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October 15, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Queer Coverage: Local, National, and International LGBTQIA+ News

Taiwan to Hold Referendum on Same-sex Marriage

On 24 November Taiwan will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage, a year after the constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples must have the right to marry. However, if the referendum results are in favour of legalising same sex marriage, any reforms may create a segregated form of legal union for same-sex couples, while keeping the existing law on marriage for “a man and a woman”. LGBTQIA+ activists fear that couples might end up with a “discriminatory” form of union as opposed to the right to marry. The Premier of Taiwan said that he supports the idea that if two people love each they should have the right to be together. LGBTQIA+ activists are hopeful that Taiwan will become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. Taiwan has until May 2019 to settle the proposal.
Tokyo to Ban LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in Build Up to 2020 Summer Olympics
An anti-discrimination ordinance has been approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and will come into effect in April 2019. It is aimed at “[regulating] the use of public spaces, such as city parks, to prevent anti-LGBTQIA+ groups from promoting discriminatory rhetoric. It will also improve access for same-sex couples in situations such as hospital visits”. The ordinance is also aimed at tackling hate-speech. MP and lawmaker for the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, Mio Sugita, sparked a backlash earlier in the year for making anti-LGBTQIA+ comments, including writing that same-sex relationships will eventually destroy society. However, in Japan, eight cities and city wards including Fukuoka and Sapporo legally recognising same-sex unions. Gender neutral uniforms are being introduced into schools throughout the country.
Record Number of Transgender Candidates Run for Office in Brazil
54 transgender people have put themselves forward for positions in state and federal offices in Brazil, a record-breaking number, as only five trans people put their names forward in the 2014 election. Overshadowing this is the fact that Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party is currently leading polls in the run for the presidency. Bolsonaro is openly anti-LGBTQIA+, going so far as to state he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son. Tifanny Abreu, a transgender woman who made history when she began playing in Brazil’s female volleyball premier league, is now running as a candidate for the conservative ruling party, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).
She said, “I don’t want my nieces and nephews, or any young people in Brazil, to go through what I went through… people like me need to occupy spaces in national politics in order to govern in LGBT people’s interests and also to reverse the stigma about trans people.” Transgender Brazilians have had legal rights to change gender since 2009. While Brazil is progressive in some laws, the amount of violence against trans people, particularly trans women, and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community, continues to be very high.

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