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27 December 2009

Some Events of the year 2009 – Part 1: legal etc

 This is just some of what happened in 2009.

Part 1: Legislation, litigation, organizations, news media and bookshops
Part 2: persons
Part 3: art, movies, theatre, books

++ = added later


++ Asia Pacific Transgender Network launched.

After 10 years, IFGE and TransEvents split and put on different conferences.

The International Court System recognized 40 trans persons for their contributions, but was unable to find a single person outside the US despite being ‘International’.

GIRES issued a report concluding that 1 in 166 in the UK are gender variant.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni) with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Belong To Youth Services organized a two-day conference on the lack of transgender rights in Ireland.

London pride: TransLondon first boycotted London pride because of the discrimination by Pride marshals in 2008, but then agreed to march “under protest”.

STP 2012 campaign to depathologize transgender persons.

Equal marriage & civil unions

Albania: announced equal marriages.

Argentina: city court judge permitted first gay marriage in Buenos Aires (civil unions have been in effect since 2002), but a higher court overruled it the day before the wedding.  Update 28/12/09:  Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushauaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, on 27/12/09.

Australian Capital Territory: started civil unions.

California: Proposition 8 (despite not saying what it claims to say) went to the Californian Supreme Court which accepted it into law. However out-of-state marriages are now recognized.

The States of Jersey voted for civil unions.

Kenya: Daniel Chege Gichia and Charles Ngengi, both Kenyans, had a civil union in London, and became a media scandal back home.

Maine: a referendum reversed last year’s equal marriage.

Malaysia: Fatine Bahari met Ian Young of Derby, UK, in Kuala Lumpur. She travelled to the UK on a six-month tourist visa. They were joined in civil union. This became a media scandal in Malaysia, where it is claimed that she has shamed Malaysia. She has applied to the UK Border Agency to stay in the UK but is encountering bureaucratic problems.

New Jersey: approved equal marriages.

Mexico City: legalized equal marriages. Civil unions had been permitted since 2007.

New York: executive order to recognize out-of-state gay marriages, but attempt to introduce equal marriages defeated in state senate.

Portugal: about to remove references to gender in its marriage law.

Prince Edward Island: The Domestic Relations Act changed 29 pieces of provincial legislation to replace references to "man and woman" and "husband and wife" with gender-neutral terms, as required by the 2005 Canadian Civil Marriage Act.

Tennessee: Terri Jo Rittenberry had her marriage declared invalid, as gender change is not recognized.

Uruguay: first gay civil union.

UK: heterosexual couple refused a civil union.

Vermont: equal marriages

Washington, DC: legalized equal marriages.

Other Legislation, Litigation, other government actions, etc

Aceh: introduced whippings for homosexuality.

Alberta: delisted funding for gender surgery; added sexual orientation but not gender identity to its human rights legislation.

Australia: another case, not Alan Finch’s against the Monash GIC for giving him his requested sex change reached the Supreme Court, and was then settled out of court.

Australia: intersex and trans persons needing anti-androgen medication or testosterone were obliged to register as potential sex-offenders.

Bolivia: trans persons may now appear as themselves in the photograph on national ID, but it will still list their legal name.

Burundi criminalized homosexuality

China: new rules for sex change: must not have a criminal record, be single, be over 20, and have cross-lived for two years.

Ecuador: court ruling that state should fund sex changes.

France: transsexuality no longer classified as a mental illness.

Honduras: Following the US-supported coup, “There have been [other killings] as well, notably a rise in murders in the LGBT community since the coup. In particular, several transvestites have been recently killed in similarly gruesome ways. Human rights advocates report that ‘up to 18 gay and transgender men have been killed nationwide — as many as the five prior years — in the nearly six months since a political crisis rocked the nation.’ “ Full article here.

India: decriminalized homosexuality; Hijras may be listed as other, rather than male or female on electoral rolls.

Indonesia: Nadia Ilmira, a post-operative, applied to the Batang District Court to be legally recognized as a woman, and her petition was approved. However, the Indonesian Council of Ulema said that gender surgery in haram in Islam unless it is a medical necessity.

Iran: allowed the first marriage of a trans man; it continues to execute gay men.

Ireland: announced bill to recognize acquired gender of transsexuals.

Isle of Man: Gender Recognition Bill like the UK’s.

Manitoba: turned down proposal from province’s bureaucracy to fund gender surgery.

Navarre: La Ley Integral de Transexualidad.

New York: executive order that state agencies are not to discriminate based on ‘gender identity and expression’.

Nigeria extended death penalty for homosexuality (previously only in northern states); illegal for gay couples to live together; prison for abetting gay couples.

Pakistan to add a third gender option on identity cards; introduce measures to entitle hijras to inherit property; the government was advised to employ hijras in debt collection.

Panama: The Association of Trans People requested the mediation of the Ombudsman to stop police abuse.

Portugal: consulting re having a gender identity law like Spain’s.

Rwanda, newly accepted into the Commonwealth, announced criminalization of homosexuality with sentences of 5 – 10 years and fines in excess of the average annual salary, but then denied the intention.

Sindh has agreed to a quota of 5% of provincial government jobs for hijras and free medical treatment.

Sweden: cross-dressing, fetishism and sadomasochism removed from list of medical conditions, but transsexuality, exhibitionism, voyeurism and paedophilia remained.

Thailand: new rules for sex change: must be over 18, a year of cross living, and a mental evaluation.

Uruguay: trans persons permitted to change names and gender on all legal documents; gays allowed to adopt; gays allowed in military; civil unions.

Uganda: new bill that adds life imprisonment for consensual adult homosexuality and the death penalty if HIV+ or other party under 18. Three years prison for third parties who do not report homosexuality to police within 24 hours. Seven years for defending the rights of homosexuals. This bill is a project of the local branch of the US group The Family.

UK: Trans persons in transition will be allowed to buy a second ID card.

The Netherlands, the UK and elsewhere: Machines introduced at airports that can see your genitals under your clothes.

News Media & Bookshops

Window Media LCC, the largest publisher of LGBT newspapers (including the Washington Blade and Southern Voice) and websites in the US, closed down.

Candy, “the first transversal fashion magazine” debuts.

Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York and Out Word Bound Book Store in Indianapolis and Librairie Serge et Real in Montreal closed.

The art director, graphic designer and most of the writers at the Chicago Free Press left the gay publication Monday after the company stopped paying its employees, according to Matt Simonette, who also left his position as editor.

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