JANUARY 20, 2017: President Trump takes office. An LGBTI rights page disappears from the White House website.
APRIL 2: Novaya Gazeta and The Guardian report that about 100 gay men in Chechnya have been rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and extorted for money. Some may have also been murdered. APRIL 30: Indonesian police raid a private party in Surabaya, arresting men they suspect are homosexual. MAY 18: A gay couple in Indonesia are sentence to 80 lashes in public for the crime of having sex in private. AUGUST 25: Trump’s Twitter promise in June to ban trans people from serving in the military becomes official policy. SEPTEMBER 2: Police in the Indonesian province of West Java forcibly evict 12 women they suspect of being lesbians from their village. SEPTEMBER 26: Egyptian authorities arrest seven people for waving a rainbow flag at a music concert. OCTOBER 3: Egyptian authorities arrest a further 34 gay and trans people and charge them with “indecency”. OCTOBER 3: Indonesia’s NasDem party announces plans for legislation to ban gay characters appearing in film or television. OCTOBER 3: Police in Azerbaijan begin a violent campaign, arresting and torturing gay and bisexual men employing the same detain-and-torture methods used in Chechnya. OCTOBER 4: The USA fails to support a UN resolution condemning the death penalty against gay people convicted of having consensual sex. OCTOBER 6: Egypt bans all media from mentioning LGBTI people unless it is in the context of “repenting” for the “sickness” of their lifestyle. OCTOBER 6: Burundi announces an official “hunt” to track down and arrest LGBT people. “The reason is just they are gay,” says a government spokesperson. OCTOBER 8: Indonesian police raid a Jakarta sauna and arrest 51 men. OCTOBER 9: The US Department Of Justice releases the Federal Law Protections For Religious Liberty memorandum instructing federal agencies to preserve religious liberty as much as possible even when it conflicts with anti-discrimination laws. OCTOBER 13: Trump addresses a known gay hate group, Value Voters Summit, and tells them their anti-gay views will “no longer be silenced”.
Your hate speech will no longer be silenced. How long before that hate speech becomes action?
No matter where you live in the world, you can act. You can contact your parliamentary representative and express your concern. You can ask that your concerns be raised and expressed. A single email or phone call can have a significant effect. Politicians need to hear from their constituents; they need to know what’s important to the people who elected them, and the wise ones listen.