This No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) news digest rounds up some of the week’s top LGBTI rights stories for the week ending 2 May:
Tennessee spikes bill allowing LGBT adoption refusals
Associated Press, 01 May 2019
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday spiked a proposal that would have allowed faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay parents and other families because of their religious beliefs.
The bill had been scheduled to be debated by the GOP-dominant Senate. However, at the last minute, the sponsor quietly asked for the proposal to be taken up next legislative session — essentially killing it for the year. There was no debate or explanation why the bill with withdrawn.
Malaysian LGBT activist accuses authorities of intimidation
Malaysiakini, 30 Apr 2019
A leading Malaysian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist has accused the authorities of intimidation after a statement he read to the UN Human Rights Council led to him being questioned by police.
Numan Afifi, an openly gay Muslim man and prominent advocate, travelled to Geneva last month to read out a statement from a coalition of LGBT groups to the Council for its Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia.
The 27-year-old was questioned by police for an hour in Kuala Lumpur last Friday, after an online backlash against statements given at the Council, which reviews the human rights record of each United Nations member state every five years.
Tunisia invokes sharia law in bid to shut down LGBT rights group
The Guardian, 30 Apr 2019
One of the Arab world’s most visible advocacy groups defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is facing closure following legal threats by the government.
Association Shams has been officially operating in Tunisia since 2015, helping the country’s LGBT community repeal article 230 of its penal code, a French colonial law, which criminalises homosexuality with up to three years in jail.
The government failed to permanently suspend Shams’ activities in a 2016 lawsuit, but is appealing the ruling. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.
With spirits high, the LGBT community and supporters marks Tokyo’s 25th pride march
The Japan Times, 28 Apr 2019
With rainbow flags flying high and colorful signboards vividly displayed under a clear blue sky, thousands of members of the LGBT community and their supporters took to the streets of Shibuya Ward on Sunday to march in the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride Festival parade.
According to the organizers, 10,000 people were expected to take part in this year’s march — believed to be the largest of its kind in the nation — with more than 180,000 participating in the festival itself.
Shell’s stand on LGBT rights under scrutiny over Brunei’s anti-gay laws
CNN, 26 Apr 2019
Royal Dutch Shell’s stand on LGBT rights has come under scrutiny following the introduction of laws that punish gay sex with death in Brunei.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is the largest foreign business operating in the small southeast Asian kingdom, which brought in laws earlier this month that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning.