Archive for January, 2013



Freedom House lists “LGBTI Victories in the Western Hemisphere” as a Best Human Rights Development in 2012

In an article on the Huffington Post website on December 31, Freedom House listed its best and worst human rights developments of 2012. LGBTI victories were listed as a “Best Human Rights Development” and we agree.

There were several important victories in the battle for LGBTI rights in 2012, particularly in the United States and Latin America. A U.S. president voiced public support for gay marriage for the first time, and three states — Washington, Maryland and Maine — passed laws allowing same-sex marriage, bringing the total number of states with such rules to nine. In addition, the first openly gay woman was elected to the U.S. Senate. In Argentina, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2010, the Senate passed legislation that allows gender to be legally changed without medical or judicial approval, and includes sex-change surgery and hormone treatment in government health insurance plans. The same month, Chile passed an anti-discrimination law that penalizes all forms of discrimination. Although not specifically written to protect LGTBI rights, the measure was spurred by the brutal killing an openly gay man. Even Cuba has jumped on the bandwagon, electing its first transgender person to municipal office. Same-sex marriage is also legal in Canada and some parts of Mexico. Sadly, for all of the progress seen in this hemisphere, the situation for LGBTI people has actually worsened in much of Eurasia and Africa.

You can see the full list here.

Kamla praised for moves to remove laws against gays

Repost from Guardian Media

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been congratulated by regional and international organisations on her commitment to end discrimination against gay people in T&T. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the Organisation of American States (OAS), issued a statement on December 20 welcoming Persad-Bissessar’s comments in a letter to Lance Price of the UK-based Kaleidoscope Trust.

Price had written to the PM complaining about T&T’s immigration law and the Sexual Offences Act, which he said discriminated against homosexuals. Section 8 of the Immigration Act bars entry to homosexuals, describing them as a “prohibited class.” In her response, dated August 14, Persad-Bissessar said her Government was giving due consideration to the issues raised by Price.

IACHR noted the PM’s position was consistent with “the commitment made by OAS member states on June 4, 2012 to ‘consider, within the parameters of the legal institutions of their domestic systems, adopting public policies against discrimination by reason of sexual orientation and gender identity.’” Continue reading ‘Kamla praised for moves to remove laws against gays’


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