Tracking LGBTQ+ Gains and Losses Around the World in 2022

Tracking LGBTQ+ Gains and Losses Around the World in 2022

South Africa

The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in South Africa published the results of its African Youth Survey 2022, which found that African teenagers believe that more needs to be done to safeguard LGBTQ+ persons. According to the most current findings, 38% agree that stronger precautions are needed. This represents a rise from 31% in 2020. The poll includes 4,500 respondents from 15 different nations. With 83 percent, South Africa had the largest percentage of youngsters agreeing to stronger safeguards, followed by Mozambique at 67 percent and Gabon at 62 percent. Malawi had the lowest percentage, at 9%, followed by Sudan (16%), and Uganda (21%).


The country’s Parliament has made sex-normalizing procedures on intersex newborns illegal. The rule, which was enacted in late July, forbids surgeries that attempt to force a kid under the age of 15 to conform to traditional concepts of female and male, according to Reuters. Doctors who conduct such procedures will face fines and imprisonment. If they consent, intersex persons above the age of 15 can undergo the operations. A few months ago, Greece banned so-called conversion therapy for kids.

El Salvador

In a joint study with the local rights group COMCAVIS TRANS, Human Rights Watch stated that El Salvador must do more to safeguard transgender persons. The organizations uncovered significant prejudice against trans persons as a result of the difference between their gender identification and their identity documents, according to the research. The groups encouraged the country’s legislators to put a February Supreme Court judgment into action by establishing a procedure for trans persons to put their lived gender on legal papers. “El Salvador’s Supreme Court has made it quite apparent that trans individuals have a right to their identity, and now the Legislative Assembly must follow suit and protect trans people’s rights,” said Cristian González Cabrera, LGBTQ+ rights researcher at HRW. “Without such legislation, trans persons would continue to experience societal disadvantages, which will be worsened by the widespread violence and prejudice they face in all sectors of life.”


A petition pushing for marital equality in Ukraine has received enough signatures to be handed to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s desk. Ukrainian law now requires the president to reply. The petition received almost 28,000 signatures. While homosexuality is not illegal in Ukraine, equal marriage rights are not available, and anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice is popular. “At this moment, every day may be the last… [Same-sex couples] require the same rights as regular couples,” the petition states. Many LGBTQ+ persons have joined the military in order to combat Russia’s invasion. If a person in a same-sex relationship died, their partner would be unable to claim their corpse, according to the BBC.


Hungary is being sued by the European Union for its anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Hungary approved a legislation in June 2021 banning the portrayal of LGBTQ+ individuals in media accessible to children under the pretense of harsher action against pedophiles. The matter has been sent to the Court of Justice of the European Union. “The Commission considers that the bill contradicts internal market rules, fundamental rights of individuals (including LGBTIQ people), and – in relation to those basic rights — E.U. principles,” the bloc stated. Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz political party have attacked LGBTQ+ Hungarians in recent years. In 2020, Parliament approved legislation barring same-sex couples from adopting and transgender persons from altering their official gender marker.


Following a June court judgement that sustained Japan’s restriction on marriage equality, Nintendo Japan said in mid-July that its Corporate Social Responsibility rules had been amended to accept same-sex couples. This was altered in 2021, according to the corporation, but it was just recently made public. “Although same-sex weddings are not officially recognized under Japanese law,” according to the rules, “this approach assures workers who are in a domestic partnership with a same-sex partner enjoy the same advantages as employees in an opposite-sex marriage.” Furthermore, the corporation modified its internal harassment policy to “clearly ban discriminatory statements based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as exposing someone’s privately held sexual orientation without their choice.”


Lebanon’s interior minister, Bassam Mawlawi, came under criticism in late June for directing security officers to prohibit LGBTQ+ gatherings during Pride Month. He claimed that such activities would violate Lebanon’s religious traditions and values while fostering “sexual depravity.” In reaction, Helem, the country’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organization, stated, “It is mystifying that a caretaker minister believes inciting violence and hate speech against a marginalized population of his own countrymen is part of his job…. Inciting moral sexual panic and attacking LGBTQ people is a very old, shallow, and often utilized ploy by failing regimes to divert attention away from economic and political crises.”


According to local media sources, Buenos Aires’ Chief of Government Horacio Rodrguez Larreta said in June that he would outlaw the use of inclusive Spanish language in the schools of Argentina’s capital city. The decision generated an instant outcry from proponents of inclusive language, which is now extensively used in schools and among youth in the city. This implies that using “e” to signify nonbinary gender, as well as “x” or “@” in writing, is no longer permissible. One of the world’s earliest bans on gender-neutral terminology. In reaction to the restriction, several groups have filed lawsuits.


On July 7, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 23-17 (with seven abstentions) to extend the independent expert’s mandate on sexual orientation and gender identity protection against violence and discrimination for another three years. The mandate of the independent expert was initially granted in 2016 and was extended in 2019. The Human Rights Council encouraged member states in this year’s renewal resolution to remove discriminatory laws and policies based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as to take effective steps to avoid violence and discrimination. On an annual basis, the independent expert will report to the council and the United Nations General Assembly on the fulfillment of the mission. The current independent expert is Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a Costa Rican judge who is also a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s human rights department.


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