Religion and Politics News Shorts: September 2014

September 1, 2014 in General

Harare: President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has said he dislikes taking international aid money from the West, because it comes with pressure to “embrace” homosexuality.


¬†Copenhagen:¬†A Danish law that makes it easier for transgender people to have their gender legally recognised has come into effect, but has caused controversy among trans activists. ¬†The new legislation¬†scraps a requirement for trans people to undergo gender confirmation¬†surgery before they can be¬†legally recognised as their preferred gender.¬†Under the changes, which come into effect from today, trans people over the age of 18 can update personal documents ‚Äď including passports, birth certificates and social security numbers ‚Äď after a six month ‚Äėreflection period‚Äô, with no surgical procedure required.¬†The changes have been welcomed by trans people who are medically unable or unwilling to undergo surgery, but the age requirement and ‚Äėreflection period‚Äô have both attracted criticism for restricting people‚Äôs access to gender recognition.

Rome:¬†An Italian photographer has criticized a far-right group for using one of his photographs for an anti-gay campaign. The Brothers [sic] of Italy party, which has 9 MPs¬†in Italy‚Äôs Chamber of Deputies, published a photo of two same-sex couples holding a baby to Twitter last week with the caption ‚ÄúA baby is not a whim ‚Äď no adoption for the gays‚ÄĚ.¬†However, Oliviero Toscani, who took the original photo for a pro-gay rights campaign, claims the group did not have his permission to reuse the image for a¬†homophobic message.


¬†Beijing: ¬†40% of Chinese university textbooks still teach that homosexuality is a mental illness even though it was removed from China’s official list of mental disorders in 2001, according to a recent report.¬†The Gay and Lesbian Campus Association in China (GLCAC) decided to conduct a survey of psychology textbooks after students started uploading photos of their erroneous texts to social media.¬†The survey of 90 books found that 42 had content related to homosexuality, of which 40% of those written after 2001 still classified homosexuality as a mental illness.¬†Half claimed homosexuality could be cured and 57.11% divided homosexuality into three categories: real, fake and psychological. 42.88% classified bisexuality as a form of homosexuality, only three had chapters dedicated to homosexuality and 88.10% discussed whether homosexuality was a mental illness.