I once appealed to her attempting to describe all the problems I was facing. As it turned out, I should not have done that because I was then threatened with losing my job.
To make a long story short — all my hopes of one day conducting an orchestra were gone. I was left only with the option of humbly singing in choirs where conductors were obviously men. Except for those, of course, who serve the patriarchal system, i. While buying real estate, heterosexual families receive credits and are granted significant privileges, which we could not obtain.
Details about this were published by LGBTnews. This is when I started receiving anonymous phone calls.
Two-time European weightlifting champion and record holder, two-time world silver medalist Mel has been living in the Netherlands for a year. The transgender athlete has received political asylum and has been learning Dutch.
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Everyone knows that transgender people are the most vulnerable group in Armenia. Especially, when you see that it is you and a few other people on one side versus the rest of society on the other. The level of discrimination, threats, hatred, and the violation of various freedoms and rights in Armenia was so high and pervasive that there was no air to breathe, but I had no desire to suffocate either. The athlete says that of the number of reasons he had left Armenia, one reason remained even after having lived in the Netherlands for a year.
And that instrument is skillfully used by both the authorities and strategic allies of the Armenian government.
"All my hopes of one day conducting an orchestra were gone"
And when you are a public figure, you immediately become a target for them. Media outlets should be curtailed by the rules of journalistic ethics and universal human rights norms. And under every such post, there is a new wave of hate speech by users, a new feast of discrimination, a new series of comments, which are surely not deleted by the news outlet. It is unfortunate that such issues are never discussed in Armenia. When asked when he will come back to Armenia, Mel says that he does not think about it and does not even fathom that the solutions to the problems he has faced are possible to find in Armenia.
Gevorg is a year-old bisexual man who has been living in France for three years. He is now in the process of appealing this decision in court. During the medical examination, I told the psychiatrist that I had had sexual relations with men and that if I was drafted to the army, I might have some problems there. An entire commission made up of doctors interrogated me for several days in an attempt to figure out my sexual orientation. Meanwhile, Galstian says things may be starting to change — albeit slowly. Since Armenia became a member of the Council of Europe in , people generally have started to more actively defend their rights, and more and more homosexuals are open about their identity.
Though well aware of the climate of intolerance in Armenia, Hrair says he is not ready to abandon his homeland now things are starting to shift a little. This is very important to me. I would feel defeated if I went to live in a European country, hiding my head in the sand like an ostrich. Vahan Ishkhanian is a freelance journalist and correspondent for Armenianow. July 2, — PinkArmenia. Mission and objectives of organization, implemented activities, provided services and programs planned to realize during following 6 months were presented at the first part of the meeting.
After the presentation during the treat guests had an opportunity to communicate, ask questions to the staff, make motions and just have nice time. You can get information about these activities from PINK calendar http: And every Wednesday visitors can get psychosocial support and confidential and anonymous counseling concerning sexual health. Organization also continues its main and primary program implementation which is prevention of sexually transmitted infections and human rights protection.
Our mission is your protection. August 24th, — Global Voices. Homophobia turns deadly. Naturally, in a country where nationalist ideology is also somewhat prevalent, fears that homophobia might turn even more extreme appear to be turning into reality.
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With blogs providing LGBT activists with a medium through which to voice their concerns, such fears can now be highlighted more openly than before. This is especially true when in many cases it is actually the local media , and even some civil society groups, which seeks to promote homophobia. However, in recent weeks the level of intolerance in the mainstream media has alarmed many, with one newspaper going so far as to seemingly encourage hate crimes against members of the LGBT community in the country.
A welcome initiative by the British Council in Armenia. Posters are important, but what we urgently need is Education. The British Council in Armenia in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues launched an awareness-raising city campaign "A world without discrimination" on 10 December, the International Human Rights day and in the framework of the one-month disability campaign announced by the Government. You can download the leaflet in English MS Word, 2.
The aim of the campaign is to promote equality in these six areas through positive images of diversity and flyers containing a number of general etiquette and communication tips that will help people to avoid discriminatory language and manners in regard to the representatives of different communities to create a fair and inclusive society that values diversity and respects human rights and individual differences.
