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LGBTQI News Roundup – 2nd September 2022

‘Null and void’: Judge strikes down Saint Kitts anti-gay law 

A top court for nine eastern Caribbean nations and territories has ruled that sexual orientation and homosexual activity are protected under the right to privacy, invalidating colonial-era laws that criminalised homosexual behaviour in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Anti-sodomy laws were challenged in court by Saint Kitts and Nevis Alliance for Equality (SKNAFE) and Jamal Jeffers, a gay man, in January of last year according to Loop, a Caribbean news outlet. 

“This decision strongly establishes that a person’s sexuality should never be the basis for any discrimination. We welcome the recognition of this fact, one for which we have long advocated,” said Tynetta McKoy, the executive director of SKNAFE, according to Loop.

Gay people have faced discrimination in the region, and the ruling has been celebrated by gay rights groups as a step towards equality and freedom. SKNAFE and Jeffers had argued that the right to liberty includes the right to consensual sex and partnership with a person of their choosing.


 

Russia considers doubling fines for ‘LGBT Propaganda’ in new law 


Russia is considering doubling fines for exposing children to what it calls “LGBT propaganda” and making any event or act seen as promoting homosexuality an administrative offence, the text of proposed new legislation made public on Wednesday showed.

Russia’s existing “gay propaganda” law, passed in 2013, bans any person or entity from promoting homosexual relationships to children, though lawmakers argued in July the law should be extended to include adults as well. 

Under proposed legislation, the penalty for promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” to children would be doubled to 2 million roubles ($33,000) for entities, with the fine increasing to up to 5 million roubles if the offence took place online or in the media.Individuals could be fined up to 400,000 roubles, while foreigners found to spread “LGBT propaganda” would face deportation from Russia.

“Currently, liability only applies to LGBT propaganda among children. My colleagues on the committee and I would like to extend it to any propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, regardless of age,” lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein said.


UN expert: US progress on LGBT rights but equality lacking


Enormous progress has been achieved in the last 50 years for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States but unfortunately “equality is not yet within reach and in many cases not within sight” for LGBT communities, the independent U.N. expert on sexual orientation and gender identity said Tuesday.

Victor Madrigal-Borloz told a U.N. press conference after a 10-day visit to the United States that he applauds President Joe Biden for “very powerful” executive actions during his first days in office seeking to eradicate discrimination and violence against the LGBT community. But he said he is “extremely concerned” about a concerted series of actions at the state and local level based “on prejudice and stigma, to attack and to rollback the rights of LGBT persons.”

Madrigal-Borloz said that in access to health, employment, education and housing, the LGBT community suffers. 

Among young adults aged 18 to 25, for example, LGBT people have a 2.2 times greater risk of homelessness, 23% of LGBT adults of color have no health coverage, and in a recent study 43% of lesbian, gay and bisexual participants reported having suffered at least one act of discrimination or harassment, he said.

Madrigal-Borloz, a Costa Rican lawyer and human rights advocate, also expressed serious concern at the disproportionate impact of violence against the LGBT community.

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