Taiwan’s top court rules in favour of same-sex marriage – BBC News

Taiwan’s top judges have ruled in favour of gay marriage, paving the way for it to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.

The highest court ruled that current laws preventing members of the same sex from marrying violated their right to equality and were unconstitutional.

It gave parliament two years to amend existing laws or pass new ones.

Wednesday’s landmark decision came as the LGBT community faces increasing persecution in the region.

In a press release following the ruling, the court said that “disallowing two persons of the same sex to marry, for the sake of safeguarding basic ethical orders” constituted a “different treatment” with “no rational basis.”

The court concluded that “such different treatment is incompatible with the spirit and meaning of the right to equality” as protected by Taiwan’s constitution.

More at: BBC News

Fr. Bryan Massingale to LGBT Catholics: “Refuse to Be Silenced. Continue to Speak Our Truth.” – Bondings 2.0

“We ain’t what we oughta be. We ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we was.”

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Fr. Bryan Massingale

Fr. Bryan Massingale began his talk on “Pope Francis, Social Ethics, and LGBT People” with these words of an unknown Black preacher, which were often quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Massingale, a theologian at Fordham University, New York, addressed participants at New Ways Ministry’s 8th National Symposium, and asked them this key question:

“What does it mean to be an LGBT Catholic in an age of Pope Francis?”

Read more: – Bondings 2.0

Quality of life on rise for many Africans, report says | MG Africa

Africans are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of their lives, with some countries even nearing world averages, says a wide-ranging report out Monday on the continent’s future.

While large portions of the continent’s 1.2-billion people live in poverty, many of Africa’s 54 nations have made significant progress in health, education and standard of living.

“At least a third of African countries have now achieved medium to high levels of human development,” said the report published by the African Development Bank, referring to a composite measure of a nation’s condition.

Read more at: MG Africa

Taking back control of ideas: How politicians can shape public debates on immigration | British Politics and Policy at LSE

How can people be convinced that immigration is actually not a threat? Christina Boswell and James Hampshire explain that, in shaping public beliefs, narratives and images are more important than statistics. So, politicians who want to challenge the current demonisation of foreigners must construct narratives about immigration and its place in our society which draw on existing public philosophies of openness and inclusion. 

New proposals on how to regulate immigration after Brexit are coming thick and fast. But there’s a lot of muddled thinking from the main political parties, especially regarding how to respond to anti-immigrant sentiment amongst sections of the public.

Politicians and commentators often fall into one of two traps. Either they take anti-immigrant sentiment as a given – a legitimate democratic preference, which needs to be taken at face value and respected. On this view, the role of mainstream political parties is to allay concerns through introducing more stringent controls and tougher integration measures.

Alternatively, politicians and pundits understand anti-immigrant sentiment as a problem of ignorance. On this account, large sections of the public hold inaccurate beliefs about the scale and impacts of immigration, and the answer is to better educate people, supply them with robust evidence and facts in order to bust the myths about immigration, and encourage a more enlightened approach.

Read more at: British Politics and Policy at LSE

Balancing the Budget: Joburg DA shows us the money | Daily Maverick

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has said the city’s first non-ANC administration will be pro-poor, but the proof is in the numbers. Finance MMC Rabelani Dagada on Tuesday presented the city’s coalition-government budget, allocating R55.9-billion in spending over the next year. By GREG NICOLSON.

 Reflecting Mashaba’s recent State of the City Address, Rabelani Dagada dedicated his budget to “Joburg’s forgotten people”, saying it would be pro-poor, provide a business environment to spur growth, and fight corruption. The budget was delivered exactly nine months after the first sitting of Joburg’s new council, which saw Mashaba elected mayor through a coalition with smaller opposition parties and support of the EFF.

Dagada on Tuesday said the country’s economic climate and the risk of a downgrade for the city could hamper the administration’s goal of achieving 5% economic growth, but  through austerity measures and increasing revenue collection, Johannesburg’s finances can be improved, and this will ultimately lead to development for the poor.