During the campaign will reach higher educational institutions, transport and other public areas in the capital and marzes of Armenia. In past, gay rights were reflected within the US State Department annual human rights country reports very briefly under the "Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination" section see e. Society continued largely to view homosexuality as an affliction. Persons who were openly gay were exempted from military service, purportedly because of concern that they would be abused by fellow servicemen.
However, the legal pretext for the exemption was predicated on a medical finding of gays possessing a mental disorder, which was stamped in their documents and could affect their future. During the year there was at least one reported case of a young man, whose homosexuality was revealed during military service, being diagnosed and hospitalized with "homosexuality disease. According to local human rights activists, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons experienced some of the most humiliating discrimination in prisons, where they were forced to do some of the most degrading jobs and separated from the rest of the prison population.
Societal discrimination based on sexual orientation continued to be a problem with respect to employment, family relations, and access to education and health care for sexual minorities.
LGBT rights in Armenia
Georgia Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity There are no laws that criminalize sexual orientation, male-to-male sex, or female-to-female sex; however, homosexuality was not widely accepted in society. There were a few lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender LGBT organizations; however, they did not work exclusively as such and instead promoted tolerance more broadly. One reason for this was the strong societal stigma against homosexuality, including its denunciation by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
The new public defender see section 5 stated that among his priorities would be the protection of LGBT groups and individuals, and on July 31, in a debate with another nominee for the post, he said that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was unacceptable. Reportedly, officials used antihomosexual slurs, made unnecessary strip searches, unnecessarily damaged organizational posters, and unnecessarily ransacked offices. The Ministry of Internal Affairs denied that any procedural violations took place and maintained that the profile of the organization was irrelevant in terms of the law.
The ministry reported that its General Inspection Office gave one officer a reprimand at the "severe" level in accordance with the police code of ethics, as his actions were determined to be nonethical and inappropriate for police officers. Two other officers were also given a reprimand at the "severe" level for not preventing the above-mentioned officer from making the unethical statements.
There were numerous incidents of police brutality against individuals based on sexual orientation. During the year police raided gay bars on four occasions and arrested almost 50 persons. Police reportedly held the individuals and threatened to expose their sexuality publicly unless they paid a bribe. The NGO reported no official harassment of its work. There were no attempts to organize gay pride marches during the year; however, there was a small gathering on May 17 to commemorate International Anti-Homophobia Day.
There were no reported deaths during the year due to violence based on sexual orientation.
However, domestic violence due to sexual orientation remained a large problem. The government did not officially condone discrimination based on sexual orientation; however, there was societal prejudice against LGBT persons. While being fired from a job for sexual orientation remained illegal, LGBT individuals reported that employers found other reasons to fire them. Discrimination in access to healthcare was also a problem. In two transgender individuals died from injuries received from a car accident because physicians at Baku Hospital Number 1 refused to treat them.
March 31, — EurAsia Net. Armen not his real name says he realized he was gay at the age of 13 when he fell in love with his classmate. He met his first boyfriend in an online chat room when he was So I went to live in the streets. Homosexuality has not been a criminal offense in Armenia since ; two years ago, the country signed the United Nations Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which asserts the right to equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender. But gay Armenians are still often the targets of discrimination. Some families have been known to emigrate to escape the stigma of having a gay family member.
Similar social prejudices prevail in neighboring Georgia and Azerbaijan as well. Danielian says that his organization regularly receives alarming calls about attacks on suspected homosexuals. But criminal cases for the assaults usually are not filed because victims are afraid of publicity and additional public scorn, he said. The National Conservative Movement, a small right-wing party founded last year, hailed Mayor Beglarian as a "true Armenian man" and urged supporters to continue attacking homosexuals.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is similarly reticent. Father Vahram Melikian, spokesperson for the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church, identified homosexuality as "a sin" and "negative phenomenon. Anti-gay attitudes appear to run particularly strong in the military. Since , gays have been exempted from military service for supposedly being mentally ill.