This No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) news digest rounds up some of the week’s top LGBTI rights stories for the week ending 28 February:
Mayor of Warsaw becomes first to protect the rights of LGBTI people in Poland
GayStarNews, 27 Feb 2019
The mayor of Poland’s capital Warsaw and LGBTI groups have responded to the homophobic backlash after he signed a declaration affirming LGBTI rights in the city. Rafał Trzaskowski signed the first ever LGBT+ Declaration in central-eastern Europe last week. It was also the first document recognizing LGBTI rights in Poland. The Declaration guaranteed the fulfilment of some of the basic needs of the LGBT+ community. Advocacy groups said it would also enable the local administration to provide what the national government refuses to administer. ‘In my election campaign, I promised Warsaw for everyone,’ Trzaskowski said defending the declaration. ‘Warsaw is a city for everyone that does not discriminate against anyone. Warsaw for everyone is a place where everyone feels safe and absolutely everyone can count on support regardless of sex, colour, religion, origin, sexual orientation or views.’
Times Malta, 27 Feb 2019
Alternattiva Demokratika MEP candidates Mina Tolu and Carmel Cacopardo have signed the ILGA-Europe Come Out pledge to stand for the human rights and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) people in the EU and beyond. Ms Tolu, an LGBTQI activist, said she remembered reaching out to MEP candidates in Malta, including Mr Cacopardo, five years ago to sign ILGA-Europe’s 2014 Pledge. “This time, it is an honour to pledge my own support as a Green candidate. If elected I look forward to working together with LGBTQI activists to ensure the highest possible level of legal protection of the human rights of LGBTQI people in the EU and beyond.” Mr Cacopardo promised to be an ally and to amplify the voices of LGBTQI people, not only if elected, but also in his role as AD chairman. The EU should champion human rights and offer protection and respect for all LGBTQI people, he said.
Act of homophobic vandalism leads to further push for inclusion in sport
The Guardian, 26 Feb 2019
David Kyle says he has become an ally and advocate of Pride Cups almost by default. As president of the North Gippsland Football League in country Victoria, Kyle says he became motivated to become a more vocal advocate for LGBTI inclusion when he witnessed what he took to be a homophobic response to the club’s first Pride Cup match in 2016 between local teams Glengarry and Traralgon Tyres United. When Dean Sutton – a local LGBTI community member working with the league on the Pride Cup – hung rainbow flags in the main street of the tiny town of Glengarry, the flags were torn down and destroyed just hours later. “Seeing that negative response was probably the catalyst that made us realise we needed to keep moving forward with our inclusion policies, take more of a stand, and start the education process,” Kyle says.
“The support mechanisms or acceptance down here are not the same as Collins Street in Melbourne – so we needed to deal with some very old and long-held cultural views.” This week, in a broad-ranging push for LGBTI inclusion in sport, CEOs of several Victorian sporting organisations – including Australian rules football, tennis, rugby, cricket, football, netball and gymnastics – made a “pledge of pride”, welcoming members into clubs regardless of sexuality or gender identity. The CEOs from across the full gamut of sporting codes expressed a common sentiment that their sports should be open to all Australians and that sexuality and gender should never be a roadblock.
‘Lives are hanging on the line’: Kenya delays landmark ruling on gay rights
The Guardian, 22 Feb 2019
Judges in Kenya have postponed a long-awaited landmark ruling that could have led to sex between men or between women decriminalised. The attempt by LGBT campaigners to have colonial-era legislation struck out has been closely watched by activists across Africa. But Justice John Mativo said on Friday that the high court needed more time to consider the evidence. The judgment will now be given in late May. The delay prompted anger and disappointment among campaigners who gathered to hear the decision in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. “I just wish the excuse was better. People’s lives are hanging on the line. Justice has been delayed, but it has not yet been denied,” said Yvonne Oduor, a campaigner. Lawyers representing gay and lesbian associations have argued laws punishing “unnatural” acts with sentences of up to 14 years in prison contravene Kenya’s progressive constitution.