Monday, October 21, 2013


Proposed Legislation that would take kids away from gay parents withdrawn temporarily
By Brody Levesque | MOSCOW, Russia -- A bill which would have stripped gay parents of custody of their children had it passed into law has been withdrawn from consideration. Sofia Cherepanova, the spokesperson for Alexei Zhuravlyov, the ultra conservative lawmaker who introduced the measure, confirmed to LGBTQ Nation that the measure is listed as “withdrawn” on the website of the Federal State Duma, (Russia’s Parliament) and is no longer an active piece of draft legislation. 
“It’s being recalled for revision — certain legal formulations will be clarified, and then after some points are removed, it will be brought to the State Duma again,” Cherepanova said adding, “We hope to pass the bill.”
The proposed measure was the latest effort by Russian lawmakers to restrict LGBT people's rights under Russian law following on the heels of parliamentarian efforts signed into law earlier this past summer by Russian President Vladimir Putin, including a measure banning discussion or display of materials regarding LGBT people and issues in the vicinity of children along with a ban on adoptions of Russian children by same-sex couples, or others from nations who legally recognise same-sex marriage.
Elena Mizulina, the author and chief sponsor of the federal propaganda law and the head of the State Duma's Committee on Family, Women and Children, where the bill would have been debated and reviewed, had repeatedly said in public remarks to Russian media she believed it would not pass.
A Kremlin source speaking to LGBTQ Nation Sunday said that the decision to withdraw the bill less than one month after it cleared a bureaucratic hurdle that put it on the Duma's official calender to be considered as soon as February 2014, was odd and politically motivated.
"With the western media and public focus on Russia's human rights records as to the question of LGBT people as the Sochi Olympic games is near, one must consider that pressure comes to table these laws. They damage perceptions of Russia and Putin would not favour such negativity," the source said.
Human Rights and LGBTQ equality rights activists welcomed the move but warned that it was more than likely to be resubmitted to the Duma after the Sochi games have concluded when global attention is elsewhere.

United Kingdom
British Lawmaker to Introduce Bill to Ban Conversion Therapy
Geraint Davies,  Labour MP for Swansea West, Wales
LONDON, UK -- A British parliamentarian from Wales announced plans last week on Tuesday to introduce legislation that would ban licensed therapists from using the discredited reparative therapy in the U.K., as part of a larger measure to regulate personal mental health counselors or psychotherapists. 
Gay conversion therapy, as it is known, is alleged to assist LGBTQ people overcome same-sex attractions. But mainstream psychologists and experts say the therapy is ineffective, unethical and often harmful, exacerbating anxiety and self-hatred among those treated for what is not deemed by a majority of the mental health profession as a mental disorder.  
Geraint Davies, a Labour Party MP, wants to make it illegal for mental health therapists to use the controversial conversion therapy on LGBT individuals by making stricter guidelines for therapists.
“At the moment anyone can set themselves up as a counselor or psychotherapist without training or experience with no recourse for the patient if something goes wrong. 
In Britain there are more than 50,000 counselors or psychotherapists registered with private organisations which have no uniform code of conduct or ethics. Alongside unregistered psychotherapists they all able to provide “therapy”  to millions of people, often with mental health problems, who are vulnerable and at risk.
There have even been cases of GPs referring people for “conversion therapy” to convert people from homosexuality to heterosexuality even though such treatment is ineffective and can cause lasting psychological harm.
It’s time to regulate the counselor or psychotherapist industry and to protect people from possible abuse and my motion has already the support of dozens of MPs from all the political parties."
A political observer in London told LGBTQ Nation Monday that the measure has bipartisan support and 53 members of parliament have signed off on the bill. Should it pass, psychotherapists and councilors would have to meet specific qualifications and requirements.
Similar measures have passed in the United States in the states of New Jersey and California with measures pending in Massachusetts and New York.
Last month Pennsylvania state Representative Brian Sims (D)and fellow Democratic state Rep. Gerald Mullery introduced a bill there to ban LGBT “reparative therapy” telling the media that "the practice was science fiction and was more “about punishment” than treatment."