This week, our LGBTI family has been once more under attack. In Russia, a group of senators put forward a new package of draft laws that would severely affect trans, lesbian, gay and bisexual persons. In the meantime, the United States’ federal government is seeking to approve new limitations on asylum claims that could make it virtually impossible for queer persons to be granted refugee status. In Malaysia, the minister for religious affairs has been heavily criticised for announcing that the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department would have “free licence” to act against the trans community.
Nevertheless, a few victories are paving the way for new and more significant changes. While criminalisation of consensual same-sex relations persists in Sudan, the latest justice reform has abolished flogging and the death penalty on such grounds. In Bolivia, a ruling has sided with two men who were seeking to have their domestic partnership registered, possibly paving the way to seeing same-sex couples recognised in the country.
Other rulings offer us hope for the future: a Polish court declared an “LGBT-free” zone unconstitutional, and the European Court on Human Rights recognised that refugees have the right to legal gender recognition - a ruling on a case from Hungary that seems particularly relevant now that the country has passed a law making it impossible for people to update their documents.
While we fight for our rights globally, we shouldn’t forget the older members of our communities. Results of a recent survey in New South Wales, Australia, called for more inclusive and LGBTI sensitive aged care services.
This week has also marked the International Non-Binary People's Day: an important moment to celebrate all non-binary persons, and recognise their vital contributions to our movement!