Iran Hangs Man in Public over Homosexuality, Rape Charges
The New Indian Express, Iran, 2/3/2019
A 31-year-old man was hanged in public for allegedly kidnapping and raping two teenage boys in the southwestern city of Kazeroon. The man was found guilty of kidnapping two 15-year-old boys, whom he later raped. However, he was charged with laws against homosexuality - and not paedophilia. Any sexual relationship between members of the same sex is illegal in Iran, just like any sexual act outside a heterosexual marriage is forbidden. If proven guilty, the passive partner in a consensual same-sex relationship is awarded the capital punishment. At the same time, if the active partner is convicted of rape, then the passive partner is declared innocent. This often forces the families of accused men to accuse their partner of rape in order to escape the death penalty.
Transgender Trio Fail in Legal Bid to be Listed as Male on Hong Kong ID Card
South China Morning Post - Hong Kong, China, 2/1/2019
Three transgender people who identify as male lost their legal bid on February 1, 2019, to be recognised as such on their Hong Kong identity cards, in a setback for the LGBT movement to achieve equal rights. While expressing sympathy, High Court Judge Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung ruled against the three applicants, Henry Tse, Q and R, and said a complete gender affirming surgery would be the only ‘workable way’ for the local government to determine a person’s gender. Although the trio, all assigned female at birth, identify as men, and have had been in the process of medically transitioning, they hadn’t undergone bottom surgery – which was the point of contention in their legal challenges against the city’s commissioner of registration.
Bollywood Film on Lesbian Romance Hailed for Pushing Boundaries
Straits Times - Mumbai, India, 2/1/2019
A Bollywood movie about a family accepting their lesbian daughter’s sexuality was hailed on February 1, 2019 for pushing the boundaries of cinema in socially conservative India. It comes after the country's Supreme Court scrapped a colonial-era ban on homosexuality in September 2018, sparking wild celebrations amongst India's LGBT community. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (How I Felt When I Saw A Girl) is being lauded as the first mainstream Indian film to show parents dealing with their daughter being in a same-sex relationship. Bollywood in the past hasn‘t had a good track record when it comes to portraying homosexuality, often mocking gay characters. But several films have dealt with the subject sensitively, such as Kapoor And Sons and Aligarh, and now this film.