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Polish president says he would ban LGBTQIA teaching in schools

LGBTQIA hate from Poland as the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, vowed to ban the teaching of LGBTQIA issues in Poland’s schools.

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LGBTQIA hate from Poland as the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, vowed to ban the teaching of LGBTQIA issues in Poland’s schools. As reported by Reuters, this is said to be an apparent pitch to his conservative base prior to what is expected to be a tight race for the June 28 presidential election.

Duda is an ally of the right-wing nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), which considers LGBTQIA “ideology” as a foreign introduction that undermines the country’s traditional values. He will be facing liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the main centre-right opposition Civic Platform (PO) party.

“Parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children,” Duda was quoted as saying to supporters. “It is not possible for any institutions to interfere in the way parents raise their children.”

Cementing his anti-LGBTQIA stance, Duda also said he won’t allow LGBTQIA couples to marry or adopt children.

As FYI: Trzaskowski himself is not completely pro-LGBTQIA; favoring civil partnerships for members of the LGBTQIA community, but not supportive of allowing LGBTQIA people to adopt.

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5 Essential LGBT travel tips

While many global communities now support LGBT travelers, some places are lagging behind. It’s important to know the culture of the country you’re traveling to avoid awkwardness or worse.

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The world may be shut down at the moment due to pandemic safety fears, but some places are still open for business. If you’re an LGBT person looking to travel in the near future, you might want to consider the travel safety tips listed below.

IMAGE SOURCE: UNSPLASH.COM

While many global communities now support LGBT travelers, some places are lagging behind. It’s important to know the culture of the country you’re traveling to avoid awkwardness or worse. 

Do your research 

Hopefully, you are living in a modern country that supports civil partnerships and LGBT rights. The world has come a long way in this respect, particularly within the last decade. However, not every country is as keen on progressive cultures, and it can still be dangerous to travel to certain places as an LGBT person or couple. Do your research before traveling and make sure homosexuality is not illegal or looked on with disdain. If you need help saving for a trip abroad, check out Pigly.Com for financial advice. 

Use discretion 

The world is not always as accommodating as the place you choose to live. In some countries, same-sex affection is looked down on and could be dangerous in some cases. You need to be aware of the prevailing cultural attitudes in the place you’re visiting and behave with discretion. While you may find this unfair and want to take a stand, you need to also be aware of the risks. Taking a stand in a culture, you’re familiar with is a whole lot safer. 

Know your rights 

In the USA and certain other western countries, there are laws that protect LGBT people. Transgender people, for instance, cannot be legally asked to remove prosthetics and binders. But this is not the case everywhere. In some places, even carrying condoms can be an offense. Knowing your rights for the country you’re traveling to allows you to act within the law and stand up for yourself where possible.

Support LGBT businesses 

Traveling can be awkward at times for LGBT people. Not everywhere is welcoming and set up to provide for LGBT couples. Furthermore, some places may be actively hostile. To avoid this, support hotels, airbnbs, and hostels who encourage LGBT visitors to stay. Thankfully there are a growing number of places that cater to LGBT travelers, such as EBAB and misterb&b. LGBT friendly accommodation will also provide tips and advice on the best local places to visit and how to navigate the city for LGBT people. 

Hook up with care 

If you are traveling single, you might want to hook up on holiday. There are many apps that allow you to do this with a relative degree of care and certainty. However, you must know the risks and take extra care. In some places, the apps are monitored by authorities and can land you in trouble. There are also instances of people using the apps to rob people or take advantage of them. Take extra care when on these apps and use your best judgment.

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Cook Islands delays decision to decriminalize gay sex

Currently, it is illegal for men to have sex with men in the Cook Islands, and this is punishable by a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment. Same-sex marriage is outlawed, and civil unions are not recognized.

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Photo by Dean McQuade from Unsplash.com

Following the September 30, Wednesday, meeting of the Cook Islands Parliament, the decision to decriminalize sex between consenting same sex people was deferred for three months.

Currently, it is illegal for men to have sex with men in the Cook Islands, and this is punishable by a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment. Same-sex marriage is outlawed, and civil unions are not recognized.

In 2019, a new draft of the Crimes Bill was considered. Had it passed, it would have decriminalized same-sexual activity.

The bill had a hard time following opposition from fundamentalist “Christians”.

The nation was actually tolerant of same-sex relationships before the arrival of foreign “Christian” missionaries.

The existing law is premised on United Kingdom’s antiquated “anti-buggery law”, imposed in countries it colonized with the prohibition of same sex relationships. UK, however, already decriminalized homosexuality in 1967, even if a handful of Commonwealth countries continue to discriminate against LGBTQIA people.

