Out Abroad: Turkey's President Doesn't Recognize LGBTQ People; Hate Crimes Against Trans People Hit Record High in Europe

Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo by President.gov.ua, via Wikimedia Commons.

Turkey's president says he doesn't recognize LGBTQ people, hate crimes against trans people hit record high in England and Wales, and the health minister of Queensland is calling to lift restrictions against gay and bi men from donating blood.

Turkey's President Says He Does Not Recognize LGBT

Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, said he does not recognize LGBT during a campaign speech.

According to Reuters, Erdoğan vowed to combat “perverse” trends that he claims destroy the institution of family in the country.

"We do not recognize LGBT. Whoever recognizes LGBT can go and march with them. We are members of a structure that holds the institution of family solid, that strongly embraces the family institution," said Erdoğan.

Although homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, there is widespread hostility.

Erdoğan continued by saying, "We will dry the roots of sneaky acts aiming to destroy our family institution by supporting perverse political, social and individual trends."

Hate Crimes Against Trans People Hit Record High

Leni Morris. Photo via galop.org.uk.

Crimes against trans people are increasing in England and Wales.

According to The Guardian, The Home Office Report said 4,732 hate crimes against trans people were recorded this year, an 11% increase from the previous year.

The report read, “Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offenses…”

Leni Morris, the CEO of an LGBT+ anti-abuse charity, said the figures are inaccurate, citing that the charity has seen a 65% increase in its services.

“The government’s own research shows that over 90% of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported – this is a case of poor data not reflecting reality,” Morris told The Guardian.

Calls To Scrap Gay Blood Donation Bans In Queensland

Photo via Unsplash.

The health minister of Queensland has called on the federal government to consider getting rid of restrictions that prevent gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

According to The Guardian, in Australia sexually active gay men, bisexual men, transgender women and some non-binary people are unable to donate blood unless they abstain from sex for three months.

These “gay blood bans” began in the 1980s due to hysteria surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Small progress was made in May when The Australian medical regulator approved a “plasma pathway” approach that involves applying “individual risk assessments” to people donating plasma.

These assessments involve asking questions about sexual activity to anyone who wishes to give blood, gender and sexuality are not a factor.

However, as Dr. Sharon Dane, a spokesperson for the Let Us Give campaign, pointed out, this doesn’t bring equity to the blood donation process.

“Plasma-only donation will be to blood donation what civil unions were to marriage equality – a poor substitute for equity and fairness,” Dane told The Guardian.


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