Source: Daily Maverick

Council of Grand Justices to rule on same-sex marriage in Taiwan on May 24 | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)–Taiwan’s Council of Grand Justices (大法官) will announce the ruling on a case concerning same-sex marriage on May 24, which experts said is expected to have deep ramifications on the development of same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

The case arose from gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei’s (祁家威) being turned down while applying for marriage registration with his male partner at the Household Registration Office in Wanhua District, Taipei City. An administrative lawsuit ensued, but the administrative court ruled against Chi.

Source: Taiwan News

Blurring the rainbow: South Africa’s inequality is no longer about race | The Economist

IN KLIPTOWN, an old neighbourhood of Soweto, a group of perhaps 30 men stand in a huddle shouting at cars. One drags a large plastic barrier into the road, while a couple of others pour fuel into old tyres to make burning barricades. It is the sort of protest that disrupts life in or around Johannesburg every few days. What the men want is simple, explains Bongani Godfrey Ndaba, a 37-year-old with a thick mat of hair: a better standard of living.

Most live across a railway line from the road they are blocking, in a warren of crumbling old brick “matchbox” houses and newer tin shacks. Mr Ndaba points out the rubbish that litters the entrance to the neighbourhood, and the mucky water that pours down the muddy streets. “The rich get richer; the poor get nothing,” he says. “There are just empty promises.” As he speaks, the boom of tear-gas grenades comes from the road, indicating that the police have arrived.

Source:  The Economist

Another Zuma or another party?: The struggle to succeed South Africa’s president heats up | The Economist

IN THE twilight of his unpopular presidency, Jacob Zuma has to vet his crowds carefully. Almost wherever he speaks, he risks a clamour of boos and jeers, many from members of his own party, the African National Congress (ANC). A rally organised by the country’s main trade union federation, which is formally allied with the ANC, should have been a perfect opportunity for him to drone on about the party’s achievements since ending white-minority rule in 1994. But he never got the chance to speak; union members shouted him down. Two of his closest supporters were also heckled at May Day rallies in different cities on the same day. Unionised workers, who in past elections made up most of the activists going door-to-door to canvas for the ANC, are turning against a tainted president, and against a party that excuses his many scandals.

Source:  The Economist

Nigerians increasingly tolerant of homosexuality

Hostility to homosexuality and particularly to same-sex marriage, is strong across Africa, and in the Caribbean. In both regions however, there are signs of steady progress. In Bermuda, same-sex marriage is now part of the law, by a constitutional court decision. In Nigeria, the latest iteration of a regular, biennial opinion poll for the country’s Initiative for Equal Rights has found that while there remains overwhelming opposition to gay marriage, there are signs of some movement to greater social acceptance of homosexuality and rights to equal access to public services.

LAGOS – The biennial survey poll commissioned by The initiative for Equal Rights and conducted by NOI Polls, to map the perception and awareness of LGBT people amongst the general population in Nigeria indicates that there is increasing social acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Nigerians, despite continued support for the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which bans marriage and criminalizes same sex associations, cohabiting amongst other discriminatory provisions.

Amongst the key findings of the poll are that a majority of Nigerians surveyed (53%) have some awareness and knowledge of homosexuals either through knowing a friend, family member or someone in their locality who is homosexual or through media, and (39%) of Nigerians accept that lesbian, gay and bisexual Nigerians should have equal access to public goods such as healthcare, housing and education, which represents a 9% increase from a previous poll conducted in 2015.

Source: Initiative for Equal Rights 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan flies Pride flag from City Hall to challenge homophobia · PinkNews

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is flying the LGBT Pride flag from City Hall to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Marked on May 17 around the world, IDAHOT raises awareness of persecution and hate crimes faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender people around the world.

To mark the day in the capital, the rainbow flag is flying from city hall.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor of a city with one of the world’s largest LGBT+ communities, I’m could not be more proud to raise the Pride flag to mark IDAHOT 2017 at City Hall.

“London is a city that doesn’t just tolerate diversity, but truly embraces and celebrates it. I want London to be a place where LGBT+ people feel valued, happy and safe.”

Source:  · PinkNews