Mon 11 Oct 21
A mini-series of weekly podcasts is being launched by the Essex Law Clinic to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK and abroad.
In collaboration with the Human Rights Centre – which hosts the podcast RightsCast where these episodes will be aired – the series LGBTQ+ Pride and the Law: A Podcast, discusses global human rights issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
The first in this series, which looks at asylum seekers in the UK, will be launched today to tie in with National Coming Out Day, the annual LGBTQ+ awareness day.
Recorded by former Essex law student Mariya Hoque, with support from her supervisor Lee Hansen, the podcasts will run for three consecutive Mondays.
Mariya created the podcasts to make visible all LGBTQ+ voices, especially religious and cultural communities, who are silenced from expressing their identities.
“The podcast shares stories of LGBTQ+ persons across the globe in order to unite these voices and support one another,” she said. “The podcast strives to build a justice system that gives the LGBTQ+ community a chance to believe that one reason to hold on is better than a thousand reasons to let go.”
The podcasts demonstrate how the removal of a person’s rights can harm their mental health and ability to function.
To be involved in a future season of the podcasts, email the Essex Law Clinic for more information.
Asylum seekers in the UK
Did you know that one in three asylum seekers are refused asylum because officials didn’t believe their sexual orientation or gender identity?
According to human rights law, instead of asking whether the claimant is undoubtedly gay, the officials should ask whether they face a prosecution in their country based on the grounds of their sexuality.
There is also a cultural and language barrier. Many languages aren’t conditioned to express non-heteronormative relationships and identities.
Guest speaker Vinnosh Kumar, former Vice President of Welfare at the University of Essex Students’ Union, discusses the situation, including highlighting some positive developments in the country.
LGBTQ+ community in Israel
In this podcast, University of Essex lecturer Dr Haim Abraham offers an informative insight in relation to surrogacy and the LGBTQ+ community in Israel. He talks about the developments being made and the ones that are needed to ensure equal rights to surrogacy.
Currently in Israel, the Embryo Carrying Agreement Act only allows for surrogacy to be available for married heterosexual couples. It is also required that the intended parents and surrogate follow the same religion.
Dr Abraham talks about some achievements which have been made, but also highlights the long road ahead for the LGBTQ+ community.
Dr Abraham won a Celebrating Excellence in Research and Impact Award earlier this year for his research in this area.
LGBTQ+ community in Italy
Guest speaker Cate Fantacci, a former sociology student at the University of Essex, talks about the public perception of LGBTQ+ people in Italy, and how it is influenced by the Catholic Church.
She explains that although Italy is a secularised country, the Catholic Church often expresses its opinion on political matters, and few church officials affirm LGBTQ+ people.
Cate talks about the most recent development regarding gay rights in Italy, including the anti-discrimination bill that makes violence against the LGBTQ+ community a hate crime, but also highlights how it faces opposition from right-wing parties and the Church who, she says, claim that existing protections are strong enough.