The Weekly LGBTQ News: Issue #9
Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament human rights committee approved an anti-LGBTQ bill that will criminalize the promotion of homosexuality, similar to the bill passed by Vladimir Putin. If passed, those who openly support LGBTQ rights in the country could face up to a year of imprisonment as well as a fine that is equivalent to more than half of the average monthly salary. Activists fear that the bill will induce violence on LGBTQ individuals, and have written for lawmakers to oppose the bill since 2012, though they believe it will pass if put to a vote.
A twelve-year-old Canadian transgender boy received a birth certificate reflecting his gender. Wren Kauffman hails from Alberta, where the law states a trans* individual must have sex reassignment surgery before their birth certificate can be changed. Wren’s parents filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission where a judge sided with the family, striking down the law and saying it violated the rights of trans* citizens. Other trans* individuals have filed complaints in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign has praised Obama’s decision, and Congress, so far, has no plans to go against the order. Days after announcing his decision to sign the order, the Obama administration granted new benefits to same-sex couples, including those who live in states where same-sex marriage is not recognized. The full extent of the new measure ranges from Social Security to veterans’ benefits, to work leave to care for sick spouses.