[DEBATE CORNER] LGBT+ COMMUNITY

380 murder cases targeted at the LGBT community in Brazil in 2017 alone.
72 countries criminalized same-sex sexual acts by August 2016.
8 countries “punished” these sexual acts with the death penalty as of 2016.

Such alarming figures have raised an urgent alarm regarding the state of LGBT people. Facing prosecution and constant death threat, they have nowhere to take refuge while facing inordinate discrimination and hatred from the community where they live. For those of the LGBT community living in nations where LGBT existence and rights have been legalized, they still suffer much cultural pressure from the society. Meanwhile , the unfortunate community whose countries prohibit LGBT to be an official group of genders have nowhere to stay domestically, forcing them to flee to foreign countries.

What have been such tremendous driving forces behind seeking asylum, you may ask? First, there is always mistreatment to LGBT people. Unexpected as this may seem, mistreatment to LGBT people is very similar to that in the past to women, including “violent and sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination”, according to the 2015’s UN report. In Ecuador and beyond, anti-homosexual “clinics” spring up monthly, in which homosexual women are tortured, raped, and forced to act “normally” against their will. Beaten up with rods, forced to drink medicine and disgusting concoctions, raped and taught dressing up to “feminize”, the “patients” endure living hell everyday “under the protecting arms of God”. As argued by homophobes in the favor of their acts, women are grounded to an undeniable biological difference , while LGBT is too vaguely addressed and non-scientific to grant belief. Thus, the fight for equality among LGBT community drags on twice as long as that of women, leading to reluctant members of the community searching for refuge outside the country.

Second, it is not just the local society that is pushing the LGBT away to seek asylum. Governments themselves - even the most progressive ones - make their mark. Take Singapore for example. Known to be one of the most modernized and globalized nations in Asia, with an open lifestyle, it is shockingly unbelievable that its government criminalizes homosexuality. While queer and trans people pay the same taxes but suffer the discrimination of not being given the same access to government housing or tax breaks as others, sex between mutually consenting LGBTs, especially men, is still addressed illegal in the infamous section 377A of the Penal Code. Not only Singapore but over 70 remaining countries against homosexuality will soon be barren as the desperate LGBT community searches for asylum to secure their lives against segregation.

Should countries join forces in allocating asylum for the LGBT community? Should LGBT members be criminalized for being themselves in the long run? At IVMUN, we leave the questions open to you!

Amanda TranComment