Bullying is a problem in most schools, but it’s especially serious regarding LGBT teens, for whom depression and suicide is unfortunately common. Legislation requiring school staff to stay “neutral” on gay issues often means in practice that LGBT teens are further isolated and marginalized, and worse, many report hearing homophobic statements from teachers and school administrators themselves. To protect these students, who often have to fear for their physical safety as well, new legislation is being proposed to increase the support available to them.
Without federal legislation in place, it is largely up to individual states and cities what rights and protections to offer LGBT residents, and Webster Groves, Missouri has joined a growing list of cities in the St. Louis area to ban housing discrimination against people for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Ontario-based group Crossroads Christian Communications (CCC) had been receiving government funds for its work in Uganda, but in light of its anti-LGBT views it has been cut off, pending a review. Multiple Canadian officials spoke out against the CCC, saying that Canada is a strong opponent of discrimination and cannot fund a group that supports hate in any form, especially one that is explicitly anti-gay and working in a country that has been widely condemned for its extreme persecution of LGBT citizens. Current Ugandan legislation that would allow for “aggravated homosexuality” to be punishable by death has been noted to be widely supported by foreign evangelicals, largely from North America.
As one of only 16 countries in the world currently granting same-sex partners legal immigration rights, Germany is becoming a popular choice of residence for LGBT couples. The country’s same-gender civil partnership, Lebenspartnerschaft, doesn’t grant all of the same rights as marriage, but it allows same-sex couples from different countries to stay together; with legislation such as the United States’ Defense of Marriage Act, which denies all federal benefits—including immigration— to same-sex couples, options are limited.
People seeking asylum in the UK due to their orientations are asked to prove their sexuality; when officials don’t tell them how to go about it, some are so desperate to avoid deportation that they submit as evidence video of themselves having intercourse with a same-sex partner. Generally, what officials are looking for is ties to the local gay community, or at least less explicit video or photographs of applicants with their partners.
Two lawyers in Cameroon gained international attention when they filed appeals in their clients’ cases regarding alleged homosexual conduct; since then, they have received numerous death threats to themselves and their families if they don’t drop the cases. Both filed complaints regarding the death threats, but despite the clear illegality of the intimidation tactics—the Cameroonian constitution guarantees the right to defense to anyone accused of a crime—but the government has not acted, even though President Paul Biya has stated that “minds are changing” in regards to homosexuality.
Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, hoped by some to be selected as the Catholic Church’s first ever African pope, has defended Uganda’s controversial Anti-Homosexual Bill, commonly known as the “kill the gays” bill, as “commensurate with tradition.”