Category Archives: News

News stories on lesbian rights, violence and discrimination against the lesbian community, and our unwavering response.

Conversion therapy continues for lesbians in India

L2L India

On June 12, a 22-year-old lesbian student from Kochi sat in a doctor’s office as her life choices were being dissected. She was taken to a hospital by her parents without her consent. A doctor from the reputed hospital offered to ‘change’ her sexual orientation by admitting her, offering medication and counselling. In other words, we are speaking about another instance of conversion therapy. The practice caught our attention again in March when Anjana Harish, a 21-year-old student committed suicide in Goa after being mentally and physically tortured at a ‘de-addiction centre’ in Palakkad where she was taken against her will by her family.

Dhanya Ravindran, a board member of Queerala, an LGBTQIA+ community in Kerala, who is acquainted with the woman says, “My friend was taken by her family to get ‘treatment’. Even after Anjana’s case, where a child’s life was lost due to something like this, the doctor asked to admit her there. They promised to help the parents by offering counselling and asked her to get admitted there. They also wanted to check if she had any physical issues. She did not agree. When we inquired further, we also found that the doctor who claimed to be a psychiatrist was actually a psychologist.”

In 2018, when the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) disavowed conversion therapy and released a statement completely discrediting the practice. According to Om Prakash Singh, Editor of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at the West Bengal Medical Education Service, “We have given a statement strictly criticising this. And since homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder, there is no question of conversion or any kind of treatment for that. Secondly, even if an organisation is offering such a thing, it is not going to work. They are basically deceiving people. Medication could not possibly alter your sexual orientation.”

After Anjana’s suicide became public and the video was available online, Queerala sent it to the Indian Psychiatric Society’s Kerala Chapter and organised a consultation with them in February. After being informed, they released a statement about their position against conversion therapy. At the same time, they also sent a complaint to the Kerala State Mental Health Authority from whom they are yet to receive a response. As the next step, the organisation plans to submit a writ petition to the Kerala High Court. During the incident that occured on June 12, the girl was able to record the 30-minute long conversation that she had with her parents and the doctor. Here are excerpts from the conversation that Queerala has shared with us:

Continue reading at: https://www.edexlive.com/happening/2020/jun/26/the-horrors-of-conversion-therapy-for-queer-folk-kerala-doctor-assures-family-of-changing-girls-12912.html (Source)

Update: Nicole Saavedra’s family still fighting for justice four years after the young lesbian’s death

Nicole Saavedra 2

In 2016 Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes went missing for a week. She appeared on June 25, but not as her family expected. She was found dead, with her hands tied and showing signs of torture, in a rough part of the Limache commune in the Valparaíso Region. Since then, her family has relentlessly fought for justice in a case that exposed not only the lesbophobia that exists in our country, but also the negligence of the judicial system in cases of sex based violence.

Three years and three months after the murder, and after having four prosecutors investigate, a suspect was finally identified and remanded in custody, something that would not have been achieved without pressure from the family and lesbian-feminist organizations who never stopped demanding justice. María Bahamondes and other women even stormed the Quillota Prosecutor’s Office in 2019, for which they are under investigation to this day.

The family’s lawyer, Silvana del Valle , described as “very hard” everything that has happened in this case, especially in matters of justice, because in confronting Nicole’s alleged femicide, it was evident that the judicial system was able to prevent this crime , since the man had already been reported for other sexual crimes.

The lawyer commented that this situation reveals that if crimes against women and girls were really considered important by the the system, the crime against Nicole Saavedra and the kidnapping with rape that Pulgar committed in December 2016 would not have occurred. Unfortunately, injustice not only affects the families of the victims when there is no timely action, it also enables more crimes against women and girls to be committed. In this sense, unfortunately, the justice system that does not believe us (the first victim of Víctor Pulgar was not believed) is also complicit in the additional crimes that are committed against us.”

A crime in a red zone
The Nicole Saavedra case not only revealed the unjust and, often, wrong of the judicial and police system when it comes to clearing up femicides, but also along with other cases it shows the danger of the Valparaíso region for lesbian women.

In June 2019, the British media BBC published a report in which they described this place as a red zone, in which it alluded to the so-called “trucks” and exposed the cases of Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro and Susana Sanhueza, all lesbians found dead in the region.(Translated)

En 2016, Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes desapareció por una semana. Apareció el 25 de junio, pero no como su familia la esperaba. Estaba muerta, con las manos atadas y con signos de tortura en un sitio eriazo de la comuna de Limache en la Región de Valparaíso. De ahí en adelante, sin descanso, su familia ha luchado por justicia en un caso que dejó en evidencia no solo la lesbofobia que existe en nuestro país, sino también la negligencia del sistema judicial en los casos de violencia de género.

Tres años y tres meses después del homicidio, y después de haber tenido cuatro fiscales investigando, se llegó a un sospechoso, después vino la prisión preventiva, algo que no se hubiera logrado sin la presión de la familia y las organizaciones lesbofeministas, quienes nunca dejaron de exigir la justicia. Incluso, María Bahamondes y otras mujeres se tomaron la Fiscalía de Quillota en 2019, hecho por el que hoy están siendo investigadas.

