The LGBTQ+ news round-up: 1 May 2016

In one of the most tragic weeks of 2016 Tom Ana shares some of the important news stories from the last 7 days that you might have missed. Happy May Day!

Two men, including a leading equality campaigner and editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBTQ+ magazine, were killed in a violent attack in Dhaka this Monday. Xulhaz Mannan, who edited the magazine Roopbaan, was murdered at his home by attackers claiming to represent Daesh (Islamic State). The attack is the latest in growing sectarian violence targeting religious and sexual minorities that have included attacks on foreign aid workers and secular bloggers.

A court in Giza, Egypt, has sentenced 11 men to up to 12 years prison time for being homosexual. Although homosexuality is not explicitly outlawed in Egypt LGBTQ+ minorities have formerly been persecuted through various laws on ‘debauchery’ and vice.

The Isle of Man has become the latest region in the British Isles to extend full marriage equality to its citizens. As a crown dependency the island has autonomy from various British laws, including marriage and taxes. The new changes mean Northern Ireland is now the only part of the British Isles to still outlaw same-sex marriage.

Also in the UK, new guidelines set out by the BBC have been launched in order to encourage more LGBTQ+ individuals to join the organization. Under the new diversity initiative the corporation aims for 1 in 6 staff to identify as LGBTQ+ or disabled by 2020.

Colombia has become the latest country in Latin America to pass same-sex marriage equality. From this week Colombians across the country can marry regardless of gender or sexuality. The change follows several years of campaigning by local LGBTQ+, which culminated in recent legislative change from the country’s constitutional court.

Lebanese pop band Mashrou’ Leila have prompted an international debate over LGBTQ+ rights after the group were banned from playing a concert in Jordan. According to a statement by the band, the planned concert in Amman was cancelled following their open support for LGBTQ+ equality. The decision to ban the performance led to online debate from individuals across the Middle East about Jordan’s (and the regional) stance on sexual minorities.

A Jamaican LGBTQ+ activist appeared before the country’s constitutional court this week as part of a landmark case against the nation’s “anti-buggery” law. Maurice Tomlinson, a lawyer currently living in Canada, hopes to challenge the laws, which were imposed under British colonial and continue to oppress LGBTQ+ Jamaicans today. Following his appearance Tomlinson also spoke openly about his experience for the blog 76 Crimes.

Follow Tom on Twitter (@tom_ana_)

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