The LGBTQ+ news round-up: 4 June 2016

From the Greek isles to the streets of New York City, Tom Ana brings you the most important headlines and stories you might have missed from the last 7 days.

Greek authorities have deported a gay Syrian asylum seeker to Turkey as part of a controversial migration deal within the EU. The 46-year old gay man will now return to a refugee camp in Turkey after his asylum claim was rejected earlier this month. The unknown man is believed to be one of the first LGBTQ+ individuals to be deported to Turkey under the controversial arrangement.

LGBTQ+ groups in Israel this week held Tel Aviv pride, the largest pride event ever held in the Middle East. The event featured over 200,000 and also attracted an estimated 35,000 tourists. Despite the wide turn out the event was heavily criticised from members of the local community, who claim the event was being used to pinkwash the ongoing human rights abuses enacted by their government’s treatment of Palestinians.

Conservative religious protestors in Tbilisi, Georgia, attacked a vegan café for their apparent support of local LGBTQ+ activists. The Kiwi Café, which is a hub of counter-culture in the city, was targeted by protestors who threw meat and fish at patrons while making violent threats. The attack marks the latest in a series of violent incidents targeting the LGBTQ+ community that have been encouraged by local religious groups.

Lawmakers in New York have extended a list of genders protected under anti-discrimination laws with an additional 31 identities. As well as various trans and non-binary identities the list now also includes culturally specific genders including Hijra and two-spirit. The change makes New York’s laws the first of their kind to extend legal protection to several identities not usually recognized under American law.

Also in the United States, a homeless transgender man has died of injuries received during an assault in Vermont. Amos Beede, 38, was taken to hospital after the attack on his campsite, but later died from his injuries. Although no arrests have been made it is believed the case is being treated as a hate crime.

The city of Takarazuka has become the fourth Japanese municipality to officially recognize same-sex civil partnerships. City authorities have this week begun issuing official certificates to same-sex couples. Although the recognition is not identical to a marriage, it does allow the same legal rights for couples.

Brian Brown, director of the American anti-gay group the National Organization for Marriage, has been elected as next president of the World Congress For Families. The WCF are one of the world’s largest Christian anti-LGBTQ+ groups, who help fund and support a number of international groups that protect ‘traditional marriage’. The group has previously come under fire for their connection to a number of violent anti-LGBTQ+ groups from across the world, and for their promotion of violent agendas in the developing world.

A Moroccan same-sex couple has been charged with a six-month prison sentence for homosexuality. The unnamed couple was arrested earlier this week by police in Guelmin, for public indecency and has since been charged. The incident was reported by local LGBTQ+ group Collectif Aswat, who called upon authorities to release the couple.

Norway will this week pass a new law on gender recognition that makes it easier for trans and non-binary individuals to access legal recognition. The new bill, which will come into law next week, will allow individuals to self-identify without undergoing the same medical procedures previously necessary.

A number of social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, have signed up for new European regulations that aim to improve the response to incidents of online hate speech. Under the new regulations social media sites operating across the EU will be required to respond to hate speech and threats within 24-hours of them being reported.

Moldova’s ruling Socialist Party will this month put forward a bill aimed at outlawing LGBTQ+ ‘propaganda’. The bill, modeled on Russia’s own controversial law, will make it illegal for campaigners to publicly discuss various issues for LGBTQ+ individuals.

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