LGBTQ News Briefs From Around The World, May 2018

nigel shelby

Controversial LGBTQ adoption law signed by Okla. governor (

Last Friday, Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma, signed into a law a bill allowing adoption agencies with religious affiliations to choose not to place children in LGBTQ families and homes.

The law, which will go into effect November 1 of this year, will also allow the agencies to discriminate against single parents and non-Christians.

As a result, Fallin has received scorn from LGBTQ activist groups—such as Freedom Oklahoma and the Family Equality Council—and garnered support from the state’s Catholic bishops.

But Senator Greg Treat, the state’s Senate majority floor leader, claims that, in fear of being sued for discrimination, some agencies are, and will be, hesitant to act on the law.


Md. governor signs legislation prohibiting conversion therapy (

On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law key legislation in shielding LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.

The legislation—named SB1028, introduced in the State Senate by Sen. Richard Madaleno—passed with help from the Human Rights Campaign, FreeState Justice and WISE, all of which are activist organizations.

The groups that helped hope to both protect and send a message of support to LGBTQ youth in the state.

With the enactment of the legislation, Maryland joined twelve other states and districts (including Washington, D.C.) in banning the practice.


Woman assaulted for attending LGBTQ event in China (

On Sunday, police in Beijing blocked and physically assaulted two women attempting to visit an LGBTQ event in Beijing’s 798 art district.

The two women were wearing rainbow badges that had been passed out earlier that day by an organizer in recognition of the International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The organizer had earlier been told to stop by nearby security guards.

China’s LGBTQ community and activists were outraged by the event and, to many, it demonstrated the conservatism that persists in China despite homosexuality being legal there.

The two women involved in the altercation have since been hospitalized.


Canada-based company begins to employ third gender option in surveys (

Statistics Canada (Statscan), a Canadian government-affiliated agency, is beginning to include a third gender option on surveys.

The agency is in the early stages of testing out the method, but on recent surveys they asked respondents both their assigned sex at birth and gender—which had three options: “male,” “female,” and “please specify.”

The implementation of this option reflects two years of consultation with LGBTQ and non-binary activist organizations.

It also followed Canada’s most recent federal budget, which allocated over $6 million in funding for the creation of a Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics at Statscan.


Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender prisoners (

Last week, the Trump administration removed protections that allowed transgender prisoners to be housed based on their gender identity. Instead, prisoners will now be, by default, housed based on their assigned sex at birth—unless they show “significant progress towards [a] transition.” Prison authorities must now also consider which placement would be safest for both the jail and the individual in question.

The removal of the protection will make it more difficult for transgender prisoners to be housed in areas that correlate with their identified gender.

This change came about after women in a Texas prison filed a lawsuit with concerns about the Obama administration’s guidelines for transgender prisoner placement; the guidelines, they argued, put them in danger.


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