International News: March 2014
Trans Woman Back in U.K. After Detention in Canada
A British trans woman who was detained in a Canadian men’s jail during a visa dispute with the country has returned home. According to PinkNews.com, Avery Edison (a stand-up comedian) is back “in her bed” thanks to an outcry for her release. After her story went viral, Internet outrage and legal help prompted Edison’s transfer to a women’s facility. Shortly thereafter she was granted permission to leave Canada altogether.
PinkNews.com reposts that Edison was attempting to enter the country for three weeks to visit her partner, but was denied entry due to overstaying her student visa in September. Edison live-Tweeted her detainment, writing; “Initial interviewing officer is telling another about my depression, keeps switching he/she. MY PASSPORT IS FEMALE.”
Uganda President Signs Anti-Gay Bill
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni brushed aside Western threats and outrage, and signed into law a bill imposing harsh sentences for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment in some cases, according to government officials. This bill significantly strengthens Africa’s antigay movement.
The move came weeks after Museveni’s Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, took similar action in his own country, threatening offenders with 14-year prison terms. The Ugandan law seemed even tougher, threatening life terms on charges including “aggravated homosexuality,” meaning homosexual acts with a minor, a disabled person or someone infected with H.I.V.
Museveni signed the legislation at his official residence at Entebbe, near the capital, Kampala, in front of government officials, journalists and a team of Ugandan scientists who had said they found no genetic basis for homosexuality — a conclusion that Museveni cited in support of the new law.
GLBT “Propaganda” Bill Dies in Parliament
Bulgarian lawmakers have thrown out a law that would have ended GLBT people’s freedom of expression and freedom to assembly. According to reports, those “organizing or participating in events, rallies and parades” face more severe punishments than those who break Russia’s ban on so-called homosexual propaganda.
Activist Arrested at Winter Games
Prominent Italian activist Vladimir Luxuria claims to have been detained by Russian authorities for several hours after carrying a rainbow flag saying, “Gay Is OK” at Olympic Park during the Sochi Olympics. According to The Guardian, Luxuria sent a text message saying, “Help me I am detained. I am alone.” In 2006, Luxuria became Europe’s first openly transgender parliamentarian. She is also a former actor and TV personality.
New Gay Rights Party to Stand in South African Elections
A new political party in South Africa that supports gay rights will make its first appearance in the upcoming elections.
Michael Herbst of the Equal Rights Party told AFP that violence against gays and lesbians can no longer be ignored. “We need a voice in parliament to protect women from being raped because people want to cure them from being lesbians,” Herbst said. “We need someone in parliament when boys are bullied at school because they are thought to be gay.”