La abogada de la familia, Silvana del Valle, calificó como “muy fuerte” todo lo que ha sucedido en este caso, especialmente en materia de justicia, pues al encontrarse al presunto femicida de Nicole quedó en evidencia que el sistema judicial pudo evitar este crimen, dado que el hombre ya había sido denunciado por otro abuso sexual.

La abogada comentó que esta situación revela que si para el sistema este y en otros crímenes contra mujeres y niñas fuesen realmente considerados importantes, el crimen de Nicole Saavedra y el secuestro con violación que cometió Pulgar en diciembre de 2016 no habrían ocurrido. “Lamentablemente la justicia no solo incide en dañar a las familias de las víctimas cuando no encuentran una oportuna acción, también incide en la comisión de crímenes contra mujeres y niñas. En ese sentido, para nosotras, lamentablemente, el sistema de justicia que no nos cree, como no se le creyó a la primera víctima de Víctor Pulgar, es cómplice también de los crímenes que se cometen en contra nuestra”.

Un crimen en una zona roja
El caso de Nicole Saavedra no solo reveló lo injusto y, muchas veces, errado del sistema judicial y policial a la hora aclarar femicidios, sino también junto a otros casos evidencia la peligrosidad de la región de Valparaíso para mujeres lesbianas.

En junio de 2019, el medio británico BBC publicó un reportaje en el que calificó de zona roja este lugar, en el que hizo alusión a las denominadas “camionas” y expuso los casos de Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro y Susana Sanhueza, todas lesbianas encontradas muertas en la región.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://radio.uchile.cl/2020/06/24/la-lucha-no-termina-familia-de-nicole-saavedra-continua-exigiendo-justicia-a-cuatro-anos-de-su-muerte/ (Source)

Related articles:

Update: Protesters arrested in Russia for supporting lesbian activist

L2L Russia

Russian police on Saturday detained more than 30 people, most of them women, who were staging separate one-person protests in central Moscow against charges of spreading pornography levelled against a prominent LGBT activist, a monitoring group said.

One activist was also detained in St Petersburg, according to OVD-Info, which monitors law enforcement issues in Russia.

Earlier this month, police in the Russian far east charged Julia Tsvetkova, an LGBT and feminist activist, with spreading pornography via her pictures, she said on her Facebook page.

If found guilty, Tsvetkova may face up to six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/over-30-protesters-arrested-in-moscow-for-supporting-lgbt-activist-rights-group (Source)

Original article: Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Updates:

UK: crowdfunding removed for lesbian lawyer suing Stonewall and law firm

Allison Bailey

My name is Allison Bailey. I am a criminal defence barrister, a feminist, a lesbian, a lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights, and a survivor of child sexual abuse.  …

In 2019, I helped to set up the LGB Alliance with other campaigners and activists who felt, like me, that organisations such as Stonewall had seriously lost their way in recent years: they had conflated sex with gender, meaning that same sex attraction – the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay attraction, and therefore the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay rights – was no longer recognised.  The impacts of this have been several and severe, and in order to campaign properly for gay and lesbian rights, we felt that a new organisation was required. …

A person may identify as they identify, and they should be protected and respected for their identity. However, a person’s identity is not a license to cause distress or intimidation to others, and can never legitimately be used to put others to harm. There are necessary exceptions to the acceptance of males in female spaces, and those exceptions are necessary to protect women.

These injustices arise as a result of the misguided insistence that gender has somehow replaced sex as a fundamental aspect of human identity.  It is for that reason that I am gender critical.  This is not to say that gender is not a genuine aspect of identity for some people.  But it is separate and does not (and cannot) replace sex.

The result of Stonewall’s “acceptance without exception” mantra is to put women at risk of harm. …

Perhaps most specifically from my point of view, that Stonewall unilaterally and without any mandate whatsoever, and to further its lobbying ambitions, redefined homosexuality as same-gender and not same-sex attraction was an especially egregious betrayal of LGB people, especially lesbians. The inclusion of male-bodied people into the class of lesbian women means that lesbians are excoriated for bigotry and transphobia simply for being same-sex attracted.  This is base homophobia.

It was because of these injustices – and the role as I and others saw of it of Stonewall in promoting these injustices – that the LGB Alliance was set up, in order to fill the void in LGB campaigning that Stonewall had left when they decided to campaign for “acceptance without exception”.

Continue reading at: https://filia.org.uk/news/2020/6/27/allison-bailey-i-am-suing-stonewall-to-stop-them-policing-free-speech (Source)

US: Catholic Church fires lesbian music director after 3 decades

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Terry Gonda loves the Catholic church, though it hasn’t always loved her back — at least unconditionally.

After three decades helping run the musical life of her parish, Gonda was fired from her job as music director Wednesday for being married to a woman — a relationship that she says was never a secret. Not with her family, friends, church or pastor.

But in recent weeks, Gonda said, someone within the Detroit Archdiocese caught wind of her marital status and decided that something needed to be done, that her same-sex marriage made her morally unfit to keep her job.

