LGBT Iranians speak out against homophobic regime
On May 16, at an event at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in London, Small Media and the Peter Tatchell Foundation host the event, and a handful of LGBT Iranians had the opportunity to publicly speak about their experiences living in a repressive, homophobic nation. Many LGBT Iranians are routinely harassed by both the society and the state. Many have been physically tortured and punished, and some have been sentenced to death solely because of their sexual orientation.
Argentina adopts landmark gender identity legislation
The most progressive gender identity law passed Argentina’s Senate on May 9, with 55 votes in favor, one abstention, and no votes against. The new law gives self-identified transgender people access to critical services without the need for medical intervention and provides for specific human rights protections.
Queer Avengers organize anti-bullying rally
A New Zealand group called The Queer Avengers took to the streets in Wellington on May 15 in support of Pink Shirt Day, an international event that protests bullying in schools. The Queer Avengers, who organized the march, support the formation of Queer-Straight Alliances in all schools, education on sex and gender, and recognition of all gender and sexual identities. “We’re opposing all forms of oppression, but in particular we’re challenging homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying,” Queer Avengers spokesperson Kassie Hartendorp said in a statement. “We’re here to say that in schools and everywhere else, it doesn’t get better until we make it better.”
Chile passes hate crime bill
Chile’s Congress passed a hate-crimes law that includes protections for sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnic origin, and disability. The May 9 passage of the law is the first of its kind in Chile and comes months after a group of alleged neo-Nazis were arrested in connection to the brutal murder of Daniel Zamudio, a gay man. According to ABC News, the law sat in stalemate for seven years but President Sebastian Pinera put it on the fast track after the murder of Zamudio, who was found dead in a park with swastikas carved into his body.
Israeli newspaper supports marriage equality
Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, is the latest publication to call on its government to support marriage equality. According to PinkNews, Israel recognizes same-sex unions that were performed outside of the country, but does not allow them to take place within its borders. The Editorial Board of Israel’s most influential newspaper cited President Obama’s announcement in support of marriage equality as an indication that the time has come to allow all couples, regardless of sexual identity to take part in “one of the most fundamental civil liberties.”