Newsbites

Bi Asylum Victory

Bisexual asylum seeker Orashia Edwards has finally won leave to remain in the UK after a three and a half year battle.
As we reported in 2014 and noted at that year’s BiCon, after fleeing Jamaica he faced a long battle with the Home Office over whether he was genuinely bisexual.
Home Office policy changed in 2011 to treat asylum claims from those facing persecution on the grounds of being bisexual, lesbian or gay more seriously.  However policy on paper and implementation in practice do not seem to have been well matched.
In a statement Oriasha said, ”I want to thank everyone who has supported my campaign over the years, none of this would have been possible.
“I’m finally allowed to work so have applied for my National Insurance number and can go get a job and open my own bank account. Things are really looking up for me, I’m buzzing.”

Marriage: more conversions than tries

A study published in the Journal of Family Law suggests same-sex marriage has mainly been a hit with people who were already in civil partnerships.
With over 7,000 same-sex marriages nationwide in the first twelve months, two-thirds of the marriages registered were of people who were civilly partnered in the decade since that method of partnership recognition became available.
Around one in eight of all civil partnerships in the UK have now been “converted”.

Mixed-sex Civil Partnerships:Court Challenge Fails

The Government Equalities Office faced a court case pressing them to open up civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples. Wales, Scotland and England now have marriage open to mixed-sex or same-sex couples, while civil partnerships – though the initial House of Lords bill did not discriminate – remain solely for same-sex partners.
Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld took the case, arguing the current situation with marriage and civil partnership law constitutes unlawful discrimination. Some bisexual and heterosexual people would like to have civil partnership as an alternative to “traditional” marriage.
The government’s defence was that this only constituted a few people, who could get married anyway, and civil partnerships might be scrapped one day.  And – surprising though it may seem – that was good enough for the court.

Therapists Talk Bi

This year’s Pink Therapy conference for professionals working with lesbian, gay, bi and trans clients will focus on the “B” with a packed programme around supporting bisexual people.
The conference is in London on March 12th, and has been at least partly inspired by the YouGov polling last year (as we reported in our October issue) suggesting that around one in two young people are bisexual, for some definition of the word – though only one in fifty own the label.
You can find out more and book for the event here: tinyurl.com/h5jy2ho

Battling it out in Spain

Spanish bisexual activists are petitioning to have their equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary define bisexuality as a real, whole thing in itself, rather than just as being an experience of alternating homo and hetero sexuality.
The Royal Spanish Academy defines bisexuality as having that meaning or possessing both male and female sex characteristics.
The petition is on change.org and while signatures from Spanish citizens will probably carry more weight, it’s an easy way for bisexuals and allies elsewhere in the world to show support.
If you want to add your name, sign here www.bicommunitynews.co.uk/4565/redefining-bisexuality-in-spain/