The Weekly LGBTQ News: Issue #7
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights passed a resolution in late May asking for national leaders in Africa to respect the human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people. While the resolution is not legally binding, the commission is growing increasingly alarmed of anti-LGBTQ violence such as Nigeria and Uganda’s recent activity where those who engage in repeat same-sex sexual relations are sentenced to a lifetime in prison. With the resolution’s passing, it will condemn violence and human rights violations based on imputed or real sexual orientation or gender identity, ensure human rights defenders work in an enabling environment free of stigma, reprisals or criminal prosecution as a result of their human rights protection activities, and strongly urges States to end all acts of violence and abuse.
Trans* Indians were allowed to vote and counted for the first time in the nation’s recent election. Nearly 500,000 Indian citizens recently identifed as the newly recognized third gender trans* (traditionally known as hijra) in a recent census. Observers noted that 66% of those who identified as a third gender live in rural areas. Times of India also reported that 46% of trans* individuals living in the countryside are illiterate. Activist Anjali Gopalan of Naz Foundation told Times said he is not surprised at the literacy rate, citing harassment and discrimination causing trans* people to drop out of school.
Marriott International launched its #LoveTravels marketing campaign earlier this week targeting the LGBTQ community to stay at its hotels. Those featured in its ads are actual LGBTQ individuals such as trans* model Geena Rocero and recently out Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins. Bill Marriott, son of J. Willard Marriott, the founder of the hotel chain, has been an active supporter for the LGBTQ rights movement. Marriott International began offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners in the 1990s, earned high ratings from the Human Rights Campaign, and was part of the HRC’s coalition of businesses that opposed the federal Defense of Marriage Act.