sexual orientation

KAMPALA, 13 November 2012 (PlusNews) - Uganda's parliament will, before Christmas, pass a highly controversial bill which seeks more stringent punishments for people engaging in homosexual acts and those perceived to be "promoting" homosexuality, says the speaker of the house.

The nightclub is heaving, sweaty and loud, pulsating with blinding blue and white lights, and packed with drunken dancers. At the bar, the young sons of Burma's elite are buying bottles of Jack Daniel's and Johnnie Walker with thick wads of dirty kyat notes. But inside the double doors and through the dark fog of the smoke machine, a cultural transformation is taking place on the dance floor. Clubbers are grinding up against each other – girls on girls, boys on boys – singing along to American hip-hop blaring out of the giant speakers in the corner.

In a country that still criminalises homosexual activity – a legacy from when the British once ruled this country of 50 million – such sights have long been kept out of view. But as Burma slowly opens up, many of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population are hoping they will no longer have to stay in the shadows.

Adults who want sex-change surgery or hormone therapy in Argentina will be able to get it as part of their public or private health care plans under a gender rights law approved Wednesday. Senators approved the Gender Identity law by a vote of 55 to zero with one abstention and more than a dozen senators declaring themselves absent — the same margin that approved a "death with dignity" law earlier in the day.

Ms. Laura Dupuy Laserre
President of the Human Rights Council
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Your Excellency,

We, the international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, the Violence is Not Our Culture International Campaign and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, and the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights are writing to express our appreciation for your support and leadership in hosting the upcoming panel at the UN Human Rights Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

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