As was explained to her in a June 12 email: “The Archdiocese is choosing to activate its morality clause to terminate your employment.”

The words stung Gonda, who has long stood by the embattled Catholic church despite its strained relationship with the LGBTQ community and its past: The sex abuse scandal involving pedophile priests. The coverups. Homosexuals denied Communion. Lesbians fired from teaching jobs.

Continue reading at: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2020/06/24/detroit-archdiocese-terry-gonda-catholic-church-same-sex-marriage/3247103001/ (Source)

Germany: anti lesbian discrimination dispute with city of Soest ends in contract termination

L2L GermanyOn Monday, Prof. Monika Dobberstein put up a request for an answer on the non-extension of her contract beyond September 2021, but in the evening put a long interview on the Facebook page of the business development agency, in which she made serious allegations against  both the city’s politics and individual staff.

Although she had delivered “outstanding results,” Dobberstein said, she was forced out of her job because, as a woman and self-confessed homosexual, she was apparently not compatible with their political interests and that this “played an important role”. As proof of this, she cites, among other things, that contracts with male managing directors have been extended several times in the past, “although there were good reasons to let them go”. She doesn’t name names.

Update 26 June 2020:

Monika Dobberstein will be released from her duties as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest with immediate effect, the city of Soest announced.

Soest – In a letter from the town hall it says: “At its meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020, the City Council of Soest decided not to extend the contract of Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein, which expires in 2021, as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS). Furthermore, the council decided to release Prof. Dobberstein from her duties with immediate effect.”
(Translated)

Prof. Monika Dobberstein ließ am Montag zwar eine Anzeiger-Anfrage mit der Bitte um eine Stellungnahme zur Nichtverlängerung ihres Vertrages über September 2021 hinaus unbeantwortet, stellte am Abend aber ein langes Interview auf die Facebook-Seite der Wirtschaftsförderung, in dem sie schwere Vorwürfe sowohl gegen die Politik, als auch gegen einzelne ihrer Mitarbeiter erhebt.

Obwohl sie „herausragende Ergebnisse“ abgeliefert habe, so Dobberstein, solle sie den Posten räumen, weil sie als Frau und bekennende Homosexuelle offenbar für die politische Mehrheit nicht tragbar sei. Das habe „eine wichtige Rolle gespielt“. Als Beleg dafür führt sie unter anderem an, dass in der Vergangenheit Verträge mit männlichen Geschäftsführern mehrfach verlängert worden seien, „obwohl es gute Gründe gegeben hätte, sich von ihnen zu trennen“. Namen nennt sie nicht.

Aktualisieren 26 Juni 2020:

Monika Dobberstein wird mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihren Aufgaben als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest freigestellt. Das teilt die Stadt Soest jetzt mit.

Soest – In einem Schreiben aus dem Rathaus heißt es: “Der Rat der Stadt Soest hat in seiner Sitzung am Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2020, beschlossen, den im Jahr 2021 auslaufenden Dienstvertrag von Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS) nicht zu verlängern. Darüber hinaus entschied der Rat, Prof. Dobberstein mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihrer Aufgabe freizustellen.”
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/homophobie-vorwuerfe-streit-zwischen-stadt-soest-monika-dobberstein-eskaliert-13807977.html (Original Source 23 June 2020)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/monika-dobberstein-nach-homophobie-vorwuerfen-soest-sofortiger-wirkung-freigestellt-13812362.html ( Updated Source 26 June 2020)

Cuban lesbians fight for a life together in the US

Yanelkys_Moreno_Agramonte_and_Dayana_Rodriguez_Gonzalez

Yanelkys Moreno Agramonte, 36, and Dayana Rodríguez González, 31, had never been apart in the nearly five years since they began dating. Their lives were one until Nov. 3, 2019, when they both applied for asylum in the U.S. at a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and they were separated a short time later.

Moreno and Rodríguez were placed into different cells as their entry into the country was processed.

“They locked me up in a small, lonely place,” Moreno told the Washington Blade on June 9 during a telephone call from the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Basile, La., where she remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. “I was there for two days and my partner was transferred the day after we arrived.”

“We lost all ties,” Rodríguez told the Blade during a telephone interview from Phoenix on June 10 where she now lives. “I didn’t know where she was and she didn’t know where I was. On the fourth day, they moved me at night to the detention center and there I was, still unsure whether they would send her there.” …

Perhaps this story would not have been so bitter if the two women had been married because ICE, in theory, allows a married asylum seeker to sponsor their spouse once it grants them “derivative” status. This process allows them to stay together as long as they present a marriage or civil union certificate.

But Moreno and Rodríguez are citizens of Cuba, an island where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The government’s policies and social attitudes also emphasize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“Same-sex couples who are not married, but who are qualified to access U.S. refugee admissions under one of the three designated global processing priorities … can cross-reference their cases so they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), be resettled in the same geographic area in the United States,” says ICE.

This is how Moreno and Rodríguez did it.

