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Court says Trinidad and Tobago laws barring gay sex are unconstitutional

A Trinidad and Tobago court has ruled that prohibiting gay sex between consenting men is unconstitutional.

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Change happening.

A Trinidad and Tobago court has ruled that prohibiting gay sex between consenting men is unconstitutional.

In a ruling, judge Devindra Rampersad said sections of the Sexual Offences Act, which prohibit “buggery” and “serious indecency” between two men, criminalized consensual same-sex activity between adults, and were unconstitutional.

With this, the judge thereby struck down down the antiquated “anti-buggery law”.

This decision followed a similar ruling in Belize in 2016.

A final judgment on how to deal with the sections of the act is expected in July.

The case was brought in 2017 by Jason Jones, an LGBT activist for who lives in Britain but was born in Trinidad and Tobago. In an online campaign,Jones said he wanted to challenge laws inherited while the country was under British rule.

Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976.

The country still has no laws protecting the human rights of LGBT people. In the (old) law, being convicted of buggery carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

 

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Luxembourg named best country for workers in LGBT community

Luxembourg tops the list of 30 countries, thanks to the Grand Duchy’s anti-discrimination laws, low unemployment, high minimum wage and – most significantly – its “recognition as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries according to the Gay Travel Index.”

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Rainbow at work.

Luxembourg is apparently the best country in the world for LGBT workers, according to data released by Silver Swan Recruitment via its LGBT Worldwide Workplace Index.

Luxembourg tops the list of 30 countries, thanks to the Grand Duchy’s anti-discrimination laws, low unemployment, high minimum wage and – most significantly – its “recognition as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries according to the Gay Travel Index.”

The LGBT Worldwide Workplace Index was compiled by analysing the following factors:

  • LGBT laws and rights
  • LGBT employment laws
  • Minimum wage
  • Unemployment rate
  • Average salary
  • LGBT-friendliness

For each of the six factors, a score from zero to three was awarded to each country, meaning that the top possible result was 18. Luxembourg scored a total of 17.

Only the top 30 countries in the rankings were awarded a place on the LGBT Worldwide Workplace Index.

Image source: Silver Swan Recruitment

Second in the list is Australia, followed by New Zealand, then Monaco, France and Belgium. The Netherlands, known as a strong supporter of gay rights only made seventh place on the list. This was mostly due to the country’s average salary rating.

At the bottom end of the 30 countries index comes Spain, Slovenia and Colombia, respectively.

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Travel

San Francisco’s Castro District highlights Pride is still a long way away…

Outrage Magazine visits San Francisco’s Castro District to see that the LGBTQIA community may have achieved a lot, but so much more needs to be done before Pride is really felt by all.

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Where we’ve been. Where we are. Where we’re headed.

That, in a gist, is how I perceive San Francisco’s “LGBTQIA central”, Castro District to be. It celebrates where we are now by paying (some) attention to our shared past; but it also highlights the areas where our community needs to act (and act fast) before we can truly say that we have Pride.

Castro District is a neighborhood in Eureka Valley in San Francisco, California. It was named after José Castro (1808–1860), who opposed US rule in California in the 19th century. As one of the very first gay neighborhoods in the US, it actually became LGBTQIA-centric starting only the late 1960s, aided by the hippie and free love movements in neighboring Haight-Ashbury district.

By the 1970s, it was already an upscale gay community (first mitigated by people’s movement here before it became the prime spot that it is now).

Castro’s influences in the (global) LGBTQIA community are numerous.

Harvey Milk was from here; in 1973, he opened a camera store here, Castro Camera, and he also began his political involvement as a gay activist here. So this place sorta helped exemplify LGBTQIA political involvement, particularly at a time when we had even harder times.

Then in the 1980s, the area was hit hard by the HIV and AIDS crisis. This is a defining moment for the LGBTQIA community (with HIV “blamed” on gay people, and with the American government not lifting a hand to do something/anything about this sitch then), so this helped galvanize the (particularly) gay community.

Castro also shows cracks in the rainbow. Perhaps most apparent is the blatant commercialization of Pride. In Castro, everything LGBTQIA-related can be bought.

And then there are some of our stereotypical concepts of “beauty”, which surfaced from Castro. The one that immediately comes to mind is the “Castro clone” that exemplified butchness and masculinity; to date, this idiotic penchant for “straight-acting and straight-looking” continues…

READ:  Going abroad on business? 12 tips to make it a stress-free experience

Truly, nowadays, Castro is a “living” reminder of the LGBTQIA community’s history.

