Lesbitgay is produced by COMSOL – a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting effective communication and solidarity in civil society organizations in Central America and the Caribbean. Lesbitgay, the online magazine which focuses on Sexual Diversity in Central America and the Caribbean is published on a monthly basis as part of their campaign for the decriminalization of homosexuality, and the promotion of the rights of sexually diverse people.
Homophobia May Cost India’s Economy Billions of Dollars
Economist M.V. Lee Badgett in a recent case study on India found that discrimination against LGBT people at the workplace was costing the economy billions of dollars. Generally, discussions about LGBT human rights have focused on expressing values related to respect and equality. According to Badgett her study gives a different perspective on what other motivations there might be for countries to promote LGBT rights, and arguing it is costly to exclude them could be a potentially powerful argument if you are mainly concerned about economic development. Multimedia journalist Atish Patel had an interesting conversation with Badgett on her study and how she arrived at the 30.8 billion dollar estimated loss to the Indian economy as a result of LGBT discrimination. Read the interview report here:
Strategic Litigation of Human Rights Abuses: A Manual for Legal Practitioners From the Commonwealth Caribbean
Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) has published a guide on strategic litigation of human rights abuses for legal practitioners within the Commonwealth Caribbean. The guide comprehensively outlines strategies that may be employed by Caribbean litigants based primarily on lessons learned from past cases. The full text of the guide is available here.
University of the West Indies’ Statement of Principles/Code of Ethics for Academic and Senior Administrative Staff.
The link below provides the full text of the University of the West Indies’ ‘Statement of Principles/Code of Ethics for Academic and Senior Administrative Staff.’ This is useful for members of the public who have an interest in the recent dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain of the Caribbean HIV and AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Centre.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom
AN ACT, as signed by the Governor General of Jamaica on April 7, 2011 to Amend the Constitution of Jamaica to provide for a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and for connected matters.WHEREAS a Constitutional Commission established by Parliament recommended, after wide public consultation and due deliberation, that Chapter III of the Constitution of Jamaica should be replaced by a new Chapter which provides more comprehensive and effective protection for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons in Jamaica.
For the full text of the Charter please visit the link below:
The 20th International AIDS Conference
The 20th International AIDS Conference will bring together leading scientists, public health experts, policy makers and the HIV-affected community to translate recent momentous scientific advances into action
that will address means to end the epidemic within the current context of significant global economic challenges.
The primary objectives of this year’s staging of the conference is to
- engage, inspire, innovate and advocate – in partnership with affected communities, government, scientists, clinicians and all stakeholders – working towards the end of AIDS through prevention measures and comprehensive care and treatment for all.
- broaden the understanding that the same barriers that have fuelled the epidemic over the past 30 years, still exist today and need to be broken down including stigma, discrimination and repressive policies, attitudes and practices. These impede the application of scientifically proven prevention and treatment options and violate the human rights of those affected.
- raise awareness that progress in responding to the AIDS epidemic is being achieved at different speeds: in many countries – both developed and developing – the HIV response has made great advances while in many others, new infections continue to rise due to funding, structural, policy and political challenges.
- put focus on global HIV epidemic hotspots and scale up efforts within Key Affected Populations (including men who have sex with men, sex workers, people living with HIV, transgender people and people who use drugs). It is clear that many people are still being ‘left behind’ in HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Solutions require partnerships with people living with HIV and disproportionately affected populations
For more information visit their website at:
Communication for Change (C-Change)
C-Change, implemented by FHI 360, is a USAID-funded project to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) across development sectors. It employs innovative and tested methods to meet the continuing challenges posed by evolving health issues that require an SBCC approach; and works to strengthen the capacity of local and regional organizations to plan, implement, and manage programs, thus ensuring sustained local knowledge and skills.
C-Change carried out four research studies and a mapping assessment to inform the national response to HIV and AIDS in Jamaica. The studies focused on groups considered highly vulnerable to HIV infection: sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and young women and men involved in cross-generational sexual relationships. Some of the main findings of each study are outlined in the link below:
How should we talk about transgender issues?
As gender issues become more public, it’s clear that the media will play a crucial role in how trans people are treated — but sensitivity starts with the individual, and a good first step is to be thoughtful and precise about our language. Below, find tips and quotes gathered from trans men and women and their allies about positive, helpful ways to have that conversation. Though respectful language is only part of the battle for equality and acceptance, it’s a very good start.
LGBT Rights in the Commonwealth
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies aims to publish high-impact academic work relevant to researchers and policy-makers. Publications include monographs, policy briefings and opinion pieces, and special conference reports. The Institute has published an open source book on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change which focuses on, among other themes, the history and impact of colonialism on ‘sodomy’ or ‘buggery’ laws in the Caribbean and Africa, religious attitudes towards homosexuality, and the politics, pitfalls, and progress of LGBT rights in the Commonwealth.
The book consists of nineteen chapters, which provides much insight and opportunities for application to the Jamaican context.
The book in its entirety is available for download here:
Living Out Loud!
Living Out Loud! is an internet intervention created for and by LGBT youth to share information with other young people about sexual orientation, gender identity, human rights, sexual reproductive health, HIV, coming out, etc.
Living Out Loud! uses a team of young peer supporters who are members of the LGBT community to answer questions and provides information about HIV, safer sex practices, promote access and utilisation of services, and encourage HIV testing, counselling, care and treatment services for the community. The peer educators’ team receives support and mentorship from qualified persons and organisations, including Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), Advocates for Youth and J-FLAG
Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. Founded in 1994 as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, Immigration Equality provides legal aid and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families.
They are the first and only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to achieving full equality for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. Immigration Equality pioneered the field of LGBT/HIV immigration law and helped win major policy victories including ending the ban on immigration and travel for people with HIV. Its two complementary roles—as lawyers providing free legal counsel to thousands of LGBT/HIV-positive immigrants each year, and as advocates pressing for policy changes to end the discrimination their clients face—make Immigration Equality a uniquely qualified and effective champion for LGBT/HIV-positive immigrants.
In almost 80 countries around the world, loving someone of the same sex is still considered illegal, at times involving lifetime imprisonment and, in nine countries, it is even punishable by death! And in many more countries still, citizens are denied their right to live according to their preferred gender identity. As well as legal discriminations, social homophobia and transphobia serve to daily deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity. The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue. It is not one centralised campaign; rather it is a moment that everyone can take advantage of to take action. The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is now celebrated in more than 100 countries, in all world regions and in places as diverse as Australia, Iran, Cameroon or Albania.
It has received official recognition from several States and such international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.