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Tel Aviv LGBT Pride parade takes over 100,000 people to streets

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Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv witnessed its largest ever LGBT Pride parade and the largest throughout the entire Asian continent, with more than 100,000 people marching through the city streets celebrating a day dedicated to the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender community under the slogan “Tel Aviv loves all genders.”

Despite the scorching heat on Friday, a parade of colors and tens of thousands of people flooded the main thoroughfares in downtown Tel Aviv, which blocked several roads and brought in a significant security presence before the event.

“We take pride in our country, that gives us rights and equality,” 17-year-old Oren said, who marched with his friends to the Charles Clore Park.

Eurovision winner of the year 2014, Austria’s Conchita Wurst, performed a concert to conclude the parade.

One of Oren’s friends told Efe, “We are now fighting for gay marriage and we hope to succeed,” explaining that civil marriages are not allowed in Israel, and therefore gay marriage is forbidden as well.

In this respect, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai brought the attention of Israeli politicians to the fact that “there is still much legislative work to be done to promote the LGBT community.”

While there is no same-sex marriage in Israel, as only religious marriage is recognized, the state does recognize marriages officiated outside Israel, including gay marriages. (IANS)

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UN Expert Vitit Muntarbhorn Warns Against LGBTQ Rights Violations

"More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied," believes Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN' first independent expert on the rights of LGBT

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A protester to support all students sign from National Center for transgender equality, Source : Wikimedia

United Nations, October 28, 2017 : Immediate action is needed to stop human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, a UN human rights expert has said.

“It is unconscionable that people with an actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression different from a particular social norm are targeted for violence and discrimination in many parts of the world,” said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN’ first independent expert on the rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

“LGBT people are suffering a crucible of egregious violations, including killings, rape, mutilation, torture, arbitrary detention, abduction, harassment, physical and mental assaults.

“They are subjected to lashings and forced surgical interventions, bullying from a young age, incitement to hatred and pressures leading to suicide,” he told the UN General Assembly on Friday.

“More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied,” Xinhua quoted Muntarbhorn as saying.

Even where there is no law criminalising consensual same-sex relations, laws on public decency, public order and social peace are used to incriminate people under the umbrella of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he noted.

Muntarbhorn who is from Thailand said all laws criminalising same-sex relationships should be removed from the statute books, and no other legal measures should be used to target sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for the purpose of consolidating power and suppressing dissent.

It was also imperative to remove the death penalty for all cases related to the criminalization of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he stressed.

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“There is a need for effective anti-discrimination measures covering both the public and private spheres. Not only formal but substantive, not only de jure but also de facto, in addition to the building of a community open to understanding and respecting sexual and gender diversity,” said the expert.

To be effective, anti-discrimination frameworks should provide for effective measures to investigate alleged violations, redress for victims and accountability for alleged perpetrators, he said.

Muntarbhorn also expressed concern that human rights defenders were being increasingly targeted for their work in raising issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. (IANS)

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