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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

LGBTQ News Roundup – 19th March 2021

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LGBT community ‘under attack’ in Ghana


report on the BBC News website indicates the situation for LGBTQ people in Ghana is becoming dangerous. In February Ghana’s first LGBT community centre was shut down by police after operating for just a month. According to activist in the country, LGBT people are being targeted with violence and intimidation. While there is no law against being queer in Ghana, same-sex relationships are illegal. 


Amazon stops selling anti-LGBTQ books

Retail giant Amazon has announced it will stop selling all books that frame gay, lesbian and transgender sexual identities as a mental illness. The company made the decision after four Republican senators in America complained to CEO Jeff Bezos last month when Amazon pulled one book on the subject. A spokesperson for the company said they hadn’t intended to single out one book, rather they will ban the entire category. 


Japan’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional 

A Japanese court has ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional. The Sapporo District Court in Hokkaido ruled that the government’s lack of recognition of same-sex marriage was a breach of a section of the constitution that requires equal laws for everyone. Japan is the only country in the G7 that has not recognised any form of marriage equality, though some regional authorities do issue partnership certificates. The case could now move to the country’s Supreme Court, or if it chose, the Japanese parliament could change the law. On a side note, homosexuality has been legal in Japan since 1880. 


Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions

Despite a 2020 statement from the Pope saying same-sex couples should be allowed to have civil unions, the Catholic Church has stated it is “impossible for God to bless sin.” Essentially this means that the church will not allow their priests of ministers to bless queer unions. After the ruling, the Pope issued a contradictory statement saying the ruling was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite.” To add a strange twist to this story, it appears that the Vatican invested money in the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Strange times we live in!


EU Parliament declares EU a LGBTIQ freedom zone

European Members of Parliament have voted to declare the EU an LGBTIQ freedom zone in a symbolic protest against discriminatory policies in Poland and Hungary.  More than 100 Polish regions, counties and municipalities have adopted resolutions in the past two years declaring themselves to be free from LGBTQI ideas. The EU resolution was adopted by 492 votes in favour, 141 against, and 46 abstentions and it stated that people “in the EU should enjoy the freedom to live and publicly show their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of intolerance, discrimination or persecution.” 

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