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Fukuoka in Japan begins official recognition of LGBT partnerships

The Fukuoka Municipal Government has started to officially recognize the partnerships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples, adding to the Japan-wide efforts to eliminate discrimination against sexual minorities.

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Small steps to equality.

The Fukuoka Municipal Government has started to officially recognize the partnerships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples, adding to the Japan-wide efforts to eliminate discrimination against sexual minorities.

With this development, the city becomes the seventh municipality in Japan to issue such certificates following Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, which established a similar system in 2015.

Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima handed the first official partnership certificate to a couple at City Hall.

It is worth noting that the certificate does not entail legal rights or obligations like marriage under the civil law. However, such couples will be treated as the equivalent of traditionally married couples when they rent city-run housing or seek treatment at municipal hospitals.

LGBT couples need to make reservations to receive the certificate. As of reporting, five other couples had already done so, according to the municipal government.

Travel

A first for Central America, Costa Rica legalizes marriage equality

Costa Rica is now the 28th UN member state to recognize marriage equality.

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Photo by Jose Pablo Garcia from Unsplash.com

#Loveislove

Costa Rica has formally – and finally – legalized marriage equality, after a landmark court ruling came into effect.

In 2018, Costa Rica’s constitutional court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and discriminatory. The country’s parliament was given 18 months to legislate on this, or else the ban will be automatically overruled.

May 25, Monday, marked that deadline.

In a tweet following this, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado Quesada said: “Empathy and love should from now on be the guiding principles which will allow us to move forward.”

Quesada took office in May 2018, and his campaign promised to legalize marriage equality.

https://twitter.com/CarlosAlvQ/status/1265160738936631296?s=20

Costa Rica is now the 28th UN member state to recognize marriage equality.

Also in a tweet, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the U.N. Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity — who is also from Costa Rica — said that this is “an extraordinary moment of celebration and gratitude to the work of so many activists, and of quiet reflection of the loves of those who lived without seeing this moment.”

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Calgary officially bans ‘conversion therapy’

The so-called “conversion therapy” is now illegal in Calgary in Canada, with the city council voting 14-1 to approve a bylaw that bans the practice. Businesses that break the law by offering the practice for a fee will face fines up to $10,000.

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Photo by Blake Guidry from Unsplash.com

Rainbow rising in Canada.

The so-called “conversion therapy” is now illegal in Calgary in Canada, with the city council voting 14-1 to approve a bylaw that bans the practice. Businesses that break the law by offering the practice for a fee will face fines up to $10,000.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

Medical associations are critical of this practice – e.g. the World Psychiatric Association criticized these as “wholly unethical,” and the Pan American Health Organization warned that they pose “a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” The Canadian Psychological Association and the World Health Organization also oppose the same, stating that it poses a “severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons.”

Other countries already deal with this, including Malta, Ecuador, Germany, Brazil and Taiwan. Still other countries are in the process of banning the practice, including Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the US.

With this development, Mayor Naheed Nenshi was quoted as saying: “There are forces of anger and hatred that our gender and sexually diverse brothers and sisters have to deal with every single day. Sometimes in this job, sometimes we get to just do what’s right.”

Approximately 47,000 LGBTQIA Canadians underwent some form of “conversion therapy”, according to a Community Based Research Centre study.

To date, five Canadian provinces and eight other Alberta municipalities have taken steps to ban the practice. A federal ban is also in the works.

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New research finds bias in rideshare platforms

A study found that popular rideshare platforms exhibit biases that penalize under-represented minorities seeking to use their services.

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Photo by @botanicalnature from Unsplash.com

When your ride cancels… it may be because of bias.

New research to be published in the INFORMS journal Management Science has found that popular rideshare platforms exhibit biases that penalize under-represented minorities seeking to use their services.

The study, “When Transparency Fails: Bias and Financial Incentives in Ridesharing Platforms,” was conducted by Jorge Mejia of Indiana University and Chris Parker of American University. In addition to finding racial biases persist, similar phenomena were also documented against people who show support for the LGBTQIA community.

Data was analyzed from a major rideshare platform in Washington, D.C., between early October to mid-November 2018. The experiment manipulated rider names and profile pictures to observe drivers’ behavior patterns in accepting and canceling rides. To illustrate support for LGBT rights a rainbow profile picture filter was used. In addition, times of ride requests varied to determine how peak and non-peak price periods impact bias.

“We found under-represented minorities are more than twice as likely to have a ride canceled than Caucasians, that’s about 3% versus 8%,” said Mejia, an assistant professor in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana. “Along with racial bias, LGBTQIA biases are persistent, while there is no evidence of gender bias.”

Peak timing was found to have a moderating effect, with lower cancelation rates for minority riders, but the timing doesn’t appear to change the bias for riders that signal support for the LGBT community.

