International News Highlights — Apr. 7, 2023

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Henry Tse protesting in Hong Kong, China — Photo by Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Henry Tse protesting in Hong Kong, China — Photo by Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Hong Kong government drags feet on gender ID changes
A small group of Trans people in Hong Kong gathered on Friday last week to protest delays in authorities changing gender identities on official documents, which was mandated in a landmark court ruling in February.

Before the ruling, Trans people had to undergo a risky, intrusive transition surgery to get such documents changed. Two months afterward, Transgender Equality Hong Kong founder Henry Tse is still waiting.

"The government is using administrative tactics to deliberately delay the whole process," Tse told Reuters.

Protester Emery Fung said he had asked authorities for a timeline on the change multiple times but hadn't gotten a clear answer.

Reuters got the same treatment when the Immigration Department said it was studying the ruling carefully, and aimed to wrap up its policy review "in a reasonable time."

"Any delay potentially undermines their dignity and perpetuates discrimination and marginalization," said Kelley Loper, a human rights law expert at the University of Hong Kong.

Companies warn Uganda that discrimination hurts profits
On Wednesday, Microsoft and Google joined a coalition of international companies in denouncing Uganda's recent bill calling for harsher persecution of LGBTQ people. The companies warned that such laws would harm the East Africa country's economy by lowering investment, deterring tourists, and throwing a wrench in recruitment efforts.

In particular, the Open for Business coalition mentioned the bill's requirement for companies to report people suspected of being LGBTQ, putting them "in an impossible situation," said the group's Kenya director.

"Either they violate the law in Uganda or they are going against international standards of corporate responsibility as well as human rights laws of the countries in which they are headquartered," she said.

The coalition also pointed to a study they conducted in 2019, which indicates that Kenya loses up to 1.7% of its GDP annually as a result of anti-LGBT discrimination. The same group has also condemned the actions of countries like Hungary.