Dismay at India's Gay Ban
India's Supreme Court has overturned a lower court's ruling that had decriminalized gay sex, a terrible setback for the gay-rights movement in this largely conservative country. The UK gay Humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has expressed its dismay and outrage at the news that India’s highest court has…
The Supreme Court threw out a 2009 New Delhi High Court decision that ruled the law was unconstitutional and this change could see gay people jailed for up to ten years.
The PTT’s Secretary George Broadhead said: “This ruling is a terrible setback for the struggle to secure equal rights for LGBT people, not just in India, but in many of the Commonwealth countries that still enforce colonial era draconian restrictions on the rights of LGBT people. It will inevitably provide encouragement to the many African states like Nigeria and Uganda which are viciously hostile to LGBT relationships and rights.
“As in these countries where religious organisations, including the Anglican Churches, strongly support anti-gay legislation, the ruling in India has been welcomed by religious groups, particularly leaders of India's Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities, who had challenged the 2009 New Delhi High Court ruling which described Section 377 as discriminatory and said gay sex between consenting adults should not be treated as a crime.
“Zafaryab Jilani, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said The Supreme Court has upheld the century-old traditions of India. The court is not suppressing any citizen, instead it is understanding the beliefs and values of the large majority of the country.
“The PTT fully endorses the statement made by G Ananthapadmanabhan of Amnesty International India who said: This decision is a body-blow to people's rights to equality, privacy and dignity. It is hard not to feel let down by this judgement, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights.”
New Guide for International LGBT Equality
Stonewall has launched a guide for equality activists worldwide on how to engage with the UK Government. It provides the practical information they need to work effectively with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
The guide, being sent to over 1500 activists as well as British High Commissions and Embassies around the world, features case studies of how the UK Government has supported LGB and T activists to date. Stonewall has worked with activists in over 35 countries worldwide since 2011 to support them in their own campaigns and share their expertise from over two decades of campaigning.
Stonewall’s Senior International Officer Jasmine O’Connor said: ‘We know from our work with dozens of LGB & T organisations globally that they look to the UK as a beacon of gay equality and therefore a key ally in their own campaigns for fundamental rights. The UK Government has said it wants to work with activists in their own countries and we hope that this guide will help bring activists and the UK Government together on the ground.’
The guide, which is free to download, and further details of Stonewall’s work with international LGB and T activists can be found at: www.stonewall.org.uk/international
Penn & Teller Are Back in the UK
Comic magicians and gay rights advocates Penn & Teller will be returning to the UK next June, 2014, to play some very special shows starting in Manchester and Birmingham, before playing a mammoth 5 nights at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in London. Tickets are on sale now: Penn and Teller Tickets…
International LGBT Expo Returns to Puerto Vallarta
International LGBT Business Expo, Latin America's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travel business conference and consumer expo will return to its birth town, Puerto Vallarta, from June 12-14, 2014 with the host hotel being Casa Magna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & SPA.
Over 400 international, Mexican and local business who are interested in targeting the LGBT market are expected to gather during the three-day B2B trade show and networking events, including representatives from airlines, hotels, tourism offices, tour operators, travel agents, international media, international organizations and governmental offices.
The only Mexican destination to be a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, Puerto Vallarta made its debut as a tourism destination in the 1960s when celebrity visits by Elizabeth Taylor and Tennessee Williams launched the destination into the eye of international media, and has since developed into the country’s leading LGBT destination. Puerto Vallarta offers an all-inclusive atmosphere in its Romantic Zone area which is home to many businesses that are LGBT-owned and/or target the consumer, including beaches, tours, activities and restaurants bars and clubs to choose from.
On October 31 the state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, approved a civil union law that allows couples co-habiting to register their union with the state and allowing for certain rights, including that of inheritance, property ownership, and medical rights among others.
Vallarta Pride will take place from May 22-26, 2014, the three-day celebration of LGBT culture and Puerto Vallarta’s welcoming community will include music festivals, beach parties, fashion shows and activities in participating bars and clubs.
Download the LGBT Confex’s latest program here.
Download Puerto Vallarta’s LGBT information here.
Transgender Hate Crime Law Change Anniversary
One year ago this week tougher sentences came into effect for murderers who kill their victim's because of their transgender identity. Under the changes in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act these murderers now face life sentences with a starting point of 30 years in prison. These…
Justice Minister Damian Green said: "Transgender hate crimes, as with all hate crimes, are deplorable. They leave people living in fear of unprovoked attacks and violence. By increasing the minimum sentence for hate crime murders against transgender people we are sending out a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated and offenders will face the full force on the law.”
In addition under the legislation 'transgender hate crime' became a statutory aggravating factor, meaning judges can increase sentences where a victim's transgender identity has been a motivating factor in the crime.
The changes apply to Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which provides guidance on determining the minimum term under a life sentence for murder. This forms part of the Government's commitment to transform the criminal justice system so everyone who comes into contact with the system is treated in a fair and just way.