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Purple Unions: Queer Rights Update 7/19/18

Here are recent updates on Queer Rights worldwide:

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The Uniting Church of Australia Allows Ministers to Marry Same Sex Couples
The Uniting Church of Australia just granted ministers the freedom to allow or deny marrying same-sex couples. The governing body of the Uniting Church – the Assembly – hasn’t met Since Australia voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage in December last year.

High Court Affirms Lesbians’ Right to IVF
France’s highest court was asked to look at whether the state could legally continue withold the right to IVF from women in same-sex couples or single women, after a drawn-out battle for access. Today’s change represents the last barrier to the legislation being put through being removed, as France’s highest court – the Conseil d’Etat – have ruled that there is no constitutional or legal reason that single women or women in same-sex partnerships can be denied IVF assistance to conceive.

Supreme Court Considers Decriminalization of Gay Sex
The Indian supreme court has started a key hearing on homosexuality in the country – with celebrities set to speak about how a 1861 law banning gay sex has blighted their lives.

Gay Couple Whipped 80+ Times for Having Sex
A gay couple was whipped more than 80 times in a public square in Indonesia’s Aceh province, where Sharia Law is observed.

Military Appoints First Out Gay Major General
The Israel Defense Forces has promoted its top lawyer, Sharon Afek, to major general on Thursday, making him the country’s first openly gay person to hold that rank.

Court Rules That Gay Sex is Not a Crime
A court in Lebanon has ruled that the country’s law does not ban homosexuality. The decision to uphold the acquittal of nine people prosecuted for being gay in 2017 has been celebrated by activists, who view it as a landmark moment in the fight to decriminalise homosexuality.

Civil Unions Bill Inches Toward Becoming Law
Thailand’s first ever Bill to allow civil same-sex partnerships is one step closer to becoming law. The Justice Ministry is putting the finishing touches on the draft Civil Partnership Bill and should be ready by September. A subcommittee in the Justice Ministry has been drafting the Bill since earlier this year.

New Zealand Baker Turns Away Lesbian Couple
A same-sex couple from Australia are ‘shocked and upset’ after a cakemaker turned down their request for a wedding cake.

US House Panel Advances Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has attached an amendment to a government funding bill that allows child welfare agencies to discriminate against prospective parents, including same-sex couples, based on the agency’s religious beliefs.

Majority of Young Evangelicals Approve of Same Sex Marriage
According to a new report, a majority (53%) of young, white evangelicals in the United States favor legal same-sex marriage. Only a quarter of white evangelical seniors approve of it.

Democrats Seek Federal Ban On “Gay Panic” Defense
The use of a panic defense to justify anti-LGBT violence in federal court will come to an end if new legislation introduced this week by a pair of Massachusetts Democrats becomes law.

Episcopal Church Removes Remaining Hurdle to Same Sex Marriages
The Episcopal Church has passed a resolution that will allow same-sex couples to get married in their diocese of choice, regardless of the bishop’s view on same-sex weddings.

GOP Forces Overturn of Regulation Allowing Students to Self-Identify Gender
Delaware is reversing a 2017 regulation that would allow students to self-identify their gender and race at school.

State Supreme Court Rejects B&B’s Religious Excuse for Disrimination
The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Aloha B&B, letting a ruling in favor of equality stand. A lesbian couple tried to stay at the Aloha B&B in 2007, but the owner told them that homosexuality was “detestable” and that two women sharing a bed would have “defiled the land.”

Maine Governor Vetoes Conversion Therapy Ban
Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill today that would have protected LGBTI youth from conversion therapy. He is the first governor in the nation to do so. The bill, which prohibited people from practicing conversion therapy on youth, first passed the state’s House and Senate before going to the governor’s desk.

Massachusetts to Vote on Trans Protections This Fall
Voters in Massachusetts will decide whether or not to keep a law that bans discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations this fall.

Federal Judge Tells Catholic Adoption Agencies They Can’t Discriminate
A federal judge rejected a claim from a Christian adoption and fostering service that their constitutional rights were violated by being forced to follow an anti-discrimination law.

Author: Scott Coatsworth