The term “Gender Identity” cannot be removed from the “Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination’s Draft Statute”

Source: Kaos GL, “Ayrımcılıkla Mücadele ve Eşitlik Kurulu Kanun Tasarısı Taslağı’ndan “Cinsel Kimlik” İbaresi Çıkartılamaz!”, (“The term “Gender Identity” cannot be removed from the “Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination’s Draft Statute,”) 2 February 2012, http://www.kaosgldernegi.org/etkinlikdetay.php?id=7248

We have just learned that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) removed the term “gender identity” from the Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination’s Draft Statute.

We, the LGBT Associations who work on human rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT) people in Turkey, demand the re-inclusion of the term “gender identity” to the draft statute of the Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination.

Removing the term “gender identity” from the draft statute, prepared in order to protect citizens against discrimination, is to legitimize the discrimination and human rights violations committed against LGBT people. The removal of “gender identity” shows us once again that the homophobic approach of the State Minister Aliye Kavaf who stated that “homosexuality is an illness,” reflects the AKP government’s politics.

The AKP Government passed the Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination’s Draft Statute, a step in the “Democratic Expansion,” to the Bar Associations, academic institutions and NGOs through the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry had also sent a “Draft” to the Kaos GL Association for review last year in March.

The third clause of draft statute entitled “The Principle of Equality, Ban on Discrimination and Types of Discrimination within the Scope of the Ban” included the provision, “Discrimination based on gender, language, religion, belief, ethnicity, gender identity, political and philosophical opinion, social class, etc is forbidden.” However, the term “gender identity” was removed in the last version of the draft statute that was published on the official website of the Ministry of Interior.

The Minister of the Interior [İdris Naim Şahin] stated in his November 2009 speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) that the mechanisms of administrative monitoring on human rights would be in line with international rules and that the Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination would be established.

A positive process had started when representatives of human rights organizations met with the Minister of the Interior. The Ministry had started work on this project by taking the draft prepared by the Human Rights Joint Platform (IHOP) with the contributions of Istanbul Bilgi University and the Minority Rights Group (MRG) as its basis. In the report that redefined the fundamentals of discrimination, “gender identity” was included in the types of discrimination.

In the draft prepared by the IHOP and accepted by the Ministry of Justice, “gender identity’ was defined as “heterosexual, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite and other gender identities.”

In the “2010 Progress Report on Turkey,” the European Commission listed discriminatory practices against LGBTs and stated, “legal arrangements on discrimination are not compatible enough with EU Acquis and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people still continue in the field of fundamental rights.” The European Commission emphasized discriminatory practices against LGBTs with the following headings: “The principle on the prevention of discrimination is not being complied with,”  “State Minister Kavaf causes discrimination,” “Perpetrators of homophobic violence are given penalty reductions,” “The Turkish Armed Forces are conducting humiliating medical tests,”  “The right to conscientious objection is not recognized,” “No progress has been made against discrimination in the Labor Law,” “The freedom of association is being obstructed,” “Discrimination against LGBT people is continues in fundamental rights.”

We invite all people and institutions, who are sensitive to the discrimination against LGBT people and human rights violations, to take action and to pressure the AKP Government to re-include the term “Gender Identity” in the draft statute of the Commission for Equality and Fighting Against Discrimination.

LGBT Initiatives and Associations

Black Pink Triangle Izmir Association

Çukurova Homosexual Initiative

Hevjîn Diyarbakır LGBTT Formation

Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association

Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL)

Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association

MorEl Eskişehir LGBTT Formation

Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association

Voltrans Group

Women’s Gate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s