Their immigration cases are the same, but Moreno in December was once again separated from Rodríguez. She was sent more than 900 miles east of El Paso to the South Louisiana ICE Correctional Center, where she currently remains in ICE custody. Rodríguez was detained in El Paso until Feb. 4 when she was released on parole and a $7,500 bond.

The two women saw each other for the last time through a door’s glass window, sending their love to each other with signs after a conversation that would define both of their lives forever. Moreno was gone the next morning and the frustration of not being able to say goodbye to her partner is painful to this day.
Couple suffered homophobia, police harassment in Cuba
Moreno and Rodríguez’s families never accepted that two women could fall in love and live together. The prejudices that still persist in Cuba and especially in Zulueta, a small town in the center of the country where they lived, were constant hurdles to their social lives and their life together as a couple.

“My parents divorced because of my sexual orientation,” said Moreno. “My father is the typical Cuban man, who said that his children could not be homosexual. My sister was the only one who always supported me.”

Rodríguez was kicked out of her home when her family found out she was in a romantic relationship with another girl.

Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/06/17/lesbian-couple-from-cuba-fights-for-life-together-in-us/ (Source)

Italy: young lesbian couple harassed

L2L Italy

A new case of homophobia recorded in the Abruzzo region: two girls were harassed in Martinsicuro.

Chiara, a 24-year-old, reports on her Facebook wall that she was the target of homophobic harassment on Monday night in Martinsicuro. “Last night after I left work, more or less around 12.30, I went for a walk with my girlfriend at the waterfront. (…) In the meantime, a group of boys targeted us. Initially they started to whistle at us, then to shout words that I could not understand accompanied by laughter. Finally they got into the car and approached beside us shouting various things including, including: “lesbians”, “sex” and “do you have condoms?”. Finally they fled laughing.”

She adds, “the thing that saddened me is that they didn’t have the courage to come and tell us to our face. They waited to be safe in their car, ready to sneak away after being heroes at the end of the evening. Too easy. ” When asked if they intend to file a complaint, Chiara says “The idea is there, but there isn’t enough evidence to do it, so we’re thinking about it “.
(Translated)

Un nuovo caso di omofobia registrato nella regione Abruzzo: due ragazze sono state insultate a Martinsicuro.

Chiara, ragazza di 24 anni, denuncia sul suo profilo Facebook di essere stata bersaglio di insulti omofobi nella notte tra lunedì e martedì a Martinsicuro. “Ieri sera dopo essere uscita da lavoro, più o meno verso mezzanotte e mezza, sono andata a fare una passeggiata con la mia ragazza al lungomare. (…) Nel mentre un gruppo di ragazzi ci ha prese di mira. Inizialmente hanno iniziato a fischiarci contro, poi a urlare parole che non sono riuscita a comprendere accompagnate da risa. Infine sono saliti in macchina e si sono accostati di fianco a noi urlandoci parole e frasi varie, tra cui: “lesbiche” “sesso” e “li avete i preservativi?”. Infine sono fuggiti assieme alle loro risa.”

Aggiunge “La cosa che mi ha rattristata è che non hanno avuto il coraggio di venircele a dire in faccia. Hanno aspettato di essere al sicuro nella loro auto, pronti per svignarsela dopo aver fatto l’atto eroico di fine serata. Troppo comodo.” Alla domanda se hanno intenzione di sporgere denuncia Chiara afferma “L’idea c’è ma le prove non sono sufficienti per avviare qualcosa. Per cui ci stiamo valutando”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.arcigay.it/articoli/comunicato-stampa-nuovo-caso-di-omofobia-in-abruzzo-coppia-di-ragazze-discriminate-a-martinsicuro/#.XvMohWgzbIU (Source)

Italy: lesbophobic grafitti in the Molfetta station

Molfetta Lesbophobia

Someone does not like to meet lesbians at the Molfetta station, in the province of Bari. This is shown by what is written on the wall of the building at track 1, next to the ticket stamping machine: “No lesbo” repeated twice.

This was reported by the Mixed LGBTI association which, documenting the lesbophobic vandalism, yesterday wrote in a post on Facebook: “This is Molfetta station, and we are tired of being told where we are accepted and where we are not”.
(Translated)

Qualcuno non gradisce incrociare delle donne lesbiche alla stazione di Molfetta, in provincia di Bari. È quello che si evince dalle scritte impresse sul muro dell’edificio in corrispondenza del binario 1, accanto all’obliteratrice: «No lesbo», ripetuto due volte.

A denunciare il fatto è stata l’associazione Mixed LGBTI che, documentando l’atto vandalico lesbofobico, ieri ha scritto in un post su Facebook: «Questa è la stazione di Molfetta, e noi siamo stanch* di sentirci dire dove siamo ben accett* e dove no».
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.neg.zone/2020/06/19/lesbofobia-scritte-sui-muri-della-stazione-di-molfetta-la-denuncia-di-mixed-lgbti/ (Source)

Italy: lesbians harassed in public park

L2L Italy

“My girlfriend and I sat down at a table to eat a pizza. Suddenly she seemed very tired, so I hugged her. It was a spontaneous, thoughtful gesture. At some point a man approached and started screaming in our direction,” says Mirella.