But Castro also shows cracks in the rainbow.

Perhaps most apparent is the blatant commercialization of Pride. In Castro, everything LGBTQIA-related can be bought.

This – not surprisingly – highlights the social stratification within the LGBTQIA community. Exactly because the we’re talking moolah, and because not everyone has this, the social classes that divide the community is highlighted. Even the nearby LGBT Center isn’t immune to this, with some LGBTQIA people critical of it (supposedly) for being elitist.

Then there’s the leaving behind of members of the LGBTQIA community. For instance, in San Francisco, the homeless population is approximately 7,499 – 29% of them identify as LGBT; and 11% of them have HIV or AIDS. If you want to see some of them, try waking up early – like 6.00AM or so – and take a walk along Castro Street to see them, living in the midst of the trash from the partying that happened the night before.

Castro has long become a tourist trap that highlights “progressive LGBTQIA community” a la America. And – as such – it can’t be denied how it’s a good reminder that we’ve (well, at least ‘they’ have) made progress.

But it also stresses – for me – that so much more still needs to be done…

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Travel

Ecuadorian court rules that nation’s ban on same-sex marriage is illegal

A court in Ecuador ruled that the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage is illegal. The decision was rendered following a January ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that the 20 countries under its jurisdiction must offer equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

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Big hurrah for marriage equality.

A court in Ecuador ruled that the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage is illegal.

This decision was rendered by two judges in the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Court in response to two cases brought by same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses. The judges ruled that they must be allowed to wed immediately, as they cited a January ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that the 20 countries under its jurisdiction must offer equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Last year, a decision in favor of marriage equality was released by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in response to a case filed in Costa Rica. Thereafter, the member countries of the Organization of American States across Central and South America have to comply with the ruling.

Ecuador initially did not follow the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights with the country’s Civil Registry denying licenses to the two female couples, leading to the cases that came before the Ecuadorian court in the city of Cuenca. Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Court Judges Iliana Vallejo and Ruth Alvarez both ruled that rejection of the women’s marriage license applications was a violation of their human rights.

The Civil Registry is appealing the ruling to the Provincial Court in Azuay, the province in which Cuenca is located.

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Travel

British gov’t launches action plan against LGBT discrimination, to ban ‘conversion therapy’

The British government launched a 75-point action plan, and set aside almost $6 million to better handle discrimination against LGBT people. A major move from this action plan is the banning of “conversion therapy”, as well as a plan to help defend the rights of LGBT people globally.

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One big move. Finally.

The British government launched a 75-point action plan, and set aside almost $6 million to better handle discrimination against LGBT people.

A major move from this action plan is the banning of “conversion therapy” — a practice that the British government called “abhorrent” and said can range from “pseudo-psychological treatments to, in extreme cases, surgical interventions and ‘corrective’ rape.”

The plan comes just as the British government released an online survey to better understand the experiences of its LGBT population.

This survey found that of 108,000 self-identified LGBT respondents, more than 70,000 have avoided holding hands with a same-sex partner in public because they fear how others will react, while 23% said people at work had reacted negatively to them being LGBT and over half of those who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long. On conversion therapy, 2% of the survey’s respondents said they participated in some form of it, and 5% said they had been offered it.

While the survey is not nationally representative, the number of respondents represented around one-tenth of the country’s LGBT population.

British PM Theresa May said she was “struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.”

But according to Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall UK, these findings reflect what many LGBT people already know, that there’s still a long way to go until we reach full equality. The simple act of holding hands is something all same-sex couples do with a high degree of caution. Attitudes have changed but there are still pockets of society where we’re far from safe.”

READ:  Pack your bags and explore the world

In addition to dealing with the issues facing LGBT people in the UK, the action plan has an international element to help defend the rights of LGBT people globally. The British government promised to “deliver an international conference with governments and civil society groups focusing on how to progress LGBT equality, and to provide funding to promote LGBT equality worldwide.”

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Your ultimate camping checklist for this summer’s vacation

It’s that time of year again when everybody is booking their trips away to give themselves a break from normality. Take a look at this ultimate camping checklist for this summer’s vacation.

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It’s that time of year again when everybody is booking their trips away to give themselves a break from normality. Usually, people choose to jet off abroad and spend a week or two on the beach sunning themselves. While this is a great option, it can work out extremely expensive and for some people, it gets monotonous because they’re doing the same thing day in and day out. If you’re looking for a little more from your holiday this year, or you’re simply looking on spending less money on a trip away, then why not consider camping? Don’t know where to start?

