Out Abroad: UK Builds Memorial for LGBTQ Armed Forces; Queensland Updates Anti-discrimination Act

Armed Forces Memorial. Photo by Andrew Abbott, via Wikimedia Commons.

A memorial for LGBTQ armed forces will be built in the United Kingdom, Queensland makes changes to its anti-discrimination act, and Iraq makes same-sex relations punishable by prison.

Memorial for LGBTQ Armed Forces To Be Built in UK

A memorial is set to be built in the UK to commemorate the lost legion of LGBTQ people who have served in the armed forces in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

“We’re committed to delivering a fitting memorial, but a great deal of work remains to be done to lift the veterans most affected by the ban from the poverty inflicted upon them after the loss of careers,” said Craig Jones, the chair of Fighting With Pride, in an interview with The Guardian.

The charity works to get justice for veterans affected by the pre-2000 ban on LGBTQ people serving in the U.K. armed forces. After they received a £350,000 grant, they began to spearhead the memorial effort.

Queensland Updates Anti-Discrimination Act


Scott McDougall. Photo via qhrc.qld.gov.au.

Queensland updated its Anti-Discrimination Act to explicitly protect nonbinary and gender diverse people. Intersex people are also explicitly protected under the law.

According to Pink News, the law imposed tougher penalties for hate crimes and improved vilification protections under law, like punishing those displaying certain hate symbols.

Scott McDougall, the Queensland human rights commissioner, said that the reforms were “long overdue” and shed light on the “significant” evidence of stigma and discrimination that they face.

In an interview with Pink News, he said, “Vilification presents a harmful and insidious threat to our communities and to our shared experience as Queenslanders. It makes Queenslanders feel they don’t belong in our common spaces or in our local communities. It’s severely underreported.”

Iraq Makes Same-Sex Relations Punishable By Prison


Photo via Pexels.

A bill passed by Iraq’s parliament makes same-sex relations punishable by up to 15 years in prison. They also passed amendments that allow courts to sentence trans people by up to three years in prison.

According to The Guardian, a previous draft of the bill proposed capital punishment for same-sex relations, but campaigners condemned it as a dangerous escalation. Further, the bill set a minimum seven-year prison term for “promoting” same-sex relations and a sentence ranging from one to three years for men who “intentionally” act like women.

An additional amendment passed that bans organizations that promote homosexuality and punish wife swapping with a prison sentence of 10 to 15 years.

“Iraq has effectively codified in law the discrimination and violence members of the LGBTQ community have been subjected to with absolute impunity for years,” said Amnesty International’s Iraq researcher, Razaw Salihy, in an interview with The Guardian.

He continued, “The amendments concerning LGBTI rights are a violation of fundamental human rights and put at risk Iraqis whose lives are already hounded daily.”

The US state department said the law was a threat to human rights.

The bill was adopted during a session attended by 170 out of 329 lawmakers.


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