Across the globe, the LGBT community is finally receiving the rights it deserves. In Canada, gender discrimination is outlawed. Taiwan became the first Asian country to recognize same-sex marriage. However, homosexuality remains a crime in many countries. In fact, some traditional marriages aren’t even tolerated due to religious factors. But President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia is shifting views, now allowing Tunisian women to marry non-Muslims.
Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof.
Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s rights.
Non-Muslim marriages were restricted in 1973. The president referred to it as an obstacle to one’s freedom of choice. Baffling was the fact that the law did not apply to men and included minority women who were Jewish or Christian.
Scrapping the decree may not do away with the cultural and traditional obstacles women face with their families in cases of inter-faith marriage, but it now offers Tunisian women greater freedom of choice from a legal perspective.
The battle for women’s rights may be a little worn out, but remains optimistic. A round of applause for Tunisia!
Conceiving a child is not always the easiest task — especially if you’re a transgender man. 34-year-old Trystan Reese, who transitioned at age 20, successfully gave birth to a son in July.
Doctors told [the couple] that because Reese had only undergone hormone therapy in his transition, preparing to conceive wouldn’t be very different than for a woman who had been on hormonal birth control.
Reese said he became pregnant about five months after he stopped taking testosterone.
Reese, who experienced a perfectly healthy pregnancy, educated haters on social media. He and partner Biff Chaplow documented their journey through blogs, addressing people’s concerns. Reese also explained why he chose not to undergo a full gender reassignment. If not the whole of Facebook, it certainly had me touched.
“I’ve never wished or wanted to be assigned male at birth or to have my body match up exactly with that of my partner, who was assigned male at birth,” Reese said. “I’m okay being trans. I think it’s kind of awesome, actually, and I’ve never wanted my body to be different.”
Reese is not the first transgender man to see out a successful pregnancy. But he is one of the few to go public. Judgment is unfortunate, and also inevitable — but there is always room for understanding.
Over the last decade, the LGBT community has seen victory after victory. While most societies now openly identify gender diverse communities with respect, homosexuality remains a crime in at least 70 countries. Having passed the Bill C-16 on Thursday, June 15, Canada is one step ahead in advancing LGBT rights.
The Senate approved Bill C-16, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, by a vote of 67 to 11.
Passage of the legislation “marks a significant step toward recognizing transgender and gender diverse communities as worthy of dignity and respect,”
Canada further supports other LGBT movements.
Earlier this month, Canada announced it will assume the role of co-chair of the new Equal Rights Coalition.
Canada also promotes the extension of human rights for sexual minorities within the Commonwealth.
The country, under the Trudeau administration, has clearly shown leadership in advancing human rights.
Canada has an opportunity to lead the effort to persuade world leaders that they need not fear the rights of their citizens to live their lives as they choose, including in how they express their sexuality and gender.
Minorities have experienced inevitable backlash but prove to be resilient in a quickly developing world.