This week read about organizations fighting against anti-LGBT campaigns in Africa, and China banning accounts belonging to LGBT rights groups on a social media app.
South African Rights Groups Mobilize Against Anti-LGBT Campaigns
South African queer civil society organizations are urging the government to take significant and immediate action in response to the recent spate of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and deaths in the nation.
According to OpenDemocracy, these organizations stated in a joint statement that the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, which is one of the numerous government acts necessary for appropriate protection and access to rights for LGBT populations, must be finalized and enacted as soon as possible. The measure was written in 2016, and Cabinet approved it in 2018, but it has yet to become law.
These planned legislative reforms, which would increase safeguards and equal rights for LGBT persons, have become rallying grounds for the country's radical right, which has been mobilizing to stop this legislation and other policy developments that challenge heteropatriarchal systems of privilege, power, and oppression.
LGBT Rights Groups Blocked On WeChat App
Credit: Marco Verch via Flickr.
The biggest social media app in China, WeChat, has banned accounts belonging to prominent university LGBT rights groups in China, raising worries of targeted censorship and calls for an online protest.
According to Channel News Asia, or violations of unspecified social media regulations, the WeChat pages of groups such as Huazhong University of Science and Technology Gay Pride and Peking University's Colors World had their past posts scrubbed and replaced with a notice stating, "All content has been blocked and the use of the account has been stopped."
Content deemed politically sensitive or improper is regularly censored on Chinese social media platforms, with censors previously targeting LGBT-related content on video streaming apps and international films.
Several WeChat users who were not impacted by the ban distributed lists of deleted accounts and called for a digital protest against the deletions on Wednesday, urging readers to change their profile names to "Unnamed Account" in solidarity with the organizations.