Sexuality

Iran's gay and lesbian community is struggling to win some recognition by coming out in defiance of a regime that criminalises homosexuality.

A group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Iranians have posted videos of themselves on Facebook in a campaign to highlight the discrimination against sexual minorities in Iran where homosexuals are put to death.

"It's easy to heap unkind words on our family but nobody has tried putting themselves in our shoes,” said Mak Yah, 50, the mother of medical assistant Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abd Aziz, 25, the transgender whose application to change his name to Aleesha Farhana was rejected by the High Court here on Monday. Eyes brimming with tears, Mak Yah lamented to the New Straits Times the pain and humiliation she felt when she read the negative comments about her and her husband, Abdul Aziz, 60.

In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Council) has passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1). The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. A list of how States voted is below.

Following the revelation that "Amina" was a hoax two LGBT Syrian Activists speak out. Sami Hamwi, Gay Middle East Syria: Blogging in Syria has been forbidden by law for more than eight years. As internet started to flourish, many Syrians started to use internet spaces and blogs to write personal thoughts, poetry, short stories… etc. unaware of that fact, but they remained safe as the authorities only monitored political and human rights blogs. LGBT bloggers can manage to keep safe only if their blogs were meant for gossip and entertainment, but they might have to face different kind of difficulties if they reported news or engaged into LGBT rights activism. As soon as any blog starts to attract attention, the agony with authorities’ interference starts.

A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities. The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks. At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or "virginity tests." But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.

Uganda's reviled anti-gay bill, which mandates the death penalty in some cases, remains in limbo after parliament adjourned without a debate. Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk, the parliamentary speaker, ruled there was no time to take up the bill this session. He has adjourned the parliament and set no date for its return. A source close to proceedings said parliament could technically come back between now and 17 May but most MPs were leaving for their constituencies. Bills not completed in the old parliament are wiped and must be resubmitted. Update to Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Bill is Anti-Human Rights and Anti-Democratic: ACT NOW TO STOP IT!

L’Association pour les droits de la femme et le développement (AWID) est très sérieusement préoccupée par le projet de loi contre l’homosexualité qui risque d’être adopté par le Parlement ougandais au cours de la semaine prochaine. L’AWID est résolument solidaire de la communauté LGBT ougandaise et de tous ceux et celles qui luttent contre ce projet de loi. Nous enjoignons au gouvernement de l’Ouganda de poser un geste constructif en rejetant le projet de loi et en soutenant les droits humains pour tous.

The Global Campaign to Stop VAW in the name of "Culture"  (VNC Campaign) extends our unequivocal solidarity with the Ugandan lesbians, gays and other progressive citizens that continue to fight against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda.  The Bill is explicitly anti-human rights and anti-democratic and contravenes the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and other international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a party.  National dialogue and understanding of homosexuality in Uganda is widely known to being strongly influenced by American Evangelical Christians, some of whom visited the country and took part in an anti-homosexuality conference that immediately preceded the filing of the anti-homosexuality bill in the parliament in 2009. David Kato, the LGBT rights activist whose extra-judicial killing caused  worldwide public outcry was one of the main advocates campaigning against the bill, and received numerous death threats for his activism.

أصدرت المحكمة الصغرى الجنائية الخامسة برئاسة القاضي محمد سعيد العرادي وأمانة سر محمود عيسى اليوم (الخميس 3 مارس/ آذار 2011) حكمها في القضية المعروفة باسم (حفلة الجنس الثالث)، وقد قضت المحكمة بحبس 49 متهماً بين شهر و6 أشهر، وبرأت المحكمة اثنين من المتهمين. 

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