“You two have to go away! A man and a woman together are fine. A woman with another woman is not. ”

Mirella, incredulous, asked him: “Can’t we hug each other?” and the man replied: “No, this is a public park! There are also children! You suck! ” After that, the park keeper moved away, but continued to control them by remaining seated on a bench nearby.

Before leaving , she approached him to ask for an explanation: “Other people are embracing, why haven’t they been told off?” Raising his voice, the man replied: “Because what they do is normal, what you do is not. And you’ve done it before ”

“I asked him to stay calm because he was screaming. It is not the first time it has happened. Last year, always in that park, my ex gave me a kiss and he told us to leave. But then there are kids aged 15-16, one on top of the other, and he never says anything to them. It is just an injustice. I didn’t want to be silent. I don’t accept it. I was afraid. I don’t want to experience something like this again.”
(Translated)

“Io e la mia ragazza ci siamo sedute ad un tavolino per mangiare una pizza. Ad un tratto mi è sembrata molto stanca, così l’ho abbracciata. E’ stato un gesto spontaneo, premuroso. Ad un certo punto un uomo si è avvicinato e ha iniziato a urlare in nostra direzione”, ci racconta Mirella.

“Voi due dovete andare via! Un uomo ed una donna insieme vanno bene. Una donna con un’altra donna no”.

Così Mirella, incredula, gli ha chiesto: “Non ci possiamo abbracciare?” e questa persona ha risposto: “No, questo è un Parco pubblico! Ci sono anche bambini! Fate schifo!” Dopodiché il Guardiano si è allontanato, ma ha continuato a controllarle rimanendo seduto su una panchina poco distante.

Così lei, prima di andarsene, gli è andata incontro chiedendo spiegazioni: “Si stanno abbracciando altre persone, perché a loro non è stato detto niente?”
L’uomo alzando la voce le ha risposto: “Perché ciò che fanno loro è normale, quello che fate voi no. E tu l’hai già fatto altre volte”

“L’ho invitato a stare calmo perché stava urlando. Non è la prima volta in cui accade. L’anno scorso, sempre in quel parco, la mia ex mi diede un bacio e lui ci invitò ad andar via. Poi però ci sono ragazzini sui 15-16 anni, uno sopra all’altro, e a loro non ha mai detto nulla. È proprio un’ingiustizia. Non ho voluto stare in silenzio. Non lo accetto. Ho avuto paura. Non voglio vivere ancora una cosa del genere”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.arcigay.it/articoli/comunicato-stampa-nuovo-atto-omofobo-a-pescara/#.XvMoqWgzbIU (Source)

Germany: Ugandan lesbian wins asylum but no precedent set

Munich protest Ugandan trial

March 2020: A hearing at a Bavarian courthouse on Monday over the asylum application of a lesbian woman from Uganda was thrown out after she was granted her refugee status by federal authorities.

The judge decided that the 41-year-old asylum-seeker, who faces violence and prosecution in her home country, will not be deported.

The Bavarian court did not need to make a decision after the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees admitted that the woman qualified for refugee status at the trial.

LGBT+ people in Uganda can face life imprisonment for engaging in sexual relations, as well as discrimination in private and public spheres. An October 2019 proposed law — referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill — floated the introduction of the death penalty for LGBT+ people. The legislation was later voided.

Case ‘not a precedent’

Advocacy groups said that the case could act as a precedent for LGBT+ refugees in Germany and Europe. … However, the judge clarified that it was an “individual case” and did not mark a precedent for Ugandan or LGBT+ asylum-seekers.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-ugandan-asylum-seeker-spared-deportation-from-germany/a-52689706 (Source)

Germany: lack of protection for black lesbian refugees

L2L Germany

NGO figures indicate that in Bavaria around 95% of asylum applications made by black lesbian women are initially rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

This contrasts with the general rejection rate of gay men of 50% and that of heterosexual women of around 30%. Although the numbers on LGBTI asylum applications are only an estimate because the BAMF does not separately register asylum cases from LGBTI people, these seem to show that lesbian asylum seekers in Germany are facing special challenges in their search for refugee protection.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable

This is especially true for black lesbian women of African descent who often experience forms of LGBTIQ-hostility such as social ostracism, racism and (sexual) violence.

In line with a recent EU directive, Germany recognises violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In addition, with the ratification of the 2011 Istanbul Convention, Germany recognises that gender-based violence can be a persecution and that refugee protection should therefore be guaranteed. Indeed, women and children, along with victims of sex trafficking, are considered the most vulnerable and vulnerable in the European asylum system.

As the 2019 statistics from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show, over 50% of heterosexual women in Germany have successfully achieved refugee status as victims of gender-specific persecution (forced marriage, FGM, honour killings, rape, domestic violence or forced prostitution). However, lesbian refugees are struggling to show the violence and human rights violations they have experienced to receive protection of asylum.
(Translated)

NGO-Zahlen deuten darauf hin, dass in Bayern etwa 95 Prozent der Asylanträge, die von Schwarzen lesbischen Frauen gestellt werden, beim Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) erst einmal eine Ablehnung erfahren.

