May 17 was International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This day was created in 2004 to highlight violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people around the world.
Here is a sampling of recent news stories from across the region to help you understand how LGBT people are treated in that country or territory.
Cambodia: CamASEAN and the Cambodia Center for Human Rights are targeting LGBT-related violence in schools by working with the Ministry of Education to create an anti-discrimination policy. They organized the country’s first-ever anti-bullying workshop May 14 for high school students in Prey Veng province after a teacher was dismissed for saying he was gay.
China: A Court has thrown out the country’s first gay workplace discrimination suit for lack of evidence. The plaintiff wanted to be compensated for allegedly being dismissed by his company because of his sexual orientation. He was fired for affecting the company’s image after being outed as gay in a viral online video in October.
Hong Kong: A British gay woman living in Hong Kong since 2011 moved the high court May 14 to hear a landmark judicial review challenge and for accusing the Hong Kong Immigration Department of discrimination. Her application for her spouse’s dependant visa proved unsuccessful because officials refused to recognise her UK-registered same-sex civil partnership.
India: Openly gay Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, crown Prince of one of India’s oldest royal families, is risking his own freedom to fights for LGBT rights in India where same-sex relations are punishable by 10 years to life in prison and were LGBT people are prone to rape, theft, blackmail, arrest and harassment.
Indonesia: A recent survey by gay rights advocacy group Arus Pelangi showed that 89.3% (about 9 in 10) of LGBT individuals in Indonesia have experienced some form of violence such as psychological abuse physical assault, sexual assault, cultural violence and bullying. As many as 16.4 percent had attempted suicide more than once because of violence due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
South Korea: Human Rights Watch castigated South Korea for excluding LGBT people from sex education guidelines for schools and demanded that the policy be reversed. The government’s exclusion of LGBT rights in sex education guidelines is “pejorative” and “intolerant,” it said.
Pakistan: Four transgender women in this Islamic country have been murdered recently. Three were shot dead in Rawalpindi on May 8, less than a week after a burned and mutilated corpse of a transgender woman was found at a bus stop in the national capital Islamabad.
Singapore: The country’s gay rights movement Pink Dot SG has launched a three-minute film titled ‘Where love lives’ to document the struggle of the LGBT community as Singapore still criminalizes same-sex relations.
Taiwan: Kaohsiung is to be Taiwan’s first city to recognize gay couples who can register their relationship starting May 20. This remains rather symbolic as a draft bill that would legalize same-sex marriage has stalled in the Legislative Yuan largely due to religious opposition and debate over revising the article concerning marriage in the Civil Code to change from “man and woman” to “two parties” and the term “father and mother” to “parents.”