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July a month of hope in LGBTQ+ history

Updated: Jul 27

BY: Qudsia Saeed

While the Pride Month of June 2020 was historically devastating overwhelmed by the murder of Black Trans-women, and the erosion of Trans access to healthcare under the Trump administration, July marked a turning point with progressive legislation that was proposed and passed globally. The month of July has been monumental as Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex civil partnerships, Colorado became the 11th US state to ban the gay and trans panic defense, and Sudan abolished the death penalty for homosexuality.

On July 8th, The Thai government approved of a bill that refrains from explicitly using the term marriage but gives same-sex couples the right to civil partnerships, including collectively owning property, adopting children, and passing on inheritances. This bill is a significant milestone because homophobia is prevalent across Asia. However, the bill faced criticism because it failed to identify same-sex couples under the umbrella of marriage, and that serves as yet another form of discrimination in disguise.

On July 13th, Colorado became the 11th US state to ban the gay and trans panic defense, which is a controversial legal strategy that uses sexual orientation as a justification for the defendant’s violent reaction and rationale for crimes as severe as murder. It blames provoking the defendant on the victim, thus often acquitting the perpetrators of crimes against LGBTQ+ victims. This panic defense strategy is still legal in 39 states, and only 8 of those states have proactively passed legislation against it.

Sudan repealed the death plenty for homosexuality, which is a step in the right direction for the conservative nation, with a new government that has pledged to shift the country towards democracy. These amendments aren’t enough and have faced criticism, but they are a transformative step towards a more equitable society. Given the homophobic atmosphere of most of Africa and the Middle East, Sudanese gay men faced 100 lashes for the first offense, an additional five years in jail for the second, and consequently death for the committing the third offense. Although people are still punished unjustly and inhumanely for being in a same-sex relationship, Sudan abolished the death penalty, enlightening hope for a progressive future.

Other celebratory advancements in legislation included Boris Johnson promising to ban conversion therapy, and Scotland will become the first country to add LGBTQ+ history to the school curriculum by 2021. These small milestones are indicative of future progress, especially if the fight for equality continues at this pace and passion.

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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