How are LGBT+ rights evolving around the world ?
How are LGBT+ rights evolving around the world? – The history of LGBT+ rights is that of their progressive extension since the 20th century. For one simple reason: the situation was so bad that it was hard to do worse. But what about recent developments ?
When we talk about LGBT+ rights, we are talking about all the aspects necessary for equal rights, in all areas in which discrimination could occur. Overview of the progress of these rights in the different countries of the world.
How are LGBT+ rights evolving around the world ?
The criminalization and persecution of LGBT+ people around the world
In 2017, LGBT+ people could be prosecuted in 72 countries and risked penalties of up to the death penalty, according to ILGA’s annual report . In some of these countries, there has been a recent hardening of the repressive apparatus: in Uganda, for example, a law making the “promotion of homosexuality” an offense was passed in 2013. Sometimes, homophobia coupled with sexism ends up prohibiting only male homosexuality.
However, criminalization has tended to decrease over the years, under the dual influence of militant movements and court decisions guaranteeing the rights of citizens. Lebanese justice, for example, recently declared that homosexuality was not a crime, paving the way for decriminalization. The acceptance of homosexuality concerns more and more countries: Mozambique or Lesotho decriminalized it in 2015. In ten years, nine countries have done the same. Other good news: the WHO should remove transidentity from its list of psychiatric disorders in 2019.
An extension of same-sex marriage in the world
One of the major advances in terms of LGBT rights concerns the legalization of same-sex marriage. Initiated by the Netherlands in 2001, the establishment of marriage between persons of the same sex has gradually spread to reach around thirty countries today. A continuous movement, since new countries are added to the list each year. Among the latest to date are Australia, Austria, and even Taiwan, the first Asian country on the list. Projects are under discussion in many countries, such as Switzerland, Chile and Cuba. Bermuda is an exception, being the first country to have repealed its law in favor of gay marriage, in 2018: proof that the fight for civil rights requires constant vigilance.
A timid progression of the right to define one’s gender identity
When it comes to the rights of transgender people, the situation is quite different. Few countries have legislative provisions to recognize transgender people. The right to gender self-determination remains marginal on a global scale. In most countries that allow gender change in civil status, the procedures are considered humiliating and degrading. Trans people are required to obtain approval from a doctor, sometimes a psychiatrist, and face cumbersome legal procedures. An obstacle course that is gradually becoming lighter, especially with the end of compulsory sterilization, once the rule in many countries. France, Sweden or Belgium have chosen in recent years to put an end to these medical barriers. But the medicalization of trans people remains the norm, and the absence of public debate prevents developments on this subject. On the contrary, it makes them vulnerable to reactionary political decisions, such as the end of the federal system which guaranteed non-discriminatory access to the toilets for transgender people by Donald Trump last year.
In 2012, Argentina passed a pioneering law in this area, which allows anyone of legal age to define their gender identity and obtain a change of marital status without legal or medical authorization. Between 2012 and 2018, Colombia, Belgium, Pakistan, Denmark, Ireland and Malta passed similar laws. New Zealand and Australia have taken a different approach, offering the option of “unspecified” gender, while other countries such as Germany are proposing to introduce a third gender. for people who do not recognize themselves in the female / male binarity. The non-mention of gender also makes it possible to avoid forcibly assigning intersex people, that is to say people whose biological sex cannot be determined at birth, and who sometimes undergo medical procedures. imposed.
Discrimination persists and spares no country
In terms of rights, governments often favor the most visible or symbolic measures, such as marriage, in defiance of less publicized but equally important rights. Thus, differences exist concerning sexual majority, blood donation or the right to serve in the army. Faced with these inequalities, the people concerned can now rely on a legislative arsenal that guarantees equality between individuals and attack the States found to be at fault. LGBT+ rights are therefore progressing in part thanks to international law, which compensates for the shortcomings of national rights. A Frenchman had for example seized the European Court of Human Rights after being refused to give blood because of his sexual orientation.
Discrimination persists against LGBT+ people all over the world, including in countries that nevertheless adopt very progressive legislation. They are always victims of stereotypes and rejection, which sometimes lead to violent attacks. The Trans Murder Monitoring project documented 1,731 murders of transgender people between 2007 and 2014 around the world, often characterized for their brutality. It is estimated that people from sexual minorities are 3 times more at risk of suicide and they continue to have more difficult access to housing or employment than cisgender and heterosexual people. Beyond rights, there is therefore the question of mentalities, which are much more complex to change. To move in this direction, legislative decisions should be accompanied by public policies in the areas of education and support.
If LGBT + rights therefore tend to spread throughout the world, it is not an unalterable movement. As such, the work of activists of the LGBT+ cause, to defend their rights and acquire new ones, is invaluable. Homophobia and transphobia persist everywhere to varying degrees, despite the desire to adapt the legislative apparatus to societal changes.
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