Take a look at this ultimate camping checklist for this summer’s vacation.

Bottled water

Most campsites supply a water tap for cooking and pot washing purposes, but it’s always a good idea to take bottled water to drink and also for cooking just incase their water isn’t very clean or there isn’t one at all.

Roof rack

Being in the great outdoors promotes more physical exercise. Why not take your bicycles on holiday with you and experience some well needed fresh air? You can buy roof racks online from 4WDSupacentre so that you can easily attach them to your car or van.

Blankets and pillows

While you may have already purchased sleeping bags, you will soon find that they can be very uncomfortable to sleep in for a number of days in a row. Take blankets and pillows to pad the ground out with for a much cosier slumber.

Camping stove

You may have an idea of cooking on an open fire, and while this is great, some campsites don’t allow fires on their grounds. Take a gas camping stove with you to heat your food so that you’ve always got a warm meal.

Windbreakers

Pick up a few windbreakers so that you can shield yourselves from the wind when you’re pitched up out in the open. Not only do they prevent you from being blown away, but they add some extra privacy to your space. Perfect for those times where the campsite is busy!

Firelighters

If you are lucky enough to stay on a campsite that allows open fires, then it’s always a good idea to keep a box or two of firelighters in your car in case it’s difficult to get a fire going. If you want to be super prepared, take some kindling to get your fire going nicely to save yourself even more time and effort.

Books

Camping poses the perfect opportunity to take some time out to simply sit in the sun and relax. Why not take a good book or two to accompany your relaxation and let yourself slip away into your book for an hour or two. Pair that with some ice cold drinks and you’re in relaxation heaven!

Toilet paper

Finally, one of the first items on your list should be toilet paper. While campsites often offer amenities for toilets and showering, you might find yourself in a sticky situation. Stock up on toilet paper so that you don’t land yourself in any uh-oh moments.

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Travel

4 Reasons to add Iceland to your bucket list

It’s true that the weather is cold and you will find some stunning glaciers there, but that’s only one small part of Iceland. If you haven’t considered it before, here are some reasons you should add Iceland to your travel bucket list.

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The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Iceland is probably cold weather. The clue is in the name I suppose. People picture huge glaciers everywhere and constant snow all year around but that’s not what Iceland is all about.

It’s true that the weather is cold and you will find some stunning glaciers there, but that’s only one small part of Iceland. If you haven’t considered it before, here are some reasons you should add Iceland to your travel bucket list.

IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY.COM

Great Hiking Trails

One of the best ways to see explore any new country is on foot. Instead of driving through and only catching a glimpse of the landscape as you pass, you’ll have the time to really take it all in if you’re walking. If you’re into hiking, Iceland is definitely the place for you. The Laugavegur trail, in particular, is worth hiking.

Visit https://www.gadventures.com for more information on great guided tours of the trail. This incredible 55 km trail will take you through volcanic landscapes, vast forests and even hot springs where you can stop and relax. It will take you a total of about five days and it can get pretty tough, especially if the weather is bad, but it’s absolutely worth it if you want to see Iceland in all its glory.

It’s Sustainable

Everybody has different priorities when it comes to picking a country to visit; some people are all about the sun, while others are looking for great food and drink. For some people, sustainability is important. If you’re serious about sustainability then you might not want to visit a country that doesn’t do its part to protect the planet.

You won’t have to worry about that in Iceland because they’re a world leader in green energy. Eighty-one percent of the country’s energy comes from geothermal and hydro energy and they’re leading the way when it comes to reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Blue Lagoon

Iceland has managed to get all of that geothermal power to replace fossil fuels because there are loads of thermal pools in the country. The most famous one is the blue lagoon which attracts tourists all year round. The water is always lovely and warm and it’s filled with minerals so it’s great for your skin as well.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights is probably associated with Iceland even more than the glaciers and cold weather. This incredible feat of nature, officially known as the Aurora Borealis, is like nothing else you’ll ever see in your life. It’s one of the natural wonders of the world and everybody should try to see it at least once. There are other places in the world that you can see the Northern Lights but Iceland is one of the highest countries which means you’ll get the best view from there. If you’re planning to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, the best time to go is between September and April.

Check out https://www.travelandleisure.com for more information on the best way to see them.

Iceland is a magical country which is quite unlike any other place on Earth so make sure you add it to your bucket list today.

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