News Archives

Philippines LGBT Church Holds Mass Wedding for Same-Sex Couples

Business Standard - Manila, Phillipines, 6/24/2018

A LGBT church in the Philippines' Quezon city held a mass wedding for same-sex couples on June 24, 2018. The Church, which had been at the forefront of a campaign urging the Philippines Government to pass a marriage equality bill, holds mass LGBT weddings, known as Holy Unions, every year. However, since the law granting marriage equality is yet to be passed, the marriages are based on pure rituals, and don’t have legal sanctity. This year, the mass weddings are more significant, because since June 19, the country's Supreme Court has begun hearing a petition urging the Government to legalise same-sex marriage. If the petition is successful, the marriages could very soon have legal legitimacy.

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Chinese Adverts Linking Alcohol to Female Promiscuity Banned By Watchdogs

The Independent, China, 6/22/2018

China’s media regulators have called on broadcasters to stop airing alcoholic beverage ads which show women getting a confidence boost with men by drinking it. Several advertisements for Want Want China Holding’s Sawow drink – a malt-based beverage specifically aimed at women – depict women gaining the confidence to approach men after drinking the product. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has since issued a statement claiming that the Taiwanese company’s ads ‘misguide the development of young people.’ While on the surface, this move seems like the censorship of something portraying female sexuality, but it’s worthy to note that the ad is problematic in its portrayal, because it shows that women can only confidently express or approach their sexuality after drinking alcohol.

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The World Health Organisation Will Stop Classifying Transgender People as Mentally Ill

CNN, USA, 6/20/2018

The United Nations health agency announced on June 18, 2018, in its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) catalogue, that ‘gender incongruence’ – the organisation's term for people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth – has been moved out of the ‘mental disorders’ chapter and into the organisation's sexual health chapter. The change will be presented at the World Health Assembly, the WHO's legislative body, in 2019 and will go into effect on January 1, 2022. The WHO said the change is expected to improve the social acceptance of transgender people worldwide, while still making important health resources available to them. Multiple LGBT groups hailed the move, praising the WHO’s decision to finally stop considering transgender identity a ‘mental illness’.

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Prisons Across Maharashtra to Get ART Facility for Testing, Treatment, Counselling for HIV/AIDS

Indian Express - Maharashtra, India, 6/20/2018

Taking into account the higher proportion of HIV positive persons in jails, as compared to the general population, central prisons and district jails across the state of Maharashtra are set to get Link Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres along with facilities for HIV and AIDS testing, counselling and raising awareness. The programme also has provisions for inmates to be trained as ‘peer educators’ for HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Prison department officials said that the medicines in the Link ART Centres in prisons will be provided by the National AIDS Control Authority and Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), and the centres and will be operational within a month’s time. Inmates will undergo regular HIV-related tests and screenings and will have special programmes tailored towards educating them about HIV and AIDS.

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Dalit Women’s Rights Activists to Present Accounts of Caste Violence at UNHRC

Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 6/20/2018

In a first, Dalit women rights activists will present witness accounts of ‘aggravated caste based-violence and impunity in India’ at the United Nations Human Rights Council in the present week, along with releasing a report titled ‘Voices Against Caste Impunity; Narratives of Dalit Women in India’. Using data from the National Family Health Survey, and several individual testimonies, the reports highlight caste-based sexual violence and instances of the misogyny and casteism faced by survivors at the hands of the police and the courts. It highlights that, of all kinds violence faced by Dalit women, brutal sexual violence is the most common. A panel of experts hearing the testimonies at Geneva will look at ways for reform through the UN system.

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