International News: March 2015

TransLawmakerTrans Lawmaker Announces Bid for Polish Presidency

Transgender lawmaker Anna Grodzka announced her bid to become the next president of Poland, breaking fresh ground in the conservative Catholic country. The 60-year-old told former filmmaker and publisher is backed by the Green Party. Grodzka transitioned in 2009 and was elected Poland’s first transgender Member of Parliament in 2011.

Relaxed Surgical Barriers for Trans Citizens’ Legal Recognition

Both Israel and the Canadian province of Manitoba announced that their trans citizens will no longer be required to show proof of gender confirmation surgery to change their gender marker on certain legal identification.  Officials from Israel and Manitoba explained their new ID policy changes as a way to keep up with “modern times.”

MalaysiaMalaysia Political Leader Fails to Reverse Sodomy Conviction

A Malaysian court on unanimously upheld a sodomy conviction and a five-year prison sentence for Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the country’s opposition. A lower court had sentenced Anwar to five years in prison on the charge last year, and the rejection on of his final appeal by the Federal Court effectively removed him as the linchpin of a fractious but ascendant opposition less than two years after the government was nearly toppled in a general election, The New York Times reported.

Nepal Explores Legalization of Marriage Equality

Nepal could become the first Asian country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples if its government accepts the recommendations of a committee that studied the issue. A translated copy of the recommendations obtained by Washington Blade from gay Nepalese Parliamentarian Sunil Babu Pant, who founded the Blue Diamond Society, the country’s only LGBT advocacy group, notes the “positive international trends” towards homosexuality and marriage rights for same-sex couples.

MuralLGBT School Mural Spurs Controversy in Canada

A school northwest of Edmonton is deciding what to do next after a student’s mural featuring two young men kissing was covered up.

According to CBC News Edmonton, the principal and art teacher at Onoway Jr/Sr High School approved the mural one-week prior to it being displayed. The school says it received complaints so they covered the mural with a bulletin board.  Students tore down the bulletin board in protest calling the kiss “natural.”

Slovakia Referendum to Bolster ban on Marriage Equality & Adoption Fails

A referendum in Slovakia that would have bolstered a ban on marriage equality and adoption by same-sex parents failed this past weekend amid low voter turnout. Despite an endorsement by Pope Francis, only 21 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Slovak law requires participation of at least half of registered voters for a referendum to be valid.

by Rachel Roth

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