This Week’s Under-reported News Summary June 19, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Gay sex decriminalized in Botswana
  • Canadian inquiry describes killings of indigenous women as genocide
  • Texas tried to mess with voting. It failed.

• In a major victory for gay rights in Africa, Botswana’s High Court overturned a colonial era law criminalizing homosexuality. Botswana joins South Africa and Angola in recognizing gay relationships, while 32 other African nations continue to criminalize homosexuality.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, the law was seen as a source of violence against the nation’s LGBT community.

(“Botswana Judges Rule Laws Criminalizing Gay Sex Are Unconstitutional,” Guardian, June 11, 2019; “Gay Sex Decriminalized in Botswana,” Christian Science Monitor, June 11, 2019) 

•  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau endorsed the findings of a three-year government inquiry which concluded violence against indigenous women and girls is “Canadian genocide.” The report concluded that “state action and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial thinking” was the driving force behind the disappearances of thousands of indigenous women.

(“Canadian Inquiry Describes Killings of Indigenous Women As Genocide,” New York Times, June 3, 2019; “Canada’s Indigenous Seek to Break Vicious Cycle of Tearing Families Apart,” Christian Science Monitor, June 5, 2019)

• Texas has long been a hotspot for voter repression tactics. Elected Republican officials have pushed an agenda that includes extreme partisan gerrymandering, onerous photo IDs laws and restrictive voter registration rules – all with the obvious intention of disempowering the state’s black and brown voters.

(“Texas Tried to Mess With Voting. It Failed,” American Prospect, June 11, 2019)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Elaine Osowski.

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