“Data-driven solutions may exist wherein rider characteristics are captured when a driver cancels, and the platform penalizes the driver for the biased behavior. One possible way to punish drivers is to move them down the priority list when they exhibit biased cancelation behavior, so they have fewer ride requests. Alternatively, less-punitive measures may provide ‘badges’ for drivers that exhibit especially low cancelation rates for minority riders,” concluded Mejia.

In the Philippines, rideshare platform Grab has – in the past – supported the commercial Pride parade, including giving discounted rates to those joining the gathering. But no study has been locally done to ascertain whether its drivers share the company’s sentiment.

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Anti-LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ now prohibited by Albanian psychologists

In a move that effectively bans “conversion therapy” in Albania, the country’s Order of Psychologists announced that it will prohibit registered members from offering attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Photo by Polina Rytova from Unsplash.com

In a move that effectively bans “conversion therapy” in Albania, the country’s Order of Psychologists announced that it will prohibit registered members from offering attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

Medical associations are critical of this practice – e.g. the World Psychiatric Association criticized these as “wholly unethical,” and the Pan American Health Organization warned that they pose “a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

Other countries deal with this, including Malta, Ecuador, Germany, Brazil and Taiwan. Still other countries are in the process of banning the practice, including Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the US.

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Travel

Germany’s Bundestag approves ban on ‘conversion therapy’

On 7 May 2020, the German Bundestag (Parliament) passed a bill banning advertising and perpetration of “conversion therapy” to minors. By passing this bill, Germany joins Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan to become only the 5th country in the world to ban “conversion therapy”.

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Photo by Christian Lue from Unsplash.com

On 7 May 2020, the German Bundestag (Parliament) passed a bill banning advertising and perpetration of “conversion therapy” to minors. By passing this bill, Germany joins Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan to become only the 5th country in the world to ban “conversion therapy”. 

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term to describe practices attempting to change, suppress, or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

The harm done by “conversion therapy” has been well-documented. In 2019, for instance, a study found that reported exposure to conversion efforts before the age of 10 was walso associated with greater lifetime odds of suicide attempts.

 The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD), a prominent non-governmental LGBTIQ organization, in a statement posted on their website, welcomes the effort to ban these harmful practices, but expresses concern that only minors are covered by the important protections of the new bill.

In August 2019, OutRight Action International released a report  – “Harmful Treatment. The Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy” – showing that, while such practices vary across religious, cultural, or traditional contexts and range in their forms of psychological and physical violence, they are prevalent in countries across the globe. They have been condemned by most major psychological, psychiatric, and medical associations, including the World Psychiatric Association, and recognized to not only never achieve their intended outcome, but to instead cause deep, lasting trauma. 

International attention on so-called “conversion therapy” has grown in recent months and years. The UN’s Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is working on a report on the topic due to be issued in June. A nationwide ban is pending in Canada; bans are also being considered in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Chile and elsewhere.

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Travel

48 Hours in Luxembourg: A travel guide

If you are looking for a place to visit after the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, then this may be the perfect place for you. Here’s why.

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Luxembourg is Europe’s richest country.  If you are looking for a place to visit after the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, then this may be the perfect place for you. If you are a real money machines à sous en ligne de paripop gamble, you may want to visit this place after you win real money.

Here is why the place is a perfect place to visit.

Getting Around

There are currently 170,000 commuters who come into Luxembourg each and every day. These people come from Belgium, France and Germany. The numbers may go up in the next 40 years. But the country has introduced a new, smooth tram system from Spain. With the introduction of this tram system, cars may become a thing of the past. 

Luxembourg Old Town

Luxembourg Old Town has a rich history and Luxembourgers love to keep this history intact. You could spend a day viewing one of the most remarkable bridges in the 16th century Grand Ducal Palace.

Casemates du Bock

This is a military maze  which was a source of protection for the country’s soldiers during World War I. The underground tunnel protected the soldiers from being attacked by enemies.

The Kirchberg Area

It is connected to the old part by the Grand Duchess Bridge. The EU Court of Judges is hosed in this area. 

Pfaffenthal  Area

The Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette Valley is connected to the main city through a huge glass elevator which zips you up 71 meters high in the air in seconds. You will see wonderful views of the green valley. There are also old style homes, restaurants, as well as homes for the elderly which looks like castles.

Schueberfouer Funfair

During the months of August to September, locals join the funfair which is a traditional practice that began in 1340.  If you would like to know more about the Schueberfouer funfair, did  you know that you can play americancasinosites casino online game and stand a chance to win big, or you can visit the Luxembourg City Museum which has wonderful exhibitions about the funfair. 

Also: The country’s food is amazing.

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