Dies steht im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Ablehnungsrate von schwulen Männern von 50 Prozent und der von heterosexuellen Frauen von etwa 30 Prozent. Obwohl die Zahlen zu LSBTI-Asylanträgen nur eine Schätzung sind, weil das BAMF Asylfälle von LSBTI nicht gesondert erfasst, scheinen diese jedoch zu zeigen, dass lesbische Asylsuchende auf der Suche nach Flüchtlingsschutz in Deutschland besonderen Herausforderungen gegenüberstehen.

Frauen und Kinder gelten als besonders schutzbedürftig
Dies gilt insbesondere für Schwarze lesbische Frauen afrikanischer Herkunft, welche oft Formen von LSBTIQ-Feindlichkeit wie soziale Ächtung, Rassismus und (sexuelle) Gewalt erfahren.

In Übereinstimmung mit einer kürzlich erlassenen EU-Richtlinie erkennt Deutschland Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgrund der sexuellen Ausrichtung und der Geschlechtsidentität als Asylgrund an. Darüber hinaus erkennt Deutschland mit der Ratifizierung der Istanbuler Konvention von 2011, dass geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt eine Verfolgung darstellen kann und daher Flüchtlingsschutz gewährleistet werden soll. Tatsächlich werden Frauen und Kinder zusammen mit den Opfern von Sexhandel als die schutzbedürftigsten und am stärksten gefährdeten Personen im europäischen Asylsystem betrachtet.

Wie die 2019 Statistik des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge zeigt, haben in Deutschland über 50 Prozent der heterosexuellen Frauen erfolgreich den Flüchtlingsstatus als Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Verfolgung (Zwangsheirat, FGM, Ehrenmord, Vergewaltigung, häusliche Gewalt oder Zwangsprostitution) erlangt. Lesbische Geflüchtete kämpfen jedoch darum, erlebte Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen für den Flüchtlingsschutz geltend zu machen.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/asylgrund-homosexualitaet-fehlender-schutz-fuer-schwarze-lesbische-gefluechtete/25938886.html (Source)

U.S.: electrician demoted for not ending lesbian affair

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Stacy Freyre, 49, was a supervisor earning $127,000 a year when her friendship with a married female cashier at a Universal City Studios restaurant in California became a romance in 2017, Freyre said in court papers.

The cashier, a mom of two, had already separated from her spouse, whom she had accused of domestic violence, according to Freyre’s legal filing.

But when the estranged husband, who also worked at the site, discovered the relationship, he flew into a rage, complained to the company, accosted his ex at work and allegedly threatened to harm Freyre, implying someone could shoot her kids, she charges. Freyre reported the threats to police.

Rather than deal with the threats, Universal City Studios, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, asked Freyre to apologize and make peace with the husband. Freyre was demoted from her supervisor post after she refused to end the relationship, according to an employment discrimination claim she recently filed NBCUniversal in California Federal Court seeking unspecified damages.

Continue reading at: https://nypost.com/2020/06/13/universal-city-studios-worker-allegedly-demoted-for-not-ending-affair/ (Source)

UK: couple fight back against lesbophobic racist abuse

Nicola Adams and Ella Baig

Retired boxer Nicola Adams and her girlfriend, beauty blogger Ella Baig, have hit back at trolls criticising their relationship.

The pair, who have been dating since 2018, appeared in a video on Nicola’s TikTok page posted on Monday (June 1), in which the pair appear alongside the hurtful comments they have to endure online since getting together.

Adams appeared next to comments such as “you’re too manly” and “you’re too black”, while Baig appeared next to criticisms saying, among other things, “you wear to much makeup” and “slut”.

When shown hugging each other, criticisms of the pair that appear on screen in the video include “don’t you want a family?” and “you don’t look gay”.

Other comments include ones attacking them for being a biracial couple.

Continue reading at: https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/news/celebs-tv/nicola-adams-takes-racist-homophobic-18354711 (Source)

UK: Dundee teen calls for help after lesbophobic attack

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Kourtney Grant was left with injuries to her face and arms after she was tackled by the woman while she walking home.

The woman pushed Kourtney to the ground and hit her, leaving her bleeding and covered in bruises. Kourtney’s face has now been left in scratches, along with a large cut where her elbow hit the ground.

The teen was also subjected to homophobic abuse by the attacker during the horrifying episode. … Kourtney, who says that it isn’t the first time she has been targeted for her sexuality, isn’t sure who the attacker was, however she is described as having dark hair and was wearing a blue jumper.

The 16-year-old added: “I just want her to own up because the entire incident has stressed me out – I just feel a bit messed up by it all.

“People have said things about my sexuality before and they never really got to me – but this time it was obviously physical as well.”

Continue reading at: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/i-just-feel-a-bit-messed-up-by-it-all-teenager-appeals-for-help-after-homophobic-attack-in-dundee/ (Source)

Egypt: Arrested and tortured for waving rainbow flag, lesbian Sarah Hegazi dead at 30

Sarah HegaziCAIRO — When the openly gay frontman of a hugely popular Lebanese pop group strutted onto the stage of a Cairo summer festival in 2017, rainbow flags lifted in the air, and something sparked inside Sarah Hegazi.

