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LGBTQ News Roundup – 11th March 2022

Florida Senate passes ‘don’t day gay’ bill 

Florida’s Senate has passed a bill to ban discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary schools. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, which would bar teachers from teaching these topics to children under 10 years old. The Florida law also extends to student support services, including counselling, and grants parents the power to sue schools directly if they believe an educator has broken the law.


Guatemala Congress bans same-sex marriage

Guatemala’s Congress has voted in favour of a law that prohibits same-sex marriage. The law will also prohibit the teaching of sexual diversity in schools and raise prison sentences for women seeking an abortion. In order to come into force, the law still needs to be signed by Guatemala’s president, Alejandro Giammattei. The law was passed by an overwhelming majority, with only eight out of 160 lawmakers voting against the measure. Guatemala’s human rights ombudsman, Jordán Rodas, called it a violation of rights and a “setback to freedom” and vowed to challenge it. 


Chinese Australians call out racism on LGBT dating apps 

A gay Chinese immigrant in Australia is speaking out about racism in the LGBTQ community and on dating apps. Rilun Li (pictured) has been living in Australia for over eight years ago and says he feels like an outsider. He says he has been insulted to his face, but also noticed a number of racist language in gay dating apps. Li’s experience is not unusual according to Latrobe University researcher Dr. Gene Lim who says many dating profiles have statements saying ‘no’ to certain races. But he says, it is not just white people doing this, as he has seen a lot of Asian profiles with the same attitudes. 


Bulgarian media hacked with images of Putin in makeup

The online broadcasts of several Bulgarian TV stations were hacked this week, and instead of regular programming, popular caricatures of Russian President Vladimir Putin were broadcast instead. The image of Putin in makeup was originally created in 2013 as a mockery of Russia’s homophobic policies and is known as “Gay Clown Putin.” This iteration of the image had the words “Make Love, Not War,” included.  


Conversion therapy costs the U.S. over $9 billion a year, study finds

A newly released study in America shows that efforts to change LGBTQ people’s sexual orientation and gender identities cost the U.S. an estimated $9.23 billion each year. The study was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, and Casey Pick, a senior fellow for advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project, which conducted the research with a clinical trial organisation Cytel, said the estimate is “conservative.” Coming up with the estimate was an intensive, yearlong process, Pick said. The Trevor Project, a national crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization, worked with a team of economists to develop a model that would examine both the direct costs of conversion therapy and the ongoing costs of mental health and other kinds of medical treatment for survivors of the practice, which entails talk therapy to, in rare cases, shock treatment and water torture.

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