Russia's recent ruling could put LGBTQ people in danger, South Africa wants to enact penalties for homophobic attacks, and Nepal grants a marriage certificate to a gay couple.
Russia’s New Ruling May Put LGBTQ People in Danger
What Russia’s Supreme Court calls an “international LGBT public movement,” is now outlawed and labeled as extremist. This ruling is expected to lead to arrest and prosecutions of the LGBTQ community.
“Even though there is no such thing as an international LGBT movement, it is clear that all legal activities of LGBT organizations will be impossible in Russia,” Igor Kochetkov, head of the rights group Russian LGBT Network, told the Guardian.
Lucy Shtein, another Russian political activist, said, “Everyone who identifies themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ movement could now become a target.”
Human rights activists believe the vague wording of the ruling will allow authorities to prosecute any individual or organization they consider to be part of the movement.
South Africa To Enact Penalties For Anti-Gay Attacks
Photo by Samantha Marx from Johannesburg, South Africa, via Wikimedia Commons.
The South African government has moved closer to ensuring that displays of homophobia be subject to hefty penalties that may include a lengthy prison sentence.
The bill was first introduced in Parliament in 2018. It was approved by MPs in March, and was then sent to the National Council of Provinces, which approved it in November.
According to the Los Angeles Blade, Section 4 of the bill defines hate speech “as the intentional publishing or communicating of anything that can incite harm or promote hate based on grounds, including, among others, age, sexual orientation and race.”
The bill provides for “penalties such as fines, imprisonment, or both for those who are convicted of the offenses.”
Nepal Grants Marriage Certificate to Gay Couple
Maya and Surendra. Photo via U.S. Ambassador Dean R. Thompson, X.
A gay couple in Nepal is now the first couple in the nation to receive official same-sex marriage status.
While the couple got married six years ago, they never had a certificate to indicate that their marriage was legal.
“After 23 years of struggle we got this historic achievement, and finally Maya and Surendra got their marriage registered at the local administration office,” Sunil Babu Pant, an openly gay former parliamentarian and leading LGBTQ+ rights activist, told AP.
According to AP, officials initially refused to register the marriage. The couple then filed cases with the Kathmandu District Court and High Court, but their pleas were rejected.
Things took a turn when the Home Ministry made changes in the process that enabled all local administration offices to register same-sex marriages.
“It was quite unexpected, and it was a positive breeze for us,” Pant told AP.
Since 2007, Nepal has undergone a transformation that favors LGBTQ people. Now, people who do not identify as female or male are able to choose a “third gender” on passports and government documents. Also, the constitution, adopted in 2015, now explicitly states that there can be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.