As a lesbian in a country where homosexuality is taboo, and gay people are routinely persecuted by the authorities, here was a glimmer of freedom. Beaming with joy, she raised both hands in the air and hoisted her own rainbow flag aloft. A friend captured the moment on camera.

It was the start of her undoing. …

Although homosexuality is not technically illegal in Egypt, gay people are subjected to deep-rooted societal prejudices and are frequently prosecuted by the police under laws that criminalize “debauchery.” Undercover police investigators use aliases to roam popular dating apps to entrap and arrest gay men. Others are arrested from cafes or the streets on the basis of their appearance.

Concerts are also a focus of law enforcement.

Even before she attended the event headlined by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in 2017, Ms. Hegazi’s life had undergone dramatic shifts. She had shed the head-covering veil that she had once worn, and had begun to embrace her identity as a gay woman.

At the concert she felt liberated, she told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, because “I was declaring myself in a society that hates all that is different from the norm.”

Ahmed Alaa, a law student who also waved a flag, later called the experience “the most beautiful five minutes of my life.”

But once the photo of her waving a flag went viral on social media, Ms. Hegazi was inundated by hate-filled comments, including death threats, said Mostafa Fouad, her lawyer and friend.

Popular television hosts amplified the mood: “How can the homosexual’s flag be raised over Egypt’s pure land?” said one. Another, Ahmed Moussa, denounced “this debauchery, this shame, this crime.”

Days later, armed security officials arrived at Ms. Hegazi’s home and took her to a detention center run by the National Security Agency, a feared arm of Mr. el-Sisi’s security apparatus. Officers questioned her religious beliefs and asked if she was a virgin.

She was blindfolded and taken to a foul-smelling interrogation room where she could hear people groaning with pain. A piece of cloth was stuffed into her mouth. She was tortured with electric shocks, she later said in interviews.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/world/middleeast/egypt-gay-suicide-sarah-hegazi.html (Source)

Original articles:

 

Israel: lesbians harassed in neighbourhood

L2L Israel

A pair of religious lesbians settled in Rehavia, one of the most respectable areas of Jerusalem. However, on May 28, the women found a leaflet attached to their car with curses and threats. It stated that people like them did not have the right to live in such an area and added that “Lesbianism = perversion.”
(Translation)

Пара религиозных лесбиянок поселилась в Рехавии, одном из самых респектабельных районов Иерусалима. Однако 28 мая женщины нашли прикрепленную к их автомобилю листовку с ругательствами и угрозами. Там было написано, что такие люди не имеют право жить в таком районе. И добавлено: «Лесбиянство=извращение».
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://detaly.co.il/v-samom-respektabelnom-rajone-ierusalima-ne-hotyat-imet-v-sosedyah-lesbiyanok/ (Source)

Germany: L-Support’s annual report for 2019

L2L Germany

L-Support, a Berlin based organisation offering victim support for lesbian, bisexual and queer women, reported an increase in violence against lesbians and other same sex attracted women in their 2019 report:

  • 38% increase in crimes reported (36 in 2019), 23 of which were homophobic crimes against lesbians in 2019
  • 1/3 of the people L-Support speak to have experienced homophobic abuse at some point
  • Victim ages ranged from 18 to over 50, with most aged between 18 and 40.
  • Incidents reported included:
    • Aggressive verbal attacks (16)
    • Harassment (5)
    • Being spat on (2)
    • Threatened (5)
    • Physical assault and death threat (1)

The reports are limited, including because L-Support is a (largely) volunteer organisation which women cannot always access or contact.

Continue reading at: https://l-support.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Jahresbericht-2019-1.pdf (source)

German women can report a crime: https://l-support.net/meldeformular/ or contact L-Support on a Saturday or Sunday from 5 pm to 7 pm at 030 216 22 99 as well as by email at l-support@l-support.net.

Wenn du Fragen hast oder Beratung brauchst, erreichst du uns jeden Samstag und Sonntag von 17–19 Uhr unter 030 216 22 99 sowie jederzeit per Mail unter l-support@l-support.net.

Chile: lesbian couple attacked by family

Chile

The events occurred last Saturday in Renca (13 June), when a member of the couple began cleaning a common staircase with chlorine and water, which bothered the aggressor, his brother, his sister and his mother, who on previous occasions  had already harassed the women because of their sexual orientation.

According to the victim’s account, “the subject pushed me, hit me in the face with one combo and then another, while shouting ‘filthy lesbians, faggots”. When my partner and my niece arrived, the man with a stick in hand attacked them both, ”reported one of the victims, 34 years old.

She also added that the mother and brothers of the aggressor joined the conflict, “to hit us all. The subject took out a large butcher-type knife and threatened us with death, while telling us what fags and filth we were. Then he took an iron, a bed rail, to continue threatening us. ”
(Translated)

 

Los hechos ocurrieron el sábado pasado en Renca, cuando una integrante de la pareja comenzó a limpiar con cloro y agua una escalera de uso común, lo cual molestó al agresor, a su hermano, a su hermana y a su madre, quienes en ocasiones anteriores ya habían insultado a las mujeres en razón de su orientación sexual.

Según el relato de la víctima, “el sujeto me empujó, me golpeó la cara con un combo y luego otro, mientras gritaba ‘lesbianas cochinas, mariconas culias’. Al llegar mi pareja y mi sobrina, el sujeto con un palo en mano, las agredió a ambas”, reportó una de las víctimas, de 34 años.

Además, añadió que al conflicto se sumaron la madre y hermanos del agresor, “para golpearnos entre todos. El sujeto sacó un cuchillo grande, tipo carnicero y nos amenazó de muerte, mientras nos decía culias y cochinas. Después ocupó un fierro, un larguero de cama, para seguir amenazándonos”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.eldesconcierto.cl/2020/06/16/movilh-denuncia-ataque-lesfobico-y-amenazas-de-muerte-contra-pareja-en-renca/ (Source)

Lesbians in Chile – excerpts from the annual Movilh report

Chile

March 2020 – The annual Movil report showed a 58% increase in allegations and abuses, with the following specific details reported for Chilean lesbians:

  • Abuses reported by lesbians rose 34%
  • 1.54% of the population (221,796 people) are gay or lesbian, 75,000 more people than in 2015.
  • “Rompiendo El Silencio” survey – discrimination has been experienced by the majority of women, such that
    • 75.4% suffered harassment on the street because of their sexual orientation
    • 40.3% of the total who received sexual health advice were forced
    • 68% did not have a pap smear for fear of discrimination.
  • Police abuse and arbitrary detentions rose from one reported case in 2017 to 16 cases, 38% of which involved lesbians.
  • Workplace discrimination allegations fell by  26% compared to the previous year, registering a total of 28 abuses. 36% of the cases affected lesbians.
  • Community discrimination remained unchanged. 47% of which affected lesbians.
    (Translated)
  • Las denuncias o atropellos contra lesbianas subieron un 34%
  • El 1,54% de la población (221.796 personas) se declara gay o lesbiana, lo que equivale a 75 mil personas más que en 2015.
    (Original)
  • La discriminación ha sido vivida por la mayoría de las mujeres, a un punto que el 75.4% sufrió acosos en la calle en razón de su orientación sexual, mientras el 40,3% del total que recibió consejos en salud sexual fue obligada a dar ese paso. Además, en el campo de la salud, el 68% no atreve a practicar un Papanicolaou por temor a sufrir algún tipo de discriminación.
  • Los atropellos policiales contra personas en razón de su orientación sexual o identidad de género, aumentaron de manera explosiva, pasando de un abuso en 2017 a 16 en 2018, un 1.500% más. De los 16 abusos, 15 fueron propinados por Carabineros y uno por la policía civil.
    El 38% de los casos afectó a lesbianasDiscriminación laboral – las denuncias o casos por discriminación laboral bajaron un 26% en relación al año previo, registrándose un total de 28 abusos. El 36% de los casos afectó a lesbianas.
  • Discriminación comunitaria – Los abusos homo/transfóbicos propinados por familiares, conocidos o vecinos de personas LGBTI, mantuvieron la cifra del año precedente. El 47 % de los atropellos afectó a lesbianas.

Full report: http://www.movilh.cl/documentacion/Informe-DDHH-Movilh-2019.pdf

Overall report summary:

2019 was the most violent year for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersex people (LGBTI) in Chile with a 58% increase in cases and allegations of homophobia and transphobia, reaching 1103 abuses, the highest number reported to date, as outlined in the XVIII Annual Human Rights Report on Sexual and Gender Diversity, released today by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh) for the first time without a press conference in the wake of the Coronavirus.

“There were more cases, more complaints, and the abuses were more violent and savage, as is made clear by the increases in the most ruthless abuses (murders and beatings). This situation has been noticed since 2018 and is not related to the social outbreak, which only had an impact on an increase in police abuse, “said Movilh spokesman Oscar Rementería.
(Original)

El 2019 fue el año más violento para las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transexuales e intersexuales (LGBTI) en Chile al incrementar un 58% los casos y denuncias por homofobia y transfobia, ascendiendo a 1103 los atropellos, la cifra más alta conocida hasta la fecha, reportó el XVIII Informe Anual de Derechos Humanos de la Diversidad sexual y de Género, dado a conocer hoy por el Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh) por primera vez sin conferencia de prensa a raíz del Coronavirus.

“Hubo más casos, más denuncias y los abusos fueron más violentos y salvajes, como queda claro con los aumentos de los atropellos más despiadados (asesinatos y las golpizas). Esta situación ya se venía advirtiendo desde el 2018 y no tiene relación con el estallido social, el cual solo impactó en un incremento de los abusos policiales”, sostuvo el vocero del Movilh, Oscar Rementería.
(Translated)

Continue reading at: https://www.movilh.cl/homofobia-y-transfobia-aumentan-un-58-y-suma-mas-de-mil-casos-la-cifra-mas-alta-en-la-historia-de-chile/ (source)