Officials in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara have indefinitely banned all events hosted by LGBTI rights groups in a move one advocacy group called “a disgraceful breach of the freedom of assembly,” the Associated Press reported Sunday.
The ban took effect Saturday, according to the AP, and applies to any gathering or event hosted by an LGBTI group, including film screenings, panels and performances.
According to the BBC, the new ban was in direct response to a German-language gay film festival, Pink Life QueerFest, that had been scheduled to take place in Ankara and was sponsored by the German Embassy.
This is a disgraceful breach of the freedom of assembly and a further example of shrinking space for LGBTI civil society. https://t.co/eUy0o4lsa8
The Advocate has named the United States Supreme Court Justices “People of the Year” for their historic ruling this past June which brought marriage equality to the entire country:
At 10:02 a.m. Eastern on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court changed America forever.
In handing down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — declaring marriage to be a constitutionally protected right for same-sex couples — the court immediately made the lives of millions better. That doesn’t happen often: Most progress in a obstreperous country like the United States happens incrementally. But with Obergefell, the Supreme Court wiped out dozens of discriminatory measures, scrubbing away decades of antigay prejudice. Suddenly, anti-LGBT states had no excuse to degrade same-sex couples, no legal rationale to deny them marriage licenses. The worldwide push for marriage equality was given an inestimable boost, as marriage equality rights advocates in countries like Australia looked to the Supreme Court for inspiration. And here in America, in an instant, gays and lesbians made an enormous step toward becoming equal citizens under the law.
In the days following Obergefell, Kennedy was lionized as a gay rights luminary. He is — but it was really the court itself that was the hero of the moment. Without its independence, its position as the ultimate arbiter of the law, gays and lesbians in America would still be denied access to the fundamental institution of marriage. Supreme Court decision-making involves a certain kind of sorcery which transforms an individual voice into binding legal precedent. The power of that voice lends each ruling legitimacy, and the prestige of the institution makes each ruling enforceable. It may have been Kennedy who wrote that the Constitution grants gay couples “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” But it is the Supreme Court of the United States that made that judgment a constitutional command.
While in Jamaica, President Obama held a town hall where he invited and recognized LGBT advocates from the country. Following the meeting, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice tweeted, “Anti-LGBT discrimination and violence is unacceptable everywhere. This is US policy globally, as we discussed here in Jamaica today.”
President Obama was in Jamaica to meet with Caribbean government leaders. As part of the trip, the President participated in a town hall meeting with “young leaders.” During his opening remarks, he acknowledged Angeline Jackson, the executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, the only organization in Jamaica dedicated to the needs of lesbian and bisexual women, for her bravery and advocacy. Dane Lewis, the executive director of J-FLAG, a Jamaican LGBT organization, attended the town hall.
“To hear Angeline being acknowledged and celebrated by the President was awesome to behold. It showed inclusion,” Lewis said in response to the meeting. “The US Human Rights agenda was made even clearer by that bold move to single out persons who had come through ‘hard times’ and persevered in-spite of their social background, gender, race or sexual orientation.”