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Bill banning LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ reintroduced in Canada

The new bill will include five amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code to include offenses such as causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy, causing any person to undergo the therapy against their will, and profiting off from the practice.

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Photo by Guillaume Jaillet from Unsplash.com

In Canada, a bill that eyes to criminalize LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ was reintroduced.

An earlier effort to ban the practice failed because the parliament was discontinued due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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.

The new bill will include five amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code to include offenses such as causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy, causing any person to undergo the therapy against their will, and profiting off from the practice.

According to Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau: “Conversion therapy is harmful, degrading, and has no place in Canada… I hope that all parties will do the right thing by supporting this bill.”

Trudeau’s Liberal Party earlier promised to ban the practice.

No voting date has been set.

Already, various Canadian cities – such as Vancouver in British Columbia and Calgary in Alberta – ban the practice within their borders.

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Norway to prioritize LGBT refugees

Norway will be prioritizing refugees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. This move is said to be in recognition of the persecution experienced by LGBT refugees on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

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Norway will be prioritizing refugees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). This move is said to be in recognition of the persecution experienced by LGBT refugees on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

This will be the first time that members of this community will be given priority both as a group and individuals when Norway selects for transfers. But the new rules will only apply for the transfer of refugees from one asylum country to another for permanent resettlement.

Under Norway’s previous guidelines, vulnerable women and children were given priority.

According to State Secretary for Integration Affairs in the Ministry of Education, Grunde Kreek Almeland: “It is unfortunately the case that in many countries it is not the case that you are free to love whoever you want. In almost 70 countries, homosexuality is criminal and those who violate norms of gender and sexuality can be subjected to persecution and discrimination in their home country.”

And so “we are now changing the guidelines for the work with transfer refugees so that people who are queer should be given priority.”

Migrant refugees are persons who are normally registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is UN that promotes the applications for the resettlement refugees, and the UDI decides which of them is allowed to come to Norway. In 2020, the Norway decided that the quota for resettlement refugees will be 3,000 people.

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Sudan lifts death penalty and flogging for gay sex

Sudan has lifted the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex after approximately four decades of hardline Islamist rule. This much-needed development follows the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989, with the new government pledging to lead the country to democracy.

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Small step; though one that’s long time coming.

Sudan has lifted the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex after approximately four decades of hardline Islamist rule. This much-needed development follows the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989, with the new government pledging to lead the country to democracy.

Same-sex relations remain criminalized in many arts of Africa and the Middle East. Sudan was one of six countries – aside from Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia – that imposed the death penalty for gay sex.

Under Sudan’s old “anti-sodomy law”, gay men faced 100 lashes for the first offense, five years in jail for the second, and the death penalty the third. But the punishments have been reduced to prison terms from five years to life.

The legal amendment re gay sex was part of other reforms announced by the Sudanese justice minister, which also included plans to decriminalize apostasy or the abandonment of a religion; permitting non-Muslims to consume alcohol; banning female genital mutilation; and allowing women to travel with their children without a permit from a male relative.

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Malaysian minister advocates for trans people to be arrested and re-educated

In Malaysia, the Religious Affairs Minister caused a stir after he gave “full license” to Islamic authorities to arrest and “educate” transgender people. Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri announced via Facebook that he’d given the country’s religious police, a.k.a. called JAWI, “full licen(s)e to carry out its enforcement actions” against transgender people.

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Religious extremists in positions of power?

In Malaysia, the Religious Affairs Minister caused a stir after he gave “full license” to Islamic authorities to arrest and “educate” transgender people. Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri announced via Facebook that he’d given the country’s religious police, a.k.a. called JAWI, “full licen(s)e to carry out its enforcement actions” against transgender people.

He similarly said that the authorities should subject transgender people to “religious education” in a bid to “return them to the right path”.

“Islam is a religion that wants to educate,” the Facebook post stated. “We will work towards coordinated efforts from all agencies under the religious affairs wing in the prime minister’s department.”

Local LGBTQIA organizations are, rightfully, calling out the minister’s hateful stance.

For instance, in a statement, SEED Malaysia stated that the minister’s bigoted comments would “fuel hatred” against the country’s transgender community. “The transgender community in Malaysia already face continued persecution by the state and broader society… The statement by Dr. Zulkifli and the threat of arrest will drive the transgender community further into hiding. This will deteriorate the communities’ access to basic rights even more.”

This is worth noting: Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, and it forbids homosexuality under its Islamic laws. The country’s secular laws also criminalize gay sex.

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