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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Forign Policy

The report, released today by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, outlines “a pattern of human rights violations… that demands a response,” and says governments have too often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The report documents homophobic and transphobic violence. The document records from every region of the world, writing down kidnappings, assults, rapes, and threats of deprivations of liberty.

“Violence against LGBT persons tends to be especially vicious compared to other bias-motivated crimes,” the report notes, citing data indicating that homophobic hate crimes often include “a high degree of cruelty and brutality.”

Police in Malawi have launched an operation to hunt down and arrest high-profile gays and lesbians in the southern African state.

Fears of an anti-gay backlash across Africa are intensifying after the prosecution of the first gay couple to seek marriage in Malawi, and thousands of Ugandans demonstrated this week in support of a bill proposing the death penalty for some offences involving homosexual acts. Last week five men were arrested at an alleged gay wedding in Kenya.

South African women who choose not to remain in the closet as lesbians are being gang raped. Stories of women who have come out being gang raped to "correct" their behavior and even murder are growing at alarming numbers.

Human rights leaders say men are committing these acts in an attempt to "cure" women of their sexuality and are called "corrective rape." Women and girls are living in fear of being dragged off the streets by groups of men to be gang raped or worst.

One of the more shocking stories that gained headlines is that of Eudy Simelane a lesbian equal rights activist, who was also a member of the famed South Africa's Banyana Banyana national female football squad. Her body was found in a creek outside of Johannesburg, reportedly she had been gang-raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times.

The provincial government is hailing it as a first in Canada and North America.

Friday morning Quebec's Justice Minister Kathleen Weil announced an official provincial policy against homophobia, with a wide-reaching series of measures to fight anti-gay discrimination.

The Austrian Parliament approved a bill Thursday that recognizes gay and lesbian relationships, the AP reported.

The new law creates a separate legal framework for gay couples that includes many of the benefits and obligations of marriage, including pension rights and alimony payments in the event of a split. But the law also bans gay couples from adoption or artificial insemination. Austrian media called the new union “marriage light.”

The law will take effect on January 1.

Read the full article at On Top Magazine

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