry her boyfriend, lawyer calls judgment a ‘resounding victory’
In a landmark decision, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has ruled that a transsexual woman can marry her boyfriend.
A Hong-Kong-born transsexual woman in her mid-30s, known only as ‘W’ in court, has won a five year battle to win the right to marry the man she loves.
Michael Vidler, a partner of the legal firm representing the case, called the judgment a ‘resounding victory’ and said he was ‘relieved’ and ‘happy’ with the judgement.
Out of the five judges on the bench, four accepted the team’s arguments.
‘The court took both of our arguments,’ Vidler told Gay Star News. ‘That marriage ordinance should be read to include transgender women and also our human rights point was taken, in that it was a breach of her constitutional rights [to marry]. We won on both grounds, which was nice.’
If we ignore it, it will be like an iceberg,” Illiza said. “Even if one case of homosexuality found, it’s already a problem… we are really concerned about the behavior and activities of the gay community, because their behavior is deviating from